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oh Canada ,gachon track bike

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oh Canada ,gachon track bike

Old 05-21-22, 10:06 AM
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oh Canada ,gachon track bike

picked up this gachon racer, mocked up with a few parts I had laying around. anyone have a gachon in racing form, any pics

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Old 05-21-22, 10:55 AM
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an earlier discussion thread on the piece is resident here -


T-Mar shall be along momentarily with a vast trove of knowledge regarding this marque and the rider for which it is named.

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Old 05-21-22, 11:20 AM
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Darn right that's special. Never seen one.
According to the wiki link, Gachon set a Montreal-Toronto record of 15 hrs and 3 minutes. That's almost 24 mph for 15 hours. Even with a tailwind, that's some time.
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Old 05-21-22, 12:27 PM
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Cycles Gachon Ltd. was incorporated in Montreal on June 07, 1938, with capital of $20,000. The principals were Pierre Gachon, Henri Van der Auwera and Joseph Claivas.

Gachon had been born in Paris, France, on March 02, 1909. After his father was killed in the Great War, his mother married mechanic Van der Auwera, who re-located the family to his native Belgium. There, young Pierre was encouraged to take up cycling by Jules-Richard Matton, a local professional who competed in the 1922 Tour de France.

The family emigrated to Montreal in 1923, where Henri opened a garage. Pierre raced successfully as a amateur through the late 1920s, turning professional in 1930. He was successful in the popular Six Day Races held on the velodromes of the era, earning several Top 5 placings. However, his reputation as Canada's premier road cyclist was cemented in 1934 when he set a Toronto to Montreal record of 15 hours and 3 minutes for the 358 mile distance. This was followed in 1936 by a 13 hour and 17 minute record for the 360 mile Montreal-Quebec City-Montreal route, with 100 miles of the final leg being ridden in icy rain.

Regarded as Canada's top road cyclist, Gachon was encouraged by his family to enter the 1937 Tour De France. Gachon registered as an individual but was eventually assigned to a small British squad of three riders. Arrangements for a bicycle was made with a French club but when he arrived a month prior to the race, the bicycle was not ready and he was not to receive it until the day before the start. Gachon has always contended duplicity on the part of the French club with regards to the availability of the bicycle. Regardless, the lack of training and familiarity with the new derailleur mechanism that was being permitted in the race for the first time, severely affected Gachon and he was not in good physcial or mental form for the start.

Official reports state that Gachon was the first rider to abandon the race, being dropped by peloton only 3 miles into the relatively flat, 163 mile, first stage from Paris to Lille. Contemporary reports in L'Auto, the French newspaper that organized and sponsored the Tour de France, seem fanciful, stating ,"At the moment of going to press we understand that Mecherey Rex, timekeeper of the Tour, has sent a team of rescuers to look for the Canadian Gachon. However, a cyclist wearing shorts has been spotted heading towards Le Havre, at 18 km/h, inquiring in the large cities along the way the departure times of the first transatlantic crossing. Gachon himself, insists he completed the first stage but did not start the second stage. Still, Gachon had earned his niche in history, being the first North American to particpate in the Tour de France, the world's most famous bicycle race.

Returning home, Gachon and his step-father built bicycles in the family garage, prior to formalizing the business in 1938 as Cycles Gachon. Trading on his local fame, the company quickly became the hub for Montreal's competitive cycling scene. For a while, Gachon would continue to race and give cycling seminars. In addition to supplying the local racing fraternity with high grade, custom bicycles, the company produced a full range of standard bicycles, including roadsters, motorbikes and even tandems. The company would file for bankruptcy in late 1952 but Pierre would continue in the bicycle trade, running a sporting goods store with his son Albert. Extant photos from this period show that the store sponsored a house team riding Terrot bicycles, which was a sister brand to Peugeot.

After his wife passed away on May 09, 1970, Pierre closed the family business but found that he could not leave the sport. He took a position as a mechanic at Baggio Cycle & Sport, a shop owned by a former cycling rival. As late as 1990, at age 80, he was still working for Baggio on a temporary basis, three days a week. Pierre Gachon would pass away on May 19, 2004.

Attached images include a company advertisement, advertisement for one of Gachon's cycling seminars, Gachon at Baggio's circa 1990 and photos of a surviving ladies' roadster, motorbike, tandem and racing model.

Finally, here's a link to the Google Maps image of the original Cycles Gachon building. https://goo.gl/maps/A1bkkRnYLgMAYk4y9

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