So, once I got back from the trip and had settled back into normal life, I picked up The Lost Cyclist.
PGH Book #7: The Lost Cyclist - David V. Herlihy
This book did nothing the quell the extreme wanderlust I felt a few weeks after getting back to Pittsburgh post-bike trip. Before I even started in on The Lost Cyclist, I was already researching the possibility of riding my bike across Canada. The Cyclist at the center of this story is Frank Lenz, from Pittsburgh, which is why this counts as a PGH Book. He was one of the first cyclists ever to get into racing and touring. It was his dream to ride his bike across the world (i.e., become a "globe girdler"), and he got the opportunity to do so in the mid 1890s. On bike with a camera and very little else, Lenz cycled across the United States to the West Coast, took a ship to Asia and went through Japan and China. Others had attempted these kinds of extreme tours before Lenz, but they had started in Europe and crossed a lot of terrain by train. Lenz was a fervent believer in biking across all terrains when possible, so his mileage was considerably greater and his trip considerably more dangerous. He also attempted his tour of the world alone, while many others had partners along for the ride. Long story short: he disappears in Turkey. The book then goes into the crazy search that followed.
Even though our poor hero doesn't make it out alive (not a spoiler; it's revealed early on that things don't go Lenz's way), the descriptions of his travels on two wheels made me incredibly jealous. It's nothing I could set out to do in the very near future, but I'm starting to work things out in the back of my mind to one day tackle some sort of cross-country (preferably Canada, but I'd also consider the United States) bike tour. Frank Lenz may have just become my favorite Pittsburgher.