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12 October 2010

Bicycle Touring - Kembara Berbasikal

Tak kenal, maka tak cinta. Sebelum itu, adalah lebih baik kita mengenali sedikit sebanyak tentang apa yang dikatakan mengenai Bicycle Touring ataupun kembara berbasikal ini.

Dipetik dari http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_touring. Artikel tidak diolah kepada Bahasa Melayu demi untuk mengekalkan keaslian sumber dan maksud yang terdapat dalam artikel asal.




Bicycle touring is a form of cycling where riders travel long distances, prioritizing pleasure and endurance over utility or speed. Touring can vary from single day 'supported' rides — e.g., rides to benefit charities — where provisions are available to riders at stops along the route, to multi-day trips with solo or group riders carrying all necessary equipment, tools, food, and clothing. 


Origins
Bicycle touring is an activity as old as the bicycle. The historian James McGurn speaks of bets being taken in London in the 19th century for riders of hobby-horses – machines pushed by the feet rather than pedalled – outspeeding stage coaches. "One practitioner beat a four-horse coach to Brighton by half an hour," he says. "There are various accounts of 15 to 17-year-olds draisienne-touring around France in the 1820s. On 17 February 1869 John Mayall, Charles Spencer and Rowley Turner rode from Trafalgar Square, London, to Brighton in 15 hours for 53 miles. The Times, which had sent a reporter to follow them in a coach and pair, reported an "Extraordinary Velocipede Feat." Three riders set off from Liverpool to London, a journey of three days and so more akin to modern cycle-touring, in March that same year. A newspaper report said: 

"Their bicycles caused no little astonishment on the way, and the remarks passed by the natives were almost amusing. At some of the villages the boys clustered round the machines, and, where they could, caught hold of them and ran behind until they were tired out. Many enquiries were made as to the name of 'them queer horses', some called them 'whirligigs', 'menageries' and 'valparaisons'. Between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, attempts were made to upset the riders by throwing stones".Enthusiasm extended to other countries. The New York Times spoke of 'quantities of velocipedes flying like shuttles hither and thither'. But while British interest had less frenzy than in the USA, it lasted longer."


 
Touring the countryside, 1887


The expansion from a machine that had to be pushed, or propelled through pedals on a small front wheel, made longer distances feasible. A rider calling himself "A Light Dragoon" told in 1870 or 1871 of a ride from Lewes to Salisbury, across southern England. The title of his book, Wheels and Woes, suggests a less than event-free ride but McGann says "it seems to have been a delightful adventure, despite bad road surfaces, dust and lack of signposts.


Journeys grew more adventurous. John Foster Fraser and two friends set off round the world on safety bicycles in July 1896. He, Edward Lunn and F. H. Lowe rode 19,237 miles, through 17 countries, in two years and two months. By 1878, recreational cycling was well enough established in Britain to lead to the formation of the Bicycle Touring Club, later renamed Cyclists' Touring Club. It is the oldest national tourism organisation in the world. Members, like those of other clubs, often rode in uniform. The CTC appointed an official tailor. The uniform was a dark green Devonshire serge jacket, knickerbockers and a "Stanley helmet with a small peak". The colour changed to grey when green proved impractical because it showed the dirt. Groups often rode with a bugler at their head to sound changes of direction or to bring the group to a halt. Confusion could be caused when groups met and mistook each other's signals. 


Membership of the CTC inspired the Frenchman Paul de Vivie (b. April 29, 1853) to found what became the Fédération Française de Cyclotourisme, the world's largest cycling association, and to coin the French word cyclo-tourisme. The League of American Wheelmen in the USA was founded in Newport, Rhode Island on May 30, 1880. It shared an interest in leisure cycling with the administration of cycle racing. Membership peaked at 103,000 in 1898. The national cycle-touring organization in the USA is now the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA). The ACA, then called Bikecentennial, organized a mass ride in 1976 from one side of the USA to the other to mark the nation's 200th anniversary. The Bikecentennial route is still in use as the TransAmerica Trail.


H. G. Wells in 1908 at the door of his house at Sandgate 


Social significance
The first cyclists, often aristocratic or otherwise rich, flirted with the bicycle and then abandoned it for the new motor car. It was the lower middle class which most profited from cycling and the liberation that it brought. The Cyclist of 13 August 1892 said: "The two sections of the community which form the majority of 'wheelmen' are the great clerk class and the great shop assistant class." H. G. Wells described this aspirant class liberated through cycling. Three of his heroes – in History of Mr Polly, Kipps and The Wheels of Chance – buy bicycles. The first two work in drapery shops. The third, Hoopdriver, goes on a cycling holiday. The authors Roderick Watson and Martin Gray say:

"Hoopdriver is certainly liberated by his machine. It affords him not only a country holiday, in itself a remarkable event which he enjoys immensely, however ignorant of the countryside he may be, but also a brush with a society girl, riding on pneumatics and wearing some kind of Rational Dress. The book suggests the new social mobility created by the bike, which breaks the boundaries of Hoopdriver's world both literally and figuratively".

Hoopdriver sets off in a spirit of freedom, finally away from his job:

"Only those who toil six long days out of the seven, and all the year round, save for one brief glorious fortnight or ten days in the summer time, know the exquisite sensations of the First Holiday Morning. All the dreary, uninteresting routine drops from you suddenly, your chains fall about your feet...There were thrushes in the Richmond Road, and a lark on Putney Heath. The freshness of dew was in the air; dew or the relics of an overnight shower glittered on the leaves and grass...He wheeled his machine up Putney Hill, and his heart sang within him".

Wells puts Hoopdriver in a new brown cycling suit to show the importance of the venture and the freedom on which he is embarking. Hoopdriver finds the bicycle raises his social standing, at least in his imagination, and he calls to himself as he rides that he's "a bloomin' dook" The New Woman that he pursues wears Rational Dress of a sort that scandalised society but made cycling much easier. The Rational Dress Society was founded in 1881 in London. It said:

"The Rational Dress Society protests... against crinolines or crinolettes of any kind as ugly and deforming... [It] requires all to be dressed healthily, comfortably, and beautifully, to seek what conduces to birth, comfort and beauty in our dress as a duty to ourselves and each other.”

Both Hoopdriver and the Young Lady in Grey, as he refers to her, are escaping social restraints through bicycle touring. Hoopdriver falls in love and rescues her from a lover who says marrying him is the only way that she, having left alone for a cycling holiday, can save her reputation. She lowers her social status; he raises his. McGurn says: "The shift in social perspectives, as exemplified by Wells' cyclists, led Galsworthy to claim, at a later date, that the bicycle had "been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles the Second." 


Development
The bicycle gained from the outdoo