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Old 2005-08-23, 06:03 PM   #16
Danny Colyer
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Re: 1000 miles: Britain's End to End

nickjb wrote:
> 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 I heard, the unofficial record was 41:04:22, set by Andy Wilkinson
on a fully faired Windcheetah:
<URL:http://www.windcheetah.co.uk/record.htm>

The official record (i.e. using a UCI legal bike) was 44:04:20, set in
2001 by Gethin Butler (prior to that, Andy Wilkinson held both records).

I can't find anything about a record closer to 40 hours.

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Old 2005-08-23, 09:11 PM   #17
redwelly
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Thanks for the varied encouragment and mutterings of doubt at sanity!

I had my finger on the 'reply' button when I realised that it was not dark, but in an hour or two it would be... so I left and had a bit of a ride. Trying out my new toe-clips, with good effect. I bought them speculatively while I was waiting for the LBS to get my tyre back on, with the (puncture patched) 36 tube inside it.

All these people who extol the virtues of 29er tubes... I'm unconvinced. The state of my 29er tube on coming out after only a day without much riding showed it resembled one of those posh party balloons which make wibbly shapes. Badly stretched at ~10cm intervals, which I had felt through the tyre, before it punctured. How it got a 'thorn type hole' in the tread area of the tube, with a solid rubber Quax tyre, no debris detected and barely any riding is beyond me.

So, I've got platform pedals, now with plastic toe things at the front. The stubby ones, without straps, which proved so easy to get out of that as I left my road, when I had to hop off to avoid a car turning in, it was only when my feet were on the pavement that I rememebered that I was trying out the toe things, and should be careful on the first dismount!

Getting into them from a freemount is more of a trick, or rather, getting into the left one is - the first, right one, is a doddle, standing still. I did (somehow!) manage it, on the first attempt, without any ignoble crashing at all... after freemounting to the non-clippy side of the pedal, and then riding very slowly, to flick the pedal over and shove my toe down on it. The non-clipped side presents itself to you by default, so with no added effort my foot can find a standard pedal surface.

Toe-clips are good. You don't have to be a mentalist to use them, and they make circular pedaling feel quite good.

The record? This is Rob Ambrose's record page. It got a few mentions on this forum, though I guess the forums weren't as big as they are now.

I have no tangible plans for breaking this record, but it is certainly lurcking somewhere in my mind. I think it is well breakable, but to really make it worthwhile, with a number of other good riders and the proliferation of cokers these days, it would have to be set fast enough, and hyped sufficiently, to scare anyone else from considering attempting it for a long time. (especially as Des made murmurs of it being a good idea) I reckon it could go down to about 6 days (150 miles/day), before you get into the silly terratory of riding more than not riding, and taking Go Gel introvenously. I'll see how this 'fun' one feels before saying anything else!

Joe: I wouldn't like to shake the hand of someone who can get this tyre on without levers. I don't know if the Coker brand one is any different in bead to the Quax. I'm hoping that a thorough inspection of the tube and inner surface of the tyre, and a good dose of green Slime, will preclude any need of removing it again for a long time.

Phil: Who's the mentalist, for suggesting doing it off-road...?

Sam
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Old 2005-08-23, 09:21 PM   #18
paul royle
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Good Luck Sam! I don't reckon you're mental, sorry

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Old 2005-08-23, 09:35 PM   #19
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Good luck Sam!

Regarding the 29'er tubes- the weight saving is definitely noticeable- especially if you are doing a lot of climbing/descending. But a more reliable set-up is going tubeless-you save weight and decrease your risk of puncture. On the AUT (900km)- there were three riders with 29'er tubes, one punctured (not sure how- just lost air overnight) and was replaced with a Coker tube. From what I've read about people trying 29er tubes- it's almost not worth the trouble. And certainly I would not use it for a record attempt- without a backup Coker. I've used the tubeless kit have not had any punctures or problems over the last year.

