History: Billie Samuel's Record-Breaking Round-Trip Ride

On May 22, 1934, Billie Samuel, a 23 year old Australian waitress, set out on a record-breaking ride from Melbourne to Sydney and back.

Billie Samuels First Female Cyclist from Melbourne to Sydney

She suffered through multiple crashes, mechanical failures, and the Australian outback in the depths of winter to become the first woman to ride from Sydney to Melbourne. Ultimately, she considered the first leg of her ride a failure. It was her goal to be the record set by Elsa Barbour on her ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

 Billie Samuel and her Three Speed Malvern Star Bicycle

She is pictured here with her 3-speed ‘Malvern Star’ and matching wool kit.

After a few weeks rest and rain delay, she began the return ride to Sydney. On July 4, she began her attack on Barbour’s record back to Sydney. Conditions were mostly on her side with only one hike-a-bike through ankle deep mud and 3 days later she arrived in Sydney, with over six hours to spare.

Billie Samuel on her way back to Sydney on July 4 1934


Do you think you could beat her record on your 11-speed? How does it make you feel knowing that she had only learned to ride a bike four months before her ride? Yeah, us too: Mention this post in the shop for 5% off any Wahoo purchase over $100
 or leave a comment below if you think you could keep up!

Sources:
1. Images from The Collection of the Library of New South Wales
2. https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-rides/billie-samuels-1934-melbourne-to-sydney
3. https://cyclehistory.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/great-rides-billie-samuel-melbourne-sydney-sydney-melbourne-1934/
4. Malvern Star Bikes: http://www.malvernstar.com.au/



 


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