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  1. #1
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    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:
    http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whps...y/IMG_1015.jpg
    And a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMUNOLwW0io
    A rundown of the week's results:
    http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2008/results.htm
    Jeff Wills

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  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    If you click on that last link, then on the "racer profiles" link at top, it gives you links to several of the bike's websites. Very interesting.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    New Absolute Human Powered Speed Record!

    And the record goes up another notch:

    http://www.recumbents.com/forums/top...?TOPIC_ID=2814

    " 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
    Jeff Wills

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  4. #4
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jeff.

    According to Sam's blog, he did the 82.43 on a worn out tire. Amazing.

    As many people know, I tend to get faster as the week goes on. The dry air and elevation of 4600 ft always takes me 5 or so days to get used to and needless to say I am still feeling a bit sluggish. I was also distracted by the fact that the front tire we are using was becoming dangerously thin in places and I could see the actual thread in under the rubber! Nothing to do but hope that it held for one last waltz down the dance floor.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  5. #5
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    That's incredible and dangerous.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathdoc View Post
    That's incredible and dangerous.
    That's why they're wrapped in carbon fiber and Kevlar:
    http://www.ohpv.org/events/albums/bm.../photo_10.html

    The records keep falling- in addition to Sam's new absolute recor , Barbara Buatois set a new women's mark of 72.5mph in the Varna Diablo 3 and Greg Westlake set a new arm-powered mark of 37.8mph in the Avos Arrow.
    Last edited by Jeff Wills; 09-17-09 at 09:56 AM.
    Jeff Wills

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  7. #7
    Senior Member metro2005's Avatar
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    very impressive to go that fast with nothing more then your own legpower.

  8. #8
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    anybody know how many watts he puts out? Curious what kind of speed you could get if you put Cavendish in one of those and gave him a bit of time to train in the position, or Husvod who would put out even more power.

    Or a track sprinte like Nothstein at his peak.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  9. #9
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    http://www.pedalmag.com/index.php?mo...l&item_id=4486

    According to that article, he can make 600 watts. They tried some years ago with Jason Queally in a Reynard designed bike and got beat. Chris Huber held the top spot with 68.7 for a while but it is generally accepted that he was aided slightly by the bow wave created by his chase vehicle.

    As I understand it power is not the final quantifier. Rather it is high power and small size. For the vehicles to go that fast, they have to be small and the rider must fit inside. The space is so small that most of them can barely more their head, can only steer 1/2" or so either way and just miss scraping their shoes and legs. When the riders talk about having to wear shoes 1 size smaller, I don't think they are joking.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    That's amazing..................
    I came close to 40 a couple of weeks ago........................downhill...............................with a tailwind.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  11. #11
    Ol' Reliable formerbrit's Avatar
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    Glad to see Fast Freddy Markham is still at it. He was an Olympian in 1976 -- and obviously is still quite fast!
    "I have started many stories about bicycle racing but have never written one that is as good as the races are both on the indoor and outdoor tracks and on the roads."
    -Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

  12. #12
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
    http://www.pedalmag.com/index.php?mo...l&item_id=4486

    According to that article, he can make 600 watts. They tried some years ago with Jason Queally in a Reynard designed bike and got beat. Chris Huber held the top spot with 68.7 for a while but it is generally accepted that he was aided slightly by the bow wave created by his chase vehicle.
    That sounds awfully low. Of course the question is 600 watts over what time period. I can do double that for the length of the 200 meters that's timed, and a Pro Tour sprinter could more than triple it. I would imagine however that most of the power output is in the time that it takes to get up to speed before the 200 meter timed section.

    Nonetheless, I'm betting someone like Mark Cavendish or Tyler Farrar,with soem time to train in the position would put out a wholelot more than 600 watts.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  13. #13
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    It is highly likely that Sam's peak power is near that of the other sprinters. After all, he was a member of the Canadian national cycling team. Now if some high powered sponsor want to put "the fastest man" into a bullet and shoot him down SR305, I'm sure Sam would enjoy the challenge.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    That sounds awfully low. Of course the question is 600 watts over what time period. I can do double that for the length of the 200 meters that's timed, and a Pro Tour sprinter could more than triple it. I would imagine however that most of the power output is in the time that it takes to get up to speed before the 200 meter timed section.

    Nonetheless, I'm betting someone like Mark Cavendish or Tyler Farrar,with soem time to train in the position would put out a whole lot more than 600 watts.

    You've got it exactly right- they're trying to accelerate using their maximum aerobic power (usually 4 or 5 minutes) and then go completely anaerobic for the last minute. The power-over-time profile is similar to a kilo rider's. A Pro Tour rider could definitely do better than that- but could they do it while vacuum-packed in a carbon-fiber and Kevlar sardine can? It's kind of like skydiving while wrapped in Saran Wrap.

