The Lost Cyclist by David Herlihy
The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance

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Synopsis

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.

 

About David Herlihy

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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. 9780547893143
 
Published June 18, 2010 by Mariner Books. 373 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lost Cyclist

The New York Times

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Those were the days when Frank Lenz, a 24-year-old wheelman, departed New York in 1892 to round the globe — a trip grippingly detailed in David Herlihy’s “Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.” Whether you consider Lenz’s disappearance mysterious ...

Jun 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Jul 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Oregon Live

In his latest book, "The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance," Herlihy once again looks back to the late 1800s, when cycling was a huge spectator sport and the best riders earned the kind of celebrity nowadays reserved only for Lance Armstrong.

Jul 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

So the ultimate irony or perhaps justice occurs when, Lenz having gone missing, Sachtleben assumes the task of traveling to Turkey to seek the murderers of his compatriot, and recover Lenz's remains.

Aug 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Deseret News

A century before Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France, even before the Tour's first running, a young American named Frank Lenz emerged as a national hero as he set out to ride his bicycle around the world.

Jun 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Open Salon

Before Mao, before the Nationalists, before the Warlords, while China still had an Emperor (or at least a Dowager) in charge, the Americans Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben rode their bicycles together across the Gobi desert, reaching Peking in the fall of 1892.

Mar 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

Herlihy’s research and annoying love of trivia ruin the story of a mediocre 24-year-old racer in 1892 who set out to tour all of North America, Asia and Europe, strictly by foot and bicycle.

Jun 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Ta...

Reader Rating for The Lost Cyclist
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