Allen, Thomas Gaskell Jr. & Sachtleben, William Lewis; Across Asia on a Bicycle: The Journey of Two American Students from Constantinople to Peking. 2nd edition, The Century Co., New York, 1897. Octavo, pp. xii, 4, 234, frontispiece, numerous plates, full page sketches and text drawings.
The work is complete and in the original blue-green cloth with gilt cover titles and gilt cover vignette and decorative gilt spine titles. The binding is tight and near pristine with only a small pale spot on the cover, text and plates are fine, early “ school district 8” name penned on paste down, but no marks or other notations. In very good condition.
The authors both graduated from the University of Washington in1890 and sailed to Liverpool, bicycled across Europe and then began to make the cycling journey from Istanbul to Peking. This was at the height of the first cycling craze in the world on that new invention called the bicycle. In 1893 they returned having covered over 15,000 miles, at that time the longest continuous land journey ever made. This is their account of their trip across Turkey, Persia, Turkestan and northern China. On a personal note, as an avid road cyclist I ask myself how they did it. This was before light weight 20 pound bicycles with “granny” gears and also before “E-Bikes”. These bicycles probably weighed a minimum of 60 pounds and were one gear.