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147mph speed-biker will try to break men’s record

Denise Mueller, the California woman who recently set a new women's speed record on a bicycle, will try to beat the men's record in 2017.

Denise Mueller, the San Diego-based cyclist who recently rode her bicycle 147 miles per hour to establish a new women’s world record, will attempt to break the men’s record this coming year.

Mueller will need to ride faster than 167mph to accomplish her task.

Mueller is at Las Vegas’s Interbike trade show this week discussing her recent attempt to set a new world record on a strange custom-built bicycle. The speed record requires a cyclist to be towed up to 90 mph by a pacing vehicle. The rider then powers the bicycle under his or her power behind the pacing car, which uses a fairing to block the wind. The 167 mph record was set in 1995 by Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelberg.

Mueller believes her successful attempt this summer has given her the experience to break through the next barrier.

“The bike is like an amusement park ride,” said Mueller, whose Project Speed team is sponsored by Cylance and Hoehn Adventures. “As soon as I get off of it I want to go get back on it again.”

Mueller said she had to pedal between 600-700 watts in order to propel her bicycle up to 147 mph. When she reached that speed, however, the strange aerodynamic conditions created by the car caused her to surge back and forth. The constant surging created a challenging dynamic with the pace car. Often, Mueller would slam into the pace car and lose speed.

“I had to learn how to ride in the vortex behind [the car],” Mueller said. “Finding the right spot is the key to breaking the record.”

For her 2017 attempt, Mueller and her team will alter her custom-built KHS bicycle. They will use a belt drive instead of a chain, and remove the brakes. She will also move from Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats to Battle Mountain in Nevada, and will likely make her attempt in late August or early September.