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Bike-themed festival kicks off with Boston woman’s tale

ARLINGTON — Ask the most ardent sports fans to name some of the earliest female stars and they are likely to toss out names like Wilma Rudolph, Billie Jean King, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

All stars, no doubt, but one of the names least likely to be mentioned is that of arguably the first international female sports star — emphasis on “international” — Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky, a 23-year-old Bostonian who, in June 1894, set off on an around-the-world bicycle journey. Her goal was to make the trip in 15 months. And she succeeded . . . sort of.

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