Cyclist Neil Campbell just broke the European bicycle speed record by reaching 149.16 mph with the help of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo’s slipstream, Autoblog reports. To make matters even more impressive, Campbell beat his own record of 135 mph and plans to break the world record bicycle speed of 183.93 mph set by Denise Mueller-Korenek at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Sunday.
“All the time the Cayenne was right ahead of me, clearing the air—it was so stable,” said Campbell. “I look back on the pictures and think, ‘What was I thinking,’ but I was focused, I didn’t really take it all in. It’s an incredible feeling—to get to 149 mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected. We’re within touching distance of the world record.”
The Porsche, which was fitted with a rig providing Campbell with as much aerodynamic assistance without compromising safety, was driven by British drag racing champion Andy Frost. Campbell’s Moss Bikes bicycle, meanwhile, was fitted with special tires and interchangeable gears, in order to support and safeguard the cyclist throughout the stunt.
The slipstream is the area behind a moving object where the velocity of air is similar to that of the moving object. You can routinely see drivers take advantage of this physics phenomenon during Formula 1 races, for example. In this instance, having the Porsche Cayenne Turbo tow Campbell on his bicycle allowed him to release the bike once the vehicles reached 110 mph, and then use the slipstream to pedal his bike up to 149.16 mph.
The feat was accomplished using a British Moss Bikes bicycle comprised of carbon fiber and 3D-printed components, on a two-mile runway at an airfield in Yorkshire, England.
Frankly, this is a terrifyingly impressive accomplishment, and one Campbell will now have to work harder on if he wants to surpass Mueller-Korenek’s world record. Hopefully, he manages to keep the spirit of competition alive by safely adding another 35 mph to his European record, and thereby putting the ball back in Mueller-Korenek’s court.
Below is the European record-breaking event in action courtesy of Car Throttle Extra.
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