Frank Lenz, the Cyclist Who Vanished


The last known photograph of Frank Lenz, taken in 1894. Seaver Centre for Western History Research, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History/Public domain

In the 1890s, Frank Lenz started a bicycle tour around the world. He never finished, and his ultimate fate remains uncertain, though there are pretty solid clues indicating how he met his end.

Holly's Research:

  • Herlihy, David. “The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.” 2010.
  • Gambino, Megan. “The Unsolved Case of the Lost Cyclist.” Smithsonian. August 26, 2010. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-unsolved-case-of-the-lost-cyclist-57021309/
  • Koss, Geof. “The Last Ride of Frank Lenz.” Adventure Cyclist. January 2009.

Topics in this Podcast: 19th century, U.S. history, racing, sports history, entertainment history, history mysteries, biographies