As dangerous as they can be, speed records are an exciting way to drive people to spark innovation.
There is something about going fast that invites innovation. On Friday, Frenchman Eric Barone surpassed his previous world record and reached 141.498 mph, which further cements Barone as the world’s fastest mountain biker.
To reach that speed, Barone traveled down a snowy ski slope in the French Alps. His previous world record of 138.75 mph was set on the same trail at the Vars ski resort in 2015.
Breaking a record doesn’t come easy. At those speeds, the smallest amount of instability can lead to serious injuries. In 2002, a crash during another attempt resulted in two torn shoulders, a broken femur, and six broken ribs. This time, however, even the obvious stability issues weren’t enough to keep Barone from his latest achievement.
“A little more than 48 hours after my record, I wanted to thank you all,” Barone said in a recent Facebook post. “Thank you to my family and my friends who have always supported me in my various projects. Thank you to all my sponsors and partners who allowed me to give life to this project, and particularly to Transalliance, my main sponsor. Thanks to team Barone who shares with me these great moments of emotion and who brings me a lot. Thank you to the spectators who traveled to see my performance and thanks to you who, behind your computer or your smartphone follow my adventure on social networks. Thanks to the media who radiate my performance at the regional, national and international level. Thank you very much to all!”
Often referred to as the Red Baron, Barone also holds the world record for fastest speed achieved traveling downhill on a volcano with a prototype bicycle. He has been setting these bicycle speed records since the early 1990s. Earlier in his life, this daredevil also acted as a stunt double for both Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme.