Watch: Biker zips from back to front of the pack with amusing gymnast stunt


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/11/watch-biker-zips-from-back-to.html


#2

hmm. Seems like it must have some undisclosed assistance, that thing accelerated too quickly to be accounted for by the slope, which (in my humble opinion) just would not be possible, given friction. There is a natural limit to these things.
The fact that it originated with an Italian TV company might be the clue, they do a lot of stunts for the comedy visual effect, not meaning it to be taken seriously.


#3

It’s staged, as in ‘the other riders are in on the joke’, but damn impressive skill nonetheless. Brakeless, even.

Air resistance is such a strong factor at these speeds that I actually believe the shocking (relative) acceleration was legit.

Here’s a previous stunt by the same [Michael Guerra] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ulMnH9RtuTaRXJzNDrGTA) fellow, in brain-dead-TV-show format:


#4

Wow. No brakes.


#5

It would have been insanely more viral had the guy on the moped crashed into the dude on the mobility scooter.


#6

Nothing new there, Rollie Free won the world speed record on a motorcycle in 1948 using the same technique
http://www.vmccwa.com/stories/rollie.html


#7

I was gonna say that’s a shitty Mavic freehub on that bike making the cranks spin, but that bike’s a fixie!

Mad skillz getting back on the pedals.


#8

What is really impressive, is that he is actually going up hill :wink:

“Shocking: This Rider Brakes the 1st Rule of Thermodynamics; and you won’t believe what happens next!”


#9

Planking: expert level.


#10

Like @Kimmo said, he is on a fixie, I thought this would be relevant to his high speed gains, however he is also the only one on a fixie, so the others aren’t being slowed down by the maximum speed they can spin their legs around, so that is not how he is faster.

However friction (with the ground) is really not that relevant at these speeds, air drag is a lot more relevant. I actually believe this maneuver could make you faster downhill then someone who is actively pedaling, depending on the incline and speeds reached.

This graph (I cherry-picked from the image search results) seems to confirm my hunch at least a little:


The graph is in km/h so the wind resistance overtakes the rolling resistance at around 17 km/h. At around the 40 km/h mark the wind resistance is literally off the chart.

Going downhill a road biker can achieve speeds way higher then this, Tour de France bikers can reach over 100 km/h. I’m willing to bet that at speeds like this overcoming the wind resistance will take up somewhere around 70 to 90% of the total energy input.

If you can minimize this a little it is going to go a long way in making you faster.

This is not to say I fully believe this is real, it could very well be staged, however it does not seem impossible.

Edit: I would not be surprised to see the organization of the Tour de France forbid this, if they haven’t already done so.


#11

It worked for Rollie Free (at 150mph):


#12

Just have to say…owww.


#13

Are those sandals?


#14

I can totally believe it.

When I made my cross-country journey , there was a spot on the Kumeyaay highway (between Alpine, CA and El Cahon, CA if I remember correctly) with a high altitude and lots of wind shear. I didn’t have to pedal, and was accelerating like crazy, fearing the diagonal push was going to throw me into traffic. It wasn’t until I looked back I realized I was going up a 3 degree rise.

One of the best white-knuckle rides ever!


#15

Wikipedia describes his outfit as:

a bathing suit, a shower cap, and a pair of borrowed sneakers


#16

Well, you would hardly expect a chap to use his own sneakers for an escapade like that. :wink:


#17

I sure wouldn’t want my bathing suit back after that run


#18

It’s a stunt but the acceleration is legit.

Going downhill on a track bike, the most greatest limiting factor quickly becomes not the wind but your own spin limitations. Depending on gear ratio, you soon max out how fast you can spin and from that point on your legs are not contributing to your speed but actually limiting it.

That’s alos why at the end of the stunt the rider had to brake with his feet on the rear wheel. You can’t get back on the pedals when they are whipping around at those speeds.

I’ve come out of the pedals (unintentionally) on a descent steeper thatn that while riding a track bike, it’s disconcerting to say the least.


#19


#20

I was genuinely surprised when the scooter popped up. It was a bit hair-raising as the moped whizzed by!