When he rides his new bike, Graeme Obree must look like a man who’s been abducted by aliens and is struggling to get out of the weird, clear pod in which they’ve stored him. He doesn’t care what he looks like, though: He cares how fast he goes. And the super-aerodynamic bike that he has designed will, he thinks, go more than 100 miles per hour.
Instead of pedaling around in a circle, the rider of this bike uses a push-pull pedal system, which, according to Obree, gives the bike part of its aerodynamic magic:
The push pull arrangement means that the knees do not dip as far as would be the case with a circular movement, again reducing the frontal area and air resistance.
Basically, he’s turning bike riders into engines. Instead of steam, we’re powered by corn. It’s not really clear how hard it is to bike this thing — Obree has a special breathing technique — but if humans can learn how to control 4,000-pound lumps of metal that go 100 mph, they can probably learn to control their breathing in this way, too. And then instead of driving everywhere, we can all bike super, super fast, and be in much, much better shape. It might even be worth the embarrassment of being trapped in an alien egg.
Can a Human-Powered Bike Go 100 mph?, Wired.