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Ed Knight & Terrence Houlahan traversing a ford in the Peak District on Penny-Farthings

Traversing Fords on Penny-Farthings: Although Ed and I make it look easy, there’s a reason all the other Penny-Farthing cyclists are walking their bikes across the ford: it is dangerous- even on a regular bicycle. Under the water the path is cobbled and the stones are slick and not very level. Seriously, it was all I could do to avoid wrecking in this video. Andy, the host of the social cycle told us a woman broke her hip cycling across this same ford- on a regular bicycle- the previous week. Ed and myself are fairly experienced Penny-Farthing cyclists- Ed has over 40 years experience- but unless you’re confident of your skills, remember: you dry faster than you heal. Walk your PF across fords until you have some significant experience riding Penny-Farthings. And even then it’s probably a good idea to walk your bike across a ford 😉

20 Examples of dangerous driving- assessed against the Highway Code- you can expect to see road cycling a Penny-Farthing. The Highway Code Rules a group of motorists violate is cited at beginning of a section and additional Rules violated at the end of each video.

Cycling on a regular bicycle on UKs roads is dangerous enough. Don’t believe for a moment that aggressive motorists will show any greater care for your safety riding a Penny-Farthing. The fact that your head is 8+ feet above the road surface and if they interfere with you there’s a good chance serious injury or death will be the consequence will ALWAYS be trumped by their selfish need to get home for dinner a minute earlier or buy a packet of crisps at their local Qwickie Mart. In one of the video vignettes, a murderist, erm “motorist” actually cuts across a mini-roundabout to intentionally strike me. Another comes with inches of striking me with their wing mirror down a country lane. In yet another video a motorist comes comes within inches of striking me after passing dangerously. The videos cover both roads as well as country lanes- no where are you safe from these selfish people. Only real defense is cycling in a group AND with a cycle cam. People tend to restrain their worst instincts when there’s too many witnesses about.

I don’t mean to put anybody off of riding a Penny-Farthing- it’s actually a brilliant experience and I’ve met a lot of wonderful folks- too many to mention in fact- riding them. I’ve been struck by a motorist and still road cycle my penny-farthing. But I would be dishonest if I did not appraise others of the related risks to riding high wheels. True, aggressive drivers are a threat to ALL cyclists’ safety. But it’s our extreme height that increases the risk of serious harm or death than a standard cyclist faces.

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