See What the Smithsonian says
Smithsonian: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
David Herlihy: I do think there's something admirable, youthful-some would say "American"-about the spirit of Lenz's and Sachtleben's adventures. Their stories resonate with our notions of plucky Americans and their can-do attitudes. Despite the personal tragedies here, there is something uplifting about their willingness to see the world and their fundamental optimism. They really did have to have basic faith in humanity to think that they would return home alive. I'm hoping that readers take away a fair impression of these two young men. I didn't try to conceal their rough edges, their recklessness, their lack of cultural sensitivity, or exaggerate what they actually accomplished. Still, on a physical level, their bicycle journeys were indisputably amazing feats. And these two truly were pioneers, in that they helped to introduce the bicycle as we know it to the general public. Their stories should be told.
I hope to see you. You'll really enjoy meeting David Herlihy.