In a wonderful testament do the enduring human desire to go further, higher and faster, even without any potential commercial benefit, the Frenchman has reached 207 miles per hour on a specially adapted rocket bicycle. The machine doesn’t look particularly well-built to be travelling at such high speeds, but it did beat a Ferrari F430 in a straight line race at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France.
The bicycle is adapted to fit three hydrogen peroxide rockets on its frame, and features specially made tires to withstand the incredible forces exerted on them as the machine accelerates to top speed in 4.8 seconds. Francois Gissy says that the thrust measured 4.5 kN, equivalent to 416 kW of power at 207 miles per hour.
In fact many have called Gissy crazy for hurtling along at such high speeds with no protection apart from a standard motorcycle suit. He himself has admitted that he feels “lucky my head is still bolted on the body” after enduring the wind speeds involved with travelling at 207 miles per hour without aerodynamic bodywork.
Francois Gissy’s future plans
Francois Gissy has told of his plans to build a new version of the bike which could reach almost 250 miles per hour in under two seconds. He has already named the new machine the “Spine Crusher” and is looking for sponsors to enable his dream to become a reality. A previous sponsorship deal with watchmaker Hublot was not renewed for this latest speed record, which he speculates is because they considered the project “too crazy.”
Francois Gissy used to drive buses before he discovered that he preferred flying along racetracks on what is essentially a glorified push bike. I for one cannot wait to see the “Spine Crusher” in action, and for Gissy’s sake we can only hope that it does not live up to its moniker.