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ARION1 team breaks UK Human Powered British Land Speed Record

ARION 1, Sports and Exercise Science Wednesday 23 September 2015

The ARION1 ULV team, which worked with Liverpool Hope University researchers Dr Simon Marwood and Dr Pete Angell to select and train riders, has broken the human powered British Land Speed Record three times at Battle Mountain, Nevada.   

The ARION1 - an entirely pedal-powered aerodynamic bike – was been built by the University of Liverpool Velocipede Team.

Dr Marwood and Dr Angell from Liverpool Hope worked with the University of Liverpool and John Moores University on the project. 30 people applied to take on ten months of intensive training to reach the physical peak needed to ride the ARION1 Velocipede. Applicants from across the country were tested for strength, stamina and endurance in special tests devised by Dr Marwood, Dr Angell and Patrick Harper, Lead Ergonomics Engineer with the ULV Team. 

Dr Marwood also simulated the attempt using mathematical modelling, to determine the physical requirements to break the record.  From this, he was able to predict what power – and where on the track – the rider needs to put in the maximum exertion. This has helped the team to formulate a strategy that sees the rider hit their peak at the point on the track where speed is measured for the record.

Dave Collins made a record breaking run of 69 mph, which he then broke again with a run of 70.6 mph. This was then broken minutes later by Ken Buckley who reached 75.3 mph.

Dr Pete Angell said: "This really has been a team effort. The engineers have created a fantastic bike and combined with the support of the sports science team we were able to prepare the riders for the demands of the record attempt and put together a coherent strategy to help maximise the speed the riders can achieve with the belief that we could break the record."

Dr Marwood said: “The speed was measured over a 200-metre section of the entire track, so we were challenged with devising a pacing strategy that minimizes fatigue whilst maximizing speed at an exact point of measurement. This type of mathematical modelling has never been applied to a recumbent bicycle before, so we have had to run extensive tests to determine how position impacts on power and speed.” 

Profile - Dr Simon Marwood

Profile - Dr Peter Angell

School of Health Sciences

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