Well. This was a thing. And is STILL a thing today.
Yes, competitive Penny-Farthing thrives in hearts of nostalgic athletes, like the Overall winner and champion of the Open Dutch Penny-Farthing Championships (2019) in Zaltbommel: Bruce Walsh from Great Britain.
Congrats Bruce. In fact, we’re ALL winners: Jill and Marisa are sticking with the insanity of old timey sports for Ep. 005!! Dropping tomorrow....
Penny-farthing race, 1928.
They are 150 years old, funny looking and came be dangerous to ride, but for some bicycle fanatics still a big deal.
The Penny-farthing was the first machine to be called a “bicycle”. It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (owing to it traveling a large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort.
You sit almost five feet off the ground and they could reach speeds up to 40 kilometers, faster than any previous bicycle.
The bikes lost most of its popularity by the 1890’s however, the end of the era coming when the the invention and development of a smaller, safer bike as well as a pneumatic tire which made it easier to tread rough surfaces.
The Penny-farthing however was an important piece in the launching of bicycling as a sport and still has a cult following of sorts today, with races and competition still in place.
Footage via @britishpathe
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