We saw two contenders for the Land Speed Record by motor-paced bicycle in 2013 — Tom Donhou’s Flying Miler and Guy Martin’s Rourke Cycle, both from the United Kingdom. Detroit Bicycle Company’s Land Speed Bike Land Speed Bike comes from the other side of the Atlantic which, regardless of the outcome, definitely wins the award for most embellished and reminiscent of a golden era.
Steven Bock of the Detroit Bicycle Company has, so far, become well known for his track frames, built with a nostalgic nod to the glory days of the Motor City. Look hard enough at his portfolio and your eyes will wash over with a sepia hue, and his Land Speed Bike is no exception — gloss black and copper highlights reference the pinnacle of the city’s auto industry.
While not necessarily a record beater, it’s certainly a head-turner, although for those watching Steve riding it while being paced by a vintage Detroit Chevy ’63 Impala, they run the risk of a severe case of whiplash. A 93-tooth chainring should do the job, laser cut with the Detroit Bicycle Co. logotype. As it stands, the frame is probably one of the finest examples of trillium you’ll ever see.
There’s a lot to admire here, so Steve’s background in automotive show car building shouldn’t come as a surprise. Inspiration came from a six day rider named Alfred ‘The Red Devil’ Letourneur, who hit 108.92 mph on a Schwinn Paramount in 1941. Steve is making five of his flying machines, so if you feel like having a crack at your own record, contact him through his website.
Big thanks to Dong Park for the photos.