Fastest bicycle, craziest rider
A human being working at maximum output generates just about a kilowatt, or a scoche more than one horsepower. It’s interesting to see how much you can do with only a little power:
Science Daily — This October, Jerrod Bouchard will attempt to become the fastest college student to be propelled by his or her own power.
Jerrod Bouchard (left) is determined to break the collegiate human land speed record this fall. The senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will try to break the collegiate human-powered land speed record of 61.5 mph Oct 1-6 in Battle Mountain, Nev.
- Student Hopes To Break Human Land Speed Record Using Bullet Shaped Bicycle
I can appreciate that. Once I hit 26 mph on a straight-level riding my bike, but I about croaked from the effort. The fastest I ever went on a bike was 55 mph, but that was headed down highway 12 on the East side of White Pass in Washington State, in about 1972. A friend and I were bike-packing from Vancouver, BC to Ellensburg and we’d camped near the top. On the way down, we got into the exhilaration of speed and pedaled like mad, tucked into the smallest cross-section we could muster. (It’s also possible we had wind behind us – conditions were prit’ near ideal) A Ford LTD pulled alongside us and the passenger grinned at us and flashed his hand 5-fingers-twice. After a bit, we ran out of breath and coasted for miles, heading down into the Yakima valley.
Of course, we were idiots. The sew-up tires on our bikes were not made for that kind of speed. Nor was the road really smooth enough. Sometimes you just look back at dumb things you did and wonder how the hell you survived…
Today instead of an Italian touring bike, I ride a Chinese mountain bike. I probably never get over 20 mph anymore. Pathetic.
Hope the guy breaks the speed record! If he survives, it’ll probably help him get a job at some company that makes electric cars or something.