While the world land speed record for a bicyclist was just beaten at the Bonneville Salt Flats last week, an incredible 183.9 miles per hour, Porsche had recently helped another cyclist—Neil Campbell—set the European record on a two mile paved runway in England. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo was chosen for the task because of it's twin abilities to accelerate quite quickly and to push a lot of air out of the way to help the bike run aerodynamically uninhibited. The bike and tow rig were specifically built for this task, the Moss-built carbon fiber bike featuring a long wheelbase and a stepped-down gearing system for high speed stability. The runway was cleared and the Cayenne (driven by British drag racing champion Andy Frost) pushed off from the start with the bike and Campbell in tow.
This is hardly the first time Porsche has been involved in a cycling speed record attempt, as Jean-Claude Rude rode behind a specially modified Kremer 935 race car in 1979.
“We’ve got so little space that it was essential that we got up to speed as quickly as possible. The acceleration of the Cayenne was incredible – it was like being strapped to a rocket. I was pedalling throughout, harder and harder, before I released from the car at just over 100 mph and got my head down and gave it all I could. All the time the Cayenne was right ahead of me, clearing the air – it was so stable. I look back on the pictures and think ‘what was I thinking’ but I was focused 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.”
Campbell beat his own prior record of 135 miles per hour, which he'd just set back in June, reaching 149 mph behind the Cayenne. I simply cannot imagine what it must feel like to pedal at 149 miles per hour. Even more crazy, Campbell is after the overall cycling speed record with further attempts to come.