Damage to Property: Insurance

Like any road user, the potential to damage a vehicle always exists. And like a motorist, cyclists can limit damage to their wallet by carrying insurance. I live in a town where wildly expensive cars are not uncommon. Even scraping one could result in being handed a repair bill for thousands of pounds.

British Cycling– which sponsors British Cyclists in the Olympics- offer third-party liability insurance with membership. I emailed them and verified that Penny-Farthings were NOT excluded. And since it’s Group Cover, you get cover automatically without any questions about your cycling history.

I carry my British Cycling membership card so if I’m involved in an accident I can give the other party my membership number in respect to exchanging insurance details.

To take out a membership with British Cycling, click HERE.

Damage to Self: Training & Protective Equipment

Like any sport, the chance of injury from cyclist-error is high while learning and drops significantly as the rider gains competence. Reducing operator error is covered in the “Learning” section. Indeed, one never stops learning to ride a Penny-Farthing it’s been said 😉

However, risk from external sources remains constant over time and is independent of a Penny-Farthing rider’s technical competence which is covered in this section under the below headings:

– Risk Avoidance: Reducing Hazards BEFORE departing and Defensive Cycling DURING cycling
– Damage Limitation: Reduction of injury where risk avoidance impossible; use of protective equip & falling

Staying safe riding a Penny-Farthing- indeed any bicycle– requires active efforts; one can never be lazy about safety. This section will hopefully get you thinking about risk in a useful way and making it easy to make Risk Management planning as much a part of your cycle as your actual performance during a cycle. 

My views on Risk Management are informed by years of skysurfing, BASE Jumping and inhabiting a world of maximum violence. Indeed, even in my professional life working in Enterprise IT, risk management is an integral part of every decision I make. Hopefully I’ve distilled these years of experience managing risk into a useful set of simple principles & measures to help you stay safe cycling a Penny-Farthing.

Government Reports on Cycling Fatalities

These type of reports may not encourage road cycling, but they do inform your thinking about how people get killed cycling and how you can plan to reduce your risk profile. For instance it breaks down deaths into times of the day & road types which can help you with route planning

Reported road casualties in Great Britain: pedal cycle factsheet, 2021