At the recent launch of Guinness World Records 2013, we had the opportunity
to speak to several record holders featured in the new book. We asked them
the questions world record fans most wanted to know about, and now here are the answers!
Today's Q+A is with Wouter van den Bosch, the creator of the heaviest rideable bike. His "Monsterbike" weighs in at 750kg (1650lb), and is frequently ridden around his hometown of Arnhem in the Netherlands.
Q - What were you thinking when you made the bike, why was it created?
A - I've always been fascinated by mechanics and building things. It was part of my final exam exhibition for my fine art degree - and I really wanted to make something big. Many artists start with a concept, and then find the medium best-suited to expressing this. I was the opposite - I was offered this huge tractor tire, then thought, "What can I make using this?"
Q - Have you any funny stories relating to the construction?
A - Well, some teachers at my art school told me I would never be able to ride it, that it would only be a nice thing to look at. This only served to make me more determined to make the bike such that I could ride it, and I did! I also think it's pretty funny how the video of me riding the bike has been watched over 6 million times - how did that happen?!
Q - Did you originally intend to make a record-breaking bike?
A - No, I just built it and it turned out to be record-worthy! The team at Guinness World Records saw my video on YouTube and got in contact after that.
Q - Is it designed for a large person?
A - No, it's not really that suited for a large person, actually. In fact, it should be a little larger, and the seat raised up higher for me (6'6) to be able to ride it comfortably. I have the seat this height for aesthetic reasons.
Q - What would you do to prevent your record being broken?
A - Fill the front tire with lead! No, perhaps I would find another record to break instead. I have some ideas, but just building things is what is most important to me. Maybe a human-powered flying machine...
Q - What's your favourite record, other than your own?
A - It would be one I saw in the 1990 edition of the book when I was a child. The world's largest tree, "General Sherman" I think it was called.
Q - How does it feel to be a Guinness World Records title holder?
A - It's a big honour, to be in this book where everyone is so special, or has done something to such an extreme. A real childhood dream come true!
Q - Where will you keep your Guinness World Records certificate?
A - Maybe in my bathroom? Or on the back of my front door? I'm proud of it, but don't want to be too much of a show-off!