Mad Max Comes To Life

Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl hits a top speed on an or­di­nary moun­tain bi­cy­cle

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Chal­leng­ing sta­tus quo has al­ways been an ob­jec­tive for Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl and for this record; he had taken two years to lay an ac­tion plan for him­self. And true enough, in just 11 sec­onds; Markus had reached a top speed of 167.6km/h on a stan­dard moun­tain bike, hurtling down a name­less moun­tain in Chile’s Ata­cama Desert. The gravel slope of the lo­ca­tion was a per­fect 45 de­grees, serv­ing as the per­fect an­gle for his record. The 43-year-old hit a pulse of 170 beats per minute, as the wind whis­tled past his ears on the 1,200m de­scent.

Markus was brought up in the Austrian moun­tains, crav­ing for speed since a young age as he par­tic­i­pants in the speed an­nu­als since 1999. His pen­chant for break­ing records grew deeper over the years and some of it in­cludes records set at a French ski re­sort of Les Arcs and a

vol­cano in Nicaragua. His lat­est record came af­ter eight prac­tice runs in the bar­ren Chilean desert with barely any­thing in sight from 4,000m (above sea level).

Speak­ing emo­tion­ally mo­ments af­ter the fin­ish and his lat­est record, he said: “I’m back on the moun­tain with­out a name in the mid­dle of the desert. It’s tricky be­cause it’s all rocky and loose at the start. It was such a long time and stand­ing up there was like we al­ready cried at the start. It was great fun. The whole project is an ad­ven­ture. This is the top bit of it but also trav­el­ling here with all the stuff and mak­ing our way through the mid­dle of the desert. It’s hard to reach top speed. Af­ter 160, each km/h is a huge ef­fort. If you want to reach a cer­tain goal then you have to put it all in.”

It was also a rare sight as Markus was in a spe­cially de­signed, fig­ure-hug­ging suit that ef­fec­tively had rud­ders at­tached to his legs un­der the ma­te­rial and a hel­met in two parts. The car­bon-fi­bre hel­met, out­fit and bike were tested in a wind tun­nel to find the op­ti­mal de­sign and seat­ing po­si­tion for the record at­tempt. The great­est ac­com­plish­ment was the use of an or­di­nary bi­cy­cle parts. It may be high­end parts but it could very well be bought off shelves at any store.

Whether this lat­est record has quenched his thirst for the record books re­mains un­known. Ly­ing on the ground fresh af­ter the at­tempt, he spoke of a de­sire to re­turn home to his fam­ily.

“It’s im­por­tant that it feels like an ad­ven­ture,” he said. “We are trav­el­ling to another con­ti­nent, head­ing into the desert for count­less hours, sleep­ing in tents un­der the moun­tain with a good bunch of guys – it all makes for so much ex­cite­ment. You never know what is go­ing to hap­pen from a start point be­fore you try it."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.