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New Human-Powered World Hour Record

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the astounding-impressive-feats dept.

257

jesterpilot writes "Last weekend, the limit of human propulsion was pushed another kilometer. At the 2006 Dempsey-MacCready One Hour Record Attempts on the Nissan track in Arizona, Fred Markham set a new World Hour Record by cranking 85,4 km in a fully faired recumbent bicycle. This is about 1 km more than Sam Whittinghams 2004 record. Noting Fred's age of fifty years, it seems the boundaries of human propulsion are not even close yet. Read a report of the decisive runs on Rob English' diary."

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Oh yeah? (0)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652292)

Just wait until they start feeding these guys beans beforehand!

Wow! (1)

dubmun (891874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652307)

That is one buff old man!

However... only one extra Km/per hour? I'm not sure how newsworthy an event this is.

Re:Wow! (5, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652409)

Your talking about human power vehicle. It's not like we humans are updated with new engines with a few more horsepower every year:/

Recumbent bikes are cool and faster than regular bikes because the legs are set up near the chest if you look at it horizontally (the long way) and cut down on wind resistance dramatically even without wind flairs and all that.

And they have been setting records for years but unfortunately they have been banned by the UIC (they define the standard bike as a bike). It is said a mediocre (professional) cyclist could beat someone like Armstrong in a normal one day race due to the inherent advantages of the recumbent.

According to the wiki:
Then on 7 July 1933 at a Paris velodrome, Faure rode a Velocar 45.055 km (27.9 miles) in one hour, smashing an almost 20-year-old hour record held by Oscar Egg. Since the one hour record was one of the most important in all of cycling, that accomplishment attracted a great deal of attention. Less than two months later, on 29 August 1933, Maurice Richard, riding an upright bicycle, also bettered Egg's one hour record.

When the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) met in February, 1934, manufacturers of upright bicycles lobbied to have Faure's one-hour record declared invalid. On 1 April 1934, the UCI published a new definition of a (racing) bicycle that specified how high the bottom bracket could be above the ground, how far it could be in front of the seat and how close it could be to the front wheel. The new definition effectively banned recumbents from UCI events and guaranteed that upright bicycles would not have to compete against recumbents. For all intents and purposes, the ban is still in effect.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle [wikipedia.org]

I wanted a recumbent for years (long wheel base) but because of their low production, they tend to be more expensive, are also heavier, and most look funny.

There are some damn fine looking ones but they cost $$$$, like the Calfee Stiletto, which incidently was codesigned by Calfee and the guy in the article Freddy Markham before the two had a falling out:

http://www.rbr.info/calfee.html [rbr.info]

BTW, Markham is known as the Armstrong of recumbents. Getting a record at his age is a surprise, but will add to his legend.

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652507)

Allowing recumbents in road racing would entirely change the nature of the sport. When riding an "upright" bicycle, riding behind close behind another competitor requires about 1/3 less effort. (Sheltering.)

However, nobody is stupid enough just to let everyone else sit on their wheel for a 200Km race. Instead echelons are formed where riders take turn in front, doing their share of the work. Eventually break groups form, and hopefully the smaller group can organize better and gain an advantage.

Of course, if you're in a break group with all your own teammates, organizing isn't a problem. But most of the time you're with competitors. So you have to work *with* your opponents, yet still beat them. This leads to all sorts of interesting tactics.

If road racing turned to recumbents, such tactics would virtually disappear due to the shelter advantage being reduced to minimal. It would, in essence, become a mass start time trial instead of a road race as we know it today.

This is why the UCI does not allow recumbents: It'd be a different sport.

Re:Wow! (3, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652957)

When riding an "upright" bicycle, riding behind close behind another competitor requires about 1/3 less effort. (Sheltering.)

It's called "Drafting" and is known to every racing fan and bicycle enthusiast I have ever met.

As for the recumbents not drafting, that's not true. While the bonus may be reduced slightly, there would still be an incentive to draft. Drafting works no matter what kind of vehicle you are in.

What the UCI could do is set up a different league for recumbent racing. Keep the two seperate, such as NASCAR with trucks and cars.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653784)

It's called "sheltering" with the cyclist I race and train with.

Re:Wow! (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653277)

So... you're saying cycling races are only interesting because of a major design flaw in upright bicycles, and that flaw must be preserved to keep the sport going?

That's fine - who's for setting up a URCI?

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653544)

Also note that it's far, far more difficult to go uphill on a recumbent (perhaps due to different muscles being actuated or the inability to get out of the saddle to produce the surge of watts that might be necessary). Recumbent riders ALWAYS get dropped on any climb.

-- n

Re:No F*cking Way (4, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653631)

If road racing turned to recumbents, such tactics would virtually disappear due to the shelter advantage being reduced to minimal. It would, in essence, become a mass start time trial instead of a road race as we know it today.

There is not a grain of truth in any of this.

1. The UCI has a strong sense of tradition that lead it to quickly ban things that don't look like a bike Lemond, Merckx (sp) Gimondi (keep going back...) rode. Recall that the time trial bars in Lemond's era were a controversy and are strictly limited to time trial efforts. National organizations usually follow the UCI at the national level with regional events offering greater flexibility.

