Cycling in Switzerland.

Pelotome –
around Switzerland on a bicycle.

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

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75


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 five routes in Switzerland are from Basel to Zurich; Zurich to Luzern; Basel to Geneva; Geneva to Bern; Bern to Interlaken; plus the “Upper Rhine” route from Strasbourg through the Alsace ends in Basel and the route covering the “Battlefields of 1870” is recommended to link Switzerland with Belgium.

  • 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 Basel, Langenthal, Burgdorf, Bern, Fribourg, Romont, Rue, Lausanne, Morges, and Rolle – where he was apprehended for not having a light, eventually arriving in Geneva past midnight. After being summoned to court, he returned to Morges and climbed to Romainmotier, crossing into France at Jougne.

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.

August 1888 – Published 1895.

From the Clyde to The Jordan.

Narrative of a bicycle journey” was the first illustrated account by a rider of a “modern day bicycle”, and followed Scottish clergyman Hugh Callan – the same author of “Wanderings on Wheel and on Foot Through Europe” – on his ride from Glasgow to Jerusalem, which had previously appeared seven years earlier as a series of articles in the Glasgow Herald – the Swiss sections published on 12th and 28th September, 1888.

Charting the author’s progress on a “Singer” safety bicycle, he enters Switzerland at Basel from Mulhouse, and cycles on the Baden (German) side of the Rhine, through the border village of Waldshut, crossing “four frontier lines” to Schaffhausen and “the Rhine Falls at Neuhausen”. Cycling on to Lake Constance, he crosses into Austria “below Feldkirch, in the Vorarlberg.”

  • By Hugh Callan.
  • Published by Blackie & Son, London.


“It was the time of the great Swiss National Shooting Festival or Wappenschaw held at Berne in the middle of July. As we approached this romantically situated capital of the Swiss Federation, along the banks of the rapid rushing Aare, all sorts of vehicles were speeding homewards into the country.

Their occupants were evidently wrought to a high pitch of enthusiasm by the scenes they had been engaged in at their capital, for many a shout of Vorwarts ! (Forward !) greeted me as they passed.

But what is that rolling grovelling thing rattling along towards us beneath the trees ? Actually it is an old wooden ‘bone-shaker,’ ridden by a grisly, greasy individual whose long grey beard and matted locks might warrant his being a grandfather!

I was filled with curiosity to speak with such a character ; but vain hope ! the representative of the early days of cycling ‘passed by on the other side’ without deigning to show the slightest consciousness of the presence of the highly developed modern scion.”

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

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