“The 112mph BICYCLE: Bike shop owner spends £5,000 building a vehicle that has earned him a place in the record books”
This is a headline from the website of Daily Mail (UK). Granted, this is not a cycling publication, but it’s sooooooo irritating to me to see such a lackadaisical approach to simple, expository writing. I mean, a few minutes on google would have cleared up a lot of the errors.
Guy Martin is a British motorcycle racer who has had moderate success, even several podium appearances at the Isle of Mann TT, but he is perhaps better known as personality than as a champion sportsman. Recently he has been featured in Channel 4’s series Speed. The Daily Mail features Martin’s attempt at a motorpaced speed record. Beyond that, the tabloid newspaper’s writers manage to bullocks up every other pertinent fact.
Jason Rourke is the bike shop owner named, and the business includes a framebuilding operation. Rourke built the bike in “ten days”. That’s not exactly a big deal if you’re talking about fabrication; it would depend on whether or not that included design time. However, that five thousand quid price on the bicycle is rather unimpressive. I can spend that pretty easily with just 10min on the Competitive Cyclist website and have it delivered blue label within three days. Big deal. But that is just a matter of perspective. That and I’m not actually sure how Rourke, shop owner/framebuilder, actually earned a place in a record books, being that he didn’t actually ride the bike. But the rest of the article is actually wrong.
Guy Martin rode 112.94mph, but that was no “world record”. It couldn’t actually even be called a “world record attempt”. Frenchman José Meiffret rode 127mph behind a modified Mercedez….FIFTY YEARS AGO. In 1985 American John Howard (Olympic cyclist, 4x US road champion, 1x Kona Ironman Champion, 2nd place inaugural RAAM) rode 152mph motor-paced across the salt flats of Bonnevile, Utah. But the current absolute record belongs to Dutch professional Fred Rompelberg, who in 1995 motor-paced to a speed of 167mph. Daily Mail, be assured that Martin and his support staff would have known that they wouldn’t be setting a world record.
I mean, 113mph is scary fast for those of us with average size testicles, but that doesn’t pass as world class in this century. Later in the article it is stated “Mr Martin broke the previous record set by Dutch cyclist Sebastiaan Bowier who reached 83.13mph (133.78 km/h) on a pushbike in September this year.” Bowier set a WORLD RECORD for human-powered vehicles in a fully-faired recumbent bicycle, unpaced. That differs from motor-paced absolute records in that in the latter uses a motorized vehicle speeding in front to shelter the cyclist from air drag. Furthermore, motor-paced absolute speed records allow the rider to be towed by the motor vehicle till almost up to speed. So Martin’s British record has nothing to do with Bowier’s record at all.
I despise television for the most part (too many stupid people, too many adverts, too many stupid people in adverts), so I had to research a little to figure out who Guy Martin is. The message boards abound with comments saying that Martin’s personality is something that “the British nation could stand to have more of” and that he is great on television because he is so “un-telly”. Is it me, or does no one else notice the innate self-contradiction of that latter comment? You do know that reality television is an oxymoron in practice?…. like a sociological corollary to Heisenburg’s uncertainty principle.
I’m just irritated because some git wrote an article about speed records and got all the facts wrong. THEY’RE FACTS. THEY’VE BEEN RECORDED. YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK THEM UP. WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL THEM “RECORDS”? That and the people who actually hold the world records and their support staff seem to have put a lot more effort into their accomplishments.
FYI, Bowier beat the previous HPV record by a scant 0.37mph (specifically flying 200M time trial), set by Canadian cyclist Sam Whittingham of BC. Whittingham, who still holds several other cycling speed records, is also the founder, designer, and framebuilder of Naked Bicycles. Thus Sam Whittingham is a bike shop owner who has actually earned a place in the record books.
PS. Wikipedia had it wrong too…..I corrected them.
We’re back in Austin during SXSW in the space where the bike and tech meet with rides, talks, and Nokia mobile photography. While we’re still finalizing the schedule, here’s what the weekend will look like:
Friday, March 7th – Rapha ride, evening event with Techcraver
Pacific Northwest roadies know that winter training bike in this How To Be A Road Biker video wasn’t properly fendered at all AND no mention of Tuesday Worlds or Sanctioned Racing v. NON. Riding in the rain here cleanses your soul and destroys your drivetrain, that’s why we have bikes with fenders, like this and this
Spiteful Mark V wrote TWO rants about road disc brakes in Issue 08 of our Magazine available now on iTunes. He’s installing mechanicals on the Crux this week and I haven’t seen him this agitated since I declared I’d worn out a Ti bike from the massive miles I ride. A recent text from him said, “I sliced it off like a cancer, doubled-bagged b/c the tumor is bleeding DOT.”
Immediately attempting to change the narrative, I responded with, “where we riding next week? Iron Horse Trail?”
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We last saw Pharrell with bikes, and freak bikes, in the Blurred Lines video. BMX isn’t new at the Grammy’s either, Hoffman was there performing with Arcade Fire. Like I said about Sundance, they need to roll a fat bike parade at these events.
And from my hometown, Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis won Best New artist. Earlier this month, he played at CES and I was there with Nokia and this photo was taken by pketron with a Lumia.
Just as the traffic in Park City ground to a halt during Sundance and I thought, where are the bikes?, saw Scwhinn signs. After snow biking and returning to Seattle, I contacted their PR about that they were doing at a film festival, and this is what they said
The idea was to bring bikes into an atmosphere and event where they typically aren’t seen, so that Schwinn could encourage bike riding, show of new product models for 2014 and get the actors/filmmakers/fans at Sundance excited about the rejuvenated Schwinn brand while also doing something good for a charitable cause we care deeply about. It was such a great experience!
Right on and what I’d like to see is a Snow Bike Mobile Social there one year, like Bikedance, only fatter.
Occasionally when we were riding in Maui during the holidays, we’d hear a “Go Hawks!” Curious I thought, how do they know Hugga is from Seattle? Then, oh wait, our kits resemble the Seahawks jersey colors! That’s an unintended, 12th-man football affinity from die-hard cyclists, but we’re going with it!
Sure, football isn’t our thing, but pride in a hometown is. Next week, I’m in NYC to celebrate with all the other Hawks fans at Superbowl parties in Times Square. For a thoughtful take on Seattle and the billionaires that live here, see Timothy Egan’s editorial, “Billionaires and Boasts”
My city is famous for its retail exports: coffee and Costco, Microsoft and Macklemore, Boeing’s jetliners and Jeff Bezos’s business model.
And now Richard Sherman’s rant. Back from Park City, I rode past our stadia, near the one where the 12th man roars, up an urban climb to the top of Queen Anne. Then descended past the Foundation where Bill G is changing the world and back with Starbucks logos in my line of sight most of the time. As complex as our city is, where the politics are passive aggressive and a giant boring machine is stuck below Pioneer Square, there’s one thing we can agree on, “Go Hawks!”
Green, gray, blue
And Sherman is that good, like the rest of the team.
Issue 08 just dropped. It’s about a new year new rides and includes articles from Matt Hill, Mark V, and Patrick Brady. Patrick helped me compose the editor’s letter that includes this passage
A New Year’s Resolution is spring cleaning for the mind, and if you do it right, for the body. It’s a chance to take stock and issue an epic course correction. Too much fast food? New diet. Too much cheap beer? Microbrew. Too many short rides in the same old places? New bike, new places, new experiences.
If you’re not already subscribed, subscription revenues directly support the writing, editing, and production of Bike Hugger Magazine. It’s ad free and published monthly on iTunes for $1.99 per month or $3.99 an issue. Droid users you can find us on Google Play.
See this post from yesterday for the types of rides we’re doing in 14 and the fun we had on the snow with fat bikes. Also this edit
A pause before the decent off Lost Prospector Trail
A New Year’s Resolution is spring cleaning for the mind, and if you do it right, for the body. It’s a chance to take stock and issue an epic course correction. Too much fast food? New diet. Too much cheap beer? Microbrew. Too many short rides in the same old places? New bike, new places, new experiences. Those are the bullet points, but the reality, the stuff that gives us the stories we tell, is always much richer. The world goes ever more Technicolor, burns noticeably brighter when body clapping ground seems imminent. There’s a reason the bike industry is in love with fat bikes. They make cycling six-year-old fresh. On snow, everything you know about bike handling becomes a kind of negotiation, like trying to reason with an avalanche. In that, there’s a rush.
At heart, we’re all still kids; that’s when the world was new as a hot meal, as limitless as space, as fun as Disneyland and as possible as a key in a tumbler. While most of the world has grown up—or old, depending on your view—if you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance you ride bikes because it’s a chance to cling to the one thing in your life that has always made sense. And if bikes were ever fun, then bikes on snow are bound to be fun because if a bike is fun and snow is fun then bike times snow equals … well they don’t have words for that. You just gotta try it. Which is how most great things in the world work. Coca-Cola, Led Zeppelin, sex—you couldn’t appreciate how great any of those things were until you tried them. And why would you go back to a life without them?
Even if you don’t have snow, or a budget for a new bike, now is the time to consider new rides, and new reads, such as this one.
Descending that flow trail, was like sledding on a bike: lock up the tires, unweight the front, and steer with body english until the ground levels off and you start pedaling again. On the other side of the ridge, Sundance was happening, and my guide with the Hollywood-like name, Weston Deutschlander said,
The #fatbike was serious #funhogging with @bikehugger and I tested the #downhill capabilities and we found their limit.
Funhogging for sure, at the limits of traction.
New Year New Rides
Descending like a sled on a snow bike was my new year new ride and that’s the theme of Issue 08 of our magazine that drops this week. Subscribe now on iTunes and read more about our biking adventures in 2014, including short stories from Patrick Brady.