Around the World on a Bicycle

In 1884, the 29 year old Thomas Stevens set out from San Fransisco on the 'modern mechanical invention' of the Penny Farthing to circumnavigate the globe on his 'big wheel'. His book - "Around the World on a Bicycle" - was published in 1888 and his writings are presented here in blog form. Read more in the archive.


Crossing the Massachusetts boundary at the village of State Line, I find the roads excellent; and, thinking that the highways of the "Old Bay State " will be good enough anywhere, I grow careless about the minute directions given me by Albany wheelmen, and, ere long, am laboriously toiling over the heavy roads and steep grades of the Berkshire Hills, endeavoring to get what consolation I can, in return for unridable roads, out of the charming scenery, and the many interesting features of the Berkshire-Hill country. It is at Otis, in the midst of these hills, that I first become acquainted with the peculiar New England dialect in its native home. The widely heralded intellectual superiority of the Massachusetts fair ones asserts itself even in the wildest parts of these wild hills; for at small farms - that, in most States, would be characterized by bare-footed, brown-faced housewives - I encounter spectacled ladies whose fair faces reflect the encyclopaedia of knowledge within, and whose wise looks naturally fill me with awe.

Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Friday 01st Aug 1884 (19:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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