Enthusiasts from all over the world are biking with their high wheel bicycles. Some like excursions on their own and others prefer going together. And for those who would like to share the experience there are races all over the globe. Those, having a high wheel bicycle, are all in the same community. And everyone is welcome to join.
Today’s events are mostly organized as competitions, rather than as stately demonstrations, to show that the high wheel bicycle deserves to be ridden and not consigned to museums. Although materials and construction methods have changed, the sport is as perilous as ever.
A high wheel bicycle races can have a rolling start, a held start, or a ground start. The rolling start is the fairest for it leaves nothing to chance in mounting the machine. At the gun each rider strives to edge into his favourite position. Some like the unobstructed front of the field, whilst others shelter in the bunch to preserve their effort for a final sprint.
Riding in a group round a course with tight corners demands enormous concentration, leaving little time for tactics. Just riding the thing is hard enough, but pedalling at 150 rpm and achieving up to 25mph (40kph) on a fixed 52 inch gear is something else. As the race nears its end some riders may try to pass in the corners at considerable risk to themselves and their opponents. On the bell for the final lap tactics and stamina take their toll. It requires a supreme effort to pull out and draw level with the front runner and then sprint across the line…