Former national champion Ryan Sullivan said he didn’t realise riding penny farthings was “weird” until he left his hometown of Evandale.
“It was normal for me to ride a penny farthing to school, or to ride one to the shop,” Ryan said.
“It wasn’t until I left Evandale that I realised it wasn’t normal to run around on a penny farthing.”
Ryan ’s father, Michael Sullivan, has taken part in the event since its inception and has made a name for himself by building penny farthings.
His mother, Di Sullivan, is secretary of the Evandale Village Fair association.
Though Ryan lives overseas in Tennessee, he’s back in Evandale to give winning the national penny farthing championships another shot.
Evandale has become renown for the event, and this year is set to feature about 55 penny farthing riders from all over Australia, and two riders even coming from overseas.
Launceston’s Darren Singline will defend his 2017 national penny farthing title, going up against Ryan , current Victorian champion Tim Nash, and former national champions James Fowler of Sydney, Brett Richardson of Brisbane, Josef Zimovcak from the Czech Republic.
Zimovcak won the championships in the 1990s, and has returned to Australia in an effort to ride a penny farthing from Hobart to Sydney.
“He did the entire route of the Tour de France on a penny farthing,” Ms Sullivan said, “He’s quite an adventurer.”
Ms Sullivan said the village fair and penny farthing championships would have something for everyone.
“Our youngest rider this year is six-years-old, and our oldest has just turned 80, so we’ve got the whole age range covered,” she said.
“The only thing we’re concerned about is the weather forecast for Saturday, but that’s one thing that we can’t do anything about.
“Overall, it’s just a lot of fun – with a bit of competition involved.”
The event will take place on February 24, beginning at 9.30am. Admission is $12 for adults, and free for children under 16.
More information about the village fair and national penny farthing championships can be found at www.evandalevillagefair.com.