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Joe and Doris Kopsky – Hero

Doris and Joe Kopsky

This month’s THSP hero is the father-daughter duo, Doris and Joe Kopsky. Doris, the daughter of Joe Kopsky, a steel worker and former cycling Olympian, was born in Belleville, New Jersey, in 1922. Joe was part of the team that won the Olympic bronze medal in the 1912 Road Team Time Trial (the first medal ever won by an American team in cycling). Under Joe’s tutelage Doris trained rigorously and by the age of fifteen won the U.S. Women’s National Championship.

Joe’s insight as a former professional cyclist and frame builder allowed him the opportunity to tailor to his daughter’s bicycle needs. In doing so, Joe created what one could say is the first women’s-specific race bike. The lighter frame (Joe sourced Reynolds tubing specifically for that purpose) included a shortened top tube, adjustable stem, and a custom saddle. Joe famously noted the name of Doris’s bike as the Speed Instrument.

Together this family married grit, determination, and innovation to propel Doris to numerous state and national titles.

Doris and Joe Kopsky

Contributed by Ray, On the Back Foot. Check out his awesome Instagram feed of cycling heroes which is really worth following. instagram.com/onthebackfoot/

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