Symposium Games – Penny Farthing Tricycle Races

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The “Penny Farthing” Pod Race Rules; (Click here for a PDF of these rules)

Horse Racing is so 18th century. Steam Powered Penny Farthing Racing is the newest and most exciting form of break-neck racing. Come test your mettle (and metal) in the Steampunk Empire Symposium Grand Prix!


The Penny Farthing Race will be raced with child sized tricycles, (but with adult sized drivers). Each competing group or airship must provide 3 participants. A Driver, and two Engines (two people to push) The race will be a timed ROAD COURSE, with pylons (of a sort) to navigate around and hazards. You will be timed from the starting line and the timer will stop at the finish line. There may be only one heat in the race with the fastest times winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The decision on whether or not there will be a finals heat will be made prior to the first run.

Equipment Needed:

  1. The Symposium will be providing one (perhaps two) tricycles which any competing group can use.
  2. However, any competing group that brings their own customized (functional) tricycle (with Steampunk themed modifications) will get 10 bonus points, plus the chance to win another 30 points in the Steampunk Penny Farthing design competition. (Judged by the games Judges). See below for rules governing bringing your own tricycle.
  3. Goggles – each driver and engine must have their own goggles. For those who wear glasses and don’t have OTG goggles, the judges will provide plain OTG goggles.

Penny farthing Race 680

Race Rules:

Each Driver will sit on their tricyle/penny farthing and can either keep their feet on the pedals or not. (We recommend NOT)

  1. Each racer has two engines. Each engine will be allowed to use only one hand to help push their racer along. If any Engine uses more than one hand at a time they will be disqualified. (Switching hands is allowed)
  2. Goggles must be worn by each competing driver and engine while they are racing. Worn over the EYES.
  3. HAZARDS: There will be ruffians with NERF guns (with limited ammo) taking pot shots at the racers from a single camping spot. (Shooting back is NOT allowed) Any shots that hit the driver are null, but the first shot that hits an Engine will disable that Engine and that Engine must withdraw. Only ONE engine can be disabled by the ruffians, leaving one engine to complete the race. If by sheer luck no engine is hit, then both engines can continue.
  4. SHIELDS: As with last year, shields are allowed to be used to protect against ruffians. If you choose to use shields they must be no larger than 24 inches across, round or square. I recommend using foam core board or cardboard, rather than anything heavier or harder, just in case you drop one, which brings up the other point: they must be hand held (no strapping them to your arm).

The Course:

Unlike last year, there will not be a map of the course provided ahead of time. This year our games field is open and therefore we can and will just make up the course on the spot. If there is time for a second heat, the second heat will get a new course, made up again on the spot.

Victory Points:

1st Place 50
2nd Place 30
3rd Place 20

Every group who brings their own customized/decorated tricyle – 10

Winner of the Steampunk Penny Farthing Podracer design competition – 30

Bonus/Kids Race – Those of you who bring your kids, if time permits, can allow your children to race the course and try to beat the adult times. Those of you who fancy themselves still kids and just HAVE to give it a try as well, we’ll make time for you as well, and there may even be prizes for you.

Custom Tricycle Rules: If you wish to bring your own tricycle, customized or not, it must fit into the following rules.

  1. Must be a “child size” penny farthing style (big front wheel, small rear wheels) where the front wheel is no larger than 16” diameter. Using a base tricycle from a Yard sale or leftover from your own child or childhood is of course allowed, but if you want to buy a new one, we recommend a Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricyle, or a Classic Flyer by Kettler 12” Tricycle.
  2. Strengthening of the structure is allowed, but all sharp edges of any additional metalwork must be filed down, removed, or sanded.
  3. No powered locomotion modifications are allowed.
  4. Any artistic or stylistic modifications must be safe for the driver, engines(pushers), judges and spectators.


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