Once the five-mile buffer ends, World Human Powered Speed Challenge timers clock each participant over a 200-meter portion of road, which was hand picked prior to the event due to its flatness.
The bike is Aerovelo’s “Eta”, a weird-lookin’ but carefully engineered contraption that the company hopes will someday be able to get up to 100 miles per hour .
In order to achieve an incredible amount of speed, AeroVelo had to use a different kind of bicycle.
A team of bikers called AeroVelo broke a world record Thursday after posting a speed of 86.5 miles per hour, which is now the fastest speed for a vehicle mainly powered by human strength. However, while their vehicle did not reach its fullest alleged potential, it still passed over the previous record and the team snagged another award.
The 33-year-old Reichart came out on top of the competition, clinching the record that was in his and AeroVelo’s sights for quite some time.
Named after the Greek symbol of efficiency, Eta is created to attain speeds greater than 140 km/h, the team says. It has even ventured into aviation, developing what it describes as the first working human-powered ornithopter and also winning the Sikorsky Prize in 2013 with its Atlas human-powered helicopter.
Aerovelo Eta Bike: The world’s fastest human-powered vehicle has been built by a team of 14.
All the work that AeroVelo put into the Eta was expected to provide the vehicle with only a one percent performance improvement compared to the Bluenose, and apparently that one percent is all that the team needed to set the world record. It then sat out the second heat while repairs were made, in time for Reichart to enter the third and the rest is history.
There’s a bit more information about Eta in this video. In it, competitors are given 8 kilometers to build up their speed before reaching a flat section that stretches 200 meters. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city’s weird weather and curried egg sandwiches.