Synopses & 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 Lenzs trail. Bringing to light a wealth of information, Herlihys 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 Sachtlebens heroic effort to bring Lenzs accused murderers to justice, even as troubled Turkey teetered on the edge of collapse.
"Fascinating...Herlihy combines an admirable talent for sleuthing with the narrative skills of a first-rate storyteller....This should appeal to most lovers of history, as well as to bicycling enthusiasts. Strongly recommended." Library Journal
History, mystery, and the fine art of detection mingle against exotic locales and intriguing characters in this tale of the search for the original celebrity cyclist whose disappearance fueled one of American sports' undying legends.
About the Author
David V. Herlihy is the author of Bicycle: The History and his work has been featured on National Public Radio and Voice of America and in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Boston, and Historic Preservation. In 1999 Herlihy received the McNair History Award from the Wheelmen, the preeminent American association of antique bicycle collectors.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Alton, Illinois, October 28, 1952 ix
• I: On the Road
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 30, 1887 3
2. Athens, Greece, January 4, 1891 25
3. Pittsburgh, August 9, 1891 49
4. Peking, China, November 3, 1892 71
5. Shanghai, China, December 15, 1892 95
6. Vancouver, Canada, December 20, 1892 119
7. Kiukiang, China, January 27, 1893 127
8. Ardmore, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1893 140
9. Calcutta, India, September 17, 1893 147• II: The Search
10. East Liverpool, Ohio, October 12, 1894 173
11. Constantinople, Turkey, March 23, 1895 194
12. Erzurum, Turkey, May 13, 1895 210
13. Erzurum, September 9, 1895 237
14. Erzurum, October 19, 1895 259
• III: Epilogue
15. Repercussions 279
16. Reflections 293Notes on Sources 305
Photo Credits 314