I found an interesting article on French bicyclist Maurice Brocco (28 January 1885 – 26 June 1965) in a Thrilling Adventures pulp (May 1937). It seems this pugnacious athlete had quite a thrilling life well before setting off on his professional biking career in 1906. In 1902, at age 17, Maurice joined the French Foreign Legion just before being called up to serve in his local Army regiment (the annual French draft filled the ranks of hundreds of regiments with bleus from their respective departments and cities). He served well until a bout with fever and illness resulted in him being discharged as medically unfit for service. He eventually recovered well enough to start biking again and pushed himself onward to become one of the legends of professional bicycle racing. His career was interrupted by WWI when Maurice once again joined the military–this time his local regiment. His renowned skills as a bicyclist were put to good use as a courier. On a motorcycle.