Neil Campbell set the record riding a bike made by British manufacturer Moss Bikes. The bicycle is a mix of carbon fiber and 3D-printed components, with interchangeable gears, an elongated wheelbase and special tires. The Cayenne Turbo he drafted behind was driven by British champion drag racer Andy Frost and fitted with a rig that provided an aerodynamic cocoon for Campbell to ride in.
The Cayenne Turbo is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 that produces 550 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, helping it go from 0 to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and to 100 mph in just over 9 seconds, with a top speed of 177 mph.
Campbell towed behind the vehicle until they reached just over 110 mph, then released and pedaled to hit the record speed. "All the time the Cayenne was right ahead of me, clearing the air — it was so stable," he said in a statement. "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 to 149 mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected. We're within touching distance of the world record."
Campbell's feat also improves on his own previous European record of 135 mph, set in June.
While his new feat sets a European record, it's still well behind the world record, which coincidentally was also just broken on Sunday. According to Bicycling magazine, Denise Mueller-Korenek, 45, of Valley Center, Calif., hit a top speed of 183.93 mph at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats riding a specialty bike equipped with a massive gear that required being towed to 100 mph before the cranks could be turned by human power. That ride took about five miles, with each turn of the crank propelling the bike about 130 feet. So any planned world record attempt just got a little harder.