A bit of racing... ok not a uni, but almost

Last weekend I went down to London to join in the Nocturne Penny Farthing Criterium. The event was fantastic with the Penny Farthing guys being welcomed in to what is a national series road event with open arms!

The Penny Farthing guys seam to be very similar to the unicyclists (quite a few of them were too!). This includes Gray from Australia who flew in to win the event!

Here is a video from my point of view:


I think people getting going on PF’s look even more ridiculous than unicyclists. :slight_smile:
Looks like a fun event.

What happened at the end there? It looked like an epic fight to a photo finish!

I was watching those bikes and thinking, ‘Wow, they seem so non-aerodynamic’ and ‘They’re so high up, it looks dangerous!’ and ‘Those things just look so inefficient.’ In other words, we have a lot in common with those guys!

At least we (since 1999) have air in our tires. :smiley:

Great video; made me tired just to watch! Looks like that other guy had the more efficient technique in the turns, or maybe just put on the crazy acceleration out of each. You almost had him!


Roger, epic battle with Joff for the last half! Great race, would love to make it over next year. Word on the street is that Gray is an international penny farthing hustler, flying around the world.to scoop the prize pool and living the high life on his luxury super yacht when not racing. Haha! Thanks for the video post.

Yes, it was a fantastic race, loads of fun.

The reason the guy I was racing against for the last 4 laps was taking the corners sooooo fact was experience. His name is Joff, he is the guy who rode his Penny around the world.

Yes, it was fantastic tussel with him. I had the sprint speed in a streight line and he had the corning… although did you see how close he came to loosing it on the last but one corner! The finish was soooo close, if I had only the
finish line moved 50cm further on!

If you look at this video (besides seeing Mike Penton and Dane Smith spectating) you can see our finish from the front. Definately close.

I think we came 6th and 7th in the end. Not bad for a newby in this game.



Man, that was close! So will UDC racing be running a pro team next year for the nocturne? Team bus, massage tables, personal chefs? Sign me up now! Haha.

Great videos - looks like a fantastic race. Well done Joff!

Penny farthings are wonderful. They feel about how they look - like a unicycle with stabilisers. It’s a very similar action for riding them as its a fixed large wheel, but feels even grander than coker riding as you’re higher up and more laid back.

That’s a great video Roger, ta for sharing. :slight_smile:

It was soo close at times, I was gritting my teeth hoping you’d go past. Near the end where the guy rounds the corner and nearly runs into the barrier :frowning:

Great stuff!

This is how close…

…but I don’t get it! You came in 6th and 7th! I thought you were 1st and 2nd!!


No, we were about a minute behind the leaders. The next group ahead was the lead pack… I never got hooked on to them, they were super-fast off the mark.

I am such a newby at this game. With practice I will get better… I hope. It is great fun and the Penny Farthing riders are so much like the unicyclists. Good fun group.

We are working on some joint (unicycle and penny farthing) events next year.


oh… one thought.

How about having a unicycle race in the Nocturne races? I get the impression that if we ask for a 36" unicycle race to be added to this event… it would be. There certainly is an amazing buz to this event!

How many people would be interested in coming to the event?
30 minutes + 3 laps? (they are 1km laps)



Awesome, I really really loved it from the start to the finish…
Incredeable battle, very well done. If you had worn elbowguards too Joff wouldn’t have a chance!!! Great job coming that close to a PF"godd"…
The POV is breathtaking, feels even more like flying.
Just cann’t wait to share this vibe…:wink:


I’m considering coming over for nexts years nocturne; I’d be in
for the uni race as well. Might be a good warm-up for the penny race!

What kind of speeds are people hitting?
Also, are freewheels allowed, or only fixed?

Roger, are these PF’s going to be available for purchase through UDC? Could be fun to switch out for my commute occasionally. :slight_smile:

In that the PF is described in the YouTube write-up as a UDC pre-production model, it appears that it may be coming soon. Might have to get one just for the heck of it.

The Pennys go about the same speeds as a geared 36"… possibly a bit faster.

We are working on production models at the moment. They may not be available at all UDC’s. This is due to the problems in getting them produced complete. The rims for instance are manufactured in Australia, the tyres and frames in the UK and the hubs and handlebars in Taiwan… hard to tie them together in one place.

One of the biggest problems is that they are almost impossible to ship due to their size. Lots of problems for making them easy to buy. Having the Penny Farthings in the office has caused us to now think that 36" wheels are small!

So for the moment, it will be UK only. Although I know that Peter in UDC in Canada is working on getting them in Canada. They will cost about £1500 for the base model.


Hmm, UDC Canada is less than a day’s drive away for me. . . I’ve gone further for a new toy. :roll_eyes:

Roger, when producing these, it would be great if you could include some retro color schemes. Steam punk is a big trend (at least around here); bronze and copper color schemes would be pretty cool.