Around Germany on a Bicycle

Pelotome –
around Germany on a bicycle.

Around The World on a Bicycle – Thomas Stevens (1887).

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75

1872 – published in 1877

Bonn to Metz per Bicycle – in Six Days – 1872.

A “most interesting book” of how two English men, 20 year old London-born Charles Frederick Casella and his friend, Fritz, travelled in April 1872, the 800 km from Bonn in Germany to Bingen am Rhein and onwards to Metz – which, following the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, had only just become part of the German Empire a few months earlier (although now lies in France once more), – “on bone-shakers made by Snoxell”; one of which “rejoiced in rubber tyres, as at that time this great luxury was just coming into vogue.”

  • by Charles F. Casella.
  • printed by Spottiswoode & Co., London
  • (illustration of a Snoxell velocipede, left, not from book).


Bicycling; Its Rise and Development.

“A text book for riders” aimed to cater for the rapidly developing bicycle movement by filling the void, after early books about the wooden wheeled machine had become valueless. With numerous illustrations to assist the beginner, the book is packed with informative chapters on routes in England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, The Battlefields of 1870, Upper Rhine, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and France – each highlighting the points of interest, hotels, museums, mileage, gradients and road conditions along the way,

The routes listed for Germany are barely worth a mention as they only cover the “Battlefields of 1870” from Mezieres to Strasbourg via Saarbrücken; Liege to Cologne; and alongside the Rhine from Cologne to Coblenz “but there is nothing to repay him for his trouble, and if he wants to see the Rhine, he had better go by the boat to Bingen in the ordinary way,”

  • Published by Tinsley Bros., London.

1874 – published in 1875

Paris to Vienna by Bicycle.

In this 32 page book, W. Saunders recounts Frenchman M. A. Laumaillé’s notable 760 mile, 12 day journey of October 1874, “the longest bicycle tour on record”, from the French to the Austrian capital on an English machine. The journey, “of upwards of 760 miles in spite of bad roads, disgraceful treatment by villagers, heavy rains, and many other discouragements” was also wildly reported in international medical journals at the time, due to Laumaille’s invention of a natural tonic made from liqueur de cocoa, which “supported him and gave him strength.”

  • by W. Saunders.
  • Published by Tinsley Brothers, London.
  • image, left, proved by University of Bristol Library.

1878? – published in Jan 1879.

Eydtkuhnen to Langenweddingen by Bicycle.

A 24 page account of “an attempt to ride from the Russian frontier to Calais” in winter, from Eydtkuhnen – the village on the East Prussian (German) side of the border (today the settlement of Eitkūnai in Chernyshevskoe, Kaliningrad, on the border with Kybartai, Lithuania) – to Calais, France.

After passing through modern day Kaliningrad (a Russian enclave) and Poland, the author abandoned his journey, due to thick snow, at Langenweddingen in Prussia – today part of Sülzetal, Magdeburg, “near Brunswick” (Braunschweig), – over 600 miles (877 km) into his journey.

The book contained “a miniature map and views photographed by the Woodbury Company, from pen and ink sketches by the traveller,” which he made over his 26 day journey, twelve of which were spent at various towns, with walking excursions.

The 34 year old author made a book reading at the Drill Hall, Bromley, Kent, England, on January 25th 1879.

  • by W.S. Yorke Shuttleworth.
  • Published by John Snow & Co., London.
  • (illustration from an old postcard, left, not from book).

May 1885 – Published 1887.

Around the World on a Bicycle.

“From San Francisco to Teheran” was the first illustrated volume of 29 year old English immigrant Tom Steven’s pioneering ride around the globe. The book covers the first half of the novice rider’s journey on his fifty-inch Pope “Columbia” high-wheeler, with a handlebar bag containing socks, a spare shirt, a raincoat that doubled as a tent and bedroll, and a pocket revolver.

Leaving California, on 22nd April, 1884, he became the first cyclist to cross the United States in the process, sailing from New York to Liverpool, and continuing his journey through Europe, arriving on 19th May, 1885, at – what was at the time – the French/German border in Blâmont.

Cycling through the Alsace (“French territory only fourteen years ago”), he crossed the Rhine at Strasbourg into modern day Germany, and contined through Oberkirch, “into the fir-clad heights of the Black Forest”, to Freudenstadt, and Rottenberg, “down the beautiful valley of one of the Danube’s tributaries” “toward the important and quite beautiful city of Ulm,” into Bavaria and Augsburg, “the antiquated town of Dachau,” and Munich – “amid the smoke of good cigars and the quaffing of the delicious amber beer that the brewers of Munich alone know how to brew,” – on to Muhldorf – “a curious and interesting old town” – crossing into Austria at Simbach am Inn, from where he continued on towards Iran,

  • By Thomas Stevens.
  • Published by Sampson, Lowe, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London.

July 1885 – Published October 1887.

Wanderings: On Wheel and On Foot in Europe.

Setting out from Glasgow on the 3rd July, 1886, and catching the steamer to Hamburg, Hugh Callan details his 1,500 mile, high-wheeler, 33 day journey “on wheel down Europe from the German ocean to the Aegean Sea”, taking in Berlin and Dresden before heading to Prague and onward to Athens, Greece.

The second part of the book is dedicated to his earlier July 1885 trip “on wheel up the Rhine Valley, from Amsterdam to Geneva, and back by Antwerp,” taking in Emmerich am Rhein, Duisberg, Diisseldorf, Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, Mannheim, Heidelberg – “a more delightful spot to live and study in is perhaps not on earth,” – Bruchsal, Karlsruhe, Strasbourg and Alsace (at the time, part of Germany), into Switzerland, while Part Three follows his six week walking tour “‘on the tramp’ in Belgium and France,” in 1881.

  • By Hugh Callan.
  • Published by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, London.


“Much more interest than I expected was excited by the appearance of me and my wheel. It was quite evident, from the number and nature of the questions put to me by the people who crowded around, and from the frequent shying of the horses, that cyclists did not wear the roads much there.

Wanderings: On Wheel and On Foot in Europe – Hugh Callan (1887).

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