Nov 10, 2008

Around the World on a Penny Farthing

Around the World on a Penny Farthing
On Sunday, a cyclist has completed a 22,000-mile cycling trip around the world on a penny farthing. Can you believe this? Cycling round the world on a penny-farthing? Is it possible? Yes, it is possible and Joff Summerfield, the cyclist, proved it by completing his world tour. On Sunday he returned to Greenwich Maket, the place from where he started the odd journey two-and-a-half year ago.

The 40-year-old, who used to work as a Formula 1 engineer, visited 23 countries in four continents after setting off from 0 degrees latitude at the Greenwich Observatory on his handmade replica of a Victorian bicycle or pennyfarthing. Cycling alone with water bottles strapped to his handlebars and with no back up, he travelled with just a change of clothes, stove, tent and sleeping bag and survived on a £5 a day.

Joff Summerfield cycled across Europe into Turkey. In India he crossed the Himalayas at 5,200m and even made it to Everest base camp. In Australia, he raced in the Penny Farthing World Championships. From China he went to Tibet, which according to Joff, was the hardest but most rewarding moments in his entire journey:

'It was so hard to travel there. There's no tarmac on the roads, There's no air to breathe. I spent six weeks in Tibet where I didn't speak English. In the villages, they aren't used to Westerners, They think you are an alien. But the people were great – super, super friendly,' he said.


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