Saturday, January 27, 2007

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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