Bicycles

Cycling land speed record falls at Bonneville Salt flats

Denise Mueller-Korenek tucked in behind a dragster driven by Shea Holbrook during the motor-paced record run on Sunday September 16, 2018
Denise Mueller-Korenek tucked in behind a dragster driven by Shea Holbrook during the motor-paced record run on Sunday September 16, 2018
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Denise Mueller-Korenek tucked in behind a dragster driven by Shea Holbrook during the motor-paced record run on Sunday September 16, 2018
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Denise Mueller-Korenek tucked in behind a dragster driven by Shea Holbrook during the motor-paced record run on Sunday September 16, 2018
The bicycle used by Denise Mueller-Korenek to set the overall Paced Bicycle Land Speed Record of 183.932 mph
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The bicycle used by Denise Mueller-Korenek to set the overall Paced Bicycle Land Speed Record of 183.932 mph

Earlier today we reported that Neil "Soupy" Campbell secured a new European bicycle speed record of 149 mph (240 km/h) while riding in the slipstream of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. While that's certainly impressive, the overall record of 166.944 mph for such a ride was set in 1995 by Fred Rompleberg of The Netherlands. Until last Sunday, when 45 year-old mother of three Denise Mueller-Korenek took to Bonneville Salt Flats and recorded a speed on 183.932 mph (296 km/h).

A Paced Bicycle Land Speed Record involves a cyclist riding behind a motor vehicle of some sort – usually with a wind shield mounted to the back – to minimize wind resistance. The first record of this type was set by its inventor in 1899, when Charles Murphy rode behind a locomotive to get up to 60 mph.

On Sunday September 16, Mueller-Korenek sat in the rider's seat of a custom two-wheeler with 17-inch motorcycle wheels and an elongated frame for stability. It rocks a steering stabilizer to keep wobble to a minimum and a double reduction gearing and drivetrain. She was towed behind a dragster driven by Shea Holbrook until about the mile and a half mark and then the tethers were released and she rode the next 3.5 miles tucked in behind the huge wind shield.

You can see Mueller-Korenek make her record run in the video below.

Source: Project Speed

155.980mph 2018 Project Speed Denise Mueller-Korenek Paced Bicycle Speed Run 9/16 - 12:10pm

9 comments
paul314
Now thinking about how to use an SR-71 as a pace vehicle...
alexD
That doesnt prove squat.... Any average adult can go 0-120mph in 12 seconds without even pedaling or help of any device... Just jump from a plane higher than than 1500 ft. Take the truck/car/whatever is breaking the wind resistance and do the test again. But then, heck, take the air resistence and jump from the same plane at a much higher altiture... you will go much faster...
guzmanchinky
That is terrifying! I guess giving birth is too, but wow, respect!
Trylon
@alexD, if you think it's so easy, why don't you go for the record yourself? I'm sure Denise wouldn't mind.
Starper
These records are not really true! They are emulating Charles MInthorn Murphy, 29yrs old, who on 30 June 1899, on the Long Island railroad, on wooden planks laid between the rails, riding behind a special car built to create a vacuum, and shield him from wind resistance, set a record on 57.8 seconds to cover one mile. What would be a true speed without all this special preparation ? About 45 at best. So claiming 183 miles per hour is impossible. I sure don't believe it. No body could peddle that fast.
Martin Hone
The scary bit was keeping position behind the lead vehicle....but I agree - what does does this prove other than the enormous effect of wind resistance.? Put the car behind the rider and see how much faster she'd go.....
Bob Stuart
A double-reduction gear? I'd have used step-up ratios. On these runs, the pedals do control the speed, but wind pressure helps to overcome tire drag.
Nik
Being towed first is cheating!
Riaanh
It is no doubt an accomplishment, but it should be a separate category from somebody who does not get towed up to speed, and not shielded.
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