'Eccentric traveller' to ride Penny-Farthing from London to Paris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from Whittlesey, hopes to ride a penny farthing in 12th century armour from Westminster Abbey to Notre-Dame, Paris, when lockdown and travel restrictions end. - Credit: © Terry Harris

It became a symbol of the Victorian era, and for one man, he looks to continue the resurgence of the Penny-Farthing. 

Steven Payne from Whittlesey, who likes to be known as an “experienced eccentric traveller”, was spotted riding the vintage bicycle along the Green Wheel cycle route near Peterborough on January 22. 

During lockdown, more people have been using Penny-Farthings having burst onto the cycling scene during the 1880s. 

Steven, who has been riding a Penny-Farthing for six years, is training ahead of a trip from Westminster Abbey in London to Notre Dame in Paris, but not how you may expect. 

“I am in training to ride it from London to Paris in a suit of armour as no-one has ever done that before,” Steven said. 

“I was all ready to go back in March when the first lockdown kicked in, and since then either UK or French travel restrictions have prevented it.” 

Whittlesey man spotted on penny-farthing

Steven Payne hopes to become the first man to ride a penny-farthing from London to Paris in a full suit of armour. - Credit: © Terry Harris

He now hopes to follow in his ancestor's footsteps by cycling in the opposite direction to him in the 12th century. 

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But this is only another accolade Steven is hoping to add to his collection. 

“He travelled Europe getting support to form a 'new' order of Knights in 1118 to protect pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem called the 'Knights Templar'. Hugh became their first Grand Master in 1119,” he added. 

“I am also the first person to cross the Alps by spacehopper in 2018 and the first to cross Wales in a coracle in 2017, all in period clothing.” 

Whittlesey man spotted on penny-farthing

Steven Payne from Whittlesey riding his penny-farthing along the A605.

Whittlesey adventurer spotted on penny-farthing

Steven Payne riding his penny-farthing along the A605. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Whittlesey adventurer rides penny-farthing

Steven Payne rides his penny-farthing along a quiet A605. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Whittlesey adventurer with penny-farthing

Steven Payne was planning to ride between London and Paris last March before travel restrictions were enforced due to lockdown. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from Whittlesey, hopes to ride a penny farthing in 12th century armour from Westminster Abbey to Notre-Dame, Paris, when lockdown and travel restrictions end. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Pictured here Steven is in training and can be seen most days riding around the town and outskirts. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from Whittlesey, hopes to ride a penny farthing in 12th century armour from Westminster Abbey to Notre-Dame, Paris, when lockdown and travel restrictions end. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Pictured here Steven is in training and can be seen most days riding around the town and outskirts. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Steven Payne, an eccentric physics teacher from the fenland town of Whittlesey hopes to ride a Penn

Pictured here Steven is in training and can be seen most days riding around the town and outskirts. - Credit: © Terry Harris


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