Mountain Biking: 150-kph Dreaming

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Outside magazine, June 1994

Mountain Biking: 150-kph Dreaming
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and Eric Hagerman)

Funny things happen when you try to ride a mountain bike at 150 kph. Ask the new downhill speed record holder, Frenchman Christian Taillefer, who on his first two attempts last January on the speed-skiing course at Vars, France, watched with horror as his disc brakes melted under the extreme duress of a 70-percent-plus grade. Taillefer survived, replaced his brakes for attempt
number three, and then shattered the existing 126-kph mark by reaching 147 kph. The Frenchman wasn’t satisfied, however, saying that the 300 screws set into his tires for traction in the snow caused excessive drag, thereby scotching his 150-kph dreams. Taillefer plans another attempt next winter.

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