I recently had to endure one of those long journeys to the other side of the world involving twenty-two hours in airplanes and several in airports. It was David Herlihy's The Lost Cyclist that made much of the trip bearable if not downright enjoyable.
The Lost Cyclist is the story of one Frank Lenz, a wheelman who rides "with a dash and daring that can almost be called recklessness". Frank Lenz sets off on his new-fangled 'safety bicycle' to circumnavigate the globe and along the way meets a grisly end. A second famous wheelman is to uncover his fate and unearths politics and murder. David Herlihy manages to combine thorough research and historical detail with literary flair to create a gripping tale of daring-do, dastardly deeds and bicycle adventure. Additionally, there is just enough bicycle nerd-ery and historical detail to be interesting without interfering with the pace of the story.
Described by the New York Times Book Review as 'Immensely absorbing' The Lost Cyclist makes for compelling and fascinating reading under any circumstances. Together with the many photographs illustrating the work this book brings back to life the glory days of the 'wheelmen' and an era when adventure was truly adventurous!
The Lost Cyclist by David Herlihy is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.