    I think Sam's big advantage is that he's been doing this for a lot of years. The Varna design is good, and it's stayed pretty consistent for 15 years or so. Sam and George have had a lot of time to tune the ride, the vehicle, and to figure out what and what doesn't work.

    I'm in Battle Mountain right now (I flew in last night- and boy, are my arms tired!). The freshly repaved road is superb, and the weather has been remarkably good. It's no wonder there's new records all over the place.
    Jeff Wills

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  15. #15
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Wow... just... wow...

    Last night here in Battle Mountain we saw new world records in 3 different categories. Here's the official writeup:

    THURSDAY Sept 18, 2009 EVENING SPEED TRIALS RESULTS

    SAM WHITTINGHAM, 82.819 MPH, 133.284 KPH, Varna Tempest
    WORLD RECORD - 10th time setting a record at Battle Mountain, on the event's tenth anniversary! The fastest cyclist in the world! It's Sam's 7th time being timed over 80 mph on the course. Only one other challenge remains! ... Sam, the first man over 70, 75, 80 mph has his sights on 85 mph. Short of that, can he be the first over 135 KPH or 83.9 mph? Sam is and continues to be phenomenal! He is The Man at Battle Mountain! Before Battle Mountain, the record for human powered speed stood at 68.723 mph, 110.593 kph by Chris Huber a professional cyclist in the Cheetah. This was set in 1992 in Colorado. Sam raised this mark by the following amounts with (year): 72.41, 72.74 mph (2000), 76.61, 77.03, 77.59, 80.55 mph (2001), 81.00 mph (2002), 82.33 mph (2008), and now 82.43 mph, 82.819 mph (2009). So he's personally increased the record by over 14 mph / 22.68 kph in ten years.
    Note: The newly repaved stretch of Highway 305 outside Battle Mountain, which the racers have raced on is contributing to higher speeds. Significant lobbying was done by the event organizers Al and Alice Krause, working through NDOT and the local town of Battle Mountain to make this happen!

    BARBARA BUATOIS, 75.458 MPH, 121.437 KPH, Varna Diablo III
    WORLD RECORD - FEMALE, EUROPEAN RECORD, First Lady over 75 mph, 120 kph, becomes 4th fastest cyclist in the World, matches feat of being 4th fastest in the One-Hour. Georgi predicted 75 mph (120 kph) was possible by Barbara at the Ford event. Historical Note: Barbara achieves speed of 75 mph once thought to be the upper limit of human powered speed predicted by a computer in the 1989 if you cloned two Fast Freddy Markhams, put them in a Double Gold Rush, which later built, and took them up to 11,000 foot elevation in Colorado (over double Battle Mountain's 4600 foot elevation) with the maximum 2/3 of 1% downslope allowed. This was published at the speed championships that year.

    GREG WESTLAKE, 43.495 MPH, 69.998 KPH, Avos Arrow
    WORLD RECORD, Arm Powered, 4th time in event, Historical note: exceeds the first legendary leg-powered HPV record of 43.02 mph by Ron Skarin in 1974. Ron was pedaling Dr. Chet Kyle's upright streamliner. He was an Olympic cyclist, later in the Hall of Fame. That speed started off the modern-day human powered speed championships. Now Greg, using only arm-power has exceeded that!

    Sam and Barbara duplicate their feat of setting both Men's and Women's One-Hour records on the same day at the Ford Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, two months earlier on Sunday July 19, 2009. Team Varna is the first HPV team to have both Men's and Women's Top Speed and One-Hour records. Georgi Georgiev, the builder of these wonderful Varna masterpieces, must be so proud!
    Note: only one other time has the Men's and Women's 200-meter record been set the same day at Battle Mountain. This was on Tuesday of the first year of the event 2000 - when Sam (72.41 mph) and Andrea Blaseckie (54.04 mph), Sam's wife, both set records, the first world records set at Battle Mountain.

    YANNICK LUTZ, 73.067 MPH, 117.590 KPH, ALTA¤R2
    PERSONAL BEST, stays at the 7th fastest cyclist in world spot, Fastest student-built vehicle ever, French Men's Record. No university built machine has ever gone over 70 mph before IUT Annecy - University of Savoie in France achieved this feat, five times now at Battle Mountain. Yannick is a 36-year old, experience recumbent rider, who is considered a "test pilot" for the bike, and can help improve its design with his feedback. He is currently taking graduate classes at the university and is managing a shop in his spare time. He is very strong rider, though as Philippe, their teacher has pointed out, IUT Annecy has a few students that are in national team, and 3 former students are actually road biking professionals and did the Tour de France 2009.

    ERIC WARE, 71.070 MPH, 114.377 KPH, Wedge
    Personal Best, Joins 70 mph plus club, becomes the 8th fastest cyclist in the World. Team Eric Ware, Mark Anderson and John Jackstone have made it a historic five riders to have topped 70 mph at one event at Battle Mountain! Participants and observers are happy for Eric and Mark Anderson, they came to Battle Mountain last year, and worked almost 20 hour days for six days straight and only got one run in with the top off. Now all that hard work has paid off! Their new Mueller Windwrap fairing head bubble too is working well.

    RON LAYMAN, 66.595 MPH, 107.175 KPH, Primal II
    Personal Best, joins 65+ mph club. Becomes 17th fastest cyclist ever. Ron is approximately 27 years old, an alumni of Cal Poly where he first began racing these form of speedbikes at Battle Mountain in 2004. he came agonizingly close to 60 mph with a 59.9 mph run that year. Last year he came back as an alumni and topped 60 mph 3 times. This year, he goes over 65 mph in a updated version of the Primal 1 he rode last year. The Primal II has the head bubble removed for a smaller frontal area. George and Carol Leone, advisers of the Cal Poly HPVs, are behind the design of Ron's last two bikes.

    ROB HITCHCOCK, 60.663 MPH, 97.627 KPH, Kyle Edge
    below his Personal best of 63.91 mph in 2006, but showing increasing speed as the competition continues one more day. Rob showed similar speed improvements that year as well. The Kyle Edge was designed by Matt Weaver in 1990s when he was just 24 years old. Eight years later Matt raced it to 78.02 mph in an infamous duel with Sam Whittingham at Battle Mountain 2001. Sam first exceeded 80 mph that year. This vehicle is still the 2nd fastest HPV in the world. It was designed to achieve laminar flow and uses a video camera for the rider to navigate.

    Mike Mowett
    IHPVA Records Committee
    Check out the world's fastest at
    http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/fastest_list.asp
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks VERY much for these updates!!! Some of us find this kind of riding interesting enough to "check out" & share with our buddies, but we don't "live it" like you kinda do.

    Just wanted to let you know it's appreciated!

    ~Roger

  17. #17
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist View Post
    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks VERY much for these updates!!! Some of us find this kind of riding interesting enough to "check out" & share with our buddies, but we don't "live it" like you kinda do.

    Just wanted to let you know it's appreciated!

    ~Roger
    Yeah, well... I've been around the recumbent/HPV world since high school, nearly 30 years now. It's kind of an obsession .

    Happily, I have a wife who facilitates my addiction:
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    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.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  19. #19
    Recumbent Ninja
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    yes these rigs are ultra-narrow. If I remember right, last year Sam squeezed himself into a shell that had been originally designed for Tanya Markham, and that lower profile made the difference. There is literally not enough room for your shoulders, and you have to roll them forward and squeeze them together. It's amazing to see them in person.

  20. #20
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Streamliners look bigger in pictures than they really are and are amazingly small, as are most of the riders/drivers.

    Even most velomobiles look a lot smaller in person than in pics. Must be a perception of the eye thing where we associate enclosed vehicles as being bigger.
    Dennis T

  21. #21
    Senior Member audi666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg View Post
    yes these rigs are ultra-narrow. If I remember right, last year Sam squeezed himself into a shell that had been originally designed for Tanya Markham, and that lower profile made the difference. There is literally not enough room for your shoulders, and you have to roll them forward and squeeze them together. It's amazing to see them in person.
    agreed. we built a bike for the last hpvc and one team there all rode the same clipless shoe because after the fairing was made, that the largest pedal stroke with shoe that would work.

  22. #22
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
    Streamliners look bigger in pictures than they really are and are amazingly small, as are most of the riders/drivers.

    Even most velomobiles look a lot smaller in person than in pics. Must be a perception of the eye thing where we associate enclosed vehicles as being bigger.
    I'm 6-foot-4. Around me, everything looks small. Last year Hans Wessels and Thomas van Schaik came from the Netherlands and rode the Speedhawk in the WHPSC. Hans is 6-foot-7 and Thomas is 6-foot-6. They made me feel right at home.
    Jeff Wills

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  23. #23
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    I'm 6-foot-4. Around me, everything looks small. Last year Hans Wessels and Thomas van Schaik came from the Netherlands and rode the Speedhawk in the WHPSC. Hans is 6-foot-7 and Thomas is 6-foot-6. They made me feel right at home.
    Are you in that pic of tall guys? I think the pic is over at the Wisil site. Yep, a bunch of tall ones!
    Dennis T

  24. #24
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I was surprised to read that the next generation of Team Varna bike will be directed by camera. The rider won't have a direct view of the road.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  25. #25
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    I'm not. Matt Weaver has already proven that one way to get more speed is to clean up aerodynamics by removing the windshield bubble.

    :)ensen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I was surprised to read that the next generation of Team Varna bike will be directed by camera. The rider won't have a direct view of the road.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

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