Sheldon Brown

Sheldon Brown was an amateur photographer, vintage bike collector, and bicycle professional who lived in Newton, Massachusetts. He was the parts manager for Harris Cyclery. Sheldon was a strong supporter of year-round bicycle commuting. The reason he is noted is that he published a website with considerable and well-photographed information about bicycle technology. Rather than a top-down approach, the way a comprehensive book about bicycle technology might be written, he delved into specific topics of interest with great detail, often specializing in information not found elsewhere. His website is still available at Sheldon died in 2008 at age 63 of a heart attack after a three-year struggle with multiple-sclerosis. Toward the end, when he could no longer ride a conventional bicycle, he rode a recumbent tricycle. He did much to advance bicycle advocacy and knowledge in his 763 months on Earth.

The Man Who Ate Bicycles

Michel Lotito
from The Daily Mail

Michel Lotito died of natural causes at age 57 in 2007. You’d think he might have died of some sort of digestive disorder because he is known as the man who ate things. By things, I mean he ate TV sets, shopping carts, glassware, even a Cessna airplane. In all, he is said to have eaten over 9 tons of metal. The reason he is mentioned here is that he also at 18 bicycles. He did this by grinding them into powder. He was also known in his native France as Monsieur Mangetout, which translates into “Mr. Eat Everything,” and The Human Ostrich.


Tullio Campagnolo

Tullio Campagnolo was a winning road racer, born in 1901 in Vicenza, Italy. The common story goes:

One snowy day in November, 1927, he was unable to remove a wheel attached with wingnuts during a race, probably to replace a flat tire. That prompted him to go to his father’s hardware store, which contained a machine shop, and where he was used to playing with mechanical ideas. He hollowed out an axle, and created the world’s first quick-release skewer, which he soon patented.

The truth, according to some researchers, is that he was not in that race in November, never patented the skewer, and may not have come up with many of the ideas that are attributed to him.

However, he did build the company, Campagnolo, that became the foremost producer of high-end bicycle components. Campagnolo was one of the first companies to build aluminum and magnesium alloy components.

Mr. Campagnolo died in 1983 at the age of 81, having lived 978 months and manufacturing many inventions that are still used today.

Tullio Campagnolo