World Speed Challenge Record Was Not To Be

BtlMtnDSC_2581_2.jpgWhen we left you just over two weeks ago, the Speed Challenge Miners were still struggling with Miner Details, the 2010 human-powered speed bike. Andrew Sourk, Whittney Metcalf and David Long spent far more time working on the machine than running down the course, but the vehicle was just too tricky to ride. A post mortem suggests they grafted the best attributes of ’07’s StreaMiner with Siren the 2010 national champion human-powered vehicle, and somehow ended up with the worst qualities of each. This three-member crew ran into production problems late in the cycle and had very limited test results, so they headed to Battle Mountain with lots of presumptions and even more unknowns. And that was risky.
This competition was more like a fraternity of like-minded folks who simply like to push the speed envelope. On Friday of race week they staged a 1/8th mile drag race in downtown Battle Mountain just for fun. Some raced incumbents, some did upright traditional bikes, and a few simply ran the short course. Whittney took 4th in the upright racing category and 5th place overall, beating several male riders. David ran faster than every other athlete, and Andrew Sourk earned the fastest reaction (starting time off the blocks).
Everyone at the site, including record holder Sam Wittingham and our friends at the University of Toronto did everything they could do to help, but it wasn’t to be. Toronto had a superb bike and four great ridesr, and we send congratulations to Amanda Chu and Todd Reichert who both scored the new collegiate of 55.8mph and 63.4 mph respectively.