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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-11-13, 05:34 PM   #1
Mike Ayling
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France under German occupation.

An interesting article here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...rman-rule.html

If you scroll through the pictures a few tandems are shown, some with trailers carrying adult passengers.

One of the crews in particular would be worthy inclusions in the Pictures of happy tandem riders thread!

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Old 09-11-13, 06:04 PM   #2
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The tandems are interesting, but the photos and stories of occupied Paris provide us with lessons that should not be forgotten.

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Old 09-11-13, 06:11 PM   #3
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The tandems are interesting, but the photos and stories of occupied Paris are fascinating!
I find Nazi propaganda repulsive and vile. While I understand the historical value of these photos (and wouldn't want to censor them) I find the conditions in which they were taken repugnant to human decency.

What people would be happy under the boot of a foreign occupier?

Imagine if the Nazis has achieved their goal of invading England. They would have also taken pictures of happy English couples playfully strolling through the rubbles of bombed out London. :-(
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Old 09-11-13, 10:41 PM   #4
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I revised my original reply.
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Old 09-11-13, 11:01 PM   #5
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If you scroll through the pictures a few tandems are shown, some with trailers carrying adult passengers.

One of the crews in particular would be worthy inclusions in the Pictures of happy tandem riders thread!
Here's the pics. The story of the wartime French bicycle taxis is here.

HISTOIRIQUE OF BICYCLES-TAXIS
Taking advantage of the ingenuity of Outterick True [the inventor], many taxi-men then make their appearance with bicycle taxis manufactured home. Many variations of teams emerge, sometimes towed by one man, sometimes pulled by two cyclists on a tandem.


Ingenious contraption: Two fashionably dressed young men stand by a tandem bicycle towing a carriage of sorts

[These men must be the captain and stoker, of the tandem taxi. They are waiting to get a fare. Their pantaloons look to be for cycling].


Not yet modern: Bicycles are joined in this picture by the even then anachronistic sight of a horse-drawn carriage. When these pictures were put on display in 2008 - more than 60 years after being taken - many called for the exhibition to be closed down



Fat of the land: A wealthy looking man and woman ride in a cart pulled by two slim Parisians on a tandem bicycle. Wealth and collaboration with the Nazis helped preserve life for a certain elite as thousands of French Jews were sent to the death camps.
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Old 09-11-13, 11:29 PM   #6
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Went looking for a newsreel segment on these French bicycle taxis. Didn't find it, but did find this wartime French tandem footage at 2:25.

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Old 09-12-13, 08:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing these. History, even the unpleasant parts, should not be forgotten lest we repeat it.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:28 AM   #8
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Amen, can't forget those times.
Those tandem pics show how little has changed in bicycle technology.



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Thanks for sharing these. History, even the unpleasant parts, should not be forgotten lest we repeat it.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:42 AM   #9
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Those tandems would be worth some big $$ to the retro-Francophile-bike-set.

Interesting photos, to be sure.
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Old 09-12-13, 08:43 AM   #10
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Fascinating stuff.
I remember seeing that movie "Is Paris Burning"
In it you could see cars modified to run on natural gas.
I always kinda wondered where the gas came from?
Waste gas from oil wells-in ?? From coal?? Some other local source??
Or maybe some sort of biogas-sewage etc-
Can't imagine the nazis would allow NG to be transported-using valuable transportation fuel-gasoline diesel or coal-
so guessing it was locally produced.
Anyone have any idea on where that NG came from? France have any oil wells at that time?
Charlie
PS- I bet these pictures were from early in the war-well before late 1942 when the war started to turn against the NAZIS. And well before French transportation-rail harbors bridges warehouses etc became targets for ever larger British bomber force-and our bombers.
Yeah-once the war turned bad for the NAZIS the French probably became MUCH MUCH thinner-clothing would have been threadbare-and no Jews left either.
My guess is after the initial shock of being occupied-most french just settled in-made the best of it-and didn't become actively "unhappy" until things started going south for the NAZIS-and the NAZIS cut their rations of everything to support their army in Russia.
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Old 09-12-13, 10:49 AM   #11
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I thinking about building on of those little taxi's. Could be setup behind a tandem or a single. I have an extra Burley Picolo that I could use to provide the beam that attaches to the rear of the pulling bike. Just thinking outloud, but I think it would be fun to have. I have 5 year triplets who would enjoy the ride. :O
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Old 09-12-13, 02:15 PM   #12
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I've been looking through other videos from occupied Paris, looking for tandems or bike taxis. This video is scenes from the 1940 occupation, and I don't think the bike taxi's were yet invented. There is a clip [at 3:50] of a not-a-tandem, but a sociable bike in the form of a pedal car. These had to exist pre-war, because this movie was filmed in 1940 very soon after the occupation of Paris began.






Edit: Oh, there is a Velo Taxi, at 6:00. France signed an Armistice with Germany on June 22, 1940. If this movie was filmed in 1940, it appears to be in late Summer or Autumn, so August-November, 1940. The Velo Taxi surely existed pre-occupation.



