On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Laramie Wheelmen

By Stuart Lowe on

I went into Laramie to have a look around. I found the historic part of downtown and started looking for a bike shop. On Front Street I found The Pedal House which was recommended to me by Rick back in Rock Springs. It had a large mural of a man with a penny farthing on the wall outside. I went in and got talking to the man at the front desk. They'd actually heard of Thomas Stevens and the guy showed me pictures of the Laramie Bicycle Club from around that time. He said they were big geeks about this stuff.

Pedal House Penny Farthing

Pedal House

I entrusted my bike to them so they could fix the broken spoke and headed off to get lunch at a vegetarian place - Sweet Melissa - they had recommended a few doors down. I got a large black bean and sweet potato burrito with side salad and root beer. It was so nice to have proper vegetables for the first time since Utah.

Laramie was a lively, studenty, college town. It felt very relaxed and a little bit cool. After a drink at a local coffee shop I headed back to The Pedal House where the mechanics then took a look at my bike. They spotted my handlebars were a bit loose so fixed that. They then let me wash my bike out the back and even fitted a replacement, second-hand, kickstand for me. Local bike shops are brilliant!


I then headed to Iveson House home of the Laramie Plains Museum. There I arrived just after a tour had started and the lady in the ticket office - the wonderfully named Mary Mountain - ushered me around to join it. She told me I'd be joining another Englishman from London. Inside I was greeted by the Docent, Kim, who was the tour guide. The other tourist was from UCL her on a mathematics conference. Kim told us about the Ivesn family history and the history of the house. It has been beautifully restored using local materials and fixtures from the time. Apparently Mr Iveson married in his 90s and his septagenarian wife took many of the fixtures and fittings to her own house when they divorced soon after. He'd then married a 13 year old who he met on a boat! His banks made lots of money and it showed in the house. In his later years he started giving back to the local community and set up an orphanage, and old ladies home and a hospital. On the third floor (second if you aren't American) there was a penny farthing and a picture of Thomas Stevens!

Laramie Plains Museum

Kim set his two tourees a quiz to name the state motto. I had actually been asking people that exact question all through the state and had got a variety of answers. It turned out Vivian from Granger Town Hall was correct; it was "The Equality State" as it was the first government to let women vote in all elections. Kim turned out to be a cyclist himself so I promised a postcard. Mary and RJ in the ticket office/shop got talking to me afterwards.

Mary and RJ

I cycled down the street to the university then back to the main street to find an internet cafe with a computer to upload some photos. They made very nice smoothies.