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Last updated
4 Mar 1998

A chap Zikes a challenge



PAUL WAUGH, Local Government Correspondent

EVEL KNIEVEL jumped 13 London buses on a Harley Davidson; Eddie Kidd leapt the Great Wall of China on a Honda CR500. Now Adam Harper aims to cross the Thames on a tightrope using a Zike - "baby brother" of the Sinclair C5.

As the world agent for the much-derided C5, the brainchild of Sir Clive Sinclair, Mr Harper hopes to wipe the smile off a few faces when he uses the inventor's Zike - a zero-emission bicycle - to make money for charity and raise the profile of electrically-powered vehicles.

The Kent cycle shop owner demonstrated a practice rig for his latest stunt today to promote Kensington and Chelsea council's Environment flay. His Thames challenge, on behalf of the Arthritis Association, will involve crossing the river along a steel cable stretched from the Houses of Parliament to St Thomas' Hospital.

Feats of daring are nothing new to the man who bought 700 C5s as bankrupt stock when the manufacturer went under in l987. Mr Harper, 32, has already fitted one C5 with a supercharged aircraft battery to increase its original top speed from 15mph to 150mph, with an acceleration of 0-60mph in six seconds.

He has even driven one of the zippy models though a 70ft tunnel of fire. "I have put some cutting-edge technology into the C5 to prove that electrically-powered vehicles can be really fast," he said.