Reeks of aged cotton duck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Middle Georgia, USA
Bikes: 2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
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This is Fred Birchmore... when he rode his single speed bicycle around the world in 1935:
He wrote a book about his adventures, Around The World On a Bicycle
, and his life reads like an adventure novel. His bicycle... that he named "Bucephalus" after Alexander the Great's warhorse... is currently in the Smithsonian Museum.
My two favorite stories from his trip:
While cycling through Italy, he began seeing and passing other riders along the road. He chugged along on his loaded touring bike... and came to a town where he was met by a cheering crowd. It seems that he had passed all of the participants in a bicycle race and the crowd thought that he was the winner!
While he was cycling through the jungle, he had run out of money and was wondering where he was going to find his next meal. He came across a huge snake sunning across the road, so he killed it with his machete... ate the meat... and sold the skin for money to keep traveling.
When he was in his mid 70's he decided to build a stone wall around his home in Athens, Georgia. He ended up building a 14 foot high 900 foot long solid stone wall entirely by hand! It took him 5 years to finish and consists of 9 million pounds of rock... all moved by a guy who is 5'6" tall and weighed 130 pounds soaking wet.
He celebrated his 98th birthday last year... as far as I know Fred is still kicking!