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OU on the BBC: Science Shack - How fast can your legs carry you?

Updated Friday, 2nd June 2006

Adam Hart-Davis attempts to pedal his way into history, as part of the BBC/OU's Science Shack series.

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Our speed buggy Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team

One man. One pair of legs. One goal: Speed.

At the time of making the programme, the current world speed record for a human-powered vehicle was 80.5 mph (117 km/h), set by Canadian athlete Sam Whittingham.

Adam's challenge: to beat it.

But can Adam's fitness level compare with a world athlete? Is his beloved bicycle aerodynamic enough, or does he need a special contraption to help him achieve those ludicrous speeds?

If he stores expended energy over a period of time and releases it explosively will this propel him into the record books?

First broadcast: Friday 2 Nov 2001 on BBC TWO

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