Penny Farthing record

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Mick F
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Penny Farthing record

Postby Mick F » 10 Jul 2009, 3:04pm

It is said that in July 1886, celebrated cyclist G.P.Mills, rode his 52 inch wheeled penny-farthing end to end in 5 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes, a record that still stands today for a penny-farthing.

Is this true?

Can anyone point me in the direction of any info other than this statement?
Mick F. Cornwall

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braz
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby braz » 10 Jul 2009, 3:43pm

Mick - what's that in Decimal currency?

regards, Braz.

pwillis
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby pwillis » 10 Jul 2009, 3:52pm

According to Wikipedia its 5 days 10 hours... still pretty impressive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pilkington_Mills#cite_note-0

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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby kwackers » 10 Jul 2009, 4:23pm

Can't imagine the roads were up to much back then either - mind you with a wheel that size you could probably bridge some of the potholes (and the odd river) so perhaps it's not as bad as you'd think. :lol:

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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jul 2009, 4:28pm

pwillis wrote:According to Wikipedia its 5 days 10 hours... still pretty impressive


especially when you think that even the main roads would have been macadam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam (not tarmacadam) at the best. The minor roads cannot have been anything more than tracks. Metal tyres so LBS will have stood for local blacksmith. No back-up. No mobile for sending for help or doing anything else such as contacting the Tourist Information Centre - which didn't exist anyway. A true solo effort.

As far as the bike goes, one very low direct gear on a very heavy machine. I imagine the rider had 40 cigs a day as part of a recognised training regime.

Hard men.

(And I see kwackers has posted on the same lines but a million times quicker :oops: )

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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby kwackers » 10 Jul 2009, 4:40pm

thirdcrank wrote:especially when you think that even the main roads would have been macadam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam (not tarmacadam) at the best. The minor roads cannot have been anything more than tracks. Metal tyres so LBS will have stood for local blacksmith. No back-up. No mobile for sending for help or doing anything else such as contacting the Tourist Information Centre - which didn't exist anyway. A true solo effort.

As far as the bike goes, one very low direct gear on a very heavy machine. I imagine the rider had 40 cigs a day as part of a recognised training regime.

Hard men.

(And I see kwackers has posted on the same lines but a million times quicker :oops: )



Get yourself one of them there newfangled speech-to-text bits of software for your PC. Then you can just speak 'n post!

Do it quick though before everyone has one and people give up on forums due to the enormously long rambling posts that waffle on for ages begin to appear as a result... :wink:

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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jul 2009, 8:48pm

I'm speechless :wink:

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Mick F
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby Mick F » 11 Jul 2009, 9:31am

Thanks guys!

I tried Wiki, but I put in "G P Mills", so didn't get any hits!

I asked the question because of the DVD being made at the moment of Simon and Trevor's LEJOG last May. I've received a first stab at the final film, but there's lots of editing and voice-overs to get on there yet. Graham, the film guy slotted in some LEJOG facts, so I thought it would be a good idea to put in the Mills record.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24034
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thirdcrank
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jul 2009, 5:37pm

And there we were, thinking you were preparing an ad for an ordinary bicycle to get your name in the record books.

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Mick F
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby Mick F » 11 Jul 2009, 9:54pm

No, it's a Raleigh Chopper for me.
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Ben Lovejoy
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby Ben Lovejoy » 11 Jul 2009, 11:36pm

thirdcrank wrote:No back-up. No mobile for sending for help or doing anything else such as contacting the Tourist Information Centre - which didn't exist anyway.

GPS units were also pretty crude in those days: the satellites were made from wood and had to be towed into orbit by oxen.
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hubgearfreak
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby hubgearfreak » 12 Jul 2009, 2:08pm

having recently watched a programme where chris boardman tackles 'the hour' and him struggling with the powers that be, it got me wondering what new technology you could include in a penny farthing and it still qualify to beat this record. for example, what do you all think to these items to be possibly included on your machine and still beat the record?

schlumph hub, two (or more) speed
free-wheel
steel tubes, not steel bars
pneumatic tyres
rear brake

alternatively, what defines an ordinary?
simply that it's FWD?
the ratio of front to rear wheel size?
that it's direct drive & fixed?

anyone beating this record in the future would presumably have surfaced roads and motorised support vehicles....what other advantages could (or couldn't) they have over G.P. Mills?

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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby Cheeron » 12 Jul 2009, 6:53pm

I've done Lejog a few times now and each time I've done it in 5 days - each time I rode with TheRaceAgainstTime.com team.

Having read a little about the famous end to end I too have come across the Penny Farthing record set in the late 1800's and it is one thing I would love to beat one day. I train regularly on my nice Trek racer and enjoy many challenges, but wouldn't it just be great to break a record that's been set way some time ago.

So, yes, as far as I know from several sources this is the record.
Might be an idea to drop a line to the Road Records Association (RRA) and see if they can confirm it. I don't think they were around recording records at that time but they might be able to confirm it.

cheers

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Mick F
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby Mick F » 12 Jul 2009, 7:03pm

The thing is, the lengths of time he took are conflicting.

I found this:
106915650.jpg


Clearly in conflict with this: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George ... gton_Mills

If there are errors in the facts, are there errors in the FACT that he did it?
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ferrit worrier
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Re: Penny Farthing record

Postby ferrit worrier » 12 Jul 2009, 7:59pm

If I'm not mistaken there is a penny farthing on display in the E2E museum at Lands End, whether or not this is the actual machine that was ridden I don't know, I'm sure that the history of the ride is there as well. perhaps a call to the e2e club might help.

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