What is the Future of Performance? It is the fusion of training, technology, and teams to annihilate supposedly unbreakable records at an accelerating rate. In the case of Denise Mueller-Korenek, it came in the form of racing a bicycle across the Bonneville Salt Flats faster than the takeoff speed of a passenger jet—183.93 mph. Impossible you say? Not really. The past record was 167 mph, which was very impressive until it wasn’t.
For those of you that like to sport your spandex, cycling singlet on the weekends, please do not try this without the proper preparation. Also, I think your singlet is one size too small, but I digress…
There is massive training involved. Mueller-Korenek, age 45, has been cycling for 30 years. She works extensively with a coach for this very specific challenge. And, she knows when to give her body a rest.
The technology is amazing. Her bike has a gear ratio that will not even allow her to turn the pedals under her own power until after it reaches 100 mph. The bike is over 7 feet long with motorcycle wheels. She also rides in the slipstream behind a drag racer to get her up to speed and control her acceleration.
Her team is critical. There are support crews, coaches, trainers, drivers, and even the people that paint a line down the Salt Flats to make sure they stay in a straight line. Without any one of these people, the performance falls apart quickly. Guess what that means when you are traveling at 183.93 mph?
Some takeaways from us lesser humans:
- She relies on a team and a coach to make this happen. The higher the performance and greater the feat, the more dependence on others is required.
- She gets the glory, but there is not a single person on her team that is of less importance. We will never know their names, but they are experts at what THEY do as well.
- Technology does not replace training. Teams do not supplant technology. Training alone is not as good as training with a team. ALL ARE REQUIRED AND MUST BE INTEGRATED.
- If you think something is impossible to do, and you are trying to figure it out yourself using your current approach and perspective, perhaps you have identified the real problem.
Go break a record. The future of performance demands it.
It’s a feat inconceivable to most sound-minded mortals: This past Sunday, Denise Mueller-Korenek rode a bicycle more than 180 mph—183.93 to be exact, which is faster than the takeoff speed of an Airbus A340—and crushed the motor-paced bicycle land speed record. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a23281242/denise-mueller-korenek-breaks-bicycle-speed-record/