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FrontRunners: Big Wheels

Sheila Gibson Stoodley

According to Herbert Lackner, organizer of the 2004 World Penny Farthing Championship (+43.2874.8254, www.highwheel-burgenland.at), taller riders have an advantage in an antique bicycle race. Longer legs require wheels with greater diameters, he explains, and “the bigger the front wheel is, the faster you can go.”

This year’s event takes place from May 19 to 24 in Rust, Austria. The speed of the bikes is surprising: Lackner expects the winner to finish the 18-mile race in about 40 minutes.

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Photo by Janos Grapow