This bicycle doesn't look much like the ones we currently see zooming around France. Its rider, Graeme Obree - aka the Flying Scotsman - is a former world champion cyclist. He has no desire to be with the crowds in Le Tour, however; rather he aims to break the human-powered speed record of 83 mph aboard this:
Its name is Beastie. And it's the world's weirdest bicycle.
Let's get the obvious question out of the way first: "What is he doing in that thing?" Well, he appears to be lying horizontally, buttocks in the air, with his face plastered against a thin, clear screen, while pedaling--or something. Even for an English person like myself, in the video, Obree's broad Scottish accent remains almost impossible to decipher. He says something about "keeping in a straight line," and then gets a push start--which is the only way to get Beastie moving. Beastie doesn't look particularly comfortable, either. But then who needs comfort when it's a world record you're seeking?
Obree built this steel-framed bicycle in his kitchen, of all places. He hopes to beat the record that was set by a rider using a computer-modelled carbon-fiber recumbent in 2009. Obree's shakedown managed speeds of around 50 mph, still a sizable margin from world record pace. All being well, however, with a few adjustments, Obree hopes to set the record in Nevada this September. We'll be interested to see how he does, but perhaps the bigger challenge here remains merely staying upright.
Photo: Humans Invent