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Across Asia on a Bicycle by Thomas G. Allen Jr and William L. Sachtleben Jr.


Across Asia on a Bicycle: The Journey of Two American Students from Constaninople to Peking
by Thomas Gaskell Allen Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben Jr.

In June of 1890, two young men set out on an epic journey to circle the world on bicycles. Over the next three years they would travel over 15,000 miles, completing what was at that time the "longest continuous land journey ever made around the world."

Their goal was to complete their college education by getting to know the people of the world face to face, unhindered by guides and translators. To do that, they chose to travel by a new invention, the modern bicycle. Everywhere they went, their bicycles opened doors, stimulating a curiosity that served far better than any passport or letter of introduction would. One day they might sleep in a bug-infested hovel and wash in a typhoid-infested ditch. The next they might find themselves being entertained by a Persian khan, catching fleeting glimpses of his harem or being fed lavishly by a Chinese mandarin. Throughout their journey they talked with the poorest of the poor. Yet at the end of their journey they were interviewed by Li-Hung-Chang, the most powerful man in the world's most populous nation.

Along the way and almost incidentally, the two men became the first Americans to scale Mount Ararat in Turkey (16,940 feet or 5165 meters high). At that time, only six other parties had climbed the mountain, and the most recent had been that of James Bryce, a British traveler who had reached the top some fifteen years earlier.

This book, back in print for the first time in over a century, is their description of their trip across Asia in 1891-92. It provides us with one last glimpse of cultures that would soon be forever altered by the arrival of the rail and telegraph.

ISBN: 158742-020-1 (paperback) and 1-58742-021-X (hardback)
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