147 MPH - Human Pedal Powered KHS Bicycle
A new woman's world record has been set at just 3 marks shy of 150 miles per hour.
Denise Muller recently pedaled her human powered bicycle up to 147 MPH. I know what you're thinking, it crossed my mind too...there has to be a motor hidden in her frame...or a near-invisible, super-strength, tow-line. Right? Nope. Muller did it on a motorless, KHS bicycle, under her own super-human power. If you're anything like me, you're probably starting to wonder where you might be able to pick up your 150 mph bicycle, but don't bother, it's not available off-the-shelf to mere mortals. Crazy as that might sound though, it sure would be cool. Here's how it all played out: First you need the gear configuration to power you up to a mere 147 miles per hour, (not even your Red Rider tricycle was capable of that). You'll need a pace car with a special wind tunnel, and a driver who can keep you within a few inches of the bumper as you accelerate up beyond speeds that most of us have never achieved encased in the shelter of our cars. At 90 miles per hour, you're dislodged from your pace car, with a set of 60-tooth chainrings, in a double reduction configuration, designed to supply massive amounts of torque—which all amounts to nothing if you don't have the super-powered legs to pedal it up from 90 to 147 mph. A lot can go wrong at this speed (Remember Anthony Hopkins on The World's Fastest Indian?
​After learning of Muller's record, I couldn't help but think about what it must have felt like to be pedaling a bicycle at over 100 miles per hour (never mind the insanity of her record setting pace), how much work she would have put into setting this amazing record, and the trust she had to have had in her pace-car driver. We've all had similar dreams when we were wee-little people—some just decide to let go of the dream. Regardless of it all, knowing that human's are capable of such amazing feats is a beautiful place for the imagination—no matter how old you. The sky's the limit.
Hats off Denise Mueller, you're an inspiration to all of us. It's amazing what can be done with a little bit of imagination, stick-too-it-tiveness. Mueller is planning future attempts to break the current men's land speed record, which was set in 1995 by Fred Rompleberg of the Netherlands and stands at 167 mph. To get those extra 20 mph and become the fastest person to ever ride a bicycle, Mueller's team Project Speed suspects they will need a six-mile track, two miles longer than the track they were working with at the salt flats.
The Bonneville Speedway is famous for its role in land speed record attempts for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bikes. The near-perfectly level salt flats provide a straight track for Mueller and her pace car to get up to speed without any twists, turns, or elevation changes. “Bonneville is a shrine of speed, the mecca of all things fast,” Mueller explains. “I’m an adrenaline junkie so I view the Land Speed Record as part of my destiny.” A great article here Velo News
Photo: Muller with Legendary John Howard (coach and 1985 land speed record holder at 152.2 MPH) and professional Auto racer Shea Holbrook (speed record pacer).
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Dear Reader: Who knows, maybe you're reading this right now, bewildered, and awe-struck at the thought that it was you, pedaling your Red Ryder tricycle as fast as your little legs would carry you, desperately attempting to keep up with the girl down the street who was always pedaling just a little bit faster. To learn more about Project Speed and Denise Muller go here.
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