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    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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