Extended Audio Sample

Download Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride, by Peter Zheutlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (110 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Zheutlin Narrator: Barrett Whitene Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $16.99 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

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 Kopchovsky changed all of that.

Annie was a Jewish immigrant and working mother of three living in a Boston tenement with her husband, a peddler. This was as close to the American dream as she was likely to get—until she became part 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, as Thomas Stevens had a few years before. Annie rose to the challenge, pledging to finish her fifteen-month trip with a staggering $5,000 earned by selling advertising space on her bike and her clothing, making personal appearances in stores and at bicycle races, and lecturing about her adventures along the way. When the Londonderry Lithia Springs Water Company of New Hampshire offered to become the first of her many sponsors, Annie Kopchovsky became Annie Londonderry, and a legend was born. So began one of the greatest escapades—and publicity stunts—of the Victorian Age.

In this marvelously written book, author Peter Zheutlin vividly recounts the story of the audacious woman who turned every Victorian notion of female propriety on its ear. When Annie left Boston in June 1894, she was a brash young lady with a forty-two pound bicycle, a revolver, a change of underwear, and a dream of freedom. The epic journey that followed—from a frigid ride through France to an encounter with outlaw John Wesley Hardin in El Paso—took the connection between athletics and commercialism to dizzying new heights and turned Annie into a symbol of sexual equality.

A beguiling true story of a bold spirit who reinvented herself against all odds, Around the World on Two Wheels blends social history and high adventure into an unforgettable portrait of courage, imagination, and tenacity.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “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, NPR

  • “Well researched and written by a great-nephew of Annie’s, this reclaimed true story illuminates family life, journalism, advertising, and recreation of that transitional era. As for Annie, she was a remarkable woman and well worth getting to know.”


  • “A pleasant, affectionate portrait of a free spirit who pedaled her way out of Victorian constraints.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jacqueline | 2/16/2014

    " I am clearly on a bicycle kick. This entertaining family memoir is about "Annie Londonderry" who left a husband and three children in Boston and "rode" around the world on a bicycle in 1894. This enterprising young woman managed, alone and quite unaided, to make it around the world and begin advertising promotion of women's sports. The afterword is not to be missed, as it is a family history in itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Cindy | 2/15/2014

    " This book was not an easy read with detailed descriptions and some repetition of the same events. However, I learned a lot about women's lives and social mores during the 1890's and a little about the history of bicycling to boot! I came to admire Annie for her independent and strong spirit in spite of her tendency to tell tall tales about her so-called trip around the world on a bicycle. Amusing. Thought provoking. It will make you grateful that you didn't live in the 1890's! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Carolyn | 2/10/2014

    " Admirable oman and I love how much information the biographer had upon his subject. I wanted to go too. But there were times I was right beside her. Thanks to the thorough writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Clara J. | 2/6/2014

    " This book is a true story about a young woman in the late 1800's. Her goal was to make it around the world on bicycle in only 15 months. She was a strong woman and persevered. I liked the book, but it was a little slow to read. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

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: The Magazine, Bicycling, the New England Quarterly, and other publications. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts.