At the moment the „World Human Powered Speed Challenge“ is taking place in Battle Mountain, Nevada (USA). Congratulations to the Aerovelo-Team with Rider Todd Reichert who yesterday went faster than the magical „Back to the Future“-Speed of 88mph! This Speed equals to 142kmh – WOW! I wish you reach 90mph until the end of the Event!
So you might ask you, why is there such a hugh gap between our hour record of 92.4km to 142kmh in the 200m flying start sprint. The Organisators do not hide one important reason, the Course isn’t flat! The higher altitude of the Location, about 1400m over sealevel – less air density – helps too, but not so much.
Talking with Pilots or reading blogs of riders who compete there reveals us a „phenomenon“: An unpedaled bike accellerates down the Course by itself due to the slope (Damjan told me about this, Team Cygnus.hpv reported yesterday an acceleration from 40 to 60kmh). The mass of rider and bike helps there too, this is one other reason why Jan Bos of the HPTDelft-Team did a Topspeed of 94kmh at Dekra (Testoval) and runs over 122kmh at Battle Mountain. You can calculate the stored Energy of a System of 120kg thrown down from the 15th floor of a Building (additional Rolling Resistance). This Energy is given you for free at Battle Mountain. This explains the gap between an hour record where the Course is an oval Provingground (Dekra 5.8km) with up and downs every lap and the downhill-race of flat-declareted Human Topspeed on a Bike in the USA – un’americanata. I admire the braveness of the pilots who went down there so fast on so little rubber!
PS – Have also a look to my previous entry from 12.08.2011