Gardener ‘sets speed record’ by travelling at 44mph behind a wheelbarrow

A man from Oxfordshire says he has set a speed record by travelling at 44.6mph behind a wheelbarrow.

Kevin Nicks, 55, a contract gardener from Chipping Norton, built the Barrow of Speed during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.

Using it he recorded the speed, equivalent to 72kph, at a Straightliners event at Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire.

Kevin Nicks
Kevin Nicks

“I’m here with people who do over 200mph on motorbikes and they’ve all said this machine is insane,” he told the PA news agency.

“It’s the most bizarre thing ever to ride – the handles of the wheelbarrow move in all directions.

“Every journey on it is not just going fast in a straight line, you’re trying to avoid crashing, which is great! The adrenaline rush is unbelievable.”

Mr Nicks’ record is yet to be verified by Guinness World Records, who set him a base speed to beat of 42.5mph, but Straightliners are experts in land speed records and confirmed his speed.

He will drive the Barrow of Speed again in six weeks time for Guinness World Records, where he believes it can go faster still.

“As long as it doesn’t kill me, I’ll have set the Guinness record,” he said.

Kevin Nicks
Kevin Nicks

Mr Nicks previously created the world’s fastest shed, the Fastest Shed, which hit speeds of more than 100mph on a Welsh beach in 2018.

Mr Nicks said he built the souped-up wheelbarrow to inspire others to be creative and distract them from bad news surrounding the pandemic.

“I can’t change the world but what I can do is try to make it better for some people,” he said.

“For me, it’s rewarding to see the smiles on people’s faces.”

Asked what he plans to add to his collection of inventions next, Mr Nicks said: “Oh I have plans – my next build is really bonkers.

“Not hugely fast, but bonkers.”

Mr Nicks made a smaller version of the Fastest Shed, called Freddy the Sheddy, for children, for which he has also published a children’s book.