New Land Speed Record Set on a Bicycle (Sorta)

Cycling speed records are defined in many unusual way. For purists, it’s about the athlete pushing themselves on flat ground to the utmost speed. These mad men and women have pushed speeds of 83 mph (133 km/h) and 75 mph(121 km/h) respectively.

Then there are the paced records, where a cyclist utilizes a motor vehicle to minimize wind resistance. The first record of this style was set in 1899, when Charles “Mile a Minute” Murphy convinced a railroad company to lay down plywood sheets between railroad tracks and draft a train. He hit 60 mph (96 km/h) and became the first person to ride a mile on a bicycle in under a minute.

There are also the downhill records where riders hurtle down snow capped mountains (or sometimes a volcano) to reach speeds of over 100 mph (160 km/h)

Then there is this guy. Who used a Swedish designed hydrogen peroxide powered rocket to propel himself to 163 mph (263 km/h) on a former military base in France.

Despite the auxiliary power, this daredevil still wasn’t fast enough to surpass the flat surface, motor paced record of 167 mph (268 (km/h) set by Fred Rompelberg (who was fifty at the time!) in 1995.

Via Nos.SL


rider - 05/20/13 - 6:16pm

So it´s a rocket powered (not) bike then.
Let me just see if Trek have them in 29er ……..

NotAMachinist - 05/20/13 - 7:09pm

I don’t think Mile-A-Minute Murphy was on plywood, it was more like a planked floor.

From the article: “And another incidental feat of his which has gone unnoticed but has never been equaled: Has anyone but Murphy ever boarded a train going roughly 60 miles an hour?”

Watchtower - 05/20/13 - 10:21pm

“(who was fifty at the time!)”

50 is not that old : )

Argh - 05/21/13 - 2:01am

Imho, only track speed is legal (pure man power on classic bicycle)

Mindless - 05/21/13 - 2:13am

Any speed is “legal”. Human powered bicycle record is almost ~60 miles in an hour (for a full hour) – on a recumbent..

WannaBeSTi - 05/21/13 - 6:23am

Canellara has one of these…

Ryan - 05/21/13 - 10:03am

Thanks, now I’ve got “Rocket Man” stuck in my head.

Alan - 05/21/13 - 1:03pm

I wonder if Lennard Zinn would do this in conjunction with one of his no-handed speed wobble tests.

kyle - 05/21/13 - 7:30pm

They could afford a rocket strapped to a bicycle, but not a higher definition camera?

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.