E-cyclist pedals over 1600km into record books


September 30, 2011

Hahn Environmental CEO Allan Lear and team at the finish in Birdsville - just in time for the races

Hahn Environmental CEO Allan Lear and team at the finish in Birdsville - just in time for the races

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The CEO of Australia's Hahn Environmental Services, the largest producer of biodiesel in Queensland, has smashed the distance set by Guinness for the Longest Distance Traveled by Electric Bicycle in One Week. Riding a modified Stealth Bomber e-bike, which had its battery packs charged by a wind turbine sitting atop a Mini Moke running on green fuel, Allan Lear managed to pedal an amazing 1,629 km (1,012 miles) through Australia's outback - he is now waiting for the achievement to be verified by Guinness as a World Record.

Lear was required by Guinness officials to travel some 1,200 km (745.6 miles) during a seven-day continuous timeframe. The attempt was scheduled to start on August 24, and the World Record team spent a few weeks prior to that date fitting out a very special Mini Moke. The vehicle started life as a red and black flood damaged reject and was converted to run on ethanol produced from food waste collected from local businesses. The now green-colored car is also home to two roof-top wind turbines for the swap-and-go battery bank, and more.

"The wind turbines charged everything including the bike batteries, our CB radios, even our mobile phones," says Lear. "It was a very efficient system, and the mini certainly brought us a lot of attention along the way."

Lear set off from the company's head office in Landsborough in Queensland at 7:20am on August 25, riding a Stealth Bomber electric bike that was tweaked for longer battery life and treated to some hardcore tires and suspension. The onboard electric hub motor was set to deliver 200 watts of power, and each of the four battery packs used in the attempt averaged around 80 km (49.7 miles) - some performing better than others. Lear reports that he was able to reach speeds of over 40 km/h (25 mph) with some effort on the pedals and a helpful tail wind.

The company's Tanya Munro told Gizmag that Lear "was very happy with the bike and had no problems at all with it, even with the really rugged terrain."

Lear and the team, which also included a few support riders, arrived in Birdsville just after 4pm on August 31 - averaging over 230 km (143 miles) per day.

"We traveled some very rough terrain and had our share of challenges with flat tires, bad weather, road trains, wild animals and met some interesting characters along the way," reports Lear. "The last few days were really tough."

Money raised from sponsorship and donations is being donated to environmental charity Greenfleet, for planting hundreds of trees.

Lear's video diary from the carbon neutral trip can be viewed on his personal blog.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Why is there a wind turbine on the car? Wouldn\'t it be a lot more efficient to drive a generator directly from the engine? And what kind of record is it when you are allowed to pedal the bike?

Campbell Sharp

Even though the car is allegedly burning \"green\" fuel, it\'s this fuel which in reality is powering the e-bike, providing the motion which creates the wind which turns the turbine. It would have been a much more valid \"green\" effort if the car had photovoltaic panels on its roof, or even the bike had carried its own PV array, perhaps on a trailer, to charge the batteries. There are plenty of existing examples of this technology.

I\'d mark this effort as a needlessly complicated, pointless fail.

Joe Blake

re; Campbell Sharp

I agree swopping in a higher output alternator would have been more efficient. But that would not have attracted attention.


Well I think the idea that mounting a wind turbine every 60 - 100K or so, or relocating 1 or 2 of them leap frog style - to simulate having a roof mounted unit on a home base - it was just easier to whack it one the car and take it with them.

True it does have the advantage of location in a very and consistently windy part of Australia - on the roof of a car.....

But WTF - having a streamlined recumbent with electrical assist motoring, with a hundred watts or so of power source on the roof at home would make commuting a very cost effective transport system for many people.

Mr Stiffy

I try not to be negative about people\'s designs, ideas, and achievements, but unless I am missing something, [and I hope someone will put me right if I am], this must be the most pointless convoluted exercise ever, proving.......what? Ian Colley in sunny England.


This does not go by the rules. It can\'tbe accepted in the records. And they wasted energy.

Dawar Saify
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