The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance

David V. Herlihy, Author
David V. Herlihy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (368p) ISBN 9780547195575
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-0-547-52198-5
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-907195-69-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-84596-717-8
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When the bicycle first gained popularity in the 1880s, intrepid daredevils were quick to seize upon it as a tool of exploration and an indicator of resourcefulness. Frank Lenz and William Sachtleben were two such enthusiasts. Sachtleben and a partner had gained notoriety for cycling almost across the globe, including through China, a region that was alien to Westerners at the time (they traversed particularly difficult sections by train). But Lenz proposes something truly dangerous: he will cycle the entire world alone, and he won't shy away from the hard parts. Lenz's exploits become the talk of the cycling world, but don't reach prominence in America until he disappears in eastern Turkey, a hairsbreadth from reaching his goal. Sachtleben is sent to Turkey to investigate and ends up wading through government corruption, tribal alliances, and a region in the throes of revolution. This meticulously-researched account exposes readers to an unfamiliar world. Readers with a love of cycling or curiosity about this moment in history will appreciate Herlihy's knowledge and passion, but the simply curious may feel at times like they're pedaling uphill. (Jun.)
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