2. Like all competitive events, racing equipment is designed to a specification first. Innovation has a tough time making it through any way. Pick your sport, F1, Nascar, Bicycle racing. They all have detailed equipment specs.

3. Wind resistance is the still there if you are sitting in a canopy or not. It will still be the same style of racing. Relatively flat events usually end in a mass sprint. Hilly events usually end up with a tiny lead group and the rest come straggling in for 1+ hours afterwards. Recumbents would make everything faster on average, but that's about it.

OT
What's sad is a competitive amateur (Cycling USA ranked racer) can't go near recumbents for fear of being shunned from the amateur/pro sport. Then you'd see some amazing times. I'm not sure how people would take to racing recumbents as an organized sport, but if Nascar can attract viewers maybe recumbents can if they can simplify some of the race formats.

Re:No F*cking Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653741)

Sorry dude, I grew up in a road racing family, and have been racing since 14 myself. (Now 32.) Recumbents would *totally* change road racing.

Re:Wow! (4, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652558)

I don't know how handy you are, but you could consider making a 'bent.
Take a look at Atomic Zombie's [atomiczombie.com] webpages: everything from reasonable recumbents to front-wheel-drive pure-racing designs, all made from scrap bikes and electrical conduit, welded with a cheap arcwelder. If you're willing to invest more time and energy you can build some superb designs. With my projects, I buy reasonable low-end bikes (shimano exage-level components) from local thrift stores, usually for under $40 for a complete bike, and use those partskits to outfit frames. (You do have to buy lots and lots of bike chain, usually new, since splicing used chain rarely works very well.)

Anyway, Atomic Zombie also has a book [amazon.co.uk] in which he goes into considerable detail about the design/construction of thirty or so different bikes. I have friends that have built most of them, and several of the people had never welded before building their first strange bikes. You can get a cheap AC welder from the likes of Harbor Freight & Salvage for way under $100.

Re:Wow! (1)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653074)

Very cool. Thanks for the link!

Re:Wow! (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653290)

Absolutely. If you have any questions that I can't answer, I know people who can. Email me -- I believe it's on my user info page -- and I can try and hook you up. Personally, I tig-weld stuff, but I know plenty of people who use cheap buzzboxes to build things. Take a look at www.livejournal.com/users/crazybikes to see some other stupid bike projects.
The book is worth the price.
And let me tell you what: you have never felt so cool as the first time you take out a strange, obviously custom bike you built, and shriek down a road like you're late to your awards ceremony.

Re:Wow! (1)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653726)

Allow me to also recommend http://www.autospeed.com/cms/A_2936/article.html [autospeed.com] from an Australian automotive site. The author is attempting to build a recumbent human-powered vehicle from scratch. So far he's detailed frame design, prototyped front and rear suspension, all the while explaining his selections and describing alternatives. Even if you are not excited by cars, the site is worth a look for articles such as the recumbent bike, and general tech articles about making things, or re-using junked technology to make other cool stuff.

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

jesterpilot (906386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652704)

I wanted a recumbent for years (long wheel base) but because of their low production, they tend to be more expensive, are also heavier, and most look funny.

Why not a short wheel based? They are lighter, faster and especially the dutch ones like Challenge [challengebikes.com] or Optima [optima-cycles.nl] don't particulary look funny.

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

Two99Point80 (542678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653710)

There is a lot of development work going on amongst the riders of "Crank Forward" bikes such as this one [ransbikes.com] . One applies greater force to the pedals by pulling on the handlebars, it's possible to tuck (albeit in a jacknife position), and some models also allow standing. The main attractions, though, are the comfort and convenience. Many owners also report feeling substantially younger :-)

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652772)

You don't see F1 cars racing in the NASCAR (or CART or LeMans or SCCA or German Touring Car Championships) circuits. Similarly, UCI's races are limited to upright bicycles.

What's the problem?

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652829)

That's not true. Recumbents are faster on flat road and more aero-dynamic but try climbing hills with them. With a normal bike you can stand up and push if you really need to. A recumbent doesn't have room for that extra push. A recumbent won't have much of an advantage, if not a disadvantage, in something with mountains like the Tour de France.

Re:Wow! (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653236)

I've heard this stated many times, but I don't believe it is true. Humans can clearly apply more force than their body weight (I can lift a feather above my head without my legs collapsing) so standing on the pedals at most gets you some dynamic force at the cost of extra stabilisation. On the other hand, a recumbent allows you to push directly between the pedals and the seat (in most designs) allowing your leg muscles to deliver their maximum force.

In the great victorian bike ride recumbents seem to do very well (but that may be selection bias). You can also go to lower gears on a trike recumbent without loss of balance.

Perhaps someone out there has done the experiement (mythbusters?).

Re:Wow! (1)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653572)

As noted in my other post (ugh, making myself -1 redundant), I've noticed that recumbent riders ALWAYS, yes, ALWAYS get dropped on climbs. While this isn't by any means proof (perhaps recumbent riders just suck more and don't produce the watts/kg as the cyclists they're riding with), it does support the statement that recumbents don't fare well on climbs.

