“If you leave early in the morning, If you go on these roads, By bicycle, We were a bunch of good friends, There were Fernand and Firmin, There were Francis and Sébastian, And then Paulette”… It is with these words that the song by Pierre Barouh and Francis Lai, greatly interpreted by Yves Montand starts. In this case, they could have changed the name Paulette with Ruth. American photographer Ruth Orkin (1921-1985), internationally known for the photo titled “American Girl in Italy (1951)”, while still a teenager, undertook a bicycle ride – or rather a ride with her bicycle – across the United States from Los Angeles to the Atlantic, exploring on her way Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Boston. On this coming of age journey, she took more than 350 photographs of urban landscapes, people, self-portraits and carefully crafted compositions involving her bicycle. She became famous along the way, got interviewed by local newspapers, as after all, she was only 17 years old and it was 1939. After that, Ruth continued a career in photography, working for Life magazine among others, traveling to Israel and Italy. The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson gives a large account of this journey and her later work, in an exhibit showing more than 40 pictures and associated documents, giving Ruth Orkin the place she deserves in the gotha of women photographers. Charming and fresh photographs, like her “American girl in Italy”, reminiscing of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.