Keysborough penny-farthing rider Tim Nash spreads smiles with his unique transport.
Journal photographer Gary Sissons couldn’t believe his eyes when he spotted Mr Nash commuting along Springvale Road in Springvale on Wednesday 24 August.
“I was riding home from work,” Mr Nash said.
“It brings a smile to people’s faces in an otherwise normal day.
“People stop me all the time for a chat and a photo.”
Mr Nash has ridden bikes for as long as he can remember.
“A few years ago my wife organised to get that for me for my 40th birthday,” he said.
“I’d always wanted to get a penny-farthing. I had that one built.”
He said the 1880s-style bike was a little more difficult to master than today’s standard models.
“You’re so much higher and you’ve got to careful you don’t go forward over the handle bars,” he said.
Getting up onto the seat is also a tricky task.
“There’s a little peg on the back bone, just above the little back wheel,” he said.
“You give yourself a little push, put your feet up onto the peg and climb up onto the seat.
“It does become second nature.”
And getting down …
“You can’t stop the bike easily, because it’s a fixed wheel,” he said.
Mr Nash said the penny-farthing was like the modern-day sports car.
“The penny-farthing was the affluent speed demon bike of that period,” he said.
“The bigger the wheel, the further you can go every time you pedal so the faster you can go.”
Penny-farthing riders put their rigs to the test in regular races.
Mr Nash picked up a few medals at last year’s national championships in Evandale, Tasmania.
He’s also raced on Sydney’s velodrome and won a trophy that dated back to 1888.
On Sunday 25 September Mr Nash will join other riders on a 10-day journey from Dubbo to the Gold Coast.
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