In a cycling world filled with doping scandals and infighting, maybe it's time we got back to the sport's roots.
One group of old-school enthusiasts decided to ride into the past and then back out as part of a Penny Farthing race in London. The bicycles, called Penny Farthings because their wheels have a similar size difference to that of the British coins, proved more speedy than you might expect as they coasted around street corners:
This particular group was participating in the IG Markets London Nocturne, a June event that sees a number of bicycle groups take to the streets at night to race. It's taken the video a while to reach stateside, but it's provided a chance to learn about the strange-looking transportation from the 1800's.
There were two Penny Farthing races: The Brooks Penny Farthing Sprint (one mile) and The Brooks Ordinary Trophy (30 minutes and five total city laps). Steve George won the Sprint, and James Brailsford won the Ordinary Trophy, in front of more than 10,000 spectators.
The Nocturne also included events like "Long Skid" and "Promptest Bromp" -- a folding bike race.
You may be wondering why we aren't still riding Penny Farthings (excluding the harsh reality of any perilous attempt to use them as mountain bikes), and the truth is they just weren't as practical or safe as the bicycles that followed. However, the riders in these races all agree: it's a feeling you can't get anywhere else. Never mind that it looks a bit peculiar to see modern biking gear on Penny Farthing riders, rather than a derby hat and finely groomed mustache. Though those are certainly welcome and requested by us fans.