Societe La Francaise bicycles.
The French bicycle industry and the history of the bicycle are intertwined. Spanning the last century and a half, the industry has seen two booms, and continues into the 21st century, albeit less dominant today.
In 1881, Paul de Vivie, a man of twenty-eight, bought his first bicycle, an ordinary. By 1887, de Vivie decided to devote his attention to his avocation; he sold his business, and moved to Saint-Étienne, where he opened a bicycle shop and started a magazine, Le Cycliste. Velocio, as de Vivie was known, began to import bicycles from Coventry; within two years, however, he had begun to produce his own bicycles. His 1889 La Gauloise was the first bicycle produced in France.