During the past few years, together with a fellow student I have made attempts to cover the distance Delft – Paris in the shortest time thinkable by bicycle; Or rather by tandem. What started out as a cheap way of visiting friends grew into a mean to bring a bit of amazement to circumstanders (by wearing a horse suit, for the reason any explanation would not suffice, I d like to ask you to taken a minute to watch - this.
First trip took us two days to get to Paris. In the following attempts the challenge evolved into a race against the clock. From an untrained and very painful 24 h strait, we managed get to 18 hours, or rather 17:52, after a month of intensive training. “Faster is impossible” I hear myself saying at the finish line.
A few months ago we found out that there are more people who made this run to the Eiffel tower. Not in 18 hours, but in 13. “O Dear”. There are two things you can do at this moment; either walk away, or fight this amazing record. First thing I did was finding this guy and ask him how he did this (and measure the circumference of his legs). He did this on a recumbent bicycle with an airfoil, a streamlined extremely low two-wheeler.
There is only one way to get rid of that itchy feeling, and that is to break that record. But: a month of training gets us to 18, a full spring of training is not going to bridge the remaining 5 h gap. A change of plan: Not only work on our physical condition, but take every bit of technique at hand.
Being industrial designers we set out to build the fastest back to back tandem recumbent bicycle ever. Quite a challenge considering the fact that a monster like this will become approximately 5 meters in length. To make it possible to not only go fast on the strait bits of the track, but also manoeuvre through villages, round roundabouts we decided on a tricycle. But with that choice a lot of complications came up. Making corners at high speeds is only possible by tilting over, as you would do on a two-wheeler. To achieve this characteristic “two wheel feeling” on a three-wheeled-vehicle, the suspension becomes complex; Complex but all the more interesting for it.
A new challenge is set.
Currently we are working on the physical finalisation of the bike.
Enjoy the snaps; feel free to contact us.