PK Kumar riding the penny farthing cycle

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The experience of riding the big penny-farthing cycles is exceptionally different, and sometimes even risky, as compared to riding modern bicycles. The penny-farthing cycles, also known as high wheelers were one of the first machines to be called bicycles. This bicycle has one large wheel in the front, a smaller one at the back, and has no chain connecting the two. With the pedals placed over the front, going at high speeds could make it hard to ride this bicycle. However, a man from Kerala has completed a ride of 12 KM in one hour on Penny-farthing and has won a Guinness World Record as well. This record holder's name is PK Kumar and he is the resident of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

PK Kumar is a psychotherapist and personality development trainer. He learned how to ride this incredible bicycle on his own in a few weeks. Not only did he manage to ride the penny-farthing bicycle downhill through uneven roads in the Ponmudi range but similarly found himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He completed the journey through a range, a distance of 12.7 kilometres, in 1 hour and 13 minutes. PK Kumar's journey with the penny-farthing cycles began in 2019 when he was visiting the Just Buy Cycles outlet at Thiruvananthapuram to purchase a bicycle for his daughters. Kumar saw a unique penny-farthing bicycle on display and he requested the manager if he would take it down. The manager refused and told Kumar to talk to the general manager of the store. And after sending a few emails with ID proof to the bicycle's organization, Kumar got his penny-farthing bicycle. Initially, they wanted to ensure Kumar's safety and thus they let him use it on a trial basis. And when Kumar managed to get the hang of it, they sold the cycle to Kumar at a discounted price.

Kumar is a fitness enthusiast and an passionate cyclist and thus it was quite easy for him to learn this bicycle. However, according to Kumar, there are many challenges to ride a penny-farthing bicycle. As the seat is placed above the large front wheel, while hitting the brakes, sometimes, the rear wheel would lift above the ground. In March 2020, Kumar decided that he wanted to challenge himself and create a world record in the process. He rode up and down the Ponmudi hill, which is 1100 meters above sea level, with 22 hairpin bends, a 180-degree turning on hill roads that help vehicles slow down on his penny-farthing bicycle. Kumar completed that ride of 12.7 km in one hour 13 minutes and 55 seconds. However, holding this one world record is not a big achievement for him, as he has also earned a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for riding a backward brain bicycle for 7.98 km in just 1 hour in September 2019. PK Kumar similarly has other incredible mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records including one for making 226 hand rotations in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction within one minute. He attempted this record in January 2018 and won the title and he holds a title for doing the same while jogging as well.

PK Kumar has brought in so many world records because he enjoys learning new activities and being creative with everything he does. In 2009, after he was awarded at a government school in Kerala for his speech, many people started referring to him as ‘Inspire Kumar’, and it was this title that encouraged him to keep trying new things that can set him apart from the crowd. However, at PK Kumar's residence, holding a world record is a sort of family tradition. Kumar's wife, S Vijayalekshmi, and daughters VK Karthika and VK Devika, have also bagged the world record for doing the greatest number of hand rotations in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction simultaneously in 2019. Karthika rotated her hands 89 times in one minute and became the youngest performer in this category to achieve this. And Kumar's youngest daughter, Devika moreover holds the records for the youngest Kathakali artist.

For the entire Kumar family, it is not only about creating world records, he and his family wish to spread awareness about the significance of undertaking creative activities such as cycling, running, or hand rotations to prevent lifestyle disorders like high cholesterol and also to keep the human mind sharp. All their world records are somehow related to the fitness of the human body and mind, and it is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle with a creative approach towards life.