Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 11:51 UK

Penny farthing cyclist sets off

Stuart Kettell on the penny farthing
The penny farthing has no brakes or suspension

A charity fundraiser has set off on a 1,000-mile journey from Land's End to John O'Groats - on a penny farthing bicycle.

Stuart Kettell, from Coventry, said he expected the gruelling pedal, which he is doing without the help of a support group, to take him three weeks.

The bicycle has a 52in-high front wheel but no brakes or suspension.

He will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and people will be able to track his progress via his website.

Mr Kettell said he had been training by taking the bicycle out for a 15-mile ride near his home every evening.

'Very bumpy'

He added that the bicycle was an exact replica of how they would have been made in the 1890s and would provide a "very bumpy ride".

"It's just about concentration and what's coming ahead of you," he said.

"The penny farthing is very, very narrow and it doesn't like drains and potholes. You also have to judge the other traffic and whether you're going to make it past traffic lights in time.

"If you stop, you fall off."

He has already raised more than 3,000.

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