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.

Merrie England

The country is favored with another drenching down-pour of rain during the night, and moisture relentlessly descends at short, unreliable intervals on Monday morning, as I proceed toward Birmingham. Notwithstanding the superabundant moisture the morning ride is a most enjoyable occasion, requiring but a dash of sunshine to make everything perfect. The mystic voice of the cuckoo is heard from many an emerald copse around; songsters that inhabit only the green hedges and woods of "Merrie England" are carolling their morning vespers in all directions; skylarks are soaring, soaring skyward, warbling their unceasing paeans of praise as they gradually ascend into cloudland's shadowy realms; and occasionally I bowl along beneath anarchway of spreading beeches that are colonized by crowds of noisy rooks incessantly "cawing" their approval or disapproval of things in general. Surely England, with its wellnigh perfect roads, the wonderful greenness of its vegetation, and its roadsters that meet and regard their steel-ribbed rivals with supreme indifference, is the natural paradise of 'cyclers. There is no annoying dismounting for frightened horses on these happy highways, for the English horse, though spirited and brim-ful of fire, has long since accepted the inevitable, and either has made friends with the wheelman and his swift-winged steed, or, what is equally agreeable, maintain a haughty reserve.

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Posted in stevens blog by Thomas Stevens on Monday 04th May 1885 (13:00 +0000) | Add a comment | Permalink

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