2020

Bespoked - a celebration of handmade bicycles & those who make them

OPERATION PACEMAKER LAUNCHES LAND SPEED RECORD ATTEMPT

Moss Bikes unveiled their Silver Eagle Land Speed bike at Bespoked 2018. The bike at that time was unproven, but has since smashed the European Cycle Land Speed Record reaching 149.18mph. At Bespoked 2019 they are set to announce an attempt on the World Land Speed Record to take place in August this year in Elvington.

 

Because of the technical difficulties of achieving such high speeds in the UK (i.e. no salt flats) the bike has undergone some serious refurbishment which has included structural enhancements and the fitting of a parachute, to assist with breaking from 170mph to 0mph in just 400metres.

 

The bike will be on display at the Moss Bikes stand throughout the show with builder Andrew Jones and rider Neil Campbell of Operation Pacemaker on hand to talk to visitors about the past and the future attempts.

Supported by a loyal team of volunteers, to set the record took stamina and immense strength on Campbell’s part, as well as two specially selected machines. Campbell’s bicycle was created by Cheshire-based Moss Bikes, designed to be incredibly strong and stable at speeds of up to 200 mph. Formed from a mix of carbon fibre and 3D printed parts, it has interchangeable gears, a wheelbase that’s much longer than a conventional bicycle and tyres specially rated for the purpose.

The second machine was a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The record attempt was made more precarious by the use of a relatively short runway – just two miles. This meant Campbell and his team needed a car that was large enough for both the bicycle and its rider to tuck in behind, yet could accelerate very quickly and sustain high speeds. A further demand placed on the car was a rig, acting rather like a parachute, providing an aerodynamic cocoon for the bike and rider.

 

On the final run of the day, the two machines accelerated – the bicycle was towed behind the car until they reached just over 110 mph, at which point Campbell disengaged from the car and accelerated through pedal power to push through the record speed. Having passed through the speed traps, Neil’s immediate task was then to brake as hard as he could before he reached the end of the runway.

 

Neil Campbell said: “We’ve got so little space that it was essential that we got up to speed as quickly as possible. I look back on the pictures and think ‘what was I thinking’ but I was focussed I didn’t really take it all in. It’s an incredible feeling – to get 149 mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected. We’re within touching distance of the world record. I can’t thank my team and supporters enough for the help and confidence they’ve given me.”