Fastest Road Bike on the Planet
Last Thursday, Sam Whittingham set a new human-powered speed record of 82.33mph at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada. This means he claims the $25,000 .deciMach prize for exceeding 1/10 the speed of sound on a flat road under his own power.
Picture of the deed:
And a video:
A rundown of the week's results:
New Absolute Human Powered Speed Record!
And the record goes up another notch:
" New record! Sam did 82.43 with legal wind; Barbara 69.22 but had the only illegal wind of the night.
"Freddy did a 75, Yannick another 70, Jason Erickson 67 and Eric Ware 65."
With a brand-new road surface and favorable weather conditions for the rest of the week, I'd predict that more records will fall.
Event website at http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whps...lenge-2009.htm
The fastest self-powered humans on Earth.
Here's the text of a press release I'm passing around. I tweaked some text I found in the Recumbents.com forum:
History was made once again at the 10th annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge, held on Highway 305 outside the town of Battle Mountain, Nevada. Canadian Sam Whittingham, 37 years old, a former Canadian national cycling team member sped 5.5 miles down the flat desert highway, achieving a top speed of 82.819 mph (133.284 kph). Barbara Buatois, 32 years old, a strong amateur bike racer from France traveled the same stretch, achieving a top speed of 75.458 mph (121.437 kph). Greg Westlake, a Canadian Para-Olympic champion, set a record of 43.595 mph (69.998 kph) using only arm power. All of these marks were achieved on Friday, Sept 18. Mr. Westlake raised his record to 43.673 mph (70.285 kph) on Saturday the 19th. They broke their own records set earlier in the week. Records have been kept in these categories since 1975. Racers achieve these speeds in recumbent bicycles that have aerodynamic carbon fiber and Kevlar shaped shells surrounding the rider and bike. Unlike many videos that have surfaced on the Internet showing bicycles doing over 100 mph (and often crashing!) on a downhill, these vehicles are doing this on a level surface out in the warm dry Nevada desert air. There is no drafting of a motorized vehicle allowed, and also there are strict rules saying the wind has to be blowing less than 3.7 mph (1.66 m/s) for a record to count.
19 racers competed at this year's competition which ran from Monday September 14 to Saturday September 19. Vehicles had 2 or 3 wheels. Some are ridden backwards with the riders using video cameras or mirrors to navigate the vehicle forward. Designs vary, all in an effort to achieve record speeds on human power. Racers are from the US, Canada and France at this year's competition. Racers get an opportunity to race on the highway for about one hour in the morning and evening, during when it is shut down to traffic. University teams from IUT Annecy in France and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the US have brought vehicles to the competition. IUT reached 73 mph using a male rider. Yet, in a bit of irony the French and European speed record goes to Ms. Buatois. Junior aged rider, Jay Henry, 18 year old from Oregon has gone over 60 mph in his self-built vehicle. He's the youngest builder-rider at the competition to ever achieve 50, 55 and now 60 mph. His older brother Barclay has pedaled a self-built tricycle to nearly 65 mph, the 2nd fastest three-wheeled design in the world.
Earlier this year, a competition to see how far these vehicles could be pedaled in one hour was held at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan. On a five mile oval course, Sam Whittingham pedaled 56.3 miles (90.6 km) in one hour and Barbara Buatois pedaled 52.2 miles (84.0 km), both world records. A typical highly efficient human powered vehicle requires only about a 1/3 horsepower to maintain these speeds for one-hour. Riders will use a little bit under 1 horsepower to reach top speeds.