David V. Herlihy, author of “The Bicycle: A History” and “The Lost Cyclist,” is visiting Tacoma, Seattle and Portland beginning today to talk about some early bicycle touring photos recently scanned at the UCLA.
Americans William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen took the photos in 1891 on their world bicycle tour from 1890 to 1893. They traveled from Athens, Greece, to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, during that portion of their tour, riding early versions of “safety bicycles” — front and rear wheels the same size.
Early bicycle travelers would typically be working for publications back in the states that would print their dispatches and photos from the road. Sachtleben and Allen used a Kodak, which was about the size of a shoe-box, not something they could slip into a jersey pocket.
Sachtleben later returned to the Middle East to search for Frank Lenz, another bicycle tourist who had been reported missing in the region after several months. Herlihy wrote about that search in his book, “The Lost Cyclist.”
Herlihy’s schedule is:
7 p.m. today, Tacoma Public Library
7 p.m. Thursday, Seattle Public Library
8 p.m. Sunday, Velo Cult, Portland