Across Asia on a Bicycle


Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben

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Tonight, we’ll read the opening to “Across Asia on a Bicycle,” published in 1894 and written by Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben. This episode first aired on January 13, 2021.

This book is made up of a series of sketches describing a bicycle journey around the world and specifically across Asia. Allen and Sachtleben set a record for the longest continuous land journey ever made around the world.

The day after they graduated college in St. Louis, Missouri, the two friends set out on their journey. Almost three years later, they rolled back into New York on their wheels, having, as they write, “put a girdle round the earth.”