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My passion is genealogy and family history. I host a podcast about Australian family history, Genies Down Under. In my day job, I work as a lecturer and a researcher in higher education, teaching pre-service teachers.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

The eighteenth step in my A-Z of quirky ancestor antics - R is for riding from Bourke to Sydney

A few years after a terrible heatwave in NSW that struck Bourke people very badly, one of my great-uncles, Walter John NORTHCOTE, and three of his mates decided to ride pushbikes from Bourke to Sydney at the height of summer in January 1899. Walter ran a bike shop in Bourke so at least he would have had good access to suitable bikes. It seems the purpose of the ride was "to see the country". Talk about a tough ride!

Source: The Bourke Banner18 January 1899


  1. Why did they choose January for their excursion???

  2. Very good question! I don't know the answer:)

  3. Were they nuts?? The temperatures would have been ridiculous!

  4. Was there a follow up story when they returned?

  5. There were a few stories along the way and afterwards but they were mainly about a brand of bike called a Speedwell which apparently didn't fare too well on the rough trip. I'll have to write another blogpost about it:)