A Bendigo athlete has broken the world record for the most distance travelled in six hours in a human powered vehicle.
Kyle Lierich, 26, drew on years of experience as a participant of the RACV Energy Breakthrough, cyclist and personal trainer to break the record.
“In 2016 I broke the one hour record, and this year I broke the six hour record which was a big step up,” Lierich said.
“The preparation involved a lot of early mornings, late nights and training during my lunch break.
“I really dedicated myself.”
Lierich provided the human power which propelled the vehicle at an average speed of 62 km per hour, covering a total of 376 km within the six hour window.
The record was broken over the Easter long weekend at the Ford Australia Proving Ground test facility in Lara.
The attempt was sanctioned by Australian Human Powered Vehicles, with the record being formally recognised by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association on July 1.
The Phantom Mini-T was designed by Geelong engineer Dr Tim Corbett and was constructed using carbon fibre and Kevlar material that has been moulded into the shape of an aeroplane wing.
The vehicle operates in a similar way to a bike and gains its speed from aerodynamic efficiency and extremely low resistance tyres.
Dr Corbett has a long history with building vehicles to break world records.
“It is a fantastic outcome that we broke the record,” Dr Corbett said.
“However, it was frustrating dealing with wind conditions and malfunctions that restricted the numbers we were capable of achieving.”
Dr Corbett credited Lierich as producing “massive numbers” as an athlete powering the bike, running it at “phenomenal speeds”.
The world record didn’t come without challenges, with Lierich battling fatigue and muscle cramps during the last two hours, followed by a vehicle malfunction.
“It was stressful. I said to myself, I cannot come this far, cramp and lock up,” Lierich said.
However, Lierich persevered to break the outright record with a margin of 600 metres.
Lierich’s eyes are now set on an attempt to break the twelve hour record.
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