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31 Dec, 2020 10:12

WATCH: Penny farthing slams into DPD delivery van in bizarre clash of cultures

WATCH: Penny farthing slams into DPD delivery van in bizarre clash of cultures

Footage showing a penny farthing bicycle rider slamming into the side of a DPD delivery van has sparked fierce debate online about whether Victorian-era modes of transport are road safe in the 21st century.

The viral video was reportedly shot in Stoke Newington, north London and shows the cyclist ploughing into the side of a delivery van which cut right in front of him at high speed.

It’s understood the rider was bruised but not badly hurt, despite being sideswiped and slamming spread-eagled to the ground with only his earmuffs and gloves for protection.

Modern iterations of the quaint conveyance, which dates back some 150 years, can have brakes fitted to the rear wheel, but it is unclear if this bike did – judging by the speed at which it slammed into the van, though, maybe not. 

The bicycle’s iconic big wheel can reach up to 53 inches (130cm) in diameter and creates a notoriously wide turning circle, making it somewhat cumbersome to manoeuvre, especially through London traffic.

The somewhat bawdy bikes were common on British roads in 1870s and 1880s but were rendered obsolete by more modern, geared bicycles with much smaller front wheels and functioning brakes – something which the online commentariat were quick to point out, as locked-down Londoners debated who was in the wrong in the crash.

The biker reportedly had right of way along the thoroughfare but was sideswiped by a delivery driver seemingly desperate to make his next drop off. Many criticised the driver for his apparent disregard for the safety of other road users, regardless of their outdated mode of transport.

“This collision is 0% the rider's fault. He had right of way, the van driver cut him up, end of story,”wrote one Twitter user. 

“The mental gymnastics to defend appalling driving standards, from a professional driver no less is staggering,”added another.

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Rt.com has contacted DPD for comment about the incident.

“I have been informed by the person that shot the video that the van stopped and details were exchanged,” said a commenter claiming to be the bike maker, as cited by the Daily Mail. 

“I have identified the bike as one that I manufactured and am now in the process of contacting my customers to find out who the rider was.”

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