Around The World On Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride by Peter Zheutlin
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." --Booklist
"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
"A pleasant, affectionate portrait of a free spirit who pedaled her way out of Victorian constraints." --Kirkus Reviews
"[A] charming and informative book." --Cape Cod Times
"[An] incredible story. . .[a] fascinating book." --NextReads
"[A] stirring tale. . .not only a must read, but a must have." --Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine
"[A] remarkable saga." --The Winston-Salem (NC) Journal
"[R]ead[s]. . .like a novel." --The Columbia (SC) State
"[M]eticulously researched. . .illuminat[es] the feeling of a bygone era." --The Portsmouth (NH) Wire
Peter Zheutlin has been chasing the story of his great-grandaunt Annie Londonderry for more than four years. He is an avid cyclist and a freelance journalist whose work appears regularly in the Boston Globe and the Christian Science Monitor. He has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, AARP Magazine, Bicycling, the New England Quarterly, and other publications. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts.