High rollers in the park

Participants wearing historical attire competing on vintage, high-wheeled penny-farthings in the 22nd traditional "One Mile Race" at Letna Park in Prague, the Czech Republic, last Saturday.

The quaint-looking vehicle, also known as a high wheel or high-wheeler, is an early type of bicycle, made in Britain, with a very large front wheel and a small rear wheel.

It was popular in the 1880s, a period which also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport. But riding a penny-farthing was considered very uncomfortable and dangerous, and production of these bicycles did not last very long.

Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era, which ended in 1901.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline 'High rollers in the park'. Print Edition | Subscribe