Straight out of the History Books

Warm weather means many people ditch their cars for two-wheeled transportation. But instead of bringing out the motorcycle or ten-speed bike, one group of Naperville guys ride around on something straight out of the history books.
Naperville resident Brandon Zears became interested in riding the Penny-Farthing about a year ago. He’s a member of the Medinah Shriners, an organization that supports children, and a fellow member encouraged him to try it.

“I went over there and tried it out,” said Zears. “About ten minutes later I was riding it and I fell in love. I’ve been riding in parades to raise money for the Shriner Hospital for kids.”

Zears decided to share his love of the Penny-Farthing, named for the old English coins the penny and the farthing, with fellow Shriner Guy Hamilton and friend Kyle Reschke.

“I wanted to get more involved in the Shriners and the big wheels are a good way to do that,” said Hamilton “They’re a great advocate for us in the community.”

“We had the day free so we went over there and I’ve kind of been hooked because it’s been a lot of fun and its actually a lot easier than I thought it would be,” said Reschke.

Hamilton and Reschke have only been riding for about a week and they’re already doing tricks.

Getting up and down is the hardest part. There is a footstep on the side. To start you have to push off, and then balance on the peg before reaching the seat. To get off you have to dismount using the small step while the bike is still moving.

Even though they’ve only been riding together for a week the guys love the attention they are getting around the town while riding.

“We just give a wave and smile and Zears squeaks his horn and we just keep going,” said Hamilton.

“It was really cool riding around through downtown Naperville with a lot of little kids,” said Reschke. “They would pull on their Dad’s should and go ‘Oh my gosh, look at that’ and we would ride by. It was just a blast.”

“It’s really fun when you see a little kid on a tricycle or something with training wheels and they yell ‘nice bike’ and then you squeak your horn and yell ‘nice bike’ right back at them. They think it’s the funniest thing in the world,” said Zears

All three guys say they plan to continue riding together and Reschke even says his next step is to try riding the bike over a ramp at the skate park.

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