US & Canada

Cycling land speed: Denise Mueller-Korenek breaks world record

Denise Mueller-Korenek on a training ride on the salt in Utah, USA on 12 September 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mueller-Korenek cycled at the take-off speed of a large jet

For most people, the idea of travelling along the ground at more than 180mph in anything other than a plane preparing for take-off is nausea-inducing.

Denise Mueller-Korenek, it is fair to say, is not most people.

The US woman reached an eye-watering average speed of 183.932 mph (296.010 km/h) - on a bicycle.

The remarkable speed means the 45-year-old not only smashed her own world record, but the long-standing men's one as well.

Her reaction? Somewhat understated.

"It was a crazy wild ride to 183.9 mph, but so worth the sacrifice and years of focus on becoming the fastest human on a bicycle in the world," Mueller-Korenek said.

"We weren't supposed to go more than 175."

Mueller-Korenek's record-breaking feat saw her ride her custom-made bike across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on 16 September.

She had set the women's record - 147 mph - in 2016, and apparently had her eye on the 167mph record set by Dutchman Fred Rompelberg back in 1995.

And, as she followed a racing car driver in a dragster across the flats, Mueller-Korenek made toppling the record look easy.

She released a video of the feat on her YouTube channel.

In order to reach her record-breaking speed, the former US national track, road and mountain bike champion was pulled along by tow rope at 100 mph, before being released to pedal herself.

From that point she was riding in the slipstream of the dragster for 3.5 miles, achieving the record average of 183.9 mph over the last mile.

To put that in context, that's about the same speed a Boeing 747 is travelling just before it leaves the runway during take-off.

As a result of her feat, there are calls for Guinness World Records to stop listing separate men's and women's records for the event.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mueller-Korenek was pulled along to 100 mph using a dragster
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shea Holbrook, a professional race car driver drove the dragster guiding Mueller-Korenek
Image copyright Matt Ben Stone
Image caption This dragster pulled Mueller-Korenek to her record
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mueller-Korenek's custom-made bike
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption At the finish line, Mueller-Korenek and Holbrook embraced

You may also like:

More on this story