I come from a motor racing family and first took to the tracks at 18, though I did spend an equal amount of time spinning off across the grass. My profession was as a Race engine builder, and five years were spent building Formula one engines before taking a different cycling path. Between 2006 and 2008 I cycled around the world on my Penny Farthing, visiting 23 countries, and riding 23,000 miles, or 35,405km if you like the new fangled way of things. My second journey took me from Toronto to Ecuador, taking a year and a half, and 10,500 miles. The latest has been the first circumnavigation of Iceland by Penny Farthing, that was completed in August 2018.
Timeline of my Pennyfarthing adventures.
1998: Cycle to Amsterdam on my old BSA, and decide to cycle around the world.
1999: Build my first Mk-1 Penny Farthing.
1999: Hit by a car, destroying the front wheel.
1999: Ride to Paris for the millennium celebrations, and realize that the Mk-1 Pennyfarthing is way to heavy.
2000: Savings stolen in house burglary, trip delayed.
2000: New Mk-2 Penny-farthing machine built.
2001: Mk-3 built and I leave to cycle around the world. Disaster on the first day when knees give out and I have to come back after only 26 miles. I have Iliotibial band friction syndrome.
2002: After much physiotherapy do a three day ride up the Grand Union canal on the MK-3 Penny-Farthing with friends, knees are fine.
2003: New Mk-3.5 built and leave for the second time to cycle around the world. Two and a half months later my knees give out again in Budapest with Patellofemoral syndrome and I have to fly home.
2004 (Feb): The first knee operated on.
2004 (May): Riding again now, doing a few 15-mile rides during the week all seems ok.
2004 (Nov): Have done some cycling over the summer but to be honest not that much. I decided to give the knees a good rest and let them get back to their good ways. Now in November, I'm getting out two or three times a week which feels good. I've also bought from the states some special knee straps which I now always wear while riding the Pennyfarthing.
2005 (Jan): I have just taken on a workshop in Greenwich London, here I will be going into production of my Mk-4 machine.
2005 (Jan): My first book has been published, see it at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
2005 (April): Just starting to get fit again then took a splendid header off my Penny. A fractured knee and elbow was the outcome, so off the bike again for a while.
2005 (August): Have rebuilt my own Penny-Farthing with new solid forks and a smaller rear wheel to match the production bikes. Now with the knee pretty much healed I can start riding again and get prepared for the off next Easter.
2006 (January): Have now sold the last of the Penny's that I have been building, so I can now concentrate on getting my own machine ready for the off at the end of April.
2006 (March): I have finished the new trailer that I will be towing with the panniers, seems very stable which is great. Made a visit to Cyclefit with the Pennyfarthing, they are a company in London who specialise in measuring you on your bike to help among other things your knees! My new position feels much better, and this can only help with my problem joints.
2006 (March): Out on a test ride when the hub lamp fell off and jammed in the wheel, result, a splendid header, and a broken arm and wrist.
2006 (May): I leave Greenwich on my third attempt to cycle around the world.
2008 (November): I return home after 2 1/2 years having cycled 22,000 miles around the world.
2009 Start building Pennyfarthings again.
2010 Knutsford great race. A once every 10 year 3 hour Penny-Farthing race.
2011 A short Pennyfarthing tour. A 10 day ride from the Hook of Holland to Calais, France.
2012 Oudenburg Belgium Pennyfarthing race. Winning the race and become the Flemish champion.
2012 Take a splendid header when I catch my foot in the wheel while racing Rob Hales at Hearn Hill for a TV show. Two broken elbows.
2013 Smithfield Nocturne Penny-farthing race. I manage a good 3rd place.
2013 Winter. Race in the winter Nocturne and crash out while in 2nd place. Broken elbow.
2014 (June) Leave to cycle around the world again starting in Toronto, Canada.
2015 (Dec) Return to the UK after 10,500 miles on the road having been robbed in Ecuador.
2018 (July) I complete the first circumnavigation of Iceland on a Penny Farthing.