Canadian Cyclist


October 16/00 12:16 pm - Canadians Set Worlds Speed Records

Posted by Editor on 10/16/00

Canadian Cyclists Break World Speed Records!

On October 13, 2000, at 5:45 pm, Sam Whittingham, riding Mephisto, a human-powered speed bike, became the first person to ride at 72.74 mph under only his own power. This breaks the previous record of 68.728mph set in 1992 by Chris Huber riding Cheetah. On October 9, 2000, at 5:50pm, Andrea Blaseckie set the woman’s flying 200m record with a speed of 54.04 mph, riding Bibet, another speed bike. The records were set in Battle Mountain, Nevada on a course of 10km course with a grade of no more than 2/3%. The record speeds are taken over the last 200m of the course, and in order to be valid the wind must be less than 6kmh.

Mephisto and Bibet are two of several speed bikes built by George Georgiev, of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada. George is originally from Bulgaria, but now resides on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. Before moving to the west coast of Canada, George spent some time in Toronto as a sculptor, where many of his works are still displayed. Currently, George spends his time designing and manufacturing custom human powered vehicles. His designs range from recumbents and traditional upright bicycles to hand-cycles for the disabled, adult tricycles, and of course, his record-beating speed bikes.

Sam Whittingham has been riding for George and Team Varna since he first became actively involved in the world of Human Powered Vehicles in 1991. With Varna, Sam has achieved no less than six world records adding to the four records he already had with Team Gold-Rush. Sam, a nationally ranked cyclist, is also a theatre and bike-frame designer and proud father of two. Training out of Victoria, B.C, Sam is currently on the Canadian national development cycling program.

Andrea Blaseckie has been riding for George and Team Varna since 1997. With Varna, Andrea has achieved no less than four world records. Andrea is a full time student studying environmental technology, training also as a runner as well as a cyclist, and is a proud mother of two. In her spare time she intends to pursue kayaking and climbing.

The world's fastest vehicle, Mephisto, is Team Varna's most recent addition to their fleet of human-powered speed bikes. These speed-bikes are based around a carbon-fibre / kevlar composite shell. They are approximately eight feet long and under thirty inches tall. The rider sits in a recumbent position, allowing the bicycle to cut through the air like a bullet. The extreme aerodynamic design is an essential factor in allowing the rider to attain such high speeds.

In addition to the records set by Sam, George has also built machines that hold various records around the globe. These include the high-altitude record for the one-mile, speed records of over 50 km/h for arm-power-only vehicles, and solar-electric records set in Japan, beating such heavyweight companies as Honda and Yamaha. Since the inception of George’s most recent design in 1993, Team Varna has won every World Championship they have entered.

For information about the event, please check out: Website

For more information please contact:
Team Varna
c/o Neil Carson
(250) 388-4352
#210-825 Cook St.
Victoria, B.C. V8V 3Z1, Canada


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