around Indonesia on a bicycle.
“As far as we can find out, we are the first cyclists to tour inland in Java, and the surprise of the natives seemed to know no bounds.
The younger portion kept chasing us along ; as soon as one batch became tired another crowd would take up the running.”
~ Round About the World on Bicycles – G.W. Burston & H.R. Stokes (1890).
My Life and Times
by Jerome K. Jerome
December 1888 – 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 Singapore section of their journey was chronicled in The Australasian. on 16th February and 16th March, 1889.
Landing in Tanjung Priok, on 16th December 1888, on a steamer from Sydney, their plans to cycle around Java (then the Dutch East Indies) are soon dashed when Customs request a non-refundable £5 duty payment. Leaving their bikes in bond, they instead travel by cab, before catching the train to Batavia (now Jakarta), where the British consulate arrange for them to be able to use the machines for five days.
Cycling on to Buitenzorg (now Bogor City), they made their way to Sukabumi, Cianjur, Bandung and Cicalengka. before retracing their way to Jakarta and catching a ship to Singapore.
- by G.W. Burston and H.R. Stokes.
- Published by George Robertson and Company, Melbourne, Australia “for private circulation only”
“In five minutes a big crowd of naked fellows crowded round us and the bicycles, chattering away like monkeys.
They appeared to be a good-natured, happy race; but, for all that, every man carries a weapon of some kind, usually a big sheath dagger or a bent sword, stuck in their loin cloth, whilst the native police are a regular picture of war, but look rather comical with naked feet and a belt full of weapons.
We received no molestation of any kind, and, without exception, everyone made way for us.”
~ G.W. Burston & H.R. Stokes – Round About The World on Bicycles, 1890.