Scottish cycling legend Graeme Obree is working on a new version of Beastie, the bike he used for his human powered vehicle speed record attempt last September – but it will be his son, Jamie, who aims to ride it in Nevada next year and beat the prone world record of 56.62mph his father set.
Jamie went to Battle Mountain for the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA) World Human Powered Speed Challenge last year, and was hoping to have a crack himself on Beastie – but his father said the bike, in which he faced forward, lying on his chest, was not stable enough, reports The Herald.
Now Obree is working on a new version of the self-built bike and hopes that his 20-year-old son, who is studying to be either a nurse or paramedic, can take his record from him.
He told the newspaper: "I'm building the bike so Jamie can attack my prone record. We both got a taste for it when we were out there last year and can't wait to go back for another bash. My record survived this year's championships and I'd be quite happy to see Jamie beat it. That would be a fantastic way to spend my 50th birthday."
Obree, famous for incorporating parts from an old washing machine in the Old Faithful bike he pedalled to a new Hour record back in 1993, was speaking yesterday as Jens Voigt revived what had once been cycling’s most prestigious record, setting a new benchmark of 51.110 kilometres.
The Scot, who is seeking sponsorship for his son’s record attempt, took a similarly DIY approach to the creation of the original Beastie, which included part of an old saucepan plus a pair of roller skates that had been bought in a charity shop.
Regarding his plans to revisit the design for what he is calling Beastie Mark II, he said: "I've realised how much better the shell could be as that was something I had issues with first time around.
"I'd never built a shell before and even assuming aerodynamic principles, it wasn't quite right."
"There are three aspects: the bike, the shell and the engine," Obree added. "Jamie's build makes him more of a power rider than me as I'm an endurance rider. That pro¬bably makes him better suited to that short burst required for breaking the record."
According to The Herald, the youngster is starting his training by riding the 15 miles or so from his home in Irvine to his college in Ayr and back.
At the IHPVA event last September, Canadian Sam Whittingham lost the record he had held – and improved several times – since 1999 as Dutch cyclist 13mph Sebastiaan Bowier clocked 83.13mph riding the VeloX3 recumbent jointly developed by students from the Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.