Across Asia on a Bicycle

This picture was taken in the autumn of 1891. The photograph features a ferry through the Syrdarya River. It would be a seemingly ordinary picture, if it wasn’t for an American standing next to his bicycle and surprised Kazakhs in the background.The American was Thomas Allen – an engineer college graduate. Together with his best friend and groupmate William Sachtleben, in the June of 1890, he arrived to Liverpool from New York, where he started his bike ride around the world that lasted almost three years. Two young men rode across Europe, and in the autumn of 1891 they have crossed almost the entire Middle Asia, including the territory of a modern Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.