View Full Version : Penny farthings on the MVT!

07-05-2011, 10:39 AM
Can't tell you how shocked I was to be heading out of Old Town to pick up the MVT when round the corner comes three guys on penny farthings. If I recall correctly they were all wearing bike helmets and the usual lycra clothing. They were heading into Old Town. This occurred on Saturday afternoon.

I wish now that I'd turned around to follow them to see how they managed to stop at intersections without falling over, negotiated traffic/peds, etc.

Anybody know anything about these guys? I presume there is some sort of club.

I used to think unicycles on the MVT was strange.....


07-05-2011, 12:24 PM
There were four of them at about 7:00 am heading west on the W&OD Saturday. Wonder how far they went?

07-05-2011, 01:35 PM
Whew, so I wasn't hallucinating! :-)

Next time I'm gonna follow them.

Riley Casey
07-05-2011, 02:04 PM
There was a bright chrome yellow one on Seventh St at Madison drive at the edge of the Smithsonian Folkfest on Saturday morning. Where any of those you saw that color?

07-05-2011, 03:42 PM
None of the ones I saw were fancy colors. Just black or dark gray. There must be some sort of penny farthing fraternity around here (or else some sort of convention going on).

07-05-2011, 07:14 PM
I saw one of the penny-farthing cyclists near Gravelly Point last summer. Others said that he rode in the Air Force Cycling Classic-Crystal Ride last year on that bike. I think a lot of area cyclists have seen him. He had a true penny-farthing, the really tall ones. Someone at Revolution Cycles has a smaller one. The seat is much lower to the ground.

Maybe the Crystal Ride guy inspired the others to get penny-farthings.

I've also seen the occasional unicyclist on the trails and also at East Potomac Park (Hains Point).

07-05-2011, 07:36 PM
I saw a few of these riding in a group on the wod this Saturday, between Sterling and Ashburn headed west. I had to actually turn around and stare. Those things are wild. All of the videos do nothing to make that look remotely safe. Looks fun though.

To anyone who didn't know what these things actually are check out this video


What a foolish name...lol

07-05-2011, 09:29 PM
Regarding the guy in the video, that's like taking a fixie to the extreme!

The threesome I saw had the real deal - skinny wheels and very, very tall. Packing up one of those to take on a plane must be a real hassle.

07-06-2011, 03:02 PM
I wasn't sure how tall a "true" pennyfarthing might be, so I did an image search and found this awesome example:http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200802/r227001_901504.jpg

Mark Blacknell
07-07-2011, 02:02 PM
Heh. Most penny farthings negotiate ped traffic pretty well, because most peds end up stoping and staring :)

I rode the mini one at Revolution Cycles last year. Turned out to be harder than I'd expected. The motion of pedaling moves the handlebars in your hands (or my pedaling style did, anyway), so it took quite a bit of concentration to coordinate it all.

Plus, I looked like a circus bear on a clown bike.

07-08-2011, 10:32 AM
Those Penny Farthings on MVT & W&OD went a century on Saturday, July 2.
One rider started in Arlington, three others started in Alexandria.
We went out to the trail's end in Purcellville, had lunch, and rode back.

Nice ride, mainly polite riders and walkers on the trails, and very polite drivers on cross streets.

Three riders from Maryland, and one from Ohio.

They all rode in the DC parade Monday morning along with a dozen others.



07-12-2011, 12:09 AM
I just fell off my chair. Never in a million years would I have thought it possible to go that far on a PF. Do you mind if I ask what your average speed was? So much for me saying I can't do a century on my slow-poke hybrid.


08-11-2011, 08:24 AM
And now we have a penny-farthing commuter:

Are you on the forum, Ken?