Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Big Chain Ring

My friend, TW, who also sent me the Growler Bike link, recently sent me a link to another bike that is of equally limited use.  Actually, this one may be even more limited in use since the growler bike takes 1) someone with an abundance of discretionary income and little discretion in the actual process of spending it, and 2) a need to drink beer.  That combination of things seems reasonably likely to occur repeatedly within any given community, so maybe there is more more market for it than I originally envisioned.

This bike, however, takes much more than money and a love for beer.  It takes 1) a cyclist with the tree trunk size legs and 2) a specially equipped Mercedes.  That may be too simplistic, but you get the idea that this is more limited use than a bike designed to fetch growlers, because a third requirement might be an extraordinary disregard for metalic teeth and a chain moving very rapidly quite far up one's inseam.  You see, we are starting to limit the number of people who are going to qualify rapidly.  Enough with the wordy discussion and how about a picture, eh?

Aren't your wheels supposed to be a LOT larger than your chain ring?

As you can see, this bike betrays its heritage immediately and you can tell quickly that it is the steed of a rider from bygone days.  Here is that rider with the extraordinary disregard for gnashing teeth quite close to his saddle, made all the more remarkable because it must take stones of a certain size to be willing to ride this bike for its intended purpose.

Jose Meiffret - 1962's Fastest Man on a Bike
The captions give away the story, but the bike was ridden to break the extraordinary speed of 200 km per hour, which it did in 1962.  The story of Mr. Meiffret is told here (Date with Death), but the only two things you really need to know are 1) that he actually rode this thing for a measured kilometer at 127 mph, and 2) this is a quote that he carried in his jersey pocket for this ride:
In case of fatal accident, I beg of the spectators not to feel sorry for me. I am a poor man, an orphan since the age of eleven, and I have suffered much. Death holds no terror for me. This record attempt is my way of expressing myself. If the doctors can do no more for me, please bury me by the side of the road where I have fallen.
On our team, we have a couple of guys in particular who seem devoted to Rule 90 (and Rule 5, for that matter), including PM, JS and TC, but even they would acknowledge the extreme of this particular set-up.

As for the aforementioned specially equipped Mercedes?  This is what it looked like and here is how this bike was assisted up to speed.

How do you turn a Mercedes 300 into the car from SNL's Ambiguously Gay Duo? Just like this.
And kids, before you try this at home - Don't.

The link to the original story sent to me from TW: This bizarre looking bike went 127 miles per hour.


  1. lot of crazy going on in that front end... steep head angle, weird-o negative offset, and tiny wheel. It's a mystery.

  2. The original article made note of the inverted front fork, but not why. You would think a longer wheelbase would be more stable, but he must have had his reasons (or thought he had reasons).