-- n

Re:Wow! (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653358)

I'd have to somewhat disagree with that.
For one thing: you can push *far* more than your body weight on a recumbent because you can push against the seat. I legpress something like 500 pounds and I can put that all into a recumbent's pedals -- so that's not the reason 'bents are slower on the climbs.
Secondly, the climbs are slow, but the downhills, well, there's just no comparison. In the Tour de France, you're cornering-limited on many of the descents, but on longer more open descents a 'bent can double the speed of a traditional on the descent. You run out of gearing in a hurry in either case -- rarely are bikes geared for over 40 mph -- so after that it's all a matter of air resistance, and that's where 'bents really shine. I don't know that it's clear that they do as much better on downhills as they lose on uphills, but on any realistic course they certainly do vastly better than an upright bike. In the Race Across America, the best upright bikes are doing about 8 days to cross the US, while the 'bents are down in the 6 day range.

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

Fess_Longhair (695896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653629)

And they have been setting records for years but unfortunately they have been banned by the UIC (they define the standard bike as a bike). It is said a mediocre (professional) cyclist could beat someone like Armstrong in a normal one day race due to the inherent advantages of the recumbent.

Unlikely, even if you had a clone of Armstrong riding the recumbent. Road races take place on rolling terrain, and involve acceleration tactics. Recumbants lose their efficiency uphill because you can't change position on the bike to exploit different muscle groups. Tactics involve a lot of short burst acceleration followed by recovery. The recumbant advantage is due to sustained power, not sprinting.

Re:Wow! (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652417)

A record is a record. I doubt you are going to see a doubling of that number any time soon. About the only way to accomplish this would be some serious genetic engineering. Given the limits of human ouptut, it is likely that we are approaching a not-too-distant upper limit.

Re:Wow! (1)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653090)

You get a bicycle computer to go on your handlebars, and set it to record "average speed". As you learn to ride, your average will be quite low. It might take months to pass 14 mph average, it will seem like you are flying along, running very fast to get that kind of average. 16 mph average? Almost impossible. You will have to take every advantage, not missing a trick.
Usually, you will want to ride around at least 25-30 miles a day. It's harder if you go straight down a long road, it's more fun and you develop more overall power if you go through residential streets, with some hills, where you can coast down, after huffing and puffing up the hills. Helps to have some dogs chase you. Get going fast and outrun them by sheer power. Good training.
So, a small increase in "average speed" is really very hard to come by when you get above 14 mph.
Side benefit: You'll lose a lot of weight.

World Hour Record? (4, Funny)

stjobe (78285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652312)

New World Hour Record - Now With 61 minutes!

Re:World Hour Record? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652316)

Nah, we had one of those at the end of last december.

Re:World Hour Record? (1)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652445)

wasn't it 60:01 instead?
it's a leap second, not a leap minute.

Re:World Hour Record? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652461)

...oh yeah :-p

Worst Slashdot Headline this Hour (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652318)

For crying out loud, that doesn't even make sense!

Fear! (3, Funny)

Nethead (1563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652321)

Being a computer bound, lazy geek, this scares the crap out of me!

Street Races from Fast & Furious? (0)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652322)

So is this kinda like that street race out in the middle of the desert that we saw in Fast & the Furious? Only with bikes?

Way cool (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652332)

I know fast freddy, or at least I've met the guy. I met him at Calfee in Santa Cruz, Calfee makes "the best" carbon fiber diamond-frames. He was getting ready to move over to Easy Racers, whose bikes have set numerous human-powered land speed records. They even sell one of those designs, the Gold Rush, to consumers. It's way sexy for a bicycle. Another friend of mine works for them, designing and prototyping bicycles, and doing side work on electric bicycles. Very cool stuff.

Re:Way cool (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652357)

Freddy was associated with Easy Racers for years. He did some work with Calfee but ended that relationship a couple years ago. He has since returned to Easy Racers as one of the owners, having purchased the company, with a partner, after Gardner Martin passed.

His success in setting this record is a real triumph, and gives me, as another relative codger, hope.

Re:Way cool (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652382)

Freddy was associated with Easy Racers for years. He did some work with Calfee but ended that relationship a couple years ago. He has since returned to Easy Racers as one of the owners, having purchased the company, with a partner, after Gardner Martin passed.

Yeah, I wasn't familiar with the extent to which he was involved with calfee. I think it was more than a couple years ago that I saw him there, when he was then supposedly breaking up with 'em. I know he's been involved with easy racers for the long term.

I hadn't, however, heard that he had co-purchased the company. That's great, because people were worried what was going to happen what with Ms. Martin in control - whether it would be sold off to some larger company, or what have you, destroying the work environment.

Re:Way cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652485)

Did a search on google [google.com] and I found them here [google.com] . Thanks

Geezer Power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652343)

You kids get off my lawn by cracky!

--
Fred Markham

as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652359)

As I point out to my wife, unless you live more than 12 miles from work or are in tremendously horrible shape... cycling smokes all other forms of transpo...

12 miles seems to be the magic traffic versus bike # from my casual watching...

but when they finally get the aero recombant marketable... maybe that will change to 20.

Cars are wierd... not usre why people use them so much...they make you fat...

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652468)

Ah, yes. Why, when I lived in Minnesota, I rode my bike to work all year round. Three months out of the year I arrived at work soaked head to toe. The other nine months I had to ride uphill both ways in snow up to my pedals, but it was faster than car, by cracky!

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (1)

ForteTuba (658340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652745)

Funny, I live in Minnesota, and I do bike to work year round. More in the summer, but sometimes in the winter. It's not that bad on a nice brisk 25-degree day if the roads are clear, the wind low, and you have the right clothes (and attitude).

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652848)

It's not that bad on a nice brisk 25-degree day if the roads are clear, the wind low, and you have the right clothes (and attitude).

Great! Under perfect conditions you can ride your bike to work. Why on earth would anyone *ever* drive to work, then? It's almost as if there is no reason at all!

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (3, Informative)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653478)

Cars are wierd... not usre why people use them so much...they make you fat...

Because:

*You sweat (not good for dating/going to work)
*No place to store your groceries (or for the slashdot crowd, taking your rig to a lan party)
*No place for the girlfriend to sit
*No air conditioning
*Sun
*Rain

Need i say more?

Re: Groceries (4, Interesting)

TheStonepedo (885845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653789)

Sweat:
You will sweat if you leave for work with a ride that takes at least 40 minutes and give yourself 40 minutes to arrive at your destination. If you time your ride such that you don't have to hammer up hills and race between traffic lights and stop signs you can ride in most weather without sweating.
Trunk Space:
Most road bicycles (there's no good reason to ride mountain bike sized wheels and knobby tires on pavement) can be equipped with rear and front racks. With a pannier on each side of the rack, you can add more weight than you'd be willing to carry walking. Add a backpack and you're a big rig. If you don't want to put your 30 inch CRT on the rear rack, you could always pick up a gaming laptop with the money you've saved over a year or two in fuel and car maintenance.
Girlfriend:
Are you sure you're a geek? Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but second best is buying your woman a nice bicycle she can ride next to you. If you're the old-fashioned, dominant type you can get a tandem bicycle and make her ride behind you, serving merely as a means to get more power. If she's the new-fashioned, dominant type you can get a tandem bicycle and let her steer while forcing you to ride stoker.
A/C and Sun:
If you're going to work in the morning, the angle of the Sun in the sky is probably low enough that a little sunscreen will keep you from burning. If you ride outdoors frequently you'll become better accustomed to the heat and humidity and not find the lack of air conditioning to be so awful.
Rain:
It is not easy to bicycle with an umbrella, however the same full-body rainsuits that can be rolled into tiny little bags for backpacking work when cycling. If you can keep your work clothes at work, who is going to care if you arrive a little wet with time to dry and dress?

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (2, Interesting)

fossa (212602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653481)

I think a big part of it is social stigma. I had considered biking to work before, but didn't really take the plunge until after a move when my new cycling enthusiast neighbor suggested it. My commute is about six miles and five or ten minutes slower than by car; I'm lucky to live close and have a low traffic route to work. I'm also lucky to have a shower and a locker at work, and the weather here is fairly nice year round (summers are a cool 70 in the morning even if 85-95 by midday; winters don't often dip below 15 degF; snow is rare). Aside from all the technical aspects in my favor, I get the feeling that bicycle commuters are a bit odd. I don't feel any animosity from others, but I do feel a little "oh, you're one of *those* people" (well, occasionally immature-types have yelled insults from their cars, but this is fairly rare). Also the bicycle commuters themselves can often be offputting. Our corporate website includes a cycling section written by bike commuters, and one of the first tips is "What to wear: or why jeans are a bad idea" which goes on to suggest the traditional tight-fitting cycling gear that professional racers wear, yet fails to explain exactly why jeans are bad. Chaffing is the reason I assume, but I personally commute in jeans with no problems. The website caters to the "cool kids" or fairly hardcore bikers with expensive road bikesand gear and not more casual cyclists such as myself. I'm hoping to help improve this somewhat during my tenure as employee, but who knows how many people it has put off?

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653518)

Cars are wierd... not usre why people use them so much...they make you fat...

Although not speaking from personal experience(can't be bothered to get a driver's license), here's a couple of reasons to prefer a car over a bike, be it recumbent or not.
- Dress: suits and bicycles don't mix, no matter the weather. Rain and snow are self-evident, too much heat causes one to arrive at work all sweaty.
- Flexibility: even though work might be close, one might have to pack up and leave for another location somewhere halfway the working day.
- Status: people seem to think it's funny to take a bike, well, outside Holland and China anyway.

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (1)

funkdancer (582069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653603)

Yep bikes are the way to go. Mine's got a 600cc engine and the words "Suzuki GSXR" stamped on it's yellow 2004 fairing. Beats the traffic every day.

(I also like to pushbike but with all the traffic down Hoddle Street, Melbourne, Victoria there's so much pollution I'm wondering about the health benefits and showering when arriving at work also adds a lot to my travel time. I usually go to the gym in my lunch breaks so not quite your average fat IT bloke...)

Re:as alwasy...bikes are still faster than cars.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653755)

> cycling smokes all other forms of transpo...

I live 5 yards from work - I don't think that the bike would navigate the stairs.

Spice it up (1, Funny)

elessar12 (952713) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652362)

Started to read article... low tech.. *snore* Now if they had a small computer running windows media edition with the rider's peddeling powering it - then it would be an interesting read! Still, they are in better shape than I hope to be.

Re:Spice it up (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652456)

Actually, another bike Easy Racers was working on for this challenge had two little screens and two little cameras, the idea being to allow the rider to lay completely prone (feet first) and minimize frontal area, thus drag.

For us using the english system. (4, Informative)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652378)

For those of us that are used to the english system: 85.4 kph = 53.0650998 mph

I don't think I average that on my drive to work.

You mean the American/Imperial system (2, Informative)

jpardey (569633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652449)

The English use SI, as far as I know.

Re:You mean the American/Imperial system (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652459)

My mistake, it's been a long day. :)

Re:You mean the American/Imperial system (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652487)

We use imperial for some things. Mainly speed and distance on the road, which makes the grandparent post very relevant, and the sale of beer and milk. Pretty much everything else is metric, though a lot of older people still prefer imperial measurements.

Re:You mean the American/Imperial system (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653140)

Don't forget:

beer: in imperial pints
body weight: in stone
Body height: in feet and inches

Re:For us using the english system. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652504)

English System? You yanks are about the only people left who use miles..

Re:For us using the english system. (2, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652590)

My work commute is 31 miles by car, 34 by bike. It takes me 48-65 minutes by car, and 80-95 minutes by bike. And that's a long, long commute with much of it out on country roads. Back when I was going to college 17 miles from where I lived, given the parking situation on campus and my ability to ride my bike directly to the lecture halls, it was *significantly* faster to ride than drive, like 40 minutes door-to-door on the bike and almost an hour by car.
(note I was a pretty serious bike racer and wasn't dawdling along at 15 or 18 mph; I usually average about 23-25 when I'm out riding. That's not the case for people who don't really enjoy hurting a lot. Plus side: at those speeds, ya burn something like 1000 calories an hour. It's pretty nice to be able to eat a whole quart of ice cream for dessert almost every night and not worry about gaining weight.)

and for those using the popular press system: (1)

mapmaker (140036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652871)

This is less than one Library of Congress per minute.

Weird Phrasing (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652386)

"Fred Markham set a new World Hour Record by cranking 85,4 km in a fully faired recumbent bicycle."

My amazing math and reasoning skills lead me to believe that he therefore had an average speed of 85.4 km/h (~53 mph for those using the imperial system). Rather impressive for a human powered vehicle (and for a one hour time interval).

Re:Weird Phrasing (2, Interesting)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652552)

it's the usual phrasing for that certain kind of bicycle speed record.

i wonder if this one is standing start or flying start.

Re:Weird Phrasing (2, Informative)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652707)

i wonder if this one is standing start or flying start.

"The world's fastest bicycles, known as "Speedbikes" will converge at the Nissan Technical Center North America outside Casa Grande, Arizona June 30 and July 1-2, 2006 to compete for the $25,000 Dempsey-MacCready Prize, for the first Speedbike to travel 56 miles (90 K) in one hour from a standing start." from http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/racing2006/dempsey 2006.htm [recumbents.com] :)

Re:Weird Phrasing (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653173)

Just FYI, km is written with a lowercase k and a lowercase m. 'K' is a unit of temperature.

Re:Weird Phrasing (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653597)

If I could kindly direct your attention to the quotations marks and the reference at the end of the quotation, you'll find that I am not the author of that mistake.

P.S. I grew up using the metric system, and through formal education am well versed in the SI system, so I hardly need lecturing on the matter. :)

Re:Weird Phrasing (1)

Schwarzchild (225794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653207)

What's weird about it? It's the distance the rider can cover in one hour.

Just for comparison (5, Interesting)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652403)

World class elite athletes are doing about 31mph ~ 50kph (1 hour, outdoors) in individual time trials on upright bikes (non faired TT/Tri bikes). It's pretty much entirely the aerodynamic efficiency of the low/faired enclosure that is giving the recumbents such a huge speed difference over an hour in these record attempts.

The guys powering these things aren't couch potatoes either.

Re:Just for comparison (1)

Esben (553245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652710)

The top riders in the Tour have sustained power output over 500 watts. I used to be fairly good at racing but not anywhere near the elite, I could do 350 watts, maybe a little bit more. I wonder in what range these recumbents guys are? The 350-400 watts range would probably be a good guess.

What? (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652419)

85,4 km?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652452)

I'm guessing the submitter is european (the comma is used in decimals).

Re:What? (2, Informative)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652483)

World Hour Record. That's how far he went in one hour. Divide the distance by the time and you get the rate (85.4km/h).

And if that's not the answer to your question, could you provide more information next time?

