Annie Kopchovsky: The fearless woman who cycled the world in the 1890s | WiredForAdventure

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At a time when numerous global adventures were taking place, Annie wanted to prove that women were just as capable as men at achieving great feats. She decided to settle a wager about whether a woman could cycle around the world like Brit Thomas Stevens had about 10 years previously, and aimed to complete a circumnavigation in 15 months.

After learning to ride a bike two days earlier, and wearing a long skirt of the time, Annie waved goodbye to her young family and rode off on a 19kg women’s bicycle on 27 June 1884. She carried with her only a change of clothes, a pistol and a placard advertising Londonderry Spring Water; this was part of a sponsorship deal where she also altered her name to Annie Londonderry.

Annie first cycled to New York and then to Chicago on poorly surfaced roads. Often she was accompanied by fellow cyclists in this increasingly popular activity. In Chicago she decided to switch to a man’s bicycle that was half the weight of her first bike but had no brake! She also took to wearing a man’s riding suit for greater comfort and retraced her route back to New York, thus avoiding continuing west during wintertime.

MoBikeFed comment: Read the rest of Annie's amazing and interesting story at