“Is it Legal to Ride a Penny-Farthing on Public Roads?“
This is the first question most folks have about Penny-Farthings. In a word, the answer is “yes“, but only in strict observance of the Highway Code like any other road user.
The Highway Code is not just legal technicality: it defines proscribed, standardized ways of vehicle operation that make our actions predictable to other road users who are than able to anticipate our actions to avoid collisions.
Don’t be selective in abiding by the Highway Code. Once you deviate from the Highway Code and start doing random things, you create confusion and set the stage for an accident. And if you confuse motorists, you the Penny-Farthing rider will be the one that suffers the consequences. In London I frequently see self-righteous cyclists who are quick to get stinky with motorists, shouting at them about Highway Code infraction, but many of these cyclists will treat red lights as optional and pass through them with a quick look left & right. We can’t have double standards.
As motorists, we should already be familiar with the Highway Code, but if your a bit rusty, dust-up on it before venturing out onto the UK roads on your Penny-Farthing adventures.
To learn more about the legalities of cycling a Penny-Farthing on UK public roads, I wrote this definitive guide which has been subjected to extensive peer review, so the content should be absolutely correct: