Some view it as an evolution of the sport, while others say it was a reckless maneuver. Whichever it is, Michael Guerra’s daring stunt in a bicycling race has gone viral.
In a video filmed at an undisclosed location, Guerra unclips from the medals on his fixed-gear bicycle and stretches out on his saddle, much like Superman. He gains tremendous speed and zooms past other competitors who are still pedaling. At one point he passes a motorized scooter. Hilariously, the scooter’s driver emulates Guerra’s move.
Guerra’s move is especially dangerous because his bicycle has no breaks and operates in a fixed gear. As the bicycle gains speed, the pedals remain in locked motion with the wheels, moving so fast that it’s impossible to get one’s feet back on. Since the pedals are the only way to slow the bicycle down, Guerra is much like a rocket — lots of speed, but no way to stop unless crashing into something at full speed.
But his move was calculated as well. Fixed gear bicycles go downhill slower than regular freewheel types, because the cyclist’s legs are on the pedals. Once a certain speed is reached, the bicyclist actually becomes an impediment to further acceleration. In the video, Guerra unclips from his pedals with a big downhill stretch ahead of him. With his legs off the pedals he lets the bike accelerate without the resistance from his legs. Plus, his Superman pose allows for optimal aerodynamics. At high speeds, reducing air resistance is critical to further acceleration.
Once Guerra zooms by the competition and the slope flattens, he pulls off the impossible: using his shoes as brake pads on the rear wheel and getting his feet back on the pedals in time to regain speed without letting anyone pass him. Epic win.
Guerra has pulled off this trick more than once. Check out the videos below to see the craziness by yourself: