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.