A cycling award presented to Hubert Opperman by the Dominion Broadcasting Co Pty Ltd, on the occasion of his record-breaking ride from Sydney to Melbourne, 9th November 1929.
Opperman began his record-breaking ride from the Malvern Star Cycles office in Wentworth street Sydney at 8pm on the Thursday evening (7th Nov) and arrived at the Elizabeth street Malvern Star Cycles depot in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne on the Saturday afternoon. He completed the journey of 567 miles in 39 hours, 42 minutes. His total actual riding time was 37 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, which excluded his breaks for refreshments, baths and massage.
He was followed on his journey by two support vehicles with Bruce Small (his mentor and manager of Malvern Star Cycles), Theo Dungey (official timekeeper of the League of Victorian Wheelmen), W.H. Sweeting (manager of radio station 5CL Adealaide and sponsors of the record attempt), Alf Bishop (LVW official), George McLeod (current record holder and recent setter of the Adelaide to Melbourne record) and J.J. Maher (correspondent for the Melbourne Herald and The Sporting Globe). One of the vehicles was equipped with a loudspeaker so that Opperman could hear his favourite music along the journey and he was also serenaded by the occupants of the vehicles to keep themselves, as well as him, awake during the long hours of the night. It also carried a short wave radio so that live progress reports could be broadcast to local radio stations.
He suffered sunburn to his arms and legs, strong headwinds and an encounter with a Tiger snake during his journey, but there were no reports of any problems with his Malvern Star bicycle fitted with Hutchinson "singles" tyres. As he arrived closer to Melbourne, estimated crowds of 60,000-70,000 spectators greeted him along the route from Coburg to Melbourne. Police in Melbourne had to part the crowd of 10,000 people who had gathered in Elizabeth Street for his arrival. He had broken the previous record, set by George McLeod in Nov 1928, by 8 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
Opperman was overcome by the ovation he received, which at that time was the greatest that had ever been seen for a cyclist in Melbourne.
This object is currently on display in "The changing face of Victoria" exhibition in the Dome Gallery at the State Library of Victoria until 4 Dec 2018.
Cup trophy on a stand. Silverplated exterior over an alloy of copper, zinc and nickel. Two handles. It is attached to a wooden stand, which has been painted black.
Donation from Sir Hubert Opperman, 06/1979
Engraved on cup: ' Dominion Broadcasting Company Pty Ltd / Sydney to Melbourne / Unpaced Cycling Record / by / HUBERT OPPERMAN / Time 39 hours 42 min / Distance 567 miles / November 9th 1929 ' Paper label, beneath: ' DUNKL[obscured] Jewell[obscured] MELBO[obscured] '
Type of item
230 mm (Height), 180 mm (Outside Diameter)
122 mm (Length), 179 mm (Width), 235 mm (Height), 0.5 kg (Weight)
Measurement From Conservation.
'Cycling Champion - Opperman's Wonderful Ride' The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Monday 11 Nov 1929, p. 21