Adventurer honoured for his globetrotting

PUBLISHED: 11:57 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 25 August 2010

A DAREDEVIL has received an award in recognition of his adventures on a Penny-farthing which saw him cycle across 26 countries.

A DAREDEVIL has received an award in recognition of his adventures on a Penny-farthing which saw him cycle across 26 countries.

Greenwich market trader Joff Summerfield, 42 was awarded the Freedom of the City of London last Thursday at the Guildhall, City of London, where he was presented with a sealed certificate in honour of his journey.

The trader rode the bicycle, which he made himself, 22,000 miles, crossing 26 countries over a period of two-and-a- half years, before returning in November 2008.

He is the first man to ever have ridden a penny-farthing along the Great Wall of China and up to Everest base camp.

He used the trip to raise money and awareness for the Born Free Foundation and Rethink Breast Cancer.

Mr Summerfield said he felt proud to have been presented the award.

The adventure seeker whose trip took him from the Himalayas to the Great Wall of China was not content with travelling on a conventional bike.

He said: "When I first wanted to do this trip I wanted to make a bike but not a normal one.

"I thought what's the craziest way I can do this? And I thought of a penny farthing. I had been inspired by the people I met in the market around the world and their stories about their countries."

He recalls his most memorable experience was when he illegally snuck into Tibet from China as his visa would not allow him to enter.

He said: "Tibet, my favourite country, was the hardest to cross. I had to sneak in there illegally in the middle of the night when the guards were sleeping.

"You have to be as quiet as possible. They're not expecting someone to come past on a penny farthing."

Climbing the Himalayas, which he didn't do on his two-wheeler, was the most physically challenging part of the journey.

He said: "I was going very slowly but because of the altitude it feels like you're literally exhausted all the time.

"You have ups and downs but you never give in, it's supposed to be hard.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the Bexley Times