Today a team of experts, students, athletes and enterprising dreamers from Santos and the University of South Australia are celebrating their world record ride on the world’s longest bike, designed and built in SA.
But it was not without some drama when the early test run ended after a few metres with the bike toppling over.
The huge bike, almost 42 metres in length, and weighing 2.5 tonnes without its 20-strong riding crew, was unable to handle the gradient on the road and had to be reset to a central position where the road was more even.
The record attempt was then made with a leaner crew of just seven riders who smashed the previous world record by about 16 metres.
The record breaking world’s longest bike will be on display in the Santos Tour Down Under Village from this evening (16/1/2015).
The ride has been officiated locally and the result will be registered with the Guinness Book of World Records in the next few weeks.
The bike travelled 100 metres along Rundle Road in the city at 10.30 am this morning and Olympian and 2004 Tour Down Under winner, Patrick Jonker, local media personality Brenton Ragless, Santos CFO Andrew Seaton, University of South Australia Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd and staff of both UniSA and Santos powered the record breaking ride.
Criteria to beat the previous world record demanded that the bicycle have just two wheels, be ridden in the same way as a standard bike and powered by pedal and chain. The minimum distance required for the run was 100 metres continuously and unassisted.
Conceived and sponsored by Santos, the project has been a class activity for UniSA’s mechanical engineering students. Students worked in teams to develop and propose designs for the bike and were also able to work with some of Santos’ leading engineers as they tackled the technical challenges of the project.
The design of the record breaking big bike is a combination of all of the students’ work.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof Lloyd said the project had been a bit nerve wracking but exhilarating.
“Everyone did a great job today and picked themselves up after the false start with real determination to get the record.
“The whole project has been a fantastic example of great teaching and great partnership and I’m really thrilled for all involved that it has been a success – we ‘got back on the bike’, tried again and we were successful,” Prof Lloyd said.
“Engineering is about imagining what is possible and then bringing together the best technical expertise to make it so – it is creative, challenging, reflective and incredibly rewarding. I feel quite lucky to have shared this experience with our engineering students.”
Using UniSA student design blueprints, the bicycle was constructed by Weldrite, a northern Adelaide manufacturing workshop.
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