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Old 2005-08-22, 09:15 PM   #1
redwelly
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Thumbs up 1000 miles: Britain's End to End

After much dreaming and making vague claims for years...

I'm riding the great "Land's End to John O' Groats" tour next month.

That's the South Westerly tip all the way up to the North Easterly tip of mainland Britain. The scenic route we're taking is going to be around 1000 miles.

My support vehicles are in the form of three friends on bikes. We should make it in a reasonable 23 days, at around 45 miles per day on average. This is a fun challenge, not a record attempt. I believe the record stands with Rob Ambrose, set in 2001 at 12 days, 1hr 59. I also had a call from Brian Davis, I think the first person to unicycle this route in 1985, who may meet us at the finish!

We're raising money for Tearfund, part of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY. They are a British Christian International relief and development charity, and have been fantastic at finding us accommodation along the way - with lots of churches and friends.

Starting on Tues 30th August, we'll be on the road until Thur 22nd September. The listings of each day's location are on our website, www.EndtoEnd.tk - so if you live nearby and want to join me on a unicycle, drop me an email!

I'm going to be riding a 36" Quax wheel (Thanks to Unicycle.com being the 'official unicycle supplier' to this ride, by donating part of this unicycle).

Over three weeks doing nothing but unicycling...

Can't wait!

Sam :)


P.S. I've had a few puncture issues lately - the real problem being how impossibly hard the bead is to get back on the rim (had to take it to an LBS eventually!). Does anyone have suggestions for wrangling this tyre onto the rim... short of hiring a gorrilla to opporate iron tyre levers? Can the green auto-sealing tube goop work on a 36 tube?
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Old 2005-08-22, 09:18 PM   #2
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Wow! That's some challenge. A 45 mile a day average for over three weeks. You must be rock'ard.
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Old 2005-08-22, 10:02 PM   #3
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Wow that sounds like quite a uni-tour and a cool adventure too! Was Rob Ambrose's record set on a uni or a bike? 12 days sounds quick on a uni, slow on a bike.

Using metal tyre levers, such as the big long ones Park Tool makes helps when removing a 36" tyre. Also toe straps and wood clamps have been used in mounting 36" tyres - John Childs can probably help here.

If you search for 'Tubeless Coker' and find GizmoDuck's original post about using Stan's No Tubes you'll find out how to make your 36er tubeless. A somewhat easier weight saving trick is to replace the standard 36" inner tube with a 29" inner tube. The 29" inner will expand to fit the 36" rim. There are directions for this conversion on livewireunicycles.com.
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Old 2005-08-23, 12:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by TonyMelton
Wow that sounds like quite a uni-tour and a cool adventure too! Was Rob Ambrose's record set on a uni or a bike? 12 days sounds quick on a uni, slow on a bike.
It was set on a unicycle! I also have a photo somewhere at home of two record breaking unicyclist at the end of riding from lands end to John o Groats. (sorry if my spelling is dodgy).
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Old 2005-08-23, 08:08 AM   #5
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Good luck Sam, you mad eejit.

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Old 2005-08-23, 08:20 AM   #6
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Good luck.

Tony, the bicycle record is just under two days, 45 hoursish IIRC. But they go the short way which is 850 miles.

EDIT: Quick google and it look like the record is nearer 40 hours now

Last edited by nickjb; 2005-08-23 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 2005-08-23, 08:46 AM   #7
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Nice one Sam i was wondering when/if you were going to post here after reading it on your blog some time ago. Wasn't your orginal plan to use your 29er ? I'd love to join you on a uni for a few hours but i don't think that my 24 will keep up with that beast of a 36

Good luck and all the best, i'll keep an eye on the local tv.
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Old 2005-08-23, 09:21 AM   #8
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Cool! Good luck mate - I did it a few years ago on a bike (a very scenic 1300 miles, 14 days) and had an excellent time. Actually, thinking about it, it was 17 years ago now - eek, I'm older than I thought It gets easier as you go on - partly because your legs get used to it and partly because all the steepest (although not highest) hills are in the first couple of days through Cornwall and Devon. Don't be tempted, like I was, to ride along the coast road to Bude through Widemouth Bay (1:3 hills down and up, rather slow progress that morning!)

I like the idea of doing a long tour on a unicycle, but I really don't like riding it on the road more than I have to - it's dangerous enough on a bike

Rob
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Old 2005-08-23, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by rob.northcott
I like the idea of doing a long tour on a unicycle, but I really don't like riding it on the road more than I have to - it's dangerous enough on a bike
The CTC have an off-road route for the LEJOG, at a mere 1,176 miles and 120,000 feet of climbing...

Good luck Sam! you mentalist

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Old 2005-08-23, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by phil
The CTC have an off-road route for the LEJOG, at a mere 1,176 miles and 120,000 feet of climbing...
Yes, I'm tempted to give that a go sometime. 5-week-old baby will probably mean it won't be for a bit though! Need to stick to more local stuff for a bit.
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Old 2005-08-23, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by phil
The CTC have an off-road route for the LEJOG, at a mere 1,176 miles and 120,000 feet of climbing...

Phil

Hmmmm.... I feel a plan coming on ...
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Old 2005-08-23, 12:51 PM   #12
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that sounds cool i would try and joint you all the way but i only have a 20" and i would have to skip school and my german exchange partner would have to very very very quickly have to learn to uni avd i would have to get him one in the first place so no chance there maybe in a few years time.
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Old 2005-08-23, 04:26 PM   #13
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Good one Sam. It's wicked that you're doing it as a proper unsupported long ride.

Is this practice for a record attempt next year then, I'm sure you mentioned something about the record a bit back. If there's an 850 mile route, 10 days should be possible, espeically for someone quite so darned fast.

I've used both metal and decent plastic tyre levers to get the coker tyre on without too many problems. I do the thing where you squidge the opposite side of the tyre into the middle of the rim before you finish putting the bead on, which seems to help. Clever people can put them on with just their hands, but there's a real knack to it.

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Old 2005-08-23, 05:26 PM   #14
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Good luck Sam and enjoy yourself.

Quote:
Originally posted by peter.bier
It was set on a unicycle! I also have a photo somewhere at home of two record breaking unicyclist at the end of riding from lands end to John o Groats. (sorry if my spelling is dodgy).
Would it be this photo? It's a scan from the 1990 Guinness Book of Records. Michel was still riding that unicycle a couple of years ago when I spoke to him.
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Old 2005-08-23, 05:36 PM   #15
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those seats look painful how did they ride that distance on them?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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