It’s enough just to mount a high-wheeled bicycle, let alone ride it across state or country.
Yet, Randy Oleynik, 61, and his adult daughter Amy have done it three times now. The pedaling pair from Carleton, Michigan began their latest journey on Oct. 9, from the state’s upper peninsula in Sault Ste. Marie — in search of better weather in the Florida Keys.
Upon arrival at the historic Key West marker, the pair lifted their 132-year-old high-wheeled bicycles, also known as ordinaires, into the air for a photo op.
Four years ago, the pair made headlines when they road from San Francisco to Boston.
“After that we decided we should do the north-to-south to complete basically the ‘holy grail’ of high-wheel biking across the country,” Randy, a pharmacist, told CBS Miami last week.
“When people see us going by, number one they smile, so it’s a great reaction,” said Randy. “They wave, they yell, they beep their horns, they swerve, they’ll stop their cars in the middle of the road.”
In 2016, the Monroe News reported that the Oleyniks rode a pair of 54- and 51-inch Columbia Light Roadsters, produced in 1888 and 1886, respectively. The antique cycles had once stood on display for 90 years in the window of a family owned shoe store in Monroe, Michigan, before the Oleyniks took them for a spin.
Most ordinaires found today were manufactured by the Pope Manufacturing Company, which owned the Columbia brand, according to Smithsonian. They were once one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world, and also produced motorcycles as well as electric cars.
A 2018 episode of “American Pickers” shows some of the potential pitfalls involved with the clownish contraption.
But don’t let the awkward stop you, Amy told reporters in Florida.
“What we want this ride to tell people is, number one, get outside,” she said. “Get out there — you’re definitely never too old to learn how to ride a bicycle.”
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