A bid by Holland's Fred Rompelberg to become the world's fastest bicyclist ended in near disaster Saturday with the wreck of his specially designed racing bike.
Rompelberg, 42, Haustricht, Holland, was apparently uninjured in the spill at 135 mph that sent him skidding 560 feet along the Bonneville Salt Flats track. But he was taken to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City for observation."Fred was walking and talking immediately after the spill," said team spokesman Terry Nish. "All his vital signs were good, but they felt he should at least spend the night in the hospital."
Nish, who was driving a chase car, said Rompelberg had reached 135 mph and was about one mile from entering the measured mile when the lead car "started to fishtail."
In world land speed record attempts, cyclist ride just a few feet behind a chase car that breaks wind for the rider.
The front wheel of the bike then "hooked" the rear of the lead car, Nish said, and Rompelberg flipped over the side.
"But his crash helmet and leather racing suit saved him," Nish said.
"If he checks out OK at the hospital, he'll probably be right back out here again tomorrow," said Nish.
"The bike appeared to be undamaged, but we have plenty of spare parts.
The world land speed record for bicycles is 152.284 mph, set by Californian John Howard on July 20, 1985, at the salt flats.