World Tours by Bicycle.

Pelotome –
around the World on a bicycle.

~ Le Tour du Monde en Vélocipède – Grand Jacques (1870).

My Life and Times

by Jerome K. Jerome

From £4,75


Le Tour du Monde en Vélocipède.

“Around the World by Vélocipède” is the earliest known cycle touring book ever published. Released a year after his charming “Manuel du vélocipède”, this fictional account, written in French – under the nom de plume, Le Grand Jacques – and also serialised in the author’s bi-weekly magazine, Le Vélocipède illustré, it follows an eccentric American millionaire and a “freak show” giantess on their bespoke Vélocipède from Paris to Siberia, crossing Russia into Alaska and Canada, before making their way down through Panama to Cape Horn, sailing on to the Cape of Good Hope and then heading back to Paris through Africa.

  • by Le Grand Jacques (Richard Lesclide).
  • with illustrations by Felix Regamey.
  • published in French by Librairie de la Publication, Paris.

April 1884 – 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 reached Boston on 4th August, 1884, some 3,700 miles later (a third of which had to be walked) – becoming the first cyclist to cross the United States in the process, With Outing magazine stepping in as a sponsor – reporting on his progress throughout – he sailed from New York to Liverpool, continuing his journey on 4th May, 1885, to London and then Paris, making his way through Germany, Austria and Hungary, onward through Slavonia (Croatia), Serbia, Bulgaria, and Rumelia (European Turkey), resting in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey. Continuing on through Anatolia, Armenia, Kurdistan, and Iraq, he eventually arrived in Tehran, Iran, on September 30th, 1885, where he stopped for winter as guest of the Shah,

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

March 1886 – Published 1888.

Around the World on a Bicycle.

“From Teheran to Yokohama” was the second illustrated volume of Tom Steven’s pioneering ride around the globe. The book covers the second half of his journey on a fifty-inch Pope “Columbia” high-wheeler, from Persia to Japan.

After spending five months in Tehran, he recommenced his journey from the Persian capital on 10th March 1886, and, by a mix of cycling, ocean steamers, trains and river boats took in Afghanistan – where he was arrested and turned back, – Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, India (including what is now Pakistan), Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan, reaching Yokohama, on 17th December, 1886, and from where he caught a steamer back to San Francisco in January 1887, almost three years after leaving home and an estimated 13,500 miles of actual cycling,

The Pope Manufacturing Company preserved Stevens’s bicycle until World War II, when it was tragically scrapped in an effort to support the war effort.

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

June 1888 – Published May 1924.

Trips to Hell.

And other countries” was George Thayer’s 564 page insightful follow-up to his 1886 “Pedal and Path” ride across America. Although not actually a world tour bicycle ride, it instead compiles his many trips around every corner of the globe, mainly taken between 1912 and 1922 on foot, train and boat, with brief accounts of his 1888 bicycle ride through Scotland, England, Belgium, Germany, and France, together with a summer 1897 ride in Canada.

  • By George B. Thayer.
  • Published by Case, Lockwood & Brainard, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

November 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 journey around the world, setting off from Melbourne, on 1st November 1888, and taking in Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Palestine, Asia Minor, Middle East, Sicily, Italy, Europe, England, Scotland, Ireland, and – without their bicycles – the U.S.A. and Hawaii, arriving back in Australia on the 14th December 1889.

Throughout the journey, their updates were also published in The Australasian. as a 27 part series between 22nd December, 1888, and 24th May, 1890.

The 56-inch Henry Bassett & Co. “Victory” high-wheel bicycle used by Burston is now in the Museums Victoria collection.

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


“Shakespeare says, in Alls Well that Ends Well, that ‘a good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner ; ‘ and I never was more struck with the truth of this than when I heard Mr. Thomas Stevens, after the dinner given in his honor by the Massachusetts Bicycle Club, make a brief, offhand report of his adventures.

He seemed like Jules Verne, telling his own wonderful performances, or like a contemporary Sinbad the Sailor.

We found that modern mechanical invention, instead of disenchanting the universe, had really afforded the means of exploring its marvels the more surely.

Instead of going round the world with a rifle, for the purpose of killing something, — or with a bundle of tracts, in order to convert somebody, — this bold youth simply went round the globe to see the people who were on it ; and since he always had something to show them as interesting as anything that they could show him, he made his way among all nations!

What he had to show them was not merely a man perched on a lofty wheel, as if riding on a soap-bubble ; but he was also a perpetual object-lesson in what Holmes calls ‘genuine, solid old Teutonic pluck’.”

~ Thomas Wentwokth Higginson –Preface of Around The World on a Bicycle, 1887.

%d bloggers like this: