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Theres no one faster doing a wheelie for 100 meters
Neighborhood kids watch Austen Nunes as he pedals toward the world record for covering 100 meters all the way doing a wheelie. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Young kids in his neighborhood call Austen Nunes a show-off.

His friends say he’ll try anything.

And, if all goes well with the certification process, the publishers of the Guinness Book of World Records will call Nunes a world record holder.

Nunes, 20, late Saturday morning pedaled into a slight crosswind down a 100 meter course on Alfonso Lane on the west side of Rodoni Park in the Kensington Place neighborhood to beat the world record for pedaling the distance doing a wheelie all the way on a bicycle.

The 5-foot, 6.5-inch and 154 pound Delta College sophomore was aiming to top the world’s fastest bicycle wheelie record of 15.21 seconds set on July 25, 2009 by then 15-year-old Jack Drummond in Oshkosh, WI, who had topped the previous mark of 16.01 seconds.

“I think I can get it down to 13 seconds,” Nunes said as Mayor Willie Weatherford got in position to sound the horn at the starting line while two timers – Dave Watts and Manteca High coach Jack Miller – were waiting at the finishing line with track timers.

The first try was a bust as he couldn’t sustain the wheelie for more than a few yards. The second time he was clocked at 14.05 from the time he started until his back wheel crossed the finish line. After catching his breath he did another run and was clocked at 14.22. After two more aborted tries he clocked his third complete 100 meter wheelie-all-the-way sprint in 13.22 seconds.

“I’m not a world record holder yet,” Nunes cautioned afterwards. “They have to certify it first.”

Nunes did his record breaking run using his favorite bike – his mother’s Specialized Hard Rock carbon frame as he prefers the top tube geometry.

“For what every reason he always likes using my bike and he always brings it back with the gears messed up,” his mother Jenny mused.

The 2008 Manteca High graduate has been riding long distances doing wheelies since he was 12 years old. It was an outgrowth of mastering unicycles along with his brother Jace who is now 16.

Austen says Jace is the better unicycle rider. Jace gives his older brother no argument on that point conceding at the same time Austen is tough to beat doing wheelies.

“He’s gone as long as six miles doing wheelies,” Jace said.

Austen rides a mile long course in his neighborhood near Joshua Cowell School in east Manteca whenever he has spare time after completing his school work. Young kids along the route routinely give him a bad time for being a “show-off.”

Austen as he gets his balance from both his mother Jenny and father Art. His dad says the toughest thing he’s every done is water skiing barefoot. He’s leaving the wheelie racing up to Austen.

Austen competed one track season as a pole vaulter for Manteca High clearing 10 feet and 2 inches as his personal best.

He says he works on his upper body strength – a critical component in controlling the bike with one wheel constantly off the ground –by working out with friends who are football players.

His record attempt drew nearby neighborhood kids who looked a bit awestruck that anyone can do a wheelie for 100 meters let alone in less than 14 seconds.

Austen said he’s been hooked on the idea of trying to go for a world record since his mother made it a point to give him a Guinness Book of World Records each year for Christmas starting five years ago.

As for his next record attempt, Austen says he’s still looking through the Guinness book to decide what to tackle next.