Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Lost Cyclist- David Herlihy

In the 1880's bicyclists were called wheelmen. They were transitioning from the high wheeled boneshakers to what was called a safety bike, similar to the bikes we ride today.

Frank Lenz was a wheelman, he participated in racing, and long distance rides, hoping to escape his boring life as an accountant. His goal was to ride around the world on a bicycle by himself.

He had watched as William Sachtleben and a partner, traveled around the world, and he felt he would succeed solo.

Hardship was part of the travel package. He took his camera to record his travels, and sent articles about what he saw back to the cycling magazine, Outing. He endured heat, mud, dogs, crowds of astounded onlookers, unwanted escorts, staying in everything from hovels to palaces.

Frank Lenz loved riding bicycles, he was enthusiastic and headstrong. Frank wrote to his mother and reported back faithfully, but suddenly his letters and reports stopped. First weeks, then months went by with no word.

Headlines shouted "Frank Lenz is Lost", sending shivers through the cycling community, and forcing a rescue mission, headed by William Sachtleben, travelling to the last places Lenz was seen.

What he found was chilling, and disappointing. He discovered what most likely happened, but never found Lenz.

This book was extremely good! Even if you do not ride, it is a fascinating story, a mystery, and a travelogue of sorts, that makes it sound like a good idea to ride around your own neighborhood!

I received this book from Net Galley and read it on my new e-reader, Melville for review.


  1. Hi, I found you in the Blogger Hop (from last week!).

  2. Oh, this looks great...another for the wishlist!