Photos of Famous Authors and Their Bicycles


It’s the height of bike riding season here in New York — it’s no longer so hot that you can’t do more than duck from air conditioned shop to air conditioned shop, but it’s still beautiful, and as the air continues to crisp, the cyclist will be out in numbers. And hey, in another life, one of them might have been Leo Tolstoy. We spotted this delightful photo of Leo Tolstoy and his bicycle — he learned to ride at 67! — over at Open Culture, and we were intrigued. Bike riding seems like an appropriate pastime for authors (all those bike-powered book tours and long lazy afternoons), so we thought we’d hunt around to see how many other famous writers liked to zoom about on two wheels. Click through to check out our gallery, and let us know if we missed your favorite snap of a writer on a bike in the comments.

Leo Tolstoy, c. 1895. [via]

Jeffrey Eugenides, 2007. [via]

Ernest Hemingway, on a bike in peacetime and another in war. [via]

Henry Miller. [via]

Patti Smith and her bicycle in the Meatpacking District, New York City, 1999. Photograph by Steven Sebring. [via]

An 18-year-old Sylvia Plath with her bike. [via]

Thomas Hardy. [via]

Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife on an early tandem bike, 1892. [via]

Tennessee Williams, 1970. [via]

Ray Bradbury, 1975. [via]

Philip Larkin. Photograph by Jane Brown. [via]

H.G. Wells and his wife on another tandem bike. [via]