Cycling in Burma.

Pelotome –
around Burma on a bicycle.

~ Round About the World on Bicycles – G.W. Burston & H.R. Stokes (1890).

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75

January 1889 – Published 1890.

Round About The World on Bicycles.

“The pleasure tour of G.W. Burston and H.R. Stokes, Melbourne Bicycle Club, Australia,” follows George Burston and Harry Stokes on their 56-inch high-wheel bicycle journey around the world, setting off from Melbourne, on 1st November 1888, arriving back in Australia on the 14th December 1889.

The Burmese section of their journey was chronicled in The Australasian. on 25th May, 1889.

Landing in Rangoon (now Yangon) on New Year’s Day 1889, on their journey from Malaysia to India, they find time to explore the city, its pagodas, market, saw mills, zoo and prison, and take “a long ride past the lakes in Dalhousie Park,” before catching a ship to Calcutta.

  • by G.W. Burston and H.R. Stokes.
  • Published by George Robertson and Company, Melbourne, Australia “for private circulation only”


“We spent next morning visiting the timber mills of the Bombay-Burmah Trading Company, and a Chinese firm of Tsee Shain Lone ; at the latter place we were delighted to find elephants at work.

They are used to draw, roll, lift, and pull great heavy logs about ; they have natives perched on their heads, who direct them with a small cane ; they work steadily and move great logs two or three feet in diameter and 20 ft. or 30 ft. long, apparently with as much ease as a man would handle a log of firewood ; their main work appears to be hauling these logs to the circular saw and then pushing them with their tusks till the saw has traversed through.

They use their trunks and tusks, and if a log wants rolling they just put their huge foot on it and give a shove, which sends the log over several times.

When logs require pulling any distance a couple of chains are fixed to them, and the elephants pull in the ordinary way.

These animals were the biggest we had seen, being 11 ft. or 12 ft. high.”

~ G.W. Burston & H.R. Stokes – Round About The World on Bicycles, 1890.

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