August 9, 2012
It’s not unusual for us to get a visitor on Big Wheels, being the Small Wheel company we are.
But it is rare that we see Big Wheels like this, on Kevin McNatt’s Victor.
It’s a replica of an 1885 Victor, made by Victory Bicycles.
McNatt stopped by Bike Friday as he neared the end of his trans-America ride, heading to Florence to hit the Pacific Coast.
He left Lewes, DE in April, and rode 10 days to Southwest Pennsylvania. He picked up the route there on June 10, and has been on the road for 63 days. That’s 3,200 or 3,300 miles. He’s not sure. He lost count.
So the question burning in my mind, how does one actually get started riding a Penny Farthing?
“It’s funny,” McNatt said. “I did my first trans-continental ride in 1978, and I applied to get a bunch of catalogs. I got one, and on the back was an ad for Rideable Replicas. And I thought, now that would be cool. We’re coming up on 1984, and that would be the 100th anniversary of Thomas Stevens bicycling across the U.S.”
Of course, McNatt said, time got away from him.
“I worked in a machine shop, and one day I was standing there thinking and I said to myself, ‘I have to get one of those,’ ” McNatt said. “So, I did. I learned on that.”
That was countless miles ago.
Standing next to the Victor, it’s difficult to imagine riding it around the parking lot, much less zipping down Highway 242 from McKenzie Pass with his legs slung over the handlebars.
“It’s quite an experience,” McNatt said.
One can only imagine.
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