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Posts Tagged ‘historic’

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

John Foster Fraser

Posted April 16th, 2011

John Foster Fraser

John Foster Fraser left home with two of his friends in 1896 to bike around the world. When they returned, they wrote a book about the trip called Around The World On A Wheel and the preface always makes us smile. It starts:

“We took this trip round the world on bicycles because we are more or less conceited, like to be talked about, and see our names in the newspapers. We were stoned by the Mohammedans because they alleged we were Christians, and we were pelted with mud in China because the Celestials were certain we were devils.”

“We slept in wet clothes, subsisted on eggs, went hungry, and were enforced teetotalers. We had small-pox, fever, and other ailments. There were less than a dozen fights with Chinese mobs. We never shaved for five months, and only occasionally washed. Our adventures therefore were of a humdrum sort. If only one of us had been killed, or if we had ridden back into London each minus a limb, some excitement would have been caused. As it was we came home quietly.”

Posted in enCYCLOpedia

Francis Birtles

Posted April 15th, 2011

Francis Birtles

Francis Birtles left Fremantle, Western Australia in December, 1905 to cycle to Melbourne. This was a great trip for the age, and attracted a lot of interest from the public. In 1909, he published Lonely Lands, the story of his journey.

His other adventures included setting a cycling record for the Fremantle to Sydney crossing, and riding around Australia several times. By 1912, Birtles had circumnavigated Australia twice and crossed the continent seven times.

Posted in enCYCLOpedia

Arthur Richardson

Posted November 25th, 2010

Arthur Richardson

Arthur Richardson was the first cyclist to cross Australia’s stifflingly hot Nullabor Plain in 1896. He described the heat as “1,000 degrees in the shade”. The harrowing conditions weren’t enough to put him off though. Four years later, Richardson set another first: cycling around Australia.

His ride totaled some 18,000km and was recorded in his book, Story of a Remarkable Ride. Sadly, Richardson was badly injured in World War I and this plagued him. He became mentally ill and in 1939 he committed suicide, after killing his second wife.

You can read a 1900 newspaper article about Richardson ride online, from the archives of the Australian National Library. It comes in 3 parts: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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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