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Old 09-17-13, 11:04 PM   #13
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Having survived WWII as a kid in Belgium recall that there were NO tires available whatsoever for cars or bicycles.
However, seems the French were a bit better off in the big cities like Paris than us poor folks in Flanders.
We had ration stamps for everything but there was nothing to buy.
Coupons for 1 pair of shoes per year and we ended up wearing wooden shoes.
Recall trapping sparrows in the snow . . . yes, that was meat for us.
Did see a car running on what was referred to by 'gasogene' owned by a local doctor. It was a contraption on the back of the vehicle that looked like a
hot water tank that ran on either coal (which was rationed) or wood.
As for horse drawn carriages . . . the Germans confiscated all horses to haul their stuff or the Belgians beat the Germans to it and sold the horsemeat on the black market.
If these photos are 'repugnant' you have no idea what we suffered through.
When the war ended I weighed less than 50 pounds at age 12 . . .but I was alive after 4 years of Nazi occupation.
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Old 09-18-13, 06:27 AM   #14
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Dang Rudy, glad you made it through those tough times.
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Old 09-18-13, 07:06 AM   #15
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Wern't the French -especially in the Vichy area- better fed than Belgium?
You guys-Belgium-got pounded in both world wars.
Continental USA never attacked or occupied-and very rich -agriculturally minerals water -everything really-so probably easier for USA citizens-to not hold a grudge.

Boy they certainly are a natty bunch- the husband wife taxis drivers are the
"least dressed" but even they have matching colored shorts-nice shirts nice hair etc
Notice the toe straps-and baseball cap!
Funny I don't remember ever seeing pictures of Europeans in what we call a baseball caps-yeah no doubt it wasn't developed for baseball-must have been some european "work in sun cap" -wonder what jobs?
And they really aren't "slim" looking-woman has muscular thighs, sturdy arms -certainly not slim relative to the rest of the Paris folks-average really-not "hungry skinny" like folks in Belgium certainly were-how many starved to death-10,000's right ??

These pictures certainly give the "right impression" paris looks just fine !

Most striking everyones HAIR IS PERFECT- just like the song !!
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Old 09-18-13, 09:26 PM   #16
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Videos of occupied Europe are interesting.

Here's another tandem cab.



At 0:15 on this video:

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Old 09-18-13, 09:37 PM   #17
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I wrote my senior thesis on French participation in rounding up Jews to send to the camps. There were a lot of very happy collaborators. Of course, post war, everyone claimed to have been active in the resistance.
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Old 09-18-13, 11:54 PM   #18
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Here's a WWII Dutch tandem.

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Old 09-19-13, 12:01 AM   #19
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Fascinating stuff.
I remember seeing that movie "Is Paris Burning"
In it you could see cars modified to run on natural gas.
I always kinda wondered where the gas came from?
Are you sure it was NG (compressed/liquified methane)? The distribution infrastructure would take time and resources to build. At least around here, cars were converted to wood gas during the wars.

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Old 09-19-13, 12:24 AM   #20
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Yes, Vichy France was not occupied by the Nazis for a couple years, but the French there greatly collaborated with them. Effectively the Germans pulling all the government strings.
Paris however was not part of Vichy and was occupied in May /June 1940.
Lots of friends/relatives did not survive the occupation. Some ended up in one of the many concentration camps; and you did not have to be Jewish.
Instances of Nazis forcing guys to pull down their pants if they suspected them to be Jews.
Checked if they were circumcised, a sure indication at that time that you were a Jew. Circumcision, at that time, was not customary for non-Jews.
Both of my older sisters and Dad were sent forced labor to Germany.
We actually had a hidden radio that we sometimes listened to the BBC.
Twice we hid out a Belgian Jew for several months in our house. Discovery of hidden radio receiver or a Jew meant a firing squad or one of the camps.
Food or the scramble to get some was a daily challenge; coal for our stove was rationed or had to go out and steal wood in the forest.
As a kid was able to adapt and get away with stuff that adults could not do.
Used to beg and steal from the Germans . . . some had a bit of compassion for us kids while others would threaten us.
One neighbor dropped dead from cold and hunger right by his front door. Many just plain 'disappeared' in some of the forced labor roundups.
Of course bombings added a bit more challenges in the war. Later V1 and V2 buzz bombs became an issue.
Amazingly our immediate family survived. One of my sisters lived long enough to collect a pension from the German government for her time as forced labor in Germany. She claimed she got the last laugh!
That was almost a lifetime ago . . . no longer have those horrid night mares I had for years.
War is not like the movies . . .

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Old 09-19-13, 04:43 AM   #21
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Rudy
Certainly explains why you live in AZ
Yeah both WWs Belgium got the short end.
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Old 09-19-13, 07:27 AM   #22
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@zonatandem I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries, but I really hope you have put pen to paper, or been interviewed by historians at the local university.
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Old 09-19-13, 09:19 AM   #23
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I completely agree, your story needs to be told.



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@zonatandem I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries, but I really hope you have put pen to paper, or been interviewed by historians at the local university.
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Old 09-19-13, 05:11 PM   #24
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Many folk have written about their WWII experiences; no need to add to that.
However as I get older (only 80 now) I can look back on what happened to us more as history.
Seems Belgium, being in the middle of the big countries (France/Germany/England/Spain) has been invaded and been a battleground for centuries.
Nice reason to be out of there in and in the USA.
While the US has some issues it's still the best place I've found to live.
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Old 09-19-13, 06:16 PM   #25
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Many folk have written about their WWII experiences; no need to add to that.
However as I get older (only 80 now) I can look back on what happened to us more as history.
Seems Belgium, being in the middle of the big countries (France/Germany/England/Spain) has been invaded and been a battleground for centuries.
Nice reason to be out of there in and in the USA.
While the US has some issues it's still the best place I've found to live.
Rudy/zonatandem
Nice thing about the US is you have a right to be left alone (for the most part). But I bet there are historians or even political scientists at the local university who would love to speak with you. Every little puzzle piece helps make up the big picture.
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