owns the women's speed record for cycling, at 147 miles an hour (237.74 kph) and now, the San Diego, California, resident is training to beat the world record: 268.831 kilometers an hour (167.044 mph), set by Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelberg. Both records were posted at the Bonneville salt flats, drafting only inches behind specially modified vehicles. Denise drafted a modified SUV, while Fred tucked in behind a similarly equipped dragster. The blistering speeds the two attained were made possible by eliminating most of the wind resistance, so the riders only needed to overcome the rolling and mechanical friction of the bicycle and the wind drag created by the spinning wheels. No small feat, it turns out.
The frame is carbon fiber, but it isn't lightweight. At the speeds she is travelling, there is no tolerance for frame flex. KHS is her sponsor, which gives them bragging rights that are enviable, to say the least. There is no fairing. The rider is tucked inside a "box" constructed behind a modified SUV and must remain within a foot or so behind a safety bumper in order to escape the wind. Even if she did have a clear view of what was ahead, Denise doesn't have the luxury, as her life, and the record she is seeking is dependent upon maintaining that tiny gap between the steel tube that protrudes from her bike and the safety bumper inside the box. She says the speed run is only four miles, and she is already over 100 miles an hour after mile one. Oh yeah - and she is wearing a ten-pound leather suit.