Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Penny Farthing and The Best of the Best - especially for the gentlemen at The West Point Academy

I'm afraid I have to revisit the subject of the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel again. Bear with me. It's not all repetition.

Now since I first wrote about how Master Benedict asked me if I rode a bike with one big wheel and one small wheel when I was a child back in August 2011 this blog has been inundated with hits from people searching for the name of the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel. I subsequently enlightened the world with the correct terminology in my post The Bike with One Big Wheel and One Small Wheel . Later, as I was still so astounded by the lack of knowledge about the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel I wrote another post which, amongst other vague ramblings, talked about my ideas for a documentary on the subject.

However, a strange and new development has begun to take place in the last few weeks. People are still Googling the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel or variations of it. But they are also beginning to Google this phrase:

How do you get on a bike with one big wheel and one small wheel?

I have even had one person leave an anonymous comment on one of previous posts asking me that very question. Now, whilst I do consider myself to be a pseudo bike historian (I used to ride one) I am not actually an authority on the subject. Anyway, the interesting thing is these hits are coming from my good friends in the US of A. Now I'd sort of figured out that these people are seeking the answer as the result of some quiz/school project but after a hit yesterday I'm now convinced it is part of an intelligence test. Why? Because that hit came from West Point - yes the US defence academy.

So it's definitely an intelligence test. Obviously, I was immediately reminded of this excerpt from the film Men in Black starring Will Smith:

So just for those lovely young uniformed gentlemen, The Best of the Best, I have made a list of possible answers for you - if you really, really, can't think of an answer that includes the word "steps."

Here we go:

1. Release the ejector button on your Falcon F-16 jet fighter and steer your parachute onto the seat of the bike. This is a "fun" way of mounting your bike and although a tad expensive at the cost of destroying your $19,000,000 aircraft the Big Cheeses at the academy will admire your creativity and ingenuity.

2. Drive up and park your MA12 Abrams tank adjacent to the bike. Climb out of the turret and position yourself on the end of the gun barrel  Then let your tank driver raise the gun over the seat of the bike. Then swing on the gun barrel and drop yourself into position onto the seat.This is a cheaper option than destroying the F-16 Fighter plane but equally creative. You will graduate with honours.

3. If you can locate him - stand on Tom Cruise's shoulders. This is the exact height required to mount your bike.

4. If you're a naval candidate you are in a more difficult position because you will be ashore and without the use of your ship to fire you onto the seat.  Also, if you did want to risk this option you might get in trouble for starting a world war - cos you just know those *uckers behind the red button aren't going to look lightly on a stray missile are they? So - you need to adapt your knowledge of knots and tie a rope to the American Flag at West Point and swing yourself onto the bike like Tarzan. Don't strip off and go bare chested though - otherwise a) the other candidates will think you're showing off and will lace your tea with laxatives or b) it won't be safe in the showers.

5. Get a trampoline and bounce your way onto the seat. Now, I don't think that's particularly original when you might be up against my earlier suggestions. However, if you can get some of your colleagues to position themselves holding hoops of fire and you can negotiate your way through the flames whilst doing a double back flip you may be on to a winner.

The Penny Farthing or The Bike with One Big Wheel and One Small Wheel. Some people have a problem imagining how people might get on it.   

6. Raid the canteen and collect as many of those tin lunch boxes you soldiers are supposed to eat your gruel out of - then you can BUILD your own steps! How impressive is that? Other men always like men who can build stuff so you will be one step ahead of the rest when you pull out your impressive design of a series of  sequential tin steps. You could even draft in your three year old son to help you.

7. Mount the back of one of your colleagues and climb off onto the seat. This is not very original and you must be very careful about the way you ask for help. In fact, just don't use the word "mount." Try "climb" instead. This is the cheapest and least imaginative option. Probably only worth considering if you want to fail anyway. Sorry.

8. Get a horse. Remember that scene from True Lies where Arnold Schwarzenegger rides the horse and chases the terrorist? That's you. Only you have to leap over the generals, tanks, an array of barbed wire and dodge machine gun fire from the soldiers who think you are trying to make off with the secret plans to capture Tom Cruise and use him as a step ladder. Then, just as you approach the bike you will switch to side saddle and flip yourself onto the bike. Impressive eh?

9. Go to the Academy's library and started collecting the books to build your own steps. (As I said before - building stuff is really impressive.) However, you might encounter a problem if there isn't enough books. (I've heard a rumour there's only three: Elvis: The songs, Elvis: The Movies and Elvis: The Afterlife but I'm hoping that's just a big fib.) However, I do know there's a massive pile of Jane's Defence Weekly so if you stack those up alongside your copies of The Beano and The Dandy you should be able to climb onto your bike.

10. Now if that's not really enough ideas to set you thinking you lovely gentlemen can always email me for some more. Don't forget to include the snapshots. ( In uniform please -my imagination can do the rest.)

I said "jump on it",  Arsehole!


  1. I'm 'blown away' by the sheer audacity of your imagination, Mrs T. Or perhaps you have watched an awful lot of those films with men in uniforms, looking masterful? (Not the ones with Tom Cruise in, needless to say.) But I digress. Any spare photos of hunks? Send them to me!

  2. I thank you, Mrs B:) My imagination can sometimes be too far fetched though. I think Mr T maybe be regretting marrying me now as he gets confused by differing actions and personas. Possibly spending the weekend trying to jump on my bike from a distance of six feet was too much for him.

    Ps - I failed and my springboard is now at the repairers.


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