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Home > Magazine > Recumbent > New Bicycle Speed Record! -- 82+mph!

New Bicycle Speed Record! -- 82+mph!
September 22, 2008

Sam Wittingham just upped his old record to 82mph from 81mph in the 200 meter sprint in the homemade Varna "Diablo" streamliner. (See vids below!)

These kinds of records are set in recent years at Battle Mountain, Nevada, where the road is smooth, straight and flat for the necessary 5 miles it takes to wind-up to the top speeds.

It's interesting to me that even though these bikes look hightech, the fastest one was crafted by eye and by hand. Basically, none of these racers have access to such assets as windtunnels---but they do use threads taped to the exterior of their fairings to test for laminar flows.

Here's the homepage for the big event. Many bikes show up here each year to see what they can do. Those who break the various Big Barriers get special prizes on their way up. Any fast bike is a cool bike! www.recumbents.com/home.asp?URL=wisil/whpsc2008

You may recall that I've ridden in an HPV at 40mph---it was great fun!

Once you've ridden faired and low, it's hard to be satisfied on a bike going at slower speeds.

HPVs just take the wind out of the factor.

Some folks might think of these bikes as not being very useful, and sure Sam's is the extreme race bike, but he's been racing it for years now. You just hop in and off you go, like any bike. Kind of. You get taped in and pushed off when doing a record. But in general a faired bike can be easy to use---and even quite a bit more comfy than a regular bike. Hop in out of the elements, close the lid and away you go...faster and faster!

Anyway, check out these short vids of Sam's Big Run!

Speed...



A little of the action around the speed...



5 seconds, as seen from the timing table...



[photo courtesy of Jun Nogami]


Sam in his Varna at top speed. Pic from event homepage.

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