Ashburn Magazine

Ashburn man leaps into a century-old hobby

Ashburn is full of bike riders. During nice weather, they sweep down Claiborne Parkway and other area roadways in great flocks – moving in unison like geese or starlings. The W&OD Trail is often thick with cyclists in their skin-tight jerseys and shorts, feet clipped in pedals, heads down into the wind.

But with all these bike riders, one man stands alone. Matt Goodwin may be the only cyclist in town riding what many would probably call an “old-timey bike” – although it’s more properly known as a high-wheel bicycle.

“They are also called ‘penny farthings’ – which is a reference to the mismatched wheel size,” said Goodwin, who works in federal contracting and lives with his family in Ashburn Farm. “British pennies are much larger than farthings [another type of coin]. Some people think of these bikes as a large unicycle with a training wheel trailing behind – that works for me.” 

Click here to read the full story over at the Ashburn Magazine website, including the history of the high-wheel bicycle, what pushed Goodwin to take up the hobby, how he did in his first race, and how he actually gets up on the bike’s seat — it’s not easy.

(Image at top courtesy of Scott Fields)