Last year Aerovelo broke a world record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge with a bike that hit 85.71 miles per hour (mph). This year they one upped themselves, smashing that record again – twice. Their Eta bike, powered by Todd Reichert, ultimately hit 89.59 mph this year, topping the time-traveling Delorean in the science fiction film Back to the Future.
The World Human Powered Speed Challenge took place in Battle Mountain, Nevada earlier this month from September 12 through September 17. Each day was filled with drama and excitement as the team battled challenges or achieved victories. During the first day, Monday, Eta began to speed wobble around fifty to sixty mph, and the team had to fix the issue with a rubber steering damper. Unfortunately the damper means it’s harder to get the bike going, but did fix the speed wobble.
The next day, Tuesday, heavy rains prevented the vehicles from running. On Wednesday conditions were better and Eta set a new record at 88.26 mph, more than the 88 mph required by the Delorean. Thursday’s run was uneventful but Eta only hit 87.6 mph, which although still better than last year’s record, didn’t draw the same excitement as the previous day. On Friday a bug splattered on the bike’s shield, ruining that run. The team had to add an “anti-bug coating.”
The team ended the challenge Saturday on a high note. The Eta set another record at the astounding speed of 89.59 mph. According to Aerovelo, “This was another massive leap in an event that had been fighting for 0.1 mph gains over the last decade. Breaking into this new range of speeds, Eta has truly earned its name and its title as the world’s most efficient vehicle.”
The Aerovelo team intends to continue work on the Eta with the goal of breaking even more records at the challenge next year.
Via New Atlas
Images via Aerovelo