Thomas Stevens

Back in January of 1887 (that's 120 years ago to the month for those keeping count), Thomas Stevens became the first person to do an around-the-world tour on a bicycle. He left Oakland in 1884, and arrived back in San Francisco three years later, after pushing the pedals on his penny-farthing 13,500 miles. That's him there on the right. Stallion.

I like that of the four items he brought on his ride, one was a .38 Smith & Wesson. The other three were socks, a spare shirt, and a rain slicker.

I don't have the wherewithall to do such a thing as circle the globe on a modern bicycle, let alone a fixed-gear penny farthing. Nuts, I say.

Apparently there are still some folks that undertake such challenges, and here is a modern photo of a penny farthing being ridden through France.

I've never ridden one, but if someone in Chico has one, and would like to let me give it a shot, then holla.


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