Rob rides high for penny farthing trek

Robert Steadman on his penny farthing replica bicycle. ANL-160402-155552001
Robert Steadman on his penny farthing replica bicycle. ANL-160402-155552001

A cycling enthusiast from Alford is planning an epic ride from Boston to Lincoln – on a replica penny farthing bicycle.

Robert Steadman was training in the Wolds when the Skegness Standard spotted him, but he managed to stop for a chat at the bottom of a hill even without brakes.

Mr Steadman, 42, of West Street, says his passion for cycling has taken him across Europe and North Africa on a 20-year-old tourer, but his custom built penny farthing replica, complete with trailer, has been a real labour of love.

He said: “I built the penny farthing with a friend from Hull.

“It has solid tyres and a fixed wheel pedal system. The seat is a copy of a penny farthing seat but the trailer is a new addition.

“There are no brakes or gear system, so I have to get off and push to get up a hill.

“That’s the beauty of riding from Boston to Lincoln on the cycle path – most of the way is flat. The only hill is in Lincoln.”

Mr Steadman, who works in the stores at Butlins in Ingoldmells, is no stranger to challenges. Twenty years ago he said he flew “kites as big as houses” on Skegness beach. He said: “When kitesurfing became a craze windsurfers who had boards came to me for help to fly the kites.”

Since he gave up flying kites, his cycling trips have taken him to the Outer Hebrides, Norway and Morocco.

Mr Steadman plans to ride from Boston to Lincoln on Monday, April 4. He said: “My family think I’m nuts but they know they can’t stop me.”