Among the 13 stories published in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Return of Sherlock Holmes is “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” in which a Victorian gal on a bike is stalked by a fixie riding hipster.
We’re introduced to Miss Violet Smith when Holmes quickly deduces that she rides a bike.
Holmes begged the beautiful intruder to take a seat, and to inform us what it was that was troubling her.
“At least it cannot be your health,” said he, as his keen eyes darted over her; “so ardent a bicyclist must be full of energy.”
“Yes, I bicycle a good deal, Mr. Holmes, and that has something to do with my visit to you to-day.”
We quickly learn that Miss Smith frequently rides on an empty country road, where a bearded man on a bike has been skulking her, probably to shoot photos for his tweed ride cycle chic Tumblr.
The 1980s television adaptation serves to remind us that gravel riding was a thing long before Jobst Brandt revived the practice during his training rides on on unpaved roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains and behind Mount Hamilton in the 1960s. We also see an ending stolen straight from “The Princess Bride.”
Watch the video of the TV version on the next page; read the original text on the following pages. You can see the page number clicks below the ad at the bottom of each page. If you prefer, you can also buy an illustrated Kindle edition for only 99 cents.