Australian Circumnavigations - Fixed or Free?

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RobertFrith
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Australian Circumnavigations - Fixed or Free?

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:50 pm

Rod Evans is a West Aussie you may have heard of. In the early ’90’s he broke a number of cycling records, 100 mile, 200 mile, 1000km, 12 and 24 hour records and the around Australia record. His 24 hour record in 1994 broke the previous record of Michael Secrest from the USA.

Rod recently sent the WAHCC an interesting question about fixed gear endurance records in Australia which I thought I'd post here - wisdom of crowds and all that :-)

I have been asked what the record is for cycling around Australia on a fixed wheel.

I am not aware of any modern day fixed wheel circumnavigations– other than for Samual Johnson’s 2013-14 Around Australia unicycle ride (which is unicycle rather than fixed wheel).

It might be that Arthur Richardson, The White Bothers or Donald McKay rode fixed wheel bikes in their circumnavigation rides at the turn of the last century.

Bret Harris published a book on these rides in “Tour de Oz’ but does not give specific reference to the style of gearing used. He wrote of the riders carrying various cogs but they may still have been using single speed freewheel hubs – which were in use at that time.

Unfortunately there is often the misconception that these earlier cyclists where riding fixed wheel bikes when in fact they weren’t. For example, photos of Edward ‘Ryko’ Reichenback’s 1914 Adelaide to Darwin bike looks like it might be a fixed wheel bike when in fact I understand that it incorporated a 3 speed hub.)

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rolandp
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Re: Australian Circumnavigations - Fixed or Free?

Postby rolandp » Sat May 05, 2018 12:00 am

Robert, did you find out? My uncle is Arthur Richardson's great nephew, and who published 'The story of a Remarkable Ride' last year. I also have a copy of 'Tour De Oz' which just indicates 'one gear and no auxiliary brakes'.

If you don't have the answer, I will ask my uncle.

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RobertFrith
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Re: Australian Circumnavigations - Fixed or Free?

Postby RobertFrith » Sat May 05, 2018 12:42 am

Hi Roland, a confession; apart from posting here I reached out to Jim Fitz, bicyclepassion and Uncle Hugh via email. They have been chatting away. I'll summarise findings when I get a minute and post them here.

Hugh came and spoke at the club meeting in January, most interesting. Republishing the story of Arthur's journey around Australia is a great contribution. It's also good to hear you have a familial connection with Arthur!

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find_bruce
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Re: Australian Circumnavigations - Fixed or Free?

Postby find_bruce » Sat May 05, 2018 7:21 am

I’m looking forward to hearing what the experts say.

As I understand it one of the main reasons why Bruce Small and Malvern Star got into records was because gears were banned in racing. Nicholson’s 1933 year record was promoting the cyclo derailleur.

I don’t think derailleurs were used prior to 1933, but I know nothing about early internal gear hubs

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