15 Minutes of Fame in 15 Months

Not that I spend time watching, but did you know the Tour de France does not allow women to participate because it is believed that they do not have the endurance that men do?! Some day.

In the meantime, there is a wonderful story about the FIRST woman to bike around the world – in 1894! Annie Cohen Kopchovsky claims, she played loosely with the truth (why let the details ruin a good story)

Annie Londonderry, that she made a wager of $5000 that she would bike around the world in 15 months. “Despite having never ridden a bicycle, she pedalled out of Boston leaving her husband and young children .” Always the entrepreneur, Annie made a deal with the Londonderry Lithia Spring Water Company to carry a banner for just $100 – around the world! That is some cheap and effective advertising AND Annie took on the name and was referred to as Annie Londonderry. Apparently, she turned her “bicycle and body into a billboard, carrying advertising banners and ribbons through cities around the world.”

She traveled light – a change of close and a pearl-handled revolver (too bad product placement didn’t come around for 100 years). ”

After the trip, Londonderry moved her family to New York, where under the by-line ‘The New Woman,’ she wrote sensational features for several months for the New York World. Her first story was an account of her cycling adventure. ‘I am a journalist and ’a new woman,’ she wrote, ”if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do.” Her 15 minutes ended and in 1947 she died few people knowing about her feat. source: Wikipedia