Over a decade ago, Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree broke records with his bicycle he called Old Faithful. The handlebars for the bike sat right under the rider's chest, which gave it aerodynamic advantages. The advantages were so great, that after Obree's victory in 1993, the position of the handlebars was banned.
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Obree set about designing a new bike and with it, hopes to be the first man to break the 100 mph record for a human-powered vehicle. (The current IHPVA land speed record is 82.81 9mph, held by Canadian Sam Whittingham.) Obree's bike, named Beastie, has a compact front and a slim width, and unlike standard
bikes, is not pedaled by foot using a circular motion but
powered using a push and pull method. The design keeps the rider's knees from having to dip, which aids in aerodynamics. In addition, the bike has skin. Obree worked with
the Glasgow School of Art to create a clear cover to encase the rider and make him resemble an engine.
Originally, Obree set his sights on this year's International Human Powered Vehicle Association event in Battle Mountain, Nev, which is being held from Sept. 10 to 15. But, according to Obree's website, the bike isn't ready for prime time. A statement says, "This is disappointing but we have had technical issues in particular with regard to the fairing construction. We are not 100 percent happy with what we have and do not want to travel to Battle Mountain with any part of The Beastie unsatisfactory."
While the bike isn't ready for this year's event, Obree and his team are planning to attend a future speed event in the U.K. to try and break the record in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
via Humans Invent
Credit: Graeme Obree