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American woman rides bike 147 mph, a new world record
Denise Mueller of San Diego, California, set a new women's bicycle land speed record on Saturday. (CCSS Level: Grade 6, Words: 347)
Sep 21, 2016 Sports

American cyclist Denise Mueller (43) has just set a new woman's bicycle land speed record of 147 mph (237kmh) at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. She rode just a few inches behind a modified Range Rover Sport SRV that measured her speed and used a tail fairing to protect Mueller from the wind while she made her run. She needed to follow a very powerful car that could do the kind of speed needed for the record. The car was driven by woman race car driver Shea Holbrook, who has worked with Mueller for several years.

Of course the bicycle itself had many changes made to it for the world record attempt. The frame was stretched longer, the seat post had special springs added to take out the vibration, suspension forks were put on, and custom-made 17-inch motorcycle wheels with bald tires lowered Mueller's body closer to the ground. This made the ride smoother, even as she reached speeds close to 150 mph. When a bicycle is traveling at that sort of speed, it is really important that the cyclist stays out of the wind at the back of the pace car. "Hitting a 140 mph wall of air will knock me off my bike," Mueller said.

The pace car pulled Mueller up to about 90 mph, but then getting up to 147 mph was all from her legs. The bike has not one, but two big chain rings at the front. The changes to the gears means that Mueller's bike allows her to accelerate by pedaling at about 102 turns per minute (rpm) when she is already going more than 100 mph.

Mueller is already thinking about breaking the current men's land speed record, which was set in 1995 by Fred Rompleberg of the Netherlands. Rompleberg managed to reach 167 mph (around 270kmh). To get those extra 20 mph and become the fastest person to ever ride a bicycle, Mueller's team thinks she will need about 6 miles of track, two miles longer than the track she was using at the salt flats.

Why was a fairing attached to the back of the pace car?
To prevent people from seeing the cyclist
To protect the cyclist from the 140mph wind
To fist pull the cyclist up to 90mph
To let the pace car driver see the cyclist
What was the main reason for all the changes to Mueller's bike?
To make the ride smoother at high speed
To make the ride more comfortable for Mueller
To allow the bike to accelerate quickly
To let the chain change from one gear to another
Why would Mueller need a longer track to break the men's world speed record?
She would need to use a different bicycle
To allow more time to accelerate to 167mph
Because it is too dangerous on a shorter track
Mueller would need to be fitter to reach that speed
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get faster






without hair, no treads (on a tyre)



separate into pieces, smashing



right now / a flow of water in the ocean



made specially for a particular person



made or done for one customer



a person who rides a bicycle



a shield to help a vehicle go faster



specially changed to make something better or more suitable



turning the pedals on a bike with the feet



a regular payment made during a person's retirement from an investment fund



have power or strength



keep safe from harm



the best or most ever measured    



better or greater than usual



a material that returns to its shape after pressed or stretched



lengthened, made longer or straighter



cushion from bumps in the road



shaking or trembling