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Subject: Norfolk man to set land speed record on wooden bicycle

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/18/10 at 1:50 am

A man from Potter Heigham in Norfolk (UK) is hoping to set a land speed record on a bicycle made entirely from wood.

Michael Thompson has been inspired to attempt the feat by the Tour of Britain which passed through Norfolk for the first time on 16 September 2010.

It's the first time anybody has attempted to set the record on a 100% wooden bicycle.

"People have tried but they very rarely manage to succeed without using some metal component," said Michael.

"We're going to be throwing down the gauntlet on this one so anything between 25 and 30mph is going to be good for us," he added.

The project has attracted a lot of attention and has already secured sponsorship from major companies.

"We've been very fortunate really. We've managed to capture a lot of people's interest mainly through the website for the bike project but also on Twitter as well," said Michael.

As well as securing a place in the record books, the project is also raising funds for ShelterBox, a charity which delivers boxes of aid to victims of natural and manmade disasters.

While building the frame from wood shouldn't be a problem, it's the moving parts that may prove tricky.

Birch plywood will be used for the majority of the frame with exotic hardwoods being used for some of the mechanisms.

Michael admits that there is no definitive design as yet.

"We've got a few ideas - we're going to have to do a lot of prototyping and testing," he said.

"We've set ourselves about a month to get this designed and built and then another couple of weeks of testing before we actually try and set the land speed record."

The finished article will be ridden by James Tully, a triathlete from Norwich.

The team is also looking for a location where they can attempt the record.

"We're on the lookout for a good flat surface," said Michael.

"If anyone knows of any good smooth private roads that we can set the record on, ideally at least half a mile long please let us know," he added

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