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.
Not only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim Moore doing cycling it?
An extremely good question. Ignoring the pleading dictates of reason and common sense, Moore determined to tackle the Tour de France, all 2,256 miles of it, in the weeks before the professionals entered the stage. This decision was one he would regret for nearly its entire length. But readers-those who now know Moore's name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bill Bryson and Calvin Trillin-will feel otherwise. They are in for a side-splitting treat.
French Revolutions gives us a hilariously unforgettable account of Moore's attempt to conquer the Tour de France. "Conquer" may not be quite the right word. He cheats when he can, pops the occasional hayfever pill for an ephedrine rush (a fine old Tour tradition), sips cheap wine from his water bottle, and occasionally weeps on the phone to his wife. But along the way he gives readers an account of the race's colorful history and greatest heroes: Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong, and even Firmin Lambot, aka the "Lucky Belgian," who won the race at the age of 36. Fans of the Tour de France will learn why the yellow jersey is yellow, and how cyclists learned to save precious seconds (a race that lasts for three weeks is all about split seconds) by relieving themselves en route. And if that isn't enough, his account of a rural France tarting itself up for its moment in the spotlight leaves popular quaint descriptions of small towns in Provence in the proverbial dust. If you either love or hate the French, or both, this is the book for you.
French Revolutions is Tim Moore's funniest book to date. It is also one of the funniest sports books ever written.
Tea Time with Terrorists
Armed with a map, a motorcycle, an infectious sense of humor, and a dim understanding of Sri Lanka's war, author, artist, and adventurer Mark Stephen Meadows arrives in the country intending to have, as it were, afternoon tea with terrorists. Figuring that the first step to solving a problem is understanding it, he journeys north into the war zone, interviewing terrorists, generals, and heroin dealers along the way. He discovers an island of beauty and abundance ground down by three decades of war. As he travels north through Colombo, Kandy, and the damaged city of Jaffna, Meadows gives his riveting take on the war. Known for child conscription and drawn-out torture methods, he explains, the Tamil Tigers also invented suicide bombing and were the first to lace together terrorists and financiers into international networks of militant uprising. In Sri Lanka, Meadows discovers a deep view into an ancient culture. Along the way, he learns to trap an elephant, weave rope from coconut husks, and cast out devils, and he actually has tea with a few terrorists. This is the inspiring story of his journey and an enlightening meditation on the interconnectedness of globalization, the media, and modern terrorism.
A renowned musician and visual artist presents an idiosyncratic behind-the-handlebars view of the world's cities
Since the early 1980s, David Byrne has been riding a bike as his principal means of transportation in New York City. Two decades ago, he discovered folding bikes and started taking them on tour. Byrne's choice was made out of convenience rather than political motivation, but the more cities he saw from his bicycle, the more he became hooked on this mode of transport and the sense of liberation it provided. Convinced that urban biking opens one's eyes to the inner workings and rhythms of a city's geography and population, Byrne began keeping a journal of his observations and insights.
An account of what he sees and whom he meets as he pedals through metropoles from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Istanbul to San Francisco, Manila to New York, Bicycle Diaries also records Byrne's thoughts on world music, urban planning, fashion, architecture, cultural dislocation, and much more, all conveyed with a highly personal mixture of humor, curiosity, and humility. Part travelogue, part journal, part photo album, Bicycle Diaries is an eye-opening celebration of seeing the world from the seat of a bike.
With so many extraordinary riding locations across America, this collection offers the results of years spent scouting the highways and byways of all 50 states—determining a final list of the 20 best motorcycle travel routes across the country. With rich text complementing breathtaking photography, this definitive resource details the premier sights, sounds, and activities of motorcycle travel. Additionally, a section devoted to assorted facts and information accompanies each route, complete with important logistical minutaie for trip planning and a detailed map for accurate orientation. Enlivening the experience even more, five helpful service articles accompany the guide—covering basic and more advanced subjects, such as trip planning, group riding, and packing a bike. As an added bonus, an online web link is available to all riders providing high-resolution, printable maps of each route, as well as downloadable GPS navigation. With the great majority of planning and researching already complete in this inspiring resource, bikers need only to have fun, be safe, and enjoy the ride.