Gravity Racer World Record: The Record Attempt

It was time to see if we could set a world record speed for a gravity racer. The weather was 21ºC in nearby Avignon and the wind on the 2 km road section was light. Feeling buoyant from the previous day’s 81.8 mph and having a number of further changes up our sleeves — we were optimistic.   […]

Heading into the first corner (photo Channel 4)

Gravity Racer World Record: Location

Mont Ventoux  — In the Provence region of southern France — is the mountain mecca for road bike enthusiasts. Jam-packed with glorious, sweeping, alpine roads and stunning scenery, “what a location!” I hear you say. Believe me, the selection of a location was no easy task. Mont Ventoux (Photo – Channel 4) To give us an idea of […]

CAD model of final shell design (image John Hart)

Gravity Racer World Record: Design

The gravity racer was designed and constructed by the team at CSER (Heather Driscoll, Terry Senior, Alice Bullas, John Hart and Christina King). As with most engineering projects, we did not have an unlimited budget or time, so where possible we tried to use and modify bought in components. Modify is the key word though; […]

Gravity Racer World Record: Theory

When we accepted the challenge of designing a gravity racer we were inundated with offers of help: tips on what we should do, recommendations for which parts we should be using etc. It seemed that nearly everyone we spoke to was an expert! While some of their advice was gratefully received we decided to spend a bit […]

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High speed sports

In my previous article I examined how quickly Usain Bolt completes his 100 m race, and the difference between his maximum and average running speed. We found that Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the 100 metres, but how fast is he compared to other athletes in other running events or even other athletic […]

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How can we cycle faster?

At the museum we have a great exhibit with two racing bikes along a simulated course; this has sparked a range of questions on the topic of cycling, from the physics of riding a bike to the most popular question; how can we cycle faster? How do we master the art of balancing on two […]