The world's fastest humans from around the world, including Australia, Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, and Scotland will attempt to break current land speed records-on a bike. Highway SR305, just south of town, possesses the unique traits necessary for these highly-engineered bicycles to achieve top speeds. The 4,619 feet (1408 m) altitude road allows riders an acceleration zone of over 4 miles, enabling bikes to reach their maximum velocity before being timed over a 200-meter distance. To understand these bikes, forget the one in your garage. For the most part, these cycles are reclining recumbents, with the pedals and gears way out front. Riders are wedged into fiberglass or other composite shells that are only as wide as their shoulders. To keep the speed bike as aerodynamic and as low as possible, a few designs eliminate windshields. Riders steer by looking at a TV monitor about the size of a recipe card.
Handlebars are just that: wide enough for two hands, with compact controls for gears and brakes. Riders are sealed into the aerodynamic wedges with tape. Faring's cover the rider and all but one or two inches of bike tire. Usually there is only one small opening for a breathing tube and a cigar sized opening for the camera lens.
The high altitude and arrow - straight section of payment has drawn athletes to Lander County since 2000. At the 2016 event, Todd Reichert, riding for a team from Toronto, Canada called Aerovelo-pedaled to a blazing new speed record of 89.59 mph. Sarah Piercy - Women's Arm Powered (Multitrack): 24.85 mph; Florian Kowalik - Men's Junior (Age 15 to 17 years): 62.69 mph, 63.86 mph & 65.93 mph; Gareth Hanks - Men's Multitrack: 73.95 mph. Spectators are welcome to this free event each morning for qualifying runs. The commuter bus leaves the Battle Mountain Civic Center each day 4:45 p.m. and returns around 7:30 p.m. Bleachers are located at the timing traps for maximum speed thrills, or those curious about the riders and vehicles can wait in the "catch" area to see the racers assisted from their speed bikes. As part of the weeklong event, there is a Show & Shine Day at the Battle Mountain Civic Center on Tuesday. Students, teachers, and members of the public are invited to this meet and greet with some of the participants and their bikes. Additionally, drag races and a bike parade are held on Friday at noon by the High School parking lot. We invite members of the public to test their metal on their own bicycle against some of the world's fastest humans. For more details, call the Lander County Convention & Tourism Authority 775-635-1112, visit landercountytourism.com or for a full listing of World Records go to WHPSC.org or IHPVA.org