around the Netherlands on a bicycle.
“A great crowd of clerks, piermasters, labourers and sailors, who had learned that I was bound on the wheel for Geneva – an enormous distance in the eyes of Dutchmen, whose whole country is only about one hundred miles by one hundred, and who never stir from home unless they can get a ship or a train or a carriage to convey them – saw me start from the ship’s side, but their sluggish Dutch temper could not fire enough to give me a parting cheer.”
~ Wanderings: On Wheel and On Foot in Europe – Hugh Callan (1887).
My Life and Times
by Jerome K. Jerome
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 two routes of the Netherlands are from Rotterdam to the Hague, and the Hague to Amsterdam.
- Published by Tinsley Bros., London.
July 1885 – Published October 1887.
Wanderings: On Wheel and On Foot in Europe.
Part Two of Glaswegian Hugh Callan’s book is dedicated to his July 1885 trip from Carlisle to Hull, and 1,100 miles “on wheel up the Rhine Valley, from Amsterdam to Geneva, and back by Antwerp,” occupying 23 days, and passing through Utrecht – “where canals and highroads, and the Vecht and the Old Rhine are perplexingly intertwined,” he “had the utmost difficulty in finding the road to the frontier,” before finally finding his way to Arnhem and onward through Germany.
The main subject for the book however is his July 1886, 1,500 mile, 33 day journey “on wheel down Europe from the German ocean to the Aegean Sea”, (Hamburg to Athens) on a Singer “British Challenge” high-wheeler, 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.
WANDERINGS ON WHEEL AND ON FOOT
“Nowhere do such clouds of smoke ascend as incense to the great Unnamed but constantly worshipped modern god of Tobacco as in this city on the waters.
No doubt the moist atmosphere tends to preserve for the Dutch their proverbial pre-eminence in this worship. The ‘weed’ is grown in the country, and cigars sell at a trifle.
Nowhere is the practice regarded as so venial a fault on the part of the young.
Near the Palace in the Dam square, when passing through an alley, I remarked a family seated on the raised stone pavement; all except the females were puffing vigorously at their pipes or cigars ; but my staring surprise at beholding two youngsters of very tender years gravely and serenely doing their duty towards big fat cigars as long as their face, right under the nose of papa and mamma, was too much for the gravity even of Dutchmen.”
~ Wanderings on Wheel and on Foot, Hugh Callan (1887).