Vintage global bicycle tour photos on display at UCLA

We’ve all probably seen photos, slides and digital images taken on bicycle tours. But an exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA displays amazing photographs taken by two early bicycle explorers traveling in the Middle East more than 100 years ago.

Image from the Sachtleben Allen expedition

Image from the Sachtleben Allen expedition

Entitled “Round Trip: Bicycle Asia Minor 1891”, the exhibition features photos taken by  Americans William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen, Jr. on their around-the-world journey that started in 1890.

On hand to present the exhibit this weekend is David V. Herlihy, author of “Bicycle: The History” and “Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.”

Herlihy became interested in the Sachtleben/Allen travels while researching his “Lost Cyclist” book. If memory serves, after Sachtleben returns home from his global journeys, he is urged to set off again to locate Frank Lenz, the missing bicycle traveler.

The exhibit comprises 42 circular black-and-white images, part of the 400 negatives from the trip held by the UCLA Library Special Collections. They represent a year of travels by Sachtleben and Allen between Greece and Uzbekistan.

Herlihy will be speaking at 3 p.m. on Sunday to put the photos in perspective and tell the amazing story about how a man saved the negatives from a bonfire in Houston some 50 years ago.

The exhibition is on display through April 5 at the Fowler Museum, located at the north part of the UCLA Campus. It is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sunday, and noon until 8 p.m. on Thursdays (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Herlihy will be speaking at 3 p.m. Sunday, and signing books afterward.

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