Adventure Australia Destinations

Ryko’s Traditionally Badass Journey Throughout Australia

100 and 5 years in the past, Edward “Ryko” Reichenback broke the velocity file for using throughout Australia south to north, protecting three,000 kilometers, or virtually 1,900 miles, in 28 days. He set off from the submit workplace in Adelaide and completed on the p.o. in Darwin 4 weeks later, having suffered no main mishaps however dropping using associate John Fahey to a sprained ankle per week into the experience.

As you possibly can think about, long-distance biking in 1914 was very a lot a DIY affair. Particularly cross-country. Ryko managed to lock a carbide headlamp to the handlebars in order that he’d be capable to experience at night time, by way of the not possible blackness of night time in the midst of the Australian wilds. Ryko tracked the space he coated on a rudimentary cyclometer. He additionally adopted the crouching model of the street rider, growing his effectivity, using drop bars, not but the usual for long-distance biking.

Regardless of the ominous trying photograph up prime, titled “gauntlet of spears,” Ryko received on properly with the indigenous individuals, who, judging from this image and the one beneath, had been a lot prepared to ham it up for the digital camera. It was Australians who precipitated him bother: Though Reichenback shot greater than three,000 pictures on his journey, his Sydney house was burglarized and all of his pictures had been stolen; what stays at this time are prints that he’d offered for 4 pence a chunk and had been collated into a group for the Northern Territory Library. Worse, within the early years of World Struggle I, Ryko’s Germanic final identify, in addition to his ardour for touring and pictures, led individuals to conclude he was a spy for Germany, although he was Australian born. (A penchant for journey and a German identify was harmful for a lot of international wanderers within the early 20th century, with accusations of spying rapidly and simply forged about. See the unimaginable story of Oskar Speck, who kayaked from Germany to Australia, significantly, for an additional instance).

Ryko’s identify was finally cleared, however in 1917 he moved out of the Darwin space to Sydney to keep away from issues. There his pictures had been stolen, as if the difficulty had adopted him south.


Ryko’s pictures from the journey had been a number of the earliest and finest photographic pictures of Australia’s Aboriginal cultures in addition to wildlife within the Northern Territories. He incessantly rode into the bush to animals and the hunters monitoring them. He’d return to his house in Darwin, the place he remained after his experience, develop pictures, and promote them, in addition to prints from his cross-country experience.

These pictures that had been stolen have been misplaced to historians and anthropologists, although undoubtedly, many exist in personal assortment, the proprietor maybe unaware of their significance. The remaining pictures are a treasure of Australian historical past, their high quality little question a results of Ryko’s skill to make quick mates with individuals no matter the place he was, in addition to his appreciation for locating new locations.

This appreciation stayed with him. After leaving Darwin, Ryko took a job with a railroad firm in central Australia. He toured when he might and fell in love with botany and seed amassing; he additionally cultivated an curiosity in astronomy, benefiting from the clear air of rural Australia.


Ryko died at age 75, in 1968. His accomplishment can be stable at this time, however was ultra-impressive for the time, and was celebrated a couple of years in the past with an exhibit on the Northern Territory Library, in addition to a experience by his then 68-year-old granddaughter, who pedaled a bit of the route.

Images: Northern Territory Library

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