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"Oppy"

In 1937 Australian Hubert "Oppy" Opperman destroyed the Fremantle to Sydney cycling record on his Malvern Star. He rode 4,627 km in 13 days and 10 hours taking a ridiculous five days and eight hours off the previous record. Setting off in November, Oppy tackled rough dirt tracks which turned to thick mud early on and then long sections of soft sand where he had to carry his bicycle in searing heat.

Often Oppy would ride on ahead of his support car and caravan when it got bogged or had mechanical difficulty. The bicycle was far better suited to the country he was travelling through it seemed. Being a man of "awesome integrity" Oppy was determined to ride every inch, so much so that if he finished his ride at night at the rear of the caravan, he did not start the next day from the front. He insisted on going back to the rear.

Source: National Archives of Australia

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