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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One Gear, One Goal: Bike Is 'Good To 100 MPH,' Builder Says [@NPRNews]


What does it take to ride a bicycle at 100 miles per hour? That's the question being explored by Britain's Donhou Bicycles and frame builder Tom Donhou, who has mounted a mammoth chainring onto a custom bicycle. He says the steel machine has already hit 60 miles per hour on the open road.
Update At 3:30 p.m. ET: No Record At Stake. As our readers remind us, bicycles have previously reached 100 miles per hour. For instance, Jose Meiffret passed that mark in 1962, paced by a car on Germany's Autobahn. And in 1995, Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelbergreached 167 mph while using a top-fuel dragster to pace him at Bonneville Salt Flats.
While our original post didn't report that Donhou was trying to set a new world record, we've revised parts of the text to emphasize that it is his use of fairly common materials, on a hand-built bike, that captured our interest. Our original post continues:
The project began as a daydream, says Donhou, in notes accompanying the bike's display at the recent Bespoked Bristol show.
"Where I come from there's a lot of old air fields and air bases from the Second World War — long flat straight pieces of tarmac," he says. With an interest in land speed racing, he decided to build a fast bike, take it to an airstrip, "and see what kind of motorpaced speeds we could reach."

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