They say that the truth is stranger than fiction, and a little afternoon reading into the history of cycle tourism has proven this true once again.
Unlike the lycra-clad road riders that you see today, passionately debating panniers vs. trailers and cruising through the Barossa, cycle tourists of yester-year treated their holidays like an extreme sport, crossing Australia’s red centre in 28 days, carrying custom designed cycling guns to fend off the wild-life, all while wearing a full tweed suit and tie!
It’s been 100 years since 21-year-old Edward 'Ryko' Reichenbach rode from Adelaide to Darwin in only 28 days, but his amazing journey is all but forgotten. With just one gear, a heavily loaded bike and a Kodak camera, Ryko befriended Aboriginal tribesmen, carried his bike through rivers, and took over 3000 photographs of some of Australia’s most remote locations.
While it may look like a lot has changed over the years, a little bit of digging suggests that our tour-cycling elders are actually not so different from us at all. Sure the trailers were bigger, the fashion was itchier and the bikes weighed twice as much, but the desire for adventure, innovation, and good fun hasn’t changed a bit! There are pictures and stories from all around the world showing off the latest cycling gadgets, fashionable young people with big loaded bikes, and boasting journeys bigger than most people today would make in cars.
There’s no denying that cycling tourism is historically cool, and it really makes you wonder which one of us will be the big adventurer that still gets talked about in 100 years time.
You can read the full article on Ryko's adventures on the Daily Mail website.
If you're up for an Outback Adventure, then think about joining Bicycle SA in May 2015 for the Outback Odyssey. The trip travels along the Mawson Trail from Adelaide to Blinman for 16 days of cycling bliss. The best value adventure on the market.