This is, of course, a story about a cycling trip... but this is part of why I love it: diversions into all sorts of subjects, expressed in inimitable verbal style by the highly opinionated T.H. Holding.
(If you'd like to support this project and get behind-the-scenes updates: Patreon) Touring and camping with a bicycle is a common activity today, but it was not so easy in the late 19th century when cycles were heavy steel with just one gear, roads were unpaved, batteries and nylon and zippers didn't exist, and even outdoor activities were undertaken in woolen three-piece suits!
Travel back in time to meet the master tailor Thomas Hiram Holding, a keen cyclist and camping enthusiast. He combined these two pastimes in 1897 when he invented a lightweight portable tent and embarked on a pioneering cycle-camping tour with three friends in Ireland.
This graphic novel is a faithful adaptation of Holding's own book Cycle and Camp, bringing to life a time of horse-drawn mailcars, kitchens with peat fires for cooking, and farmhouses shared with cattle. Part travelogue round rural west Ireland and part how-to manual - including sewing ones own tent - his adventure is re-told entirely in his own idiosyncratic and rather opinionated words.
Holding’s fervent wish that anyone could now enjoy a holiday in the country without exorbitant cost proved so popular that he started a cycle-camping organisation, an organisation that became today’s Camping and Caravanning Club.