Wednesday, 9 February 2011

World Gasps In Wonder At 100% British Rocket Unicycle

The rest of the world gasped in respectful wonder yesterday when – proudly seizing the mantle of engineering genius passed down from the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel - plucky British boffins unveiled Bloodpoodle, the futuristic machine they confidently predict will smash the world land speed record for a rocket-powered unicycle.

Good luck, professor - make us proud
Teetering on his rickety mount, brave trick-cyclist Professor Terence Clipson was dwarfed by the mighty Rolls-Royce Olympus 593 afterburning turbojet – salvaged from a decommissioned Concorde – which is mounted on struts above his cycling helmet. Its 38,000 pounds of roaring British thrust will initially propel the flimsy monowheel to 1,900mph - at which point four sideslung rocket boosters will fire simultaneously, taking the shuddering, screaming monster to its projected maximum velocity of Mach 4, a fraction over 3,000mph.

Wobbling back and forth, Professor Clipson was at pains to deny that he will simply be a helpless passenger as his fiery unicycle careers along the Brighton seafront next week, at the apex of a 150-yard gout of flame.

“Whilst it is undeniably true that the Bloodpoodle differs from conventional unicycles in that it has no actual pedals as such,” he explained, furiously scribbling equations on the back of an envelope, “Nonetheless I still have a vital role to play in maintaining its precarious balance. Dear me, if I should lean so much as half an inch too far forward - even for a fraction of a second - this diabolical contraption could tunnel through the fragile mantle of the earth in less than half a minute, catastrophically transforming the whole of the South Downs into a gigantic, unstoppable volcano.”

When asked what purpose would be served by a Mach 4 unicycle, the professor blinked and asked for the question to be repeated slowly.

“Well…er, it’s British,” he explained, after giving the matter some thought.

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