From the ‘tallest mohawk’ to the ‘longest handshake’, there’s pretty much a world record for everything and cycling is no different. We’ve collected our 5 favourite weird and wonderful cycling world records for you to enjoy – we don’t fancy our chances at beating any of them though…
1. The longest bicycle in the world
Setting themselves a challenge to get into the Guinness World Book of Records, members of Dutch cycling organisation the Mijl Van Mares Werkploeg built the world’s longest bicycle, measuring an astonishing 35.79m long.
To ensure the massive frame didn’t sag, several aluminium frames were used to link both ends. The bicycle also has to be operated by two people: one steers at the front while another person pedals from the back. Somehow, the bicycle actually works with only two wheels and no stabilisers!
The group’s leader told Guinness World Records that the bike is quite easy to ride but “don’t turn any corners!”. Image credit: Guinness World Records.
2. Fastest 400m hurdles on a bicycle
You might have thought that hurdles and cycling don’t go together – but you’d be wrong! The fastest 400m hurdles on a bicycle is a very quick 44.62 seconds (!) and was achieved by Austrian Thomas Öhler in 2013.
To make the record attempt even tougher, Öhler decided to race against the London 2012 Men's 400m hurdles Olympic gold medal winner Felix Sanchez. Astonishingly, Öhler ultimately triumphed in the race, with his opponent clocking a time of 49.86 seconds, more than five seconds behind him.
The previous Olympic gold medal winner was no match for Öhler and his bike. Image credit: Guinness World Records.
3. Deepest cycling underwater
The deepest cycling underwater record stands at 66.5m and was achieved by Italian Vittorio Innocente in 2008. Lowered into the sea by a team of local scuba divers, Innocente mounted the bike at a depth of 28m and rode along a 110m underwater slope, dodging mud pools and rocky outcrops.
Continuing his descent, he smashed his own previous world record of 60m, which he set back in 2005. Scuba diving is hard at the best of times, let alone with a bicycle thrown in!
It took Vittorio nine minutes of deep sea pedalling to reach the 65m mark. Image credit: Guinness World Records.
4. Tallest rideable bicycle
It takes one wall and at least two strong friends to climb up to the seat of U.S.’ Richie Trimble's 6.15m tall bicycle which, for obvious reasons, he calls the ‘Stoopid Tall’.
It’s not your average commuter bicycle, let’s put it that way! Just look at the photo for yourself…
Trimble hand-made his ride using a Huffy bicycle frame and a 32-foot-long chain. Image credit: Hal Berman.
5. Fastest circumnavigation by bicycle
The fastest journey around the world by bicycle is 78 days, 14 hr, 40 min and was achieved by the UK’s very own Mark Beaumont. He said he was inspired by Jules Verne’s adventure novel Around the World in Eighty Days – so it’s the icing on the cake that he managed to beat Phileas Fogg by 2 days!
Beaumont’s gruelling schedule meant that he was rising at 4am every morning and eating 9000 calories a day – all while spending 16 hours in the saddle! Rather him than us…
The record attempt started and finished by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Beaumont cycled through 16 countries during his journey. Image credit: Guinness World Records.