While daring journeys around the world might have seemed almost commonplace near the turn of the century, circumnavigating the globe on a bicycle was another matter. That a Jewish mother of three small children should have attempted this feat is a further anomaly, and that she should have achieved fame, admiration (though some disdain), and even a cash reward, adds further appeal to this extraordinary story.
Basing his narrative on newspaper reports, author Zeutlin zestfully unfolds the story of his relative, Annie Kopchovsky, from her initial wager, to its culmination many months later, and the unanticipated changes that erupted from her dramatic world tour. Her trip popularized bicycling as a women’s sport, and changed how they dressed for it, and her personality and daring added strength to the struggle for women’s rights.
Unfortunately, her long journey seems to have left her family with the negative effects that a mother’s absence can produce, as detailed by the author from discussions with Annie’s remaining descendants.
Confining his story to what he read in the contemporaneous newspapers and found in letters and other memorabilia, the author supplements his text with acknowledgments, an afterword, appendix, bibliography, epilogue, index, and notes.