In August 2007 Drew Buck from England rode the 1200km Paris Brest Paris on a 1920s bicycle which had a low gear engaged by pedalling backwards. He was dressed in the garb of a Breton Onion Seller of the period. Such Onion Sellers were known as Johnnies from the common Breton name 'Jean', they ranged all across Britain for over 70 years selling their onions from door to door. Drew's ride was an affectionate tribute to their tenacity and earned him a special prize from the organisers and the admiration of those who saw him.
There is a short film bbc.co.uk/nationonfilm/bb/00236_4x3_bb.ram
on Onion Johnnies in England in the 1960s. and a Wiki article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion_Johnny