High Wheeling It - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

High Wheeling It

Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dr. Danger Returns To Local Speedway After Last Year's Scare

    Dr. Danger Returns To Local Speedway After Last Year's Scare

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:32:52 GMT
    Greg "Dr. Danger" Carpenter is back at the Jackson County Speedway one year after a death-defying stunt nearly proved to be his last. The star of the American Daredevils TV series took on the same track in Maquoketa, IA, on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. More >>
    Greg "Dr. Danger" Carpenter is back at the Jackson County Speedway one year after a death-defying stunt nearly proved to be his last. The star of the American Daredevils TV series took on the same track in Maquoketa, IA, on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. More >>
  • First Alert Weather 24/7

    KWQC 24/7 Weather

    KWQC 24/7 Weather is our 24 hour weather channel.  It's available here at KWQC.com, on Mediacom Channel 247 (in the Quad Cities), over the air on Digital 6.2 or you can call your local cable company...More >>
    KWQC 24/7 Weather is our 24 hour weather channel.  It's available here at KWQC.com, on Mediacom Channel 247 (in the Quad Cities), over the air on Digital 6.2 or you can call your local cable company to ask for KWQC 24/7 Weather.More >>
  • New Evidence Released In I-88 Hit & Run Death Of Emilio Perez

    New Evidence Released In I-88 Hit & Run Death Of Emilio Perez

    Thursday, August 28 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:35:54 GMT
    The Illinois State Police have issued new evidence in the hit and run death of Emilio Perez: Forensic examination and testing of crime scene evidence has uncovered new information narrowing the ...More >>
    The Illinois State Police have issued new evidence in the hit and run death of Emilio Perez: Forensic examination and testing of crime scene evidence has uncovered new information narrowing the ...More >>

Perhaps you've seen them at an area parade. They will certainly grab your attention. High wheelers. Bicycles with large front wheels and much smaller ones in the rear.

Charlie Harper of Muscatine has eleven of these bikes, also known as penny-farthings. The name comes from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other. Some of the front wheels on these bikes can be almost sixty inches in diameter. They were popular in Europe more than one hundred years ago.

Harper says to get on one of these high wheelers you place one foot on a peg above the rear wheel, grab the handlebars, lift yourself into the seat and start pedaling. There's not much margin for error. Harper says it does take more room to turn around. Oftentimes, to stop, the rider has to push backwards on the pedals to slow down.

When the wheel strikes rocks and ruts, the rider can fall forward off the bicycle, going headfirst.There have been instances where riders died from head injuries.

Riding these high wheelers has become a family affair. Charlie has taught some of his grandkids how to ride. Harper has participated in eleven Festival of Trees Parades in Davenport. On seven occasions, he has ridden a high wheeler one hundred miles in a day. He also raced in the World Penny Farthing Championship in Tasmania.

 

Powered by WorldNow

805 Brady Street, Davenport, IA 52803

Telephone: 563.383.7000
Fax: 563.383.7131
Email: news@kwqc.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Davenport, Inc. A Media General Company.