When cycling a Penny-Farthing, the rider’s weight is directly over the large drive wheel which is not a stable configuration. If the wheel is obstructed- however briefly- the rider will be propelled over the handle bars; a “headover” is the result.
Objects/Surfaces to Avoid Cycling Over:
The difficulty as a beginner is that you don’t know what the tipping-point is, or what is enough of an obstruction to interfere with the large front wheel and cause a headover. So the general rule to observe riding your PF is to only cycle over flat ground and avoid any and all obstructions & potholes. But if you can’t cycle around an obstruction, then you must dismount and walk the PF around it.
Avoiding Headovers: Things you should definitely NOT ride over
– Curbs/kerbs or any other raised sharp ledge.
– Cans & plastic bottles
– Large tree branches & even small rocks
– Drainage grates
– Pot holes
– Deep mud: this could just as easily grip the wheel and cause a headover