Re:What? (3, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652767)

Some countries use a comma instead of a period to represent a decimal point. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_point [wikipedia.org]

Dot countries

Countries where a dot is used to mark the radix point include:

        Australia, Botswana, Canada (English-speaking), China, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong of the People's Republic of China, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea (both North and South), Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Perú, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States (including insular area of Puerto Rico)

Comma countries

Countries where a comma is used to mark the radix point include:

        Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada (French-speaking), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Faroes, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg (uses both separators officially), Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

"Real" world record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652429)

Just imagine how fast he could have finished if he was chased by dogs.

Re:"Real" world record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652479)

Or a shark with frikkin lasers.

Re:"Real" world record (1)

chgros (690878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652982)

Just imagine how fast he could have finished if he was chased by dogs.
At that speed, no dog could have followed him.

Re:"Real" world record (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653532)

A greyhound could have come pretty close.

What is with the formatting? (-1, Offtopic)

kbolino (920292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652471)

Did the person who submitted this have a serious affliction for Standard English usage?

"82.4 km" not "82,4 km" (which is about 51.2 miles, something people living in the country that contains Arizona would be more familiar with)
"Sam Wittingham's record" not "Sam Wittinghams record"
"Rob English's diary" not "Rob English' diary"
"are not even close yet" should probably be "have not even been met yet" or something like that

The point of having editors is to edit, not just to copy and paste.

Re:What is with the formatting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652499)

Mods are gonna own you. :D

Re:What is with the formatting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652525)

"82.4 km" not "82,4 km"

Says you. Some places use commas for the decimal separator you know. For instance Norway, where I happen to be right now. The . that is usually on the keypad is a , here. It's sometimes quite annoying...

(which is about 51.2 miles, something people living in the country that contains Arizona would be more familiar with)

True. The submitter might be Dutch though, as one of the links goes to a .de domain. (This theory I think would fit in with the use of , as the decimal separator.)

But you're spot on when it comes to the others.

German not Dutch... (1)

Burning Plastic (153446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653485)

.de is the country code for Germany...

in teh 70s..... (2, Funny)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652509)

...I got pulled over for *speeding* in a 45 (IIRC, zogheimerz now) zone on my ten speed, an old varsity I had worked on. Radar gun had me at 70(that I remember), downhill of course. The cop and me were both laffin like crazy, he's like "boy, you know how fast you wuz goin?" I'm like "nope, but it sure was fun passin them cars!". No ticket, I got a "warning"...

Glad to see a boomer break another record! yaaaa US!1!!1leben

Re:in the late 90s..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652617)

I used to be able to do 35 on flat ground on my mountain bike, yet somehow that wasn't enough for some drivers. I still got honked at, flipped off, passed, and cut off because I rode in the middle of the right-hand lane like a real vehicle. I always wanted to get pulled over for speeding in a 30mph zone, but alas...

Re:in the late 90s..... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653100)

If drivers were flipping you the bird while you biked 35 in a 30 zone, you should have just thrown a brick at them or something. Not only had you been biking crazy fast, you did it with a brick on you. Naturally, you abandoned the brick to gain some extra speed, so that you could *prevent* road rage :)

It is fun going down a hill at 45ish on a bike though. Not quite as much when you start applying brakes and hear this horiffic grinding noise, realizing your brake pads just wore through to the metal bits that hold the rubber. Ah... fifth grade.

Re:in the late 90s..... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653553)

That's pretty good with a fat tired bike! That bike I had at the time wasn't stock, only the frame(real dang heavy compared to today's bikes) because I liked soft metal, regular carbn steel, so I could bend it back to shape if needs be. Everything else was custom/expensive/tweaked. I would tune the wheels so the weight of the stem would make it rock after release from on top (bike in a rack) for around 5 minutes or so. I'd even mike the wheel and crank bearings and choose from a big pile to get balance and size closer.

    The bikes you can get now I am *amazed* with, they are outstanding.

Re:in teh 70s..... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653005)

Sorry, what does "zogheimerz" mean? Babelfish isn't too helpful on the translation, it comes up as "pulling home ore" when translating German->English.

Re:in teh 70s..... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653496)

my nick combined with alzheimers to create a made up word that fit in with the "IIRC" part. I can't remember if that stretch of road was 45 or 55 now, either way was passing cars fast. I *do* remember the 70 part, *precisely* because I knew years later-like now-I would get a chance to tell the story. I mean, how many bicyclists get pulled over by a cop car for speeding?

Not sure I believe that -50 MPH maybe, 70 - no way (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653142)

Now unless your numbers were in Kilometer/hour, I'm doubting you. Why? cause the fastest I've gone on a steep paved hilly road around a ski resort was 51.5 MPH on my bikes computer. My friend hit 53.5 on some mountain road where they give out stickers that say your car was able to make it up the mountain.

Anything over 50MPH on a road bike is scary, besides not being able to pedal any faster after 45.

Anyone else with any reasonable bike numbers out there for confirmation?

