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HomeFunFun Stuff To DoOld-fashioned, high wheel bikes race through historic Frederick

Old-fashioned, high wheel bikes race through historic Frederick

Looking for an unique bike event? Watch as antique and replica high wheel bicycles race through the streets of historic downtown Frederick, Md., bringing history to life in front of cheering crowds.

Frederick high wheel race by Good Travel Design

Racers and their high wheel bicycles, also known as penny farthings, line up at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Bar on N. Market Street for an unique race start, the only one of its kind in the U.S.

“It is truly a unique event and is fun for both racers and spectators alike,” said race co-founder Jeanne Rhodes. “If you have ever seen one of these individuals on the penny farthing in person, you will understand and appreciate their skill.”

Event History

Frederick high wheel race line by Good Travel Design

The Frederick Clustered Spires High Wheels Race was started by Frederick residents Eric and Jean Rhodes in 2012. Eric saw penny farthing bicycles in an Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C., Jeanne said, and he was determined to try it. Eric and a few friends traveled to the United Kingdom in 2010 to race in the Great Knutsford Race, which occurs once every 10 years. When he returned, he was inspired to bring this type of event to the U.S, according to Jeanne. And so the Frederick Clustered Spires High Wheel Race was started.

Coupled with the antique bike display, “the event is truly a celebration of the history of the bicycle,” Jeanne said.

Event Info

  • Event Date: TBA for 2023
  • Event Start location: Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Bar, where the races start, is located at 124 N. Market St., Frederick. It is Frederick County’s original brewpub where they still make a variety of beers. See what’s currently on tap and check out their menu specials on the way in if you need a little refreshment. If you like to sample, you can pick eight 5-ounce pours or purchase 5-ounce glasses singly, as well as the larger sizes, of course.
  • Time: 12 pm

Find out more about the race and related events at the Frederick Clustered Spires High Wheel Race website.

Photos by Good Travel Design.

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