‘It takes all sorts to make a world,’ the saying goes, and we’ve been looking through the Guinness World Records website and have to say we agree.
From the brave to the daft and just plain weird, there’s a vast and hilarious range of bike-related feats of endurance, invention and skill to be found. Here are our favourites.
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1. Fastest LEJOG on a conference bike
The trip from Land’s End in Cornwall, England to John O’Groats in Scotland is a renowned route for UK endurance cyclists.
Back in 2010, a fundraising team called Team CoBi attempted the trip on… a conference bike. These machines look a bit like the ill-conceived offspring of a large tricycle and a fairground ride, and require one person to act as the pilot and the rest of the riders to provide the pedal power.
The seven-strong team completed the tough 1,000-mile journey in 28 days, 8hours and 27mins, finally reaching the northernmost tip of mainland Britain on 29 August 2010.
Along the way they visited six Cancer Research UK centres across the country and raised more than £30,000 ($37,000 / AU$48,000).
And if you want to know how tough this ride is, check out this account by BikeRadar’s Reuben Bakker-Dyos, who completed LEJOG in just six days, fully supported and riding a Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra. He needed a good lie-down after.
2. Fastest bicycle wheelie
Yes we know, learning to wheelie is a rite of passage for many cyclists, but not everyone can do it and only one person alive can do it at 138.56kph (86.1mph).
That would be one Bobby Root from the USA, who achieved these speeds while riding on the rear wheel of his bicycle at Palmdale, California on 31 January 2001.
He used the slipstream of a motorised vehicle to reach the necessary speed before performing this record-breaking wheelie, tucking in just 1.5m (5ft) behind and managed 9.75m (32ft) of wheelie action.
3. Fastest 30m on a bicycle by a dog
Not all dogs can cycle, but Norman the French sheepdog can.
On 5 July, 2014, this talented pooch from Canton, Georgia, USA managed to ride 30 metres on an unmodified ’sit-up-and-beg’ bike (sorry) with stabilisers in 55.41secs on the set of ‘Officially Amazing’ in Los Angeles.
In fact, he’s so good that when footage first emerged of his amazing talent, some dubious commenters speculated that he is in fact a “human in a dog suit”. Rough.
That’s not his only talent, either – Norman had already set the Guinness World Record for ‘fastest 30m on a scooter by a dog’. Good boy.
4. Fastest 400m hurdles on a bicycle
Reckon you could outsprint an Olympic track runner on a bike? Possibly, but how about on the hurdling track?
Austria’s Thomas Oehler threw down the gauntlet to London 2012 gold medal winner Félix Sánchez (USA/Dominican Republic) — and won.
The Austrian trials rider clocked a time of 44.62secs, beating his Olympian rival by more than five seconds, though he didn’t manage to clear all the hurdles along the way.
5. Fastest 10-obstacle slalom on a bicycle, without sight
This is an incredible feat of skill. Mexican athlete Juan Ruiz, who’s blind from birth, was challenged to slalom through 10 obstacles placed entirely at random on a 20m (66ft) course during the filming of Guinness World Records – Rekorlar Dunyasi in Istanbul, Turkey.
He managed the challenge in just 25.43secs, using echolocation alone, on 23 July 2013. Just incredible.
6. Farthest simulated distance of static cycling while underwater
This is a daft one, definitely, but also pretty impressive.
On 25 June 2014, Italy’s Homar Leuci managed to cycle 855m on a static bike, underwater and from just one breath.
He set this record on the set of Lo Show dei Record in Milan, Italy without the use of breathing equipment. Surely no-one will ever try to challenge that?
7. Deepest cycling underwater
Sticking with the aquatic theme, another Italian called Vittorio Innocente managed to ride a bike an incredible 66.5m underwater in Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria, Italy on 21 July 2008.
That’s deeper than four London double-decker buses, stacked on top of each other.
Innocente also previously held the record for furthest distance cycling underwater, a title now held by Germany’s Jens Stötzner (6.6km / 4.1miles), and still holds the record for fastest cycling underwater.
In 2001, he pedalled 1,200m in a swimming pool at an average speed of 87cm/second.
8. World’s loudest bicycle horn
Fed up of being ignored by lorry drivers when cycling on the streets of London, part-time inventor Yannick Reed invented ‘The Hornster’.
Officially the world’s loudest bike bell, this device can produce 136.2db of noise. That should be enough to wrest lorry-driving-Larry’s attention from the two-way radio.
9. World’s heaviest rideable bike
This bad boy was built by Belgium’s Jeff Peeters in 2015 from re-used materials, like actual tractor tyres.
It weighs a whopping 860kg (1895lb) — that’s more than two adult polar bears — and has been ridden for more than 500m.
It dwarfs the 750kg ‘Monsterbike’ built by Dutch artist Wouter van den Bosch back in 2013, but there’s already a new German-made challenger that weighs a colossal 940kg.
That has yet to be verified as ridden for half a kilometre, but must surely be close to the limit for ‘world’s heaviest rideable bike’ — surely?
10. World’s smallest unicycle
From the largest to the smallest — this here is the world’s smallest unicycle, as ridden by T.J.Howell from the USA.
Measuring just 28.09cm (11.06in) in height, with a wheel diameter of 12.67 mm (0.49 in), Mr. Howell proved it was rideable at the Civic Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin on 12 November 2015 — then returned it to the circus clown, we presume.
11. Most pinky squeaks on a BMX
We’re including this simply because we like the name ‘pinky squeaks’, and had to look up what it meant.
Andreas Lindqvist from Sweden, completed 98 continuous rotations of his freestyle BMX bike while balancing on just the front wheel on 30 October 2001.
12. Longest journey by amphibious bike
This is just incredible — Dutch/Iranian athlete Ebrahim Hemmatnia pedalled the actual Atlantic Ocean in a glorified pedalo back in 2015.
OK, it’s a self-made ‘Boat Bike’, which can be cycled on land or over water, and looks a heck of a lot more sleek than those aquatic contraptions you rent on holiday, but still.
Cycling 2,371km (1,473km) across choppy seas? Rather him than us.