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Circumnavigation on a Penny Farthing

After two and a half years, Joff Summerfield has completed his quest to ride around the world on a penny farthing {wiki}. He built the bicycle himself.
Mr Summerfield, 40, visited 23 countries in four continents after setting off from 0 degrees longitude at the Greenwich Observatory.

He averaged 11mph and covered up to 40 miles a day as he cycled across Europe into Turkey before riding through Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia, he raced in the Penny Farthing World Championships and came second in one of the 'novice' categories.

From China - where he cycled without the correct permits - he managed to sneak across the border into Tibet despite his bike's giant front wheel that is 1.2 metres in diameter.

He then took in India and Nepal, where he crossed the Himalayas at 17,000ft (5,200m) and made it to Everest base camp.

Mr Summerfield, who was forced to abort two previous attempts through injury, next rode through south-east Asia, the USA and Canada before heading for home.

Believe it or not, he is not the first to ride around the world on a penny farthing! Thomas Stevens did it in 1887. Link -via Arbroath

(image credit: Tim Stewart/TSW)

He then took in India and Nepal, where he crossed the Himalayas at 17,000ft (5,200m) and made it to Everest base camp.

wonder how that thing handled in the snow......
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near me is britain's oldest velodrome, where they race penny farthings once a year (including minature kids' ones.) they're surprisingly fast and efficient - there's no drive transmission to soak up energy. his one looks like it might even be carbon...i see the future and it's wearing a top hat.
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Funny, saw a guy riding one of these Halloween eve in Croton on Hudson. Except he wasn't in costume (he was wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt); looked as if this was his usual form of transportation.
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They don't have any suspension, but the diameter of the wheel itself lend to its shock absorbing abilities, especially with those long wire spokes.
It looks like he also adapted modern cantilevered brakes in place of the old leather spoonbrake against the tire method.
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i had never thought of finding out what those were called. .. i usually just referred to them as 'one of those crazy old timey bikes with the big wheel'
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He kept an online journal on this popular bicycle touring site that has hundreds of trip logs:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/joff1
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why not try for yourself?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PENNY-FARTHING-BIKE_W0QQitemZ160296464894QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item160296464894&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1301|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318
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