Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Photo - Cycling the World on a Penny Farthing

Joff Summerfield with the Taj Mahal in the background
Our Friday Photo this week features Joff Summerfield during his penny farthing world tour (2006-2008). Joff built Formula 1 race engines for five years before touring the world on a penny farthing. After he returned to England, he built penny farthings for a while, but the road kept calling to him, and he returned in June of 2014. Before leaving, he visited the grave of Thomas Stevens, who also toured the world on a penny farthing, back in the nineteenth century.

The plan for the 2014 tour was to ride across North America to the Rockies, then turn left and ride until he ran out of land. He started at Toronto in June, heading west, and crossing the U.S. border into Michigan. He stayed in the northern tier of states until he reached Montana, then headed southward. His route included some of America's greatest national parks, including Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion and Grand Canyon. Jeff called the Grand Canyon:
 "My number one most beautiful natural thing I have seen in the world
From there he passed through Las Vegas and San Diego on his way into Mexico. Jeff continued through Central America, but took a flight from Costa Rica to Venezuela, bypassing Panama. In South America he continued on to Colombia and Ecuador, where his tour came to an unfortunate end last December. He was robbed and his life threatened. After that he took a flight back to England. Let's hope that after some time to recover from this traumatic event, he'll be back on the road again with his penny farthing.

Here's a video Joff did just before starting off on his Tour of the  Americas:

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