Brooks Penny Farthing Race At The London Bike Show

Spectator-Friendly Spills Abound On Tight, Tough Indoor Racing Circuit.

28 Jan 2013  |  Posted by GARETH  |  Categories: Events


Hi, Wheel! (All photos for this piece are courtesy of Liz Seabrook.)

The Brooks England team was visible at the The London Bike Show earlier this month in various capacities. Aside from manning our own stand for the duration of the event, we were also on board with our good friends from the IG London Nocturne who were hosting a series of races over the weekend.


Higher Power.

For the past few years we have been enthusiastic sponsors of one of the Nocturne’s most popular spectacles, The Brooks Penny Farthing Race. Smithfield Market is a superb outdoor location for the event which attracts thousands of visitors each summer, and we were delighted to answer the call again upon being informed that an indoor track had been constructed for a Nocturne racing event at the London Bike Show.


Now hi-ring.

The roster of events mirrored that of recent Nocturne instalments, with Brompton enthusiasts, Juveniles, and Elite teams taking to the track in search of glory.


Hide and Squeak.

The tight corners and fast surface of the course caused predictable challenges for racers in all categories, but perhaps most obviously for those straddling antique machinery with a tendency towards wobbliness at the best of times. And no conventional brakes.


High time they opened registration.

After an opening five laps, our Penny Farthing riders had twenty minutes to clock up as many more laps as possible in a race where the big keys to success are moving along at a good clip while managing to avoid any big crashes.


High End?

It was Richard Thoday who was ultimately proved to have the best mix of speed, luck and carefulness.


High can I be of assistance?

About ten minutes in, he found himself one half of what looked like a two-man race for victory with Joff Summerfield, and when Summerfield became unluckily involved in a nasty three man pile-up which catapulted him from his saddle, bookmakers trackside immediately shortened Thoday’s price to a prohibitive 1/33.


High-mlich Manoeuvre?

Sportingly (and worryingly for the bookies), Richard did slow up to establish whether Summerfield might be in a position to continue racing, but closer inspection of the bike revealed damage that required more than just a quck blitz of cable ties and gaffer tape to set right.


Highs and Slows.

Frenchman Alexandre Voisine who had made the trip from across the Channel thus found himself in second, and managed to hold this position till the finish, with Peter Semler rounding out our podium. All in all, the series of race events proved a fine diversion to the main business of the London Bike Show. We look forward to being of assistance again next year.

And in the nearer future this coming June, it will be interesting to see if Peter, Alex and Richard have maintained their strong form when we take things outdoors again for more High Wheeled Mayhem during the 2013 London Nocturne at Smithfield.


The Highs have it.

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7 Comments

  1. Stephen 
    Posted 1:06 pm
    29 Jan 2013

    Penny Farthings are strangly cool in modern times when people ride them by choice, not because there’s nothing else.

  2. Stephen 
    Posted 3:49 pm
    30 Jan 2013

    …..also, I wanted to ask if you had any info on the Wrights W33/1 saddle? I have one of these but can’t find anything around the internet about it. Thanks.

  3. les 
    Posted 8:21 am
    6 Feb 2013

    thanks must go to Brooks for sponsoring the Penny race,but might i ask for a “spot” prize to give the riders futher down the field a chance…………Great racing!

  4. Ed 
    Posted 7:29 pm
    6 Feb 2013

    I am so glad Brooks see fit to sponsor Pennyfarthing races. I speak for all the entrants; We love love racing “small change” long may it continue. Thanks to you. I note how comfortable my Brooks saddle is and it is so compatable with my machine, if a little modified. Love the pictures LIz.

  5. BREGAN 
    Posted 11:08 am
    5 Mar 2013

    We cannot resist the goose-pimpling penny farthing racing action, truth be told

  6. BREGAN 
    Posted 11:09 am
    5 Mar 2013

    We did a post of Wrights a while back: http://blog.brooksengland.com/wps/wrights-saddles/

  7. tony colegrave 
    Posted 6:52 pm
    28 Mar 2013

    Perhaps it might be appropriate to revive the Wright Saddle post, in an attempt to answer Stephen’s question – and correct a few errors?