The 1885 monstertour of supercyclist Pim Kiderlen

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Pim Kiderlen Pim Kiderlen

Pim Kiderlen (1868) was the first Dutch cycling champion. In 1885, at the age of 17, he cycled a monstertour from Rotterdam to Leeuwarden. He set the long distance record by cycling the 259.2 kilometers in 22 hours and 35 minutes, of which 16 hours and 37 minutes actual ridingtime.

Pim Kiderlen

The high bi bicycle of Pim Kiderlen weighed 15 kilos and the pedals were directly mounted to the high front wheel. That wheel was 139 centimeters in diameter, so getting started was an abomination*.

Kiderlen was born in Rotterdam and even before he set the distance record and had numerous victories, he made his name and fame there by keeping up with the steam tram from Rotterdam to Schiedam by bicycle.

He set a world record in 1886 when he drove the 52 kilometres between Rotterdam and Utrecht in 1 hour and 48 minutes, an average speed of almost 29 km/hour.

Pim Kiderlen Pim Kiderlen

He became European champion twice racing both high bi's and tricycles.

In August 1885 he won the championship of the Netherlands. He finished second on the discipline "with hands loose" but won four other disciplines.

Already in the 19th century other road users hated cyclists.

Pim Kiderlen

"That Kiderlen even drove past the town of Voorthuizen without having a bicyclebell". And he even got in an ambush. Luckily he had a blackjack (stick of lead) with him.

The world of cycling developed very quickly at that time. The bicycle models Kiderlen rode on were out of grace already few years later.

Moreover, his career only lasted a short time. Some two years after his monster ride he was hit by a carriage and had to give up cycling.

* A wheel with a diameter of 136cm has a circumference of 427cms (then it is d x π as you might remember). That means that a high bi bicycle has a development that compares to 12th gear of my OnTheRoad 4.0 !!!