Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens (1854 – 1935) is known for being the first documented person in riding a round-the-world-tour. He started this amazing trip with some socks, a spare shirt, a raincoat, a sleeping bag and a revolver as baggage on the 22nd April 1884.

His family migrated from Berkhamsted, UK, to the USA when he was a child. So early, he came into contact with a bicycle in San Francisco. The very first year of his fabulous trip, he bought a black, nickel wheels, 50 inches Columbia Standard bike on which he left Sacramento to the East of the USA. However, he encountered serious difficulties such as lack of roads which made him to walk for more than one third of the 6,000 kilometers until he arrived in Boston on the 4th of August. For these four months after the first riding, he enjoyed large parts of the country which he did not know at all as well as interesting persons, particularly the native Americans.

But he did not stop here. He spent Winter in New York and then embarked to Liverpool in the Spring of 1885. On 4th of May, hundreds of people said goodbye to him in the Edge Hill church. Then, he crossed the English Channel in order to pedal on France, Austria, Hungary, the Balkans and Turkey. He rested in Istanbul and continued to Anatolia, Armenia, Kurdistan, Iran and Iraq. Even if the Thomas Stevens adventure was covered in newspapers, he still faced problems. He was denied a permission to travel on Siberia, was expelled from Afghanistan which obliged him to detour to cross the Red Sea and had troubles of having to explain himself in China. As a result of this last point, he was almost lynched since Chinese people confounded him with a French man (at that time France was in war).

Finally, he crossed the Japan Sea and took a ship to California where he was received as a hero. Yet, his impressive life continued as he formed part of the Henry Morton Stanley team to explore the East Africa and became the manager of the Garrick theater in London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *