On June 26, Terry Goertzen, pastor of Jubilee Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, rode the world’s tallest bicycle for 300 metres to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Although he confessed to pre-ride jitters and had fallen when practicing the day before, the official ride on his 5.5 metre bike went smoothly. He well surpassed the 100-metre distance requirement for the record. The bike is constructed like a ladder and powered by an 11-metre bicycle chain.
The origins of the feat were innocent enough. Terry’s wife SuAnn had given him a welding set for Christmas and soon he was building bikes, including a multi-layered one. On a whim, he checked the world’s record for tallest bicycle. When he realized he was already close to the 4.3-metre record, he decided to beat it.
The local media enjoyed the event, headlining it with language about prayer or getting “closer to God.” A crowd of some 200 also had fun at it, cheering Terry on and buying the hot dogs and drinks sold by the church to raise funds for bicycles for students in India.
The next day, Terry was back at his regular responsibilities as a pastor. Jubilee Mennonite Church, a dual-conference congregation of Mennonite Church Canada and the Mennonite Brethren, was celebrating the baptism of six young people.
Getting a Guinness record was great, he told the congregation, but participating in the youths’ step of faith was “far more exciting.”
—Dora Dueck, with news reports