Riding a Penny Farthing Around the World

Joff Summerfield is biking around the world. Not only is his feat impressive — to date, he’s already cycled more than 8400 miles! — but he’s doing it on a 19th century penny farthing bicycle, one of those bikes that boast a front wheel with a 47-inch diameter; sport a tiny little nubbin of a back wheel; and has neither chains nor gears. Much like Rosie O’Donnell, he’s top-heavy and dangerous.

Wearing a traditional English pith helmet, Summerfield left London on May 1, 2006. Since then, he traversed Europe before crapping out from dysentery and altitude sickness in the Middle East. As such, he had to pause his trip to recover. Now healthy, in November, he returned to Oceania to keep pedaling.

Currently in China, Summerfield plans to cover 36 miles each day while spending under $10 a day. (Maybe Ember‘ll buy him lunch.) On such a restrictive budget, Summerfield is forced to sleep in a tent, cook on a stove, and slurp from water bottles. He plans to spend 6 months in China, Myanmar, and Hong Kong before heading to North America.

For some pretty amazing pictures from his journey, check out his website.