Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review, The Lost Cyclist

This is my second day home from work, sick with a cold. Yesterday I did no physical activity at all. But by evening, I was going stir crazy! So this morning I bundled up and went out for an eight mile run on the Ossipee River Trails. Once I warmed up, I felt pretty good! I did about eight flat single track miles at about 10 minutes per mile. Now I am ready to lie down with my book.

I am reading The Lost Cyclist, by David Herlihy. It is a well researched account of the early days of high-wheel bicycle racing and touring in the 1880's. Keep in mind, roads back then were rough and unpaved and bicycles back then were primitive. The focus of the book is Frank Lenz, of Pittsburgh. He discovered a love of cycling. Lenz did well at the short race circuit for a while, but found his true joy in long distance touring just for the fun of it. Eventually, he gave up his accounting job and took to the roads on his bike. I think a lot of us endurance athletes and outdoor lovers can relate to his dream. After two years on the road, he disappeared in Eastern Turkey.

Herlihy's factual, yet entertaining delve into the early days of cycling and into the life of this adventure-seeking young man is good reading! It makes me want to jump on my mountain bike and wander around for days on end...after I get rid of this cold.

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