wow... check out: http://www.annielondonderry.com/
this story is about the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world... in 1894! that qualifies annie londonderry (the surname she took as part of a contract with a spring water company who sponsored her) as super hard-core in my mind. not only did she manage to ride a bike around the world, she did it on a fixed gear (single speed, no brakes, no freewheel), with a single change of clothes and a pearl-handled revolver, capturing images of her travels on glass slides, raising money ($5000 in 1894 dollars!!!!) and lecturing about her travels to americans along her return from california (and all points west of it) to massachusetts in 1895.
check it out, it's pretty amazing.