M Gee

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It's in inches, but here is a quote from John Howard:

“The drive ratio is 62:12, twice,” said John Howard, Mueller-Korenek’s coach, who once held the motor-paced record himself at 152 mph back in 1985. “That’s roughly 488 inches, or approximately 128 feet per revolution. She’s traveling nearly 130 feet every time she turns those cranks. It’s pretty mind-boggling.”

That's 12.3952 meters per wheel revolution. A 52x11 gearing, with a 700x28 tire would be approximately 9.34 meters. So it's not all THAT different. Somebody calculate the cadence she needed, wouldya?[2]

I can kinda understand not being particularly excited over such a feat. I know there is something about tow-in big wave surfing that kinda turns me off. Except once they catch that wave . . . Both situations, though are highly risky.

BTW, John Howard built up a pretty trick bike to set the land speed record at Bonneville himself, some years back. For those who don't know of him, he was one of the first in that generation of American riders that, shortly after John, included Greg Lemond, Davis Phinney, Bob Roll, etc.[3]

Yeah, it's a paced effort, so it's not like dropping a bigger engine on a bike to bust through the wind. There is something of a pocket the rider has to stay in. The pushing effect is not that great, and would be more like a nudge to get back into the pocket of dead air.  I have to think if the rider fell off pace much, though, the turbulence behind that pocket could be enough to destabilize the rider and knock them right down.

A lot of the effort is just building a bicycle that can do the feat. At those speeds, any normal bike would be a disaster. Tires would be gone, stability would be non-existent. They'd be so twitchy at that speed a rider would crash long before getting up there.

So, yeah, it's not like an hour record, where the rider has to have the right engine AND the right mental discipline. I'd say it still requires a lot of both, though. Any deviance in the effort could spell a lot of broken bones. The French guy that did this in '95 broke 24 bones in one attempt that ended in a crash.

 1. from Bicycling
 2. I've got to get working!
 3. John Howard, Wikipedia
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  • « Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 16:40 by M Gee, Reason: spelling »
    . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .


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