Daredevil Liverpool undergrads smash the human powered British land speed record

Not once… but three times

arion1 land speed land speed record record speed challenge team velocipede world record

University of Liverpool students have rocketed to success in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge 2015, despite challenges throughout the competition.

Team Velocipede stormed across the five mile course in the Nevada desert last month in ‘ARION1’, their hand built recumbent bicycle which the team had been working on since September 2013.

They smashed the previous human powered British Land Speed Record of 67.4MPH, held by Rob English in 2002, and set the new record of 75.03MPH.

ARION1 on the course in Nevada. (Photo credit to Michael Head)

ARION1 on the course in Nevada. (Photo credit to Michael Head)

However, Rob McKenzie, a member of the engineering team for ARION1, explains that the team faced difficulties throughout the competition.

He told The Tab: “We had not expected to be faced with so much rain in the middle of the Nevada desert. This meant that all runs on the Monday and Tuesday evenings were scrubbed.

“We also encountered a few technical problems. On the Tuesday morning the chain came off after two miles.”

But the difficulties didn’t stop there: “On Thursday, rider Ken Buckley, crashed the bike at 55 mph – the team worked extremely hard that evening to get the bike ready again for Friday morning.”

Despite the accident, rider Ken Buckley, and the team had huge success in the competition and went on to break the record three times.


(Photo credit to Michael Head)

On the final day of the competition, the team achieved their highest speed: “The riders achieved their highest speeds on the Saturday evening. Eventually we got news that we had achieved 75.03 MPH.

“This was the third time we broke the British record during the week and our fastest time so far. The riders and the engineering team were relieved that so much hard work had finally paid off.”

The record breaking ULV team

The record breaking ULV team (Photo credit to Michael Head)

The team have already begun work on a new bike the ARION2 and will soon begin try outs for female riders as they will be attempting the women’s British and World records in 2016.