We continue our look at the beauty of cycling with a weekly edition of short films that investigate the heart of cycling. Cycling is, in our opinion at least, the most beautiful sport in the world; from the high speed color and danger of the pro peloton, to the lone battler struggling up a mountain climb, cycling embodies all the variety implicit to being human and the triumphs and tragedies we all experience.
Rapha have created a collection of short films which truly evoke the emotions and reveal what it takes to truly push the limits on a bike. This week we are in Australia looking back over 100 years ago to the satchel ride, where bicycles, motorbikes and cars raced to deliver a message from Adelaide to Sydney. In those days the road conditions, where there was a road, were atrocious.
"The Australian military in the early 1900s was keen to test the viability of the bicycle as a potentially simple and effective way of moving troops to and around the battlefront and to do other duties such as surveillance and telecommunication line setting." Go Alliance.net
Australia is a huge continent, comparable in size to the US and with a population which is currently around 22 million - in 1912 it had yet to reach 5 million. As you can imagine little road infrastructure was in place for the route which spanned 1148 miles (1837 km).
The bicycle won the race with ease after the application of the 24-30 hour handicap placed on the motorized transport.
Cyclists: 69 hours 32mins; average speed 26.5 km/h
Cars: 46 hours 44mins; 39.7 km/h
Motorbikes: 51 hours 50mins; 35.7 km/h