Whittingham whizzes past at 82.4mph for new world record

Another world best for Canadian recumbent rider

by Simon_MacMichael   September 17, 2009  

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Serial world record breaker Sam Whittingham has broken his own time for the fastest speed achieved in a human-powered vehicle, reaching 82.4mph yesterday during the 10th annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

The Canadian set the new benchmark on his Varna Tempest recumbent, beating the 82.3mph he achieved in last year’s event. The speed is taken over a 200-metre section of Nevada State Road 305, which organisers describe as “one of the straightest, flattest, and smoothest surfaces in the world.”

The road, which is at a height of 4,619 feet, has an acceleration zone of more than four miles, allowing riders to hit maximum velocity before the timed stretch. A special legal dispensation applies during the event so that competitors don’t have to worry about being flagged down by the Nevada Highway Patrol for exceeding the speed limit.

Records are sanctioned by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. The event is sponsored by energy drinks company Hydrive and continues until Saturday, with updates available at www.Twitter.com/hydrive.

Whittingham, who also owns the British Columbia-based custom frame and component maker Naked Bicycles, which numbers Lance Armstrong among its customers – the Texan bought an award-winning hand-made fixed gear bike – has broken a number of human-powered speed records since 1998.