How Do You Get Up There?
We use the step. Just above the rear wheel, usually on the left hand side is a small step. Standing behind the bike, hold onto the handlebars, and put your left foot on the step. Using your right foot, pushoff and get the wheel rolling while pulling yourself up the backbone to the saddle. As the pedals come around, put your feet on them and you're riding! To get off, keep the bike rolling, move your left foot down the backbone to the step and slide off the seat backwards, putting your right foot on the ground.
Are They Hard To Ride?
No, they ride just like a regular bicycle. They steer the same and balance easily. The main difference is that the pedals never stop rotating so you cannot coast. Also, you have to look out for low hanging trees - but the view is terrific.
How So You Stop?
You put back pressure on the pedals to slow down the wheel. Sometimes you can put your left foot on the step, slide back off the seat and drag your right foot on the rear wheel. Some bikes have a "spoon" brake that drags on the front wheel when you squeeze the lever.
How Do They Ride on Bumpy Roads?
Very well. The large diameter wheel rolls over bumps easily and the tire, although solid, cushions the road shock. They handle dirt roads better than skinny-tire road bikes.
Don't You Go Over The Handlebars?
Only if you hit something big.
For more information on how to ride a high-wheel bike and safe riding techniques, please contact The Wheelmen. (www.thewheelmen.org) When you become a member, you will receive excellent information on collecting, restoring and riding antique bikes.