The bicycle is called the Beastie -- but is it the bestie?
Graeme Obree hopes to ride his colorfully named contraption to a new speed record. The 47-year-old Scot plans to challenge the current mark of 82.8 mph at September's World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada, reported Scotland's The Herald.
He made the Beastie in his kitchen out of fiberglass and Kevlar for about $1,500, according to the paper. As a recent YouTube video (above) shows, he pedals it in a lying-down position close to the ground, looking through a cockpit-like windshield.
The design, he told Humans Invent, encourages velocity-friendly air flow: "The most important part in terms of dividing the air and then pulling the air back in again with the least amount of energy is to have a laminar (non-turbulent) flow over the sides of it.”
Obree, a former world champion cyclist, has found a second calling as a speed record chaser. He previously set several records on another homemade cycle constructed from washing machine parts. He called it Old Faithful.
In the YouTube video posted June 25, he test-drove Beastie at Prestwick airport. The contraption required a bit of effort for team members to steady as they pushed Obree into a balanced position. "Faster, faster," one of his team can be heard yelling.
Obree has reached about 50 mph so far, so some tweaking will be in order, according to reports.
The cyclist's battle with mental illness was dramatized in the 2006 movie "The Flying Scotsman." Obree later came out as gay and has attributed two suicide attempts, in part, to previous torment over his sexuality.