Ultimate Bike for Sale
From Cycling Weekly 21.6.97
The Ultimate Bike is up for auction at Bonham's of Knightsbridge, although it's fair to say that few prospective purchasers will have much knowledge of the cycle racing scene. This is the bike built by race car manufacturer Lola for former grasstrack specialist Bruce Bursford, who pedaled it on rollers at what would have been 207.9mph, had the wheels been travelling on an actual road.
The bike was built almost entirely of carbonfibre, including the cranks, and famously employed ceramic ball bearings to reduce rolling friction. Bursford, who claimed to have shaved his legs to avoid getting hairs caught in the transmission, set what the Bonham's press release calls the 'Solo Cycle World Absolute Speed Record' in 1995, with what has been described as "the most dramatic demonstration of explosive physical power in the history of sport". For those interested in more exact figures, Bursford's 33in thighs are said to have generated a stunning, if rather unlikely, 5,500 watts of power.
His incredible talent had already been put to the test in France - according to an interview in a monthly British cycling magazine - where he excelled at stage racing and was national pursuit champion.
The icing on the cake of this unique sale has to come from the 'provenance' it will acquire from having hung in the main entrance hall of Uri Geller's Berkshire mansion since the record ride. Geller was partly responsible for Bursford's psychological training.