Recently, a French bus-driver sat atop a hydrogen peroxide rocket powered bicycle on a runway in Interlaken, Switzerland and went 177-mph, breaking the existing record for the world’s fastest bicycle. The rider Francois Gissy was already the holder of that record from an earlier blast in France, but the team which is sponsored by Hublot watches wanted more. They found more with this 177mph (285 km/h) streak down the course that they were running on. Insanely, the bicycle covered a quarter mile in 7.3 seconds on the way to its terminal speed. This was done on skinny wire wheels that are shod with what appear to be pretty standard issue bike tires!
The video below shows the whole adventure but it contains the most important footage and information regarding hydrogen peroxide that we have ever seen in a racing style environment. The chemical engineer who is part of the project talks about how the highly concentrated mix that is used in the rocket is nothing like what you have in your home. In fact, he bluntly says that if the stuff contacts your hair, it will set it on fire. Following that is the most amazing demonstration of concentrated peroxide’s bad attitude that anyone around here can remember witnessing. The engineer purposefully pours some of the peroxide onto a leather work glove and it instantly bursts into flames and incinerates on the ground. It is amazing and proof of why the dude is bundled up like he is heading into a nuclear reactor when dealing with the liquid.
The rider Gissy talks about how the bike is tough to control because it has a high center of gravity and it wants to tip over upon acceleration. He also mentions that there is no way to actually throttle the rocket so it is either violently on or violently off. It requires stones of steel to ride this machine and the bus driver apparently has them. One of the things that had us cracking up a little was the fact that Gissy’s seat is effectively the fuel tank…and he’s wearing leathers…and the video just showed peroxide converting leather into fire instantly. Hope there’s no leaks, kid!
In all seriousness, Gissy did a fantastic job on the bike, using literally every inch of the 2,592ft runway to get it hauled down. If you don’t believe us, pay attention to where he stops and what he says to the guys once he pedals back to meet them. It is a bicycle, it has functional pedals. It also had some smoking ass brakes on it because he’s pretty convinced that going faster at Interlaken, Switzerland ain’t in the cards for him again!
This is a near accomplishment, especially coming on the news of Eric Teboul’s amazing motorcycle runs a week or two ago. These French guys hve a handle on the hydrogen peroxide scene, but we have the inside line on an American who will be rocketing into your hearts and minds next year. He even has the high grade peroxide necessary. Stay tuned….intern-continental rocket warfare is a few months away from starting.
The project is sponsored by Hublot Watches which are amazing luxury time pieces made in Switzerland. They retail into the five and even six digit price range, so we’re going to be saving our pennies for the next three lifetimes to get one on our wrist! Kidding aside, it is very cool that the company sponsors this project and is now thinking that they need a more advanced model to shoot for their ultimate goal of 200+ mph on a bicycle. We’ll be watching. Congrats to the team on this stunning feat!
PRESS PLAY BELOW TO SEE THIS AMAZING VIDEO OF FRANCOIS GISSY RIDING THE ROCKET BICYCLE TO A NEW SPEED RECORD OF 177MPH!