Sunday, 20 October 2019

The European Penny Farthing Championships 2019

How Do All,
Over the weekend of the 6th to the 9th of September 2019 I attended the European  Penny Farthing Championship held in Oudenburg, Belgium. 

(all photos remain the property of the original owner, and can not be used without their permission)
Why does no-one want to race with me? 
Feeling disappointed in my heat as my competitors thought they were in the slow race?
Photo: Les New

Flyer from the event.

Still on a high from winning the Beachy Head, Penny Farthing Hill Climb World Championship, and the  British Championship held in Eastbourne the previous month, I was feeling pretty good, but with racers like Pelle Kippel, Roger Davies and Richard Thoday (whom incidentally broke the 133 year old record for riding a Penny Farthing from Land’s End to John O’Groats! he did it in a record breaking 4 days 11 hours and 52 minutes, see here: Land’s End to John O’Groats) I knew it was going to be a tough final, assuming I would get through to the final that is!

The Saturday Social Ride.
I did not join the usual social ride / Belgium pup crawl this year, not being a drinker you can probably understand why if you've ever visited Belgium, not that I'm saying they're all alcoholics or something ;-)

Instead I joined Richard Thoday, his wife and friends for a ride to Brugge, also known as Bruges, a beautiful City that I had not yet visited. 
It was a really nice round trip cycling mostly off road along the canal / river.
We had lunch in Brugge and enjoyed? riding on the cobbled streets, you definitely know if your bike is built well after a trip to Brugge lol, after exploring the sights, we headed back a slightly different route and got back to Oudenburg just in time to beat the worst of the coming rain!
  
Find out more about this beautiful city here: 
                                                   
Here are a few pictures I took on Saturday:















The Belgium Open / Eroupean Penny Farthing Championship.

Photo: Wilbert Van Schaaik

Sunday was a mixed day of rain and sunshine, and a little windy at times, but most were lucky to ride in the sunshine, I think only one or two races were held in the rain, thankfully I was lucky enough to stay dry!

There were many races, Three Penny Farthing heats, the Belgium National Penny Farthing Championship, The European Penny Farthing Championship, Retro steel bike races, A slow race, Kids Race and even Proper old antique Hobby Horse racing. Belgium caters for all!

I won my heat, which was nice, but as no-one else seemed to want to actually race the heat I was a bit disappointed, however it seems that people wanted to save their legs for the final, but I tried to put on a show for the crowd in any case as they had gone out of their way to come and see us actually race!

After my heat I retreated to the campsite and my tent, luckily, as it started to rain, not so lucky for the following heat and races. 

The Final consisted of about 20 riders give or take, I did not count. over a 25km distance, and thankfully the track was mostly dry by now. 
we all got off to a good start, and followed the Belgium Rik Vernack for the first lap which is an obligatory requirement in Belgium racing.

Myself, Richard Thoday, Roger Davies, Pelle Kippel, Eric Daguin, and Arie Liefhebber soon seperated from the pack and not long after just the first four broke away and Richard, Roger and I took turns to break trail at the front, with Pelle clinging on our six. 
About four or five laps from the end Richard started drifted back, then Roger and I took turns to try and shake off Pelle, About two laps to go Roger started to fade leaving Pelle and I, it was now or never so I put the power on for the final lap and left Pelle trailing behind and myself with enough distance ahead to play silly buggers and take the finish line no hands travelling at around 25mph, and I pulled it off in great style (I think in any case!)

For me, winning this Championship is one of the best, if not the best moments of my life! I'm easily pleased :-)

Pictures from The Belgium Open / Eroupean Penny Farthing Championship Final.
Mostly Biased towards pictures of me, however you can view some more awesome pictures from the final by Yves Fotografie here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.2878010328880088&type=3

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Taking 1st place in the European Championship Final in style and thankfully not loosing control doing it :-)
Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

High on the Winning Drug!
Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Having fun with my friend and Belgium National Champion Simon Ponseele 
Photo: Yves Bogeart

Photo: Yves Bogeart

Richard Thoday & Me
Photo: Eric Daguin

Photo: Eric Daguin

Richard Thoday, Roger Davies and Me
Photo: Eric Daguin

Me, Richard Thoday, Pelle Kippel and Roger Davies (hidden behind Pelle)
Photo: Eric Daguin

Me, Roger Davies and Pelle Kippel
Photo: Eric Daguin

Me, Roger Davies and Pelle Kippel
Photo: Eric Daguin

Roger Davies, Me and Pelle Kippel
Photo: Eric Daguin

Waiting for my Champions Jersey!
Photo: Eric Daguin

Probably the best moment of my life so far, and I could think of better friends to spend it with!
Sharing the Podium with Pelle Kippel and Roger Davies.
Photo: Eric Daguin

Pelle Kippel, Me and Roger Davies
Photo: Bram van der Slik



Photo: Bram van der Slik

Photo: Bram van der Slik

Photo: Bram van der Slik

Photo: Bram van der Slik


Photo: Bram van der Slik

The Results from the main races and the Final.
Thank you for looking.
Take care,
Barry, The Knotty Bear.

Photo Credits: Yves Bogeart, Eric Daguin, Bram van der Slik, Les New, Wilbert Van Schaaik.

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