Updated: Sep 24, 2018
Per-Oloff Kippel a high wheel manufacturer from Sweden took 1st place for the second consecutive year at the 2018 Clustered Spires High Wheel Race sponsored by Visit Frederick and Brewers Alley. Thousands of spectators took to the streets of Frederick for the growing tradition now in its 7th year and the race remains the only one of it's kind in the United States.
The first Frederick High Wheel race in 2012 had 22 cyclists racing against each other in an hour long race, but every year the event has grown in terms of racers and crowd size. This years race consisted of 37 racers (10 more than last year), two twenty minute heats and a 30 minute final race with racers riding antique or modern high wheel bicycles in a (multi-lap) race along a 0.4 mile route through historic downtown Frederick, MD.
What is a high wheel bike you ask? A high wheel bike (aka Penny-Farthing) is a type of bicycle that has one large wheel in the front and one small wheel in the back. The bike takes you 9 feet off the ground, travels at about 10MPH, has no brakes and one gear. It was popular as a mode of transportation in the 1870's becoming obsolete in the 1880's after the development of the modern bicycle.
If you haven't been to The Clustered Spires High Wheel race take it from me a three timer it's a hoot and it gets better every year. It's great fun for the whole family and a day to celebrate Frederick.