In 1890, two American students set off from New York on a bicycle ride around the world. They sailed for Liverpool on June 23, 1890. After following many of the beaten lines of travel in the British Isles they arrived in London, where they formed their plans for traveling across Europe, Asia, and America. The most dangerous regions to be traversed in such a journey, they were told, were western China, the Desert of Gobi, and central China. Never since the days of Marco Polo had a European traveler succeeded in crossing the Chinese empire from the west to Peking. Just three years after setting off they rolled back into New York having "put a girdle round the earth. " They had covered 15,044 miles on the wheel, the longest continuous land journey ever made around the world. Their volume Across Asia on a Bicycle, The Journey of Two American Students From Constantinople to Peking, published in 1894, is made up of a series of sketches describing the most interesting part of the journey - their ride across Asia.