On an abandoned runway in France, Frenchman Francois Gissy set a world speed record by traveling 163.4 mph on a rocket-powered bicycle fueled by hydrogen peroxide, or the same ingredient used to bleach hair. Gissy broke the old mark of 150.4 mph set in 2002. He used a specialized bike produced by Swiss company Exotic Thermo Engineering, which apparently couldn’t afford better video equipment to capture the record-setting moment. Nevertheless, one gets a pretty good idea about the speed (measured by a GPS unit), as the bike jets past a moving car.
Because of safety issues, the public wasn’t allowed to watch the attempt at the former Munchhouse airport in Haut-Rhin, located in the Alsace region of France. Reports say that this record falls short of the one Fred Rompelberg set in 1995 on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Salt Lake City. But that record of 166.5 mph was completed while on a bike connected to the back of dragster. Rompelberg’s bike was not powered by a product used to bleach hair. Exotic Thermo Engineering said that the bike has an “ecological motor.”