Doris Kopsky Muller 1922 – 1997
Doris Kopsky was a pioneer in womens cycling in America. In 1937 at the age of 15 she won the first ABL of A – National Womans Championship, held in Buffalo, New York. She also won numerous Eastern and National dirt track titles and roller races from 1936 to 1941. She was the New Jersey State Sprint Champion in 1937, 1938 and 1939.
Doris was tough. Nobody really wanted girls racing those days, including her mother. Doris’ father Joe pushed Doris into racing partly to relive his own days as a bike racer (as he had no son), and partly to promote his bike business. Here is an excerpt from a University of Florida interview with Doris in 1993 :
…you sat there and waited. If you were lucky and it did not rain and it was a fairly decent day, you were fine. If it was cold and windy, you sat in the car and waited because there was no shelter. The starter was a guy with a gun. It was not a gun like they use for starting races now that are not real guns. It would be a real gun. He would shoot a bullet in the air and “hooray” – the race would start.… There was no ambulance or police protection. The trainers took care of their own people. They were the ones who came up and brushed you off and put a bandage on if you needed it. And sympathy was merely a word in the dictionary somewhere in the S’s….
Doris’ bike (a Kopsky Special) is on display in Classic Cycle as well as her national champion jersey and medals.
Doris’ father Joe was a cyclist too. He was a member of the 1912 Olympic Team, and later went on to build and sell Kopsky brand bicycles.