Cycling in Slovakia.

Pelotome –
around Slovakia on a bicycle.

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

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75

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 in May 1885 through Europe, arriving in, what is now, Slovakia – then part of Austria – at Presburg (Bratislava), where he stays for the evening and explores the castle, before immediately crossing into Hungary at Altenburg (today Mosonmagyaróvár), on his journey towards Iran,

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

August 1891 – published in November 1893.

To Gipsyland.

The Pennells returned with an account of their summer ride in 1891, this time swapping their trusty tricycle for two safety bicycles (Elizabeth on a Marriott and Cooper’s Ladies’ Safety), in search of the Romani “gypsies” whose culture they had originally fallen in love with in their native Philadelphia.

The book, originally serialised a year earlier in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (Nov 1892 – Jan 1893), meets the couple in Pirna, “the little Saxon town on the Elbe”, before skipping straight to Bad Ischl in Austria.

A more in depth account of their ride however, entitled From Berlin to Budapest”, appeared as a twelve part series in The London Illustrated News with the Slovakia section (published 27th August 1892). following their journey from Bratislava – then part of Austria – where they had arrived on boat from Vienna, to Raab (Győr), Hungary.

  • by Joseph and Elizabeth Rose Pennell.
  • Published by T. Fisher Unwin, London.


“After leaving Presburg [Bratislava] and crossing over into Hungary the road-bed is of a loose gravel that, during the dry weather this country is now experiencing, is churned up and loosened by every passing vehicle, until one might as well think of riding over a ploughed field.

But there is a fair proportion of ridable side-paths, so that I make reasonably good time.”

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

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