Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd

Brett Harris' book “Tour de Oz” and Jim Fitzpatrick’s ‘The Bicycle and the Bush’ describe the grand tour Frank White sold to Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd. It in turn, promoted the venture amongst the many cycle manufacturers of Melbourne and Sydney. McKay was an independently wealthy inheritor of a substantial property in NSW. Although Richardson had already promoted his venture to Dunlop, it is likely Dunlop dismissed an attempt by an individual, and a West Colony one at that, as having less prospect of success than the well-known Whites.

McKay was persuaded to join the White brothers as they rode north into NSW and joined them near the Queensland border, catching them up as they took a leisurely journey north. The team’s collective notoriety amongst the cycling fraternity in each town meant an enthusiastic welcome of these heroes of the wheel.

Richardson did not rely wholly on his own resources being supported by Percy Armstrong of Armstrong Cycles in Perth. Armstrong sent necessary spares ahead of Richardson’s route, which included Dunlop tyres; Richardson was careful to laud the performance of those tyres in his telegrammed missives to the Western Mail in Perth. He made them as he arrived at towns with a telegraph connection. The net result was the give-away booklet “The Story of a Remarkable Ride”, liberally strewn with Dunlop’s advertising which is the core of this book. Richardson had pipped the probable prospects. In fairness, the 10 000 first publication met with such demand that Dunlop ran two more for a total of 30 000. We were able to find only two origninals, one in each of the libraries of the Universities of Melbourne and Adelaide.

Both books at the top gave recognition to Richardson and the feat of doing the journey alone. This book describes in his own words how the independent solo cyclist was able to complete the ‘circumcycle’ of Australia first. Cycling Notes at the time shows the ‘Eastern States’ view of the events. We liberally include in the book such notes extracted from TROVE; they validate the extraordinary feat  Arthur Richardson undertook in 1899.