Norfolk

Wooden bike ready to set first land speed record

Michael Thompson with his SplinterBike
Image caption Michael Thompson has spent more than 1,000 hours building his cycle

A bicycle made entirely out of wood is being entered for its first land speed record attempt.

It is hoped the SplinterBike will reach speeds of more than 30mph (48.3kph) when it is cycled around a velodrome before the end of August.

The bicycle, which is held together only by wooden joints and glue, was made by Norfolk carpenter Michael Thompson after a £1 bet with a friend.

"It's been a very long road but we're just about at the end now," he said.

"Fingers crossed, within the next two months we'll have the speed record in our hands."

Mr Thompson completed the 30kg (4.7 stone) SplinterBike in May after spending around 1,000 hours hand-building it in his shed in Potter Heigham on the Norfolk Broads.

While spurred on by a bet, he was also inspired to build the bike after watching the Tour of Britain race pass through his village in September 2010.

The bicycle will be ridden by Mr Thompson's friend and triathlete James Tully.

The venue for the record attempt has yet to be finalised but Manchester's velodrome is a likely candidate because of its wooden flooring.

The record cannot be attempted on roads because of the fragility of the bike's wheels.

Although a speed record for any wooden bicycle has yet to be set, Mr Thompson said it has been "geared to obtain speeds of around 31 miles an hour".

The bicycle will be displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from September.

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