Friday, May 14, 2010

New Cycling Book: The Lost Cyclist

Just in time to race to the top of your summer bicycle reading list, noted cycling historian David Herlihy will soon publish his new work, The Lost Cyclist. While I haven't finished it yet, it's safe to say that if you enjoy a good mystery, the story of top highwheel racer and world traveler Frank Lenz, who disappeared while circling the globe on his bicycle in 1894, should captivate you.

Herlihy, who also wrote The Bicycle, A History, and who earlier almost singlehandedly showed that it was Pierre Lallement, not Ernest Michaux who first put pedals on a two-wheel device (creating the first real bicycle), has done extensive research and traveled as much as Lenz did to finally tell the tale of this daring American adventurer from Pittsburgh.

I had heard of Lenz and his disappearance but had no idea that another cyclist took it upon himself to travel around the world to try to find him. And then fought for justice in his name. I especially enjoy the photos Lenz took showing him on Lookout Rock in Tennessee, on a treacherous bridge in China and in front of the Taj Mahal. The Lost Cyclist should be in book stores around June 18. In the meantime you can learn more about the book and author here.

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