I was delighted to hear during a recent conversation with Charlotte Barnes that ancient knowledge is being used today. Charlotte was Knowledge Manager on the Gorgon Project and has recently moved into being Principal Proposals Specialist with MWKL, the EPC engineering group.
Charlotte explained how she had just participated in The Knutsford Great Race on her Penny-farthing bike, yes a real live Penny-farthing bike. People had travelled from all over the world to participate in the race. There are some great picture on this site but I think my favourite is of the ‘pace car’ was lead the first two warm up laps before the race began. Close second in terms of pictures has just got to be the picture of the ‘starting gun’. These guys really know how to do things with style.
But technology creeps into everything………..there was an RFID lap counting chip in a carrier on the small wheel. I am sure it makes things easier for the race organisers but somehow it doesn’t fit with my mental image of a Penny-farthing.
As if the use of technology wasn’t shocking enough, one rider even got disqualified for dangerous riding. Is nothing sacred I hear you say!
But this story has a happy ending, Charlotte and her Penny-farthing partner won the team event. A well deserved lap of honour was held in front to six thousand people.
Isn’t this a wonderful example of ancient knowledge being retained and re-used?