70MPH (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653477)

I was passing cars *fast*, riding down the center line betwen the two lanes. t-totally completely bonkers nuts. Was going to work, it was around 7 long twisty miles downhill to work (you know, more or less descending), then in the afternoon an terrible 7 mile climb back home when I was already tired from working in an orchard all day. I was laid down over the bars, tucked in for that run, I did it every day but usually I braked some and stayed in my lane, that day I just went for it,you know how you just get feeling *good* ands things are flowing smooth? In the groove? whatever the saying is now. I just went for it zooooom! big fun! It was the cops radar gun, you'd have to question him, he said 70, but I think it was the second fastest I have ridden on a bike. I hit another LONG hill once with little traffic and built up a dang good clip, again, passing cars in the middle. I was a biking fiend back then, and shortly after the radar incident I moved and opened a bicycle shop, were I also built one of the first prototype "mountain bikes", although it wasn't called that then and there weren't any for sale anyplace..

Anyay, it's my story from my youth and I am sticking to it! Got a few more stupid human tricks I fortunately lived through,. another time perhaps...

For more information about recumbents. (4, Informative)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652538)

I am a bent (short for recumbent) rider. I ride a longbikes Slipstream. (IMHO the most comfortable long-distance touring bikes on the planet) I would like to clear up some possible misunderstandings that might exist.

Not all Bents are fast, just as all uprights are not fast. The speed you can get on a bent is largely dependant on your engine.
After riding 100+km (62+miles) on a bent nothing hurts. Compare that to an upright.
If you suffer from wrist, neck, bum, or genital pain after spending ANY amount of time on an upright, I strongly suggest you investigate recumbents.
I strongly recommend browsing http://bentrideronline.com/ [bentrideronline.com] It is a goldmine of information.

Bring the joy back to cycling, get bent.

Re:For more information about recumbents. (3, Interesting)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652694)

I live in Vancouver, B.C. I looked at recumbents, but found them to be a little pricy for something I wasn't fully committed to. My last tour on a mountain bike took me over 6000 km over plus 4 months. I crossed the rockies, went down south through the Cypress hills and across Canada to Montreal. Once I'd crossed the Rockies I really didn't experience any fatigue until Montreal. I found that once my body fat had dropped to next to nil fatigue began to take a toll at the end of the day. I could pinch my skin at my waist and it was fatless like rubbing two pieces of paper together.

Also as you spoke to various physical pains I experienced little or no pain, there was rather almost a daily endorphine high.

I'm presently rebuilding my mountain bike. I'd rather build the drive chain myself from quality parts then buy a bike new.

There are very few recumbent bikes on the west coast but I hope their numbers grow as I'd like to buy one.

cheers

Re:For more information about recumbents. (1)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653413)

I live in Vancouver, B.C. I looked at recumbents, but found them to be a little pricy for something I wasn't fully committed to. My last tour on a mountain bike took me over 6000 km over plus 4 months.
Given these two sentences, I'd just like to know what your definition of "fully committed" is. Do you have to tow a trailer, or do you have to eat, sleep, and work from the saddle?

Re:For more information about recumbents. (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653648)

Given these two sentences, I'd just like to know what your definition of "fully committed" is.

Sorry for the ambiguity. I meant that the price was high relative to my commitment to owning a recumbent bike. I'm thinking or touring Canada again next year and I've given some thought to a trailer.

My understanding from idle chatter is that recumbent bikes outperform standard bikes except when challenging hills. As a tour of Canada starting out from Vancouver means crossing the Rockies I can't see touring on a recumbent bike if it can't match a standard frame when climbing mountains.

cheers

Re:For more information about recumbents. (1)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653735)

I was mostly making a joke about how 6000km constitutes a pretty big commitment to me, and probably to most people.

Although strictly speaking you could avoid the Rockies by heading North through the Peace River region... I have heard conflicting reports about recumbents and hills: some have told me that climbing is hard, and some have told me that climbing is easier since you can push the pedal with more force than just your body weight by pushing back against the seat and through main force of your quads. I imagine it varies depending on which of the large variety of styles you choose. I suppose that I'd have to go and test-ride some to see how they worked out. I might do that soon, as I'm one of those people who gets saddle-sore pretty quickly (unlike yourself, it seems). My friend told me that he had a good experience at Wenting's [wentingscycle.com] in Mission; perhaps see them before you plan your next tour. Disclaimer: second-hand information, no personal experience.

The comfort difference between bents and uprights (2, Insightful)

Slugster (635830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653686)

You can ride what you want of course--but there's a couple of points I'd make:
Firstly--recumbents don't cost that much now. Yes there are some $3K and $4K+ ones, but there are upright bikes that cost that much too and everyone who rides doesn't own one. The cheaper 'bents start at around $500-$600. At that price point a bent is not particularly fast or good for long-distance touring, but it will still be way more comfortable to ride than any upright, at any price. If you can cough up $1200-$1500, there's quite a few choices. -Which is not very expensive, when you consider that 'bents are actually comfortable to ride, and that you might ride them a lot more than you would an "uncomfortable" bike.

