Site Admin’s Penny-Farthing Cycling Experience:
I- Terrence Houlahan– have thousands of miles experience cycling a Penny-Farthing on extremely busy UK urban roads-including Central London- at night and in all weather conditions. But independent evidence of my cycling competence can be found in my latest race results:
- 3rd Place, 2022 British Open Penny-Farthing Championships Race. Racing involves sharing a track with other Penny-Farthings cyclists pedalling furiously and passing each other. A collision at these speeds- between 15-20 MPH- on a 5 foot high PF could result in serious injury or death. So racing Penny-Farthings at very high speeds on a track with other cyclists requires a certain minimum baseline of competence.
- 3rd Place, 2022 British Open Penny-Farthing Championships Slalom. This involves navigating obstacles- cones- at high speed. I’d say this fairly evidences technical skill navigating hazards at high speeds. Strike a cone and you’re going over the handle bars…
- 3rd Place, 2022 Penny-Farthing Hill Climb World Championships. This involves cycling a Penny Farthing up a continuously sloping (3) mile route starting on the Eastbourne Seafront to the top of Beachy Head. One part of the course has a 12% gradient- and it appears at the 2/3 point. Cyclists with standard GEARED bicycles can be seen walking them up Upper Dukes Drive. One cannot be an average cyclist and complete this epic race.
My first Penny-Farthing was a “QU-AX” with a 36″ pressurized tire. Although smaller than a proper Penny-Farthing, the mechanics of mounting, dismounting and cycling were (roughly) the same as a full-size Penny-Farthing. So I learned the fundamentals on a smaller 36″ PF before graduating to a full-sized 50″ model that I cycle exclusively now.
And I’ve also been mowed-down by an SUV that didn’t see me despite wearing a Pro-Viz jacket with flashing rear and front lights and even a flashing light on my helmet. Hence the big emphasis on road cycling safety here….
Site Admin’s Experience as a Trainer:
Although there are a lot Penny-Farthing cyclists more experienced than myself- the FB group has many– my skills as both a technologist and as a trainer made me more well suited to translate my experience into an independent, self-standing Internet resource. I was taught Performance Oriented Training when I served in US Army Special Forces where I was required to prepare & deliver instruction on engineering subjects, the most hazardous of which was improvised explosives. My work as a Linux & Network Engineer contractor frequently requires me to deliver training to client staff on the operation of a system or technology to a high functional standard. So preparing a primer on the fundamentals of cycling a Penny-Farthing safely was consistent with my skills and experience as a trainer.