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  • At 8 a.m. on April 22, 1884, Thomas Stevens pedaled out of San Francisco on a 50-inch penny-farthing bicycle. Four months and 3,700 miles later, he arrived in Boston.

    That was just the start. The following April he boarded a steamer for Liverpool, cycled across Europe and through Turkey to Calcutta, sailed to Hong Kong, and cycled across Japan, arriving at Yokohama on Dec. 17, 1886.

    Even allowing for the steamship passages, he estimates that he actually pedaled about 13,500 miles — and became the first person to "circumbicycle" the globe.

    (From the Futility Closet)

    April 12, 2008