KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since April, some lucky people in the Kansas City metro have seen one pretty tall man riding a very tall bike.
His name is Layton and if you’ve stopped and stared as he rides past, he says, that’s that point.
“There’s no gears and you’ll notice there’s no breaks which is kind of terrifying,” Layton said.
He bought the bike after seeing someone else on a very tall unicycle and figured he would find a slightly easier unique bike to ride.
The penny farthing he bought came from Colorado and is a modern reproduction of a bike that was last popular in the late 1800’s. The oversized wheel was once the best way to help riders move faster before better bike technology and multiple gears became more common.
One-hundred and fifty years later, the large wheel is just what makes Layton stand out so clearly.
“The reactions are priceless,” Layton said. “Just right over there, I got the ‘OMG look’ on the face from somebody driving.”
But, historically-accurate wheels forced him to find an Amish buggy repair man when the pothole busted his back tire.
“Is it ridiculous? 100%,” Layton said. “I’ve been accused of being eccentric and they’re not wrong.”
Layton moved to the metro after growing up on a farm in far western Kansas. After years of isolation in one way or another, the point is to be seen, even by the naysayers.
“I get the old fist or, ‘Darn hipsters,” Layton said.
So if you see Layton riding around, he wants you to call out to him. He’ll yell back if he can, and even if not, you’ll join the growing community of people who had to look twice to make sure they really saw what they thought they saw.
“It’s alright to do something a little silly and we should indulge ourselves every once in a while,” Layton said. “I mean, I’m the only one in danger up here. Enjoy it. Enjoy the show!”