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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 18, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
8 Reviews

In the late 1880s, Frank Lenz of Pittsburgh, a renowned high-wheel racer and long-distance tourist, dreamed of cycling around the world. He finally got his chance by recasting himself as a champion of the downsized “safety-bicycle” with inflatable tires, the forerunner of the modern road bike that was about to become wildly popular. In the spring of 1892 he quit his accounting job and gamely set out west to cover twenty thousand miles over three continents as a correspondent for Outing magazine. Two years later, after having survived countless near disasters and unimaginable hardships, he approached Europe for the final leg.

He never made it. His mysterious disappearance in eastern Turkey sparked an international outcry and compelled Outing to send William Sachtleben, another larger-than-life cyclist, on Lenz’s trail. Bringing to light a wealth of information, Herlihy’s gripping narrative captures the soaring joys and constant dangers accompanying the bicycle adventurer in the days before paved roads and automobiles. This untold story culminates with Sachtleben’s heroic effort to bring Lenz’s accused murderers to justice, even as troubled Turkey teetered on the edge of collapse.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChrisNewton - LibraryThing

Much as I was obstructed by Herlihy's sort of quaint 1890s prose style, I eventually did get caught up in this remarkable story, set in a world I knew absolutely nothing about. First, an 1890s America ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - albertgoldfain - LibraryThing

An adventurous and fascinating personal history covering the early rise of cycling. The mystery in the second half is interesting but a bit procedural at times. The overwhelming moral: it always pays to bring a buddy when attempting to undertake any significant journey. Read full review

Contents

The Search
171
Epilogue
279
Notes on Sources
305
Acknowledgments
310
Photo Credits
314
Index
316
Back Flap
327
Back Cover
328
Spine
329
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

DAVID V. HERLIHY is the author of Bicycle: The History, winner of the 2004 Award for Excellence in the History of Science. A leading authority in his field, he has been interviewed by numerous television, radio, and newspaper personalities in the United States and abroad, and his work has appeared in a wide variety of general-interest and specialty magazines.

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