March 22, 2000
Les Arcs, France
By: Rod Ratzlaff
Shimmy into your aero-suit. Slip on your Darth Vader helmet. Have a seat and get into your tuck. Take a deep breath and let gravity have it’s way. Faster.. everything is a blur now, the wind feels like a hurricane, 100mph, just a little more.. hit the brakes, hard. Just another day at the office for Romuald Bonvin, speedbiker.
On March 22, 2000, during the world championship of speed skiing held on the olympic track of the Arcs, he broke the official world skibob speed record, gliding at 184.9 kph (114 mph). He broke the record of 173 kph (107 mph) set in May 1999 by..... Romuald Bonvin. These records were set using a bike built by Flachsmann Switzerland.
In 1964, the first skibike world speed record was set at 166 kph (103 mph) by Eric Brenter, of Austria. This record endured for 35 years.
At his other “office”, Romuald is an account manager for Sun Microsystems Switzerland, who also sponsor his speedbike endeavors. His other hobbies include flying and football.
But, this is just the beginning, according to Mr. Bonvin. A new bike is in development which should enable him to break the record yet again. It is being designed by the School of Engineering-University of Geneva in collaboration with various industrial sponsors for materials, including Dynastar and Rossignol, as ski providers. More details, with photos, follow below.