Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Vintage Bicycling in England

A tad too big for a 2-year-old.
Couple of summers ago we took our kid to a photographer in Loughborough, England (who also is a friend of ours). During that trip I was introduced to this early version of what we now call a bicycle: the Penny-Farthing. The name is inspired from the size difference between old British penny and quarter penny coin, aka Farthing. The bike owner Mike, who is a relative to the abovementioned photographer, let us sit on the saddle for some high-wheeler tourist poses. He also taught me a bit how to scoot with the velocipede, but the actual mounting  seemed so difficult that we agreed I'd try the actual riding the next time. Mike himself had a sovereign command of Penny-Farthing riding. He made it seem so easy that I became determined to visit him again some day and learn to mount that damned vehicular structure.

Luckily we had an opportunity for another visit in less than a year, and this time I asked if I could try the actual ride on the Penny-Farthing. I have to say I admire the people who in their time used the high wheels for their everyday businesses, commuting etc. Penny-Farthing clearly had a mind of its own, and despite my repeated attempts, I managed to ride only few meters before the bicycle decided I should turn right into a ditch almost falling on Mike.

I made a small silent film pastiche video out of the experience. Yes, Ye Olde English used in the narration frames is very much pseudo old.

No comments: