One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Highwheeling at Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA

Finally got my 56 inch highwheel back in commission. My goal...do an Ironman as-if it were 1890...the last big year of the highwheel bicycle, i.e., only using technology readily available in 1890.

Also, I found out today that the modern 24 hour distance record is within reach, 252 miles, set by Jamie Woodward at Mackinac Island, MI. I am thinking it might be fun to give it a shot.

However, apparently the real 24 hour record was set in 1887 by a 5' 6" 147lb rider named Stillman G. Whittaker a 19th century highwheel bicycle and early safety bicycle champion. He rode 323 miles in 24 hours on the road on his highwheel.

It turns out that the record was set by a Czech rider and highwheel bicycle builders, Josef Zimovčák, in 1996. He covered 324.67 miles (officially measured), breaking a record held for over 109 years!

Updated March 17th, 2009
It looks like in 2002 Manfred Cizek of Vienna, Austria broke Josef Zimovčák's 1996 record of 324.67 miles ridden in 24 hours. Manfred seems to have ridden 339 miles on a highwheel in 24 hours!

I am deeply intrigued by the athletes of the Victorian Age. Pushing the limits of what was possible on machines that were the cutting edge of technology. What a time.

I believe it is a better way to cycle, more comfortable, more analogous to walking or running, more upright, more human.

BFT...looking for a sponsor for his 1890 Ironman dream...


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Athlete of 1890: a study

The Athlete of 1890: a study

I have been exploring the world of late 19th century athletes, focusing on swimmers, cyclists and runners.

I want to imagine what it would be like to time-travel from 1890 to today and compete in a modern Ironman using the equipment and methods of a sportsman of the Victorian Era.

In order to achieve this goal, I have been studying up on the habits and achievements of our athletic forefathers.

I picked 1890 primarily because it represents the last year of the Highwheel bicycle otherwise known as the Ordinary bicycle as opposed to the now extremely familiar Safety bicycle.


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