This year’s Smithsfield Nocturne cycle festival on Saturday 19 June features a very special Laverstoke Park Farm Race which will see Jody and his team battle it out round the Smithfield circuit with an added twist… selling ice creams!
Cyclists including Olympic silver medallist Chris Newton, Polar Explorer Ben Saunders and Alastair Humphreys, a renowned adventurer famed for circumnavigating the globe, will join Jody to race the customised Mercedes-Benz bikes to celebrate the launch of Laverstoke Park’s new buffalo milk ice-cream. The competitors will use bikes which were originally Mercedes-Benz 24 gear Fitness Comfort Bikes.
Graham Miller, our Director of Wind Tunnel Operations & Special Projects explains the project: “We wanted to keep as many of the original bike parts as possible, whilst developing a method to carry a large freezer unit for Laverstoke’s ice-cream. Just as with our racing cars, a low centre of gravity was paramount to performance and we wanted to keep the bike as streamlined as possible and keep the weight at a minimum. Jody helped us a great deal in the initial design brainstorming sessions and we devised a method to retain the existing front bike forks, wheels and the rest of the bike from the vario handle bar backwards. The end product is unique and we are very proud of it. It was a pleasure to work with Jody and recreate the intense development programmes seen at the core of our business. In just over eight days, we have adapted the Mercedes-Benz Fitness Comfort Bikes to feature a large freezer unit, an additional front wheel and a promotion flag!
Jody was delighted with the end product and had the chance to try out the new model in the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS wind tunnel: “I wanted some ice-cream bikes and tried some traditional models but I wanted something more creative so I called my old friend Nick Fry at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, who we supply with our organic produce for their European races, to see if he would be up for the challenge of engineering a racing ice-cream bike. To my surprise he was! So a few design meetings, four engineers and a wind tunnel later, we have racing ice-cream bikes with suspension. I felt like I was back in F1 which was really exciting!”
We wish Jody the best of luck in the race on Saturday and if you want to catch the action for yourself, head down to Smithfield’s Nocturne on Saturday 19 June from 1730.