The Yass Valley Times Santa tracker has picked up some unexpected movement on the radar this morning. By our calculations, Santa will be in Yass for a surprise visit at 10 am this morning. We’ve detected some unusual signals though which are showing up an old fashioned cycle instead of a sleigh.

Our elf contacts tell us Santa will be riding through Yass this morning without his usual entourage of reindeer but on a Penny Farthing instead.

Rudolf and the rest of the reindeer are resting up for the Big Night while Santa rides down Comur Street. Out the front of the Yass Visitor Information Centre will be his first stop to see children and show off his wheels.

Santa’s route will start outside Yass Valley Hire at 10 am going down the main street to Riverside Park and then back up Comur Street.

So get your skates on to see something a bit different this morning.

Mark Skimmings, Santa’s personal cyclist trainer from Murrumbateman advises it’s a bit of a bumpy ride when you’re on top of a Penny Farthing.

“They are a crude design, there’s no suspension, no brakes. The tyres are solid rubber with no air in them and once it’s going, the pedals go round with or without you on it.”

Mark, who has been coaching Santa how to ride them for two and a half years now says the shape is where the name came from.

“The front-wheel represented the penny, the back-wheel represents a farthing. They were built in the 1870s and were popular for about half a century. In America, they were called bone-crushers,” said Mark.

Mark has also assured us that Santa enjoys cycling to keep fit between each Christmas which is why he is looking a little leaner today. A world’s serving of cookies and milk on Christmas Eve should, however, see him return to his regular and well-loved “Santa sizing.”

Make sure you #GOLOCAL for all your last-minute Christmas shopping in Yass and make a day of it with brunch or lunch at one of our awesome clubs and cafes.