Penny-Farthing Dan and his crew have ridden their classic bicycles all over the eastern side of Australia. Here’s to life on two very mismatched wheels!

If you were hanging around regional Victoria last week, you may have noticed a merry band of cyclists riding some incredibly head-turning style bicycles.

The Australian Penny-Farthing Tour is an annual event that has been kicking since 2015 and is gaining momentum. This year’s tour started on October 12th in Wallan and has looped 1000km around Western Victoria, before finishing up today in St Kilda.

Dan Bolwell is the man behind the grand event and is the owner of ‘Penny-Farthing Dan’ bicycles in Melbourne. This year he was joined by nine other penny-farthing enthusiasts as they spent just over a week cycling their way around regional Victoria, all in the name of good-old-fashioned fun.

In previous years, the tour has cycled from Melbourne to Dubbo, Dubbo to the Gold Coast and the full length of the Murray River, from Khancoban to Goolwa. This particular tour is somewhat of a personal pilgrimage for Dan who grew up and worked as a farmer in Western Victoria. Highlights of the route include sections of the Grampians National Park, Great Ocean Road and Halls Gap. 

Although still suited up in all the lycra stylings of modern cycling, these 10 penny-farthing frothers are more comfortable on a bike seat a little higher off the ground than the traditional road-bikes. 

‘The penny-farthing was the original hoons machine, they were ridden by noblemen and heirs of grand estates looking for speed and excitement. They were the Ferrari of the day’, says Dan.

The penny-farthing dates back to the 1870s and although their heyday was short-lived – only about 20 years – it took many more years before another bicycle could go faster

‘The penny-farthing was the first bicycle that was capable of being ridden comfortably for 160km in a day, and of reaching speeds as high as 50km/hr, so it was unrivaled in its time.’ – Dan Bolwell

Dan’s been riding, making and selling penny-farthings for over 15 years. He started the tour as an opportunity for cyclists to enjoy penny-farthings in the way they were intended and to ignite a sense of adventure in anyone who was willing to join him.

Australian Penny-Farthing Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – 96.5km
Wallan to Castlemaine 

Day 2 – 116km
Castlemaine to St Arnaud

Day 3 – 105km
St Arnaud to Halls Gap 

Day 4 – 96km
Halls Gap to Hamilton 

Day 5 – 105km
Hamilton to Portland 

Day 6 – 102km
Portland to Warrnambool

Day 7 – 105km
Warrnambool to Colac 

Day 8 – 103km
Colac to Queenscliff

Day 9 – 105km
Queenscliffe to St Kilda


Onya bike!

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