Originally Posted 28SEP15
Halfway through the week of the world human powered speed Challenge on the Thursday morning, we hit 69mph and broke the previous British Record of 67.37mph set by Rob English in 2002. We wanted more and knew that the bike could go faster but with only a few attempts left we were nervous about making it happen.
Thursday evening came along and the winds were high. I set off down the Battle Mountain course and felt unstable immediately. We’d not ridden in a cross headwind before and the Arion1 felt like a different bike.
2 miles in to the run I was at 55mph and started to catch some really big speed wobbles. I radio’d in and slowed down but it was all a bit late and at the 2.5mile mark I caught a hit a bump in the road and crashed.
I survived with only a few scratches and minor damage to the bike. That is if a snapped handlebar stem is considered minor. This meant a long night for the engineering team cleaning up my mess… Sorry guys! To their credit they worked through the night and made sure the bike was ready for our Friday morning runs.Friday didn’t go to plan and both runs came with either mechanical issues or high winds. We completed an emergency stop at 2.5 miles in one of them. This involved the chase car overtaking and lead engineer, Pat jumping out of it to catch me on his own.On Saturday morning we made the decision to switch to a more stable, but slower front tire. This meant that both me and dave got down the course with no issues and felt good for the final session that evening.The other rider, Dave Collins was up first on Saturday evening and pulled out his fastest time of the week, a huge 70.6mph. I found this out moments before starting my warmup so the pressure was on!We set off 25 minutes later in near perfect conditions knowing that this was our last chance. I gave it all I could with a crash in the back of my mind and went through the traps fairly confident of a 75mph run.
Celebrations begun immediately!
The only thing that could ruin the day now was an illegal wind reading. We didn’t find out until hours later at the awards ceremony.
The town sheriff presents everyone who broke 70mph with a speeding ticket. I left town without paying it so I’m not sure if that makes me a fugitive on the run or not!?
I also picked up a highly coveted 75mph hat:
Huge congratulations to everybody involved in the project for making it a success and a special thank you for selecting me to take part in this unique challenge. I’d love to come back next year to see if we can collect an 80mph hat! It’s been a pleasure spending time with you all and long may the Arion Project carry on rolling.Another thank you goes to all the project sponsors. Rathbones, Spokes of Bagshot, Body Type Nutrition. It wouldn’t of happened without your awesome support.