Posts Tagged ‘1800s’

Thomas Stevens

Posted April 16th, 2011

Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens is one of the best known early bike tourists, and was the first person to go around the world by bicycle. His trip began in 1884, when he set off on a penny farthing built by the Pope Manufacturing Company of Chicago.

He carried a handlebar bag with essentials like socks, a spare shirt and a rain jacket that was also his tent. His journey took him across Europe, through Iran and into Afghanistan, across India, China and Japan, before he returned by steamer to San Francisco.

You can read about his adventures in his book, Around The World On A Bicycle.

Posted in enCYCLOpedia

Mr. and Mrs. McIlrath

Posted August 12th, 2010

Mr and Mrs McIlrath at Ching King

This husband-and-wife pair pedalled 28,000 miles on a world bike trip, making Hattie one of the first women to go around the world by bicycle (Annie Londonderry is often cited as the first).

The 3-year voyage took them from their starting point in Chicago to San Francisco, then to Japan by ship, through Asia and Europe. The journey ended in 1898 and the resulting book details their packing list, including 3 guns!

“All of our luggage was carried in a leather case which neatly fitted the inside angles of the bicycle frames. Our personal apparel consisted merely of a change of underwear, as we depended upon the stores in towns along our route for new clothes whenever we should need them. The remainder of our luggage cases contained photograph films, medicines, repair outfits, etc. My “artillery,” for which there was great use as it afterward happened, consisted of two 3S-caliber and one 44-caliber revolvers.”

You can read about this amazing journey in a free online book: Around the world on wheels for the Inter ocean: the travels and adventures in foreign lands

Posted in enCYCLOpedia

Annie Kopchovsky

Posted December 13th, 2009


If you’re looking for an inspiring tale, it’s hard to top that of Annie Kopchovsky, who left her home in 1894 to cycle around the world on her 42-pound Columbia bicycle. Not only did she circle the earth within 15 months, claiming the title of first woman to bike around the globe, but she also earned $5,000 en route – a small fortune for the time – and proved to a skeptical public just what a woman was capable of.

The website Annie Londonderry (Annie agreed to go by the last name to promote a product) tells more about her life and you can also order the book about her story, Around The World on Two Wheels.

Posted in

William & Thomas

Posted October 22nd, 2009

William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen

In 1890, William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen set off to travel the world by bicycle. They returned 3 years later, having covered over 15,000 miles. At the time it was the longest continuous land journey ever made and took them through the Middle East and Asia. They returned and wrote a book: Across Asia on a Bicycle.

Posted in