Nowadays the star is the bicycle not the rider if its a penny farthing you are riding as this video reveals: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p072rbvr/47467438
Richard Thoday will set off from Land’s End at 6am tomorrow (Saturday) aiming to arrive in John O’Groats in less than five days, one hour and 45 minutes.
That's the record set in 1886 on a penny farthing by George Pilkinton Mills of our sister Anfield Cycling Club. Their website says:
Of these brilliant riders the star was George Pilkington Mills. By the end of the 1890s he was regarded as the greatest long distance rider the world had ever seen. He set many long distance records including seven in one season. At the age of 19, in 1886, he rode a penny-farthing from Land's End to John O'Groats in 5 days. Fellow Anfielders, who knew the roads, helped with the record-attempt. They organised accommodation and food, and ensured that local clubmen guided him along the way. Mills rode day and night, snatching little sleep, and his record for a penny-farthing was never bettered. During the next 15 years he took up the "end to end" challenge time after time, holding the record on the first modern bicycles, tandems, and tricycles.
Mills also turned his attention to racing in France, and helped inspire the Tour de France winning the first Paris - Bordeaux race in 1891. This episode revealed another talent: Mills was a crack shot, and while training was so bothered by dogs chasing him that he shot five with a Colt revolver which accompanied him on rides for just such a purpose.
THE DIAMOND: BICYCLE FRAME OF THE CENTURY