Denise Mueller has become the fastest women on a bike – ever. On Saturday the Californian cyclist set a new women’s world speed record of 147.7mph, riding behind an SUV on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on a customised bike.
Mueller is the first woman to set a record for ‘Fastest Paced Woman on a Bicycle’ – and she’s still out in Utah, planning to ride again tomorrow to see if she can “crush the record”.
The mum-of-three and company CEO is working hard with her team – including pro driver Shea Holbrok who is controlling the Range Rover SUV with its customised rear fairing, and three time Olympian coach John Howard. Howard was a land speed record holder himself back in 1985, with a speed of 152.2mph.
This new venture is one that follows a long career on the bike – Mueller is a 15 time USA National Champion, and has been on the podium twice at the World Champs – as well as having completed an Ironman.
The bike is, of course, something very special. At speeds close to 150mph, stability is paramount so the frame is elongated and has a ‘BodyFloat isolation seatpost’ to dampen vibration. It features 17 inch dragster wheels and shaved tyres, and a short travel front suspension. Getting up to speed is important too – so the bike has two 60 tooth chainrings with double reaction gearing which ensures that every ounce of power is put to good use.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are famous for being the ultimate location for a feat such as this – the last three men’s records (currently standing at 167mph) were set here. The average speed is measured over one full mile – which Mueller covered in 25 seconds having initially been towed by the car before she let go of the tether to begin her attempt – still drafting behind it.
Rider, driver and coach can communicate via microphone and a camera is pointed at her and monitored by Howard – in the passenger seat – throughout.
The team are attempting to beat the record today – there are regular updates on the ‘Project Speed’ Facebook page.