Seaton man rides high on a penny-farthing

PUBLISHED: 08:58 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:58 07 April 2016

Sebastian and Alistair Cope  take a break outside the Pump Rooms in Bath.

Sebastian and Alistair Cope take a break outside the Pump Rooms in Bath.


Duo complete 275 miles on bicycles with NO BRAKES!

Seaton cycling enthusiast Alistair Cope spent Easter pedalling 275 miles on a bone-shaking penny-farthing – with no brakes.

Accompanied by his son Sebastian, from Marshwood, the pair travelled from the British Museum in London, via Bristol to Exmouth – a ride they have completed for the past three years.

Alistair and Sebastian run Devon-based Velo Vintage, whose motto is ‘time to cycle, take tea, converse and dress with style’.

They came up with the idea of cycling from the capital to a resort in Devon to promote the appeal of slow travel.

During the last three years, they have used trains to reach their starting points and also to return them close to their respective homes.

During the trip, many friends joined in sections, as well as providing a bed for the night.

Their penny farthings are new versions, based on the original geometry of the bicycles ridden in 1875, with the penny wheel being about 50ins in diameter but, alas, no brakes! “The bicycles can look beautifully elegant along the flat and perhaps just a little scary when going downhill,” said Alisatair.

The pair hopes to carry out more Easter adventures in the coming years. In the meantime, the duo are planning two events in Devon this year, the first of which is at Barnstaple on April 16 - details at

Velo Vintage is part of Velo Ventures, which is run from Seaton, but not from shop premises.

Alistair works full-time in the cycle industry, running events and tours, working with wounded soldiers and guiding adventures in Morocco.

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