How many upright bikes sit gathering dust in people's garages, their tires going flat from dry rot?
People buy these bikes because they "cost less", or because they "look normal".
But of course the bikes make one's butt, neck and hands hurt--so then they never ride them.
What kind of bargain is that?
If you already know that upright bikes are uncomfortable for you to ride, then don't throw your money away on yet another one.

Secondly--when upright bike riders say "it's comfortable", they really mean that "it's not so bad that I can't stand to ride it". With recumbents, normally your butt and neck never hurt, and your hands never go numb. The comfort difference between uprights and recumbents is difficult to overstate.
With recumbents, you don't wear "padded" shorts or padded gloves, because you never need them.
And the thing is--if you have never tried riding a recumbent 50 or 100 or 200 miles, you don't really know the difference. Upright defenders tend to forget that people who spend money on recumbents nearly-always used to spend money on nice upright bikes; we know what it feels like to ride uprights.

I spent $1500-$2000+ each on a series of bikes for twenty years, telling myself "it wasn't that bad".
Then I borrowed a BikeE for an afternoon, and realized--it was that bad. And it had always been "that bad".
Every upright bike I had ever owned had been uncomfortable, in the exact same ways.
It doesn't matter if you spend $200 or $2000 on an upright, they're gonna hurt just the same.

Soon after I bought my first recumbent, I got rid all but one my upright bikes--because I wasn't riding them at all anymore anyway. The last one I kept just in case I wanted to ride it ever.
Two years later I hadn't taken it out even once, so I got rid of it too.

~

OT: Words (4, Informative)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652692)

The pieces are fairings.
The adjective fair means unincumbered.
The verb fair, from ship building, is to make smooth and flowing. ...in a fully fairinged recumbent bicycle. (verbing) ...in a fully fair recumbent bicycle. ...in a fully faired recumbent bicycle. (original)

Different tracks--difficult to compare? (2, Interesting)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15652909)

The recent record was set at a track (in Arizona) that was different from the previous record holder's ride (in Germany). In fact, aren't there bound to be many differences? Like time of day, weather, and especially wind speed and direction? Is a different of ~1-1.5% within a margin of error or a bona-fide new record? Sure it is technically a longer distance, but it seems like it would be impossible to fully normalize against the different conditions. I guess one would have to atleast do it one the same track, with approximately equivalent weather conditions. Considering that these speed bikes are so precision tuned to add seconds here and there to a time trial, such margins of error should be at least be acknowledged.

Re:Different tracks--difficult to compare? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653086)

The recent record was set at a track (in Arizona) that was different from the previous record holder's ride (in Germany). In fact, aren't there bound to be many differences?

Easiest way to find out. Compare the average speeds of Formula1 racing from various tracks. I say Formula1 instead of NASCAR as Formula1 has tracks all over the world instead of just in the US.

However, more to the point, you are right in that there are many conditions that can make the difference. Aside from the weather and the pavement itself, the design of the track can make a difference. Banking, distances of straightaways and so on will affect the maximum speed. Just lookin at the NASCAR, the top speeds on different tracks can vary by about 50 mph. This is mainly due to the difference between road courses (10+ turns, both left and right) and "round" tracks (left or right turn only, general circle/oval/triangle shape). Among the non-road courses, the top speeds are much closer together. The main difference between them is the angle of the banks on the turns, the lengths of the straightaways, the number of turns and the sharpness of the turns. Most drivers prefer the larger tracks as it allows them to go faster. The smaller tracks with shorter straightaways and (usually) sharpter turns have measurabley slower speeds than the larger ones do.

An "ideal" comparison for a race might be to get everyone out to White Sands, New Mexico. It's about as flat as you can get and a nice long straightaway longer than you'd ever need. Either that or the Bonneville Speedway [wikipedia.org] in Utah, which already has a track set up for racing.

Re:Different tracks--difficult to compare? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653177)

Seems like altitude would make a huge difference, and Casa Grande, at 1400 feet above sea level, is probably higher than some other tracks they use. Also, higher humidity makes the air denser, and Arizona is very dry.

Re:Different tracks--difficult to compare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15653445)

Humid air is less dense than dry air.

Re:Different tracks--difficult to compare? (2, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653423)

With fastest / longest / etc. records, I think you have to assume perfect conditions. If you can find a better track with more ideal conditions, then that's part of getting to set a new record.

The point isn't to pit one racer against the other in a perfectly "fair" way, it's to asymptotically approach the limits of human capability, so adding a couple miles to the record is significant.

Finally a use for old people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15652915)

Now we can put electric generators connected to recumbant bicycles in old peoples homes and use them to generate power.

Give them a small LCD TV and reruns of Matlock (well - maybe just one with alzheimer sufferers) and we can solve the greenhouse problem.

Old people can contribute something afterall

87 km no big deal (0)

aaron_pet (530223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653058)

he went 1 km more than 85 km? Almost anybody can do that in a day.

I think you mean km/hr kph or some unit like that.

Because it's News for Nerds, and I'm a nerd, I gotta call you on that.

He did it in an hour (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15653218)

My grandmother couldn't do that in a day.

But the article is about a guy who rode it in an hour.
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