Some of you have seen this guy riding around the area on his penny farthing bike. I saw him on the Mt. Vernon Trail this summer. He finished four laps at the Crystal Ride, part of the Air Force Cycling Classic weekend.
There's no gearing on that bike. So if he needs to go up a hill, he can't shift to an easier gear. And on the downhill, he needs to pedal quickly, just like the people do on the fixies.
I rode in the Monuments Ride from the Revolution Cycles City Hub store on Saturday. One of the employees was riding a smaller penny farthing. I'd feel more at ease riding something like that. The seat was much lower to the ground. On downhills, I saw that guy pedaling at a high cadence. Then shortly thereafter, I saw him stretching out each leg in turn because he had worn them out. While I'd never ride a penny farthing in a race, it might be fun to ride one around on a casual ride. At least the smaller penny farthing where I wouldn't feel like I was two stories off the ground.