Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride

Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride

by Peter Zheutlin


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"Peter Zheutlin's thoroughly researched account will make you wish you'd been around to catch a glimpse of the extraordinary woman as she went wheeling by."
-Bill Littlefield, National Public Radio's Only A Game

Until 1894 there were no female sport stars, no product endorsement deals, and no young mothers with the chutzpah to circle the globe on a bicycle. Annie Londonderry changed all of that.

When Annie left Boston in June of that year, she was a brash young lady with a 42-pound bicycle, a revolver, a change of underwear, and a dream of freedom. She was also a feisty mother of three who had become the center of what one newspaper called "one of the most novel wagers ever made": a high-stakes bet between two wealthy merchants that a woman could not ride around the world on a bicycle. The epic journey that followed took the connection between athletics and commercialism to dizzying new heights, and turned Annie Londonderry into a symbol of women's equality.

A vastly entertaining blend of social history, high adventure, and maverick marketing, Around the World on Two Wheels is an unforgettable portrait of courage, imagination, and tenacity.

"Annie was a remarkable woman and well worth getting to know."

"A wonderful telling of one of the most intriguing, offbeat, and until now, lost chapters in the history of cycling."
-David Herlihy, author of Bicycle: The History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806530666
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 1,042,515
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Peter Zheutlin, the author of Around the World on Two Wheels, is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared regularly in the Boston Globe and the Christian Science Monitor. Peter has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, AARP The Magazine, and other publications. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts.

Barrett Whitener has won half a dozen coveted AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narration.

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Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book as a download from my library. Annie Londonderry (not her real name) was a wife and mother living in Boston in the 1890's. She answered a challenge that a woman would not be able to ride a bicycle around the world in a set period of time. Or at least she said there was a challenge. Peter Zheutlin thought that she made it up and just decided to try the trip for adventure and financial gain. Starting from Boston in skirt and jacket she soon discovered that she could not ride like that. She adopted bloomers which outraged many people. Her trip from Boston to New York City and then Chicago took so long that she realized she would not be able to cross the rest of continental USA before winter. So she decided to go back to New York and take a boat to France. She was feted in France and was accompanied on most legs of her journey from Le Havre to Paris to Marseille. In Marseille she took another boat and made her way through the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean and around to Japan. There she caught another ship across the Pacific Ocean ending up in San Francisco. Since she didn't have any money herself she financed the trip by giving speeches and carrying advertising.Annie did make her way back to Chicago within 15 months of her departure from Boston but it's pretty clear she didn't ride her bicycle anywhere close to around the world.At the end of her bicycle tour I was rather disappointed in this tale. However it picked up from there as Peter Zheutlin described Annie's remaining life and how he became interested in her. Annie was definitely an extraordinary woman for her times and her tour, even with its shortcomings, did much to advance women's equality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago