If you read the last post, I thought I was dealing with what was referred to as a grandfather bike.
Apparently they're officially called "penny farthings."
Mystery solved...as penny farthings are all over the internet.
There's a few current makers online who manufacture replicas of the bike, which had its heyday in the 1880s, it appears. You can get one for between $1-3K. Not cheap! The models are backed up with parts too, which is nice.
Apparently they're really hard to ride, and really bumpy. New riders spend much of their initial time not even riding the bike, but learning to mount it -- which is performed only with a running start, and some balance on a peg that's attached to the frame.
How about that? As if we needed to manufacture more situations to make us vulnerable to injury...why not try to mount a penny farthing?
That's what she said...kidding! Nevertheless, you'll probably die trying...literally.
One question remains. What's up with the weird design? Who invented this thing?
Maybe they thought of mounting horses and the wagon wheel, and took it from there...just a guess. I'm sure wikipedia might lend something to that, but I haven't looked yet.
I can see myself getting one of these. If I do, I'll have to bring out the top hat, put on the three piece suit with my pocket watch, and grow out a handlebar mustache.
Right? Uh, yeah...let's have a seance and contact Timothy Leary while we're at it.