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Record has stood for 127 years

Maybe that whole round the world inside 80 days thing was just a warm-up. Mark Beaumont’s next goal is to secure the prestigious penny farthing hour record.

The Scottish Sun reports that Frederick J Osmond’s record has stood since 1891. Beaumont will try and set a new mark at Herne Hill Velodrome in Surrey in June.

The Scot took delivery of a custom-made penny farthing on January 2 and appears to be taking his attempt at least semi-seriously.

He said: “I have been training hard around the parks of Edinburgh and you get some funny looks. The hour record is 23 and a half miles, which is pretty nuts on a penny farthing, but I have been quite enjoying not training ultra-endurance – this is just me and my mates wanting to do something eccentric and daft.”

Beaumont does have a bit of experience, having cycled the 100-mile Etape Royale route on a penny farthing in 2015. Speaking at the time, he said it was the first time since he was a kid that he’d had to walk up hills and that descending was “downright treacherous.”

Videos: Penny-farthing crashes compilation ... it's a long way down

Looking ahead to his hour record attempt, he said: “Everything I have ever done has felt like a natural stepping stone to the next expedition but the honest truth is that going round the world in 80 days doesn’t naturally lead to anything – that was my Everest. Last year was completely professional and I don’t want to take life quite so seriously this year.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

12 comments

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kamoshika [234 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I had a cycling holiday in the dolomites last summer, and encountered someone riding a penny farthing on the Passo Gardens. Absolutely nuts!

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SteppenHerring [369 posts] 1 month ago
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Why not Calshot?

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MrB123 [83 posts] 1 month ago
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Round the world on a Penny Farthing next year?!

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brooksby [2927 posts] 1 month ago
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MrB123 wrote:

Round the world on a Penny Farthing next year?!

https://calloftheroad.smugmug.com/

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ConcordeCX [640 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
MrB123 wrote:

Round the world on a Penny Farthing next year?!

https://calloftheroad.smugmug.com/

somebody should tell him about the safety bicycle. Or buy him a suit of armour.

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jlebrech [13 posts] 1 month ago
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you could use the penny farthing as a tent support (for the bike packing trip not the hour record)

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RobD [582 posts] 1 month ago
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Is the wheel size (and therefore gearing) limited by leg length or is it possible to fit some sort of gearing to a penny farthing? just thinking that a taller rider may naturally have an advantage (assuming they were able to turn the larger gear) when it comes to penny farthings.

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madeupname [7 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I knew that money was raised to keep Herne Hill open, but it's a shame to see it's relocated from Herne Hill to Surrey....

Another loss of heritage in the sport  2

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brooksby [2927 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
RobD wrote:

Is the wheel size (and therefore gearing) limited by leg length or is it possible to fit some sort of gearing to a penny farthing? just thinking that a taller rider may naturally have an advantage (assuming they were able to turn the larger gear) when it comes to penny farthings.

I think that was the problem with penny farthings?  The front wheel got bigger and bigger so that they could be ridden faster and faster, but they maxed out at the inside leg measurement of the tallest person who could ride one. 

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Duncann [1214 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
madeupname wrote:

I knew that money was raised to keep Herne Hill open, but it's a shame to see it's relocated from Herne Hill to Surrey....

Another loss of heritage in the sport  2

It probably was still in Surrey when penny farthings were popular!

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velodaz [20 posts] 1 month ago
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ConcordeCX wrote:

somebody should tell him about the safety bicycle.

Pffft! It'll never catch on!!  3

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JMcL_Ireland [2 posts] 1 month ago
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brooksby wrote:

I think that was the problem with penny farthings?  The front wheel got bigger and bigger so that they could be ridden faster and faster, but they maxed out at the inside leg measurement of the tallest person who could ride one. 

And at that point natural selection started to play its part as well I'd imagine!