Oh, if you are not using the Tommy Miller SS spokes- you should look into them- combine that and a tubeless kit and you have about 500g weight waving- quite significant when you are riding that sort of distance.

The toe clips idea sounds pretty crazy, but if it works for you....
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Old 2005-08-24, 12:28 PM   #20
mikepenton
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best of luck Sam!
I won't mutter that you're mad, I'm happy to say it very clearly! I won't say that I would like to join you, as that would imply something about my own sanity too.
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Old 2005-08-24, 02:12 PM   #21
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have a good ride

can we look forward to daily updates?
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Old 2005-08-24, 02:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by redwelly
So, I've got platform pedals, now with plastic toe things at the front. The stubby ones, without straps, which proved so easy to get out of that as I left my road, when I had to hop off to avoid a car turning in, it was only when my feet were on the pavement that I rememebered that I was trying out the toe things, and should be careful on the first dismount!
I've ridden with half toe clips like that, they're alright. Particularly nice at really high cadences. I don't like them for riding off road though.

6 days for a record attempt would be seriously super fast, you'd be undeniably a mentalist if you did that.

Joe
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Old 2005-08-24, 05:56 PM   #23
nathan
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Wow, what a great ride! Sounds like fun.

Those tires can be pesky - I don't have any experience with the Qax one, but I use one metal plus 2 plastic levers to get the Coker tire on and off the airfoil rim. I was able once or twice to put one on without any levers, but as Joe says, it is tricky.

My son and I used 29er tubes on the Alps tour and they worked great with no problems of any kind. Pumped up on Day 0 - let out air to pack after the tour. They are SO much lighter and more responsive. Not a day went by that I didn't notice the lighter feel of my tire. That being said, I think the tubeless solution Ken mentioned is superior since punctures won't be an issue. But we learned the hard way on the tour that installing a new tubeless tire without a high-pressure air supply is pretty much impossible.

Best of luck - can't wait to hear how it went.

---Nathan
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Old 2005-08-24, 10:01 PM   #24
redwelly
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Updates... yes, I hope to get to write on a blog every couple of days, and post some pictures along the way.

This will (when it's set up) be on our ride site, www.EndtoEnd.tk

With being back on a 36" tube, it does feel a bit heavy up the hills... but I'm sure at least half of that is psychological. Cold, rainy, windy conditions don't help either. I'll have 29" tubes as spares, due to weight, price and that I can use them in my 29er too. I'm not about to fiddle with it, now that it's seemingly working well again though.

Maybe one day I'll have more money to throw at unicycles, and end up with a posh light-weight coker. This one'll do me for now though.

Six day record... don't worry - I wouldn't try that... ever. Being driven to amputate your own legs with a penknife just to ease the pain probably wouldn't be a good scenario.

Any top anti-cramp tips? I've heard salt is good, and I'm fond of salted peanuts, which are full of energy, and protein too. My basic understanding of nutrition makes this a good thing. That, lots of carbs for breakfast, bananas and cream teas throughout. Pureéd haggis in the camelbak... anyone?

Sam

Last edited by redwelly; 2005-08-24 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 2005-08-24, 11:17 PM   #25
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Good luck Sam!!

You timing is just off as well!! I live near to Kidderminster, and so could offer you a place to stop with a slight de-tour from Tenbury.....but I will be away on holiday I'm afraid!!

I'm going down to devon on the 3rd, what is your planned route between Okehampton and Taunton?? I might be able to catch sight of you!!

Adam
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Old 2005-08-24, 11:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by redwelly
Any top anti-cramp tips?
Bananas, many of them. Talk to Chris Dobbie, he had some very appetizing semi-dried bananas a while ago, which would take up less space and weight, plus if you got a serious stomach bug, they'd look no worse at either end.

But trust me on the bananas.

John

edit: sorry, I mean trust me on the bananas, you crazy mentalist fool.
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Old 2005-08-26, 12:05 PM   #27
steve.colligan
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I'm very envious Sam, as it's something I'd love to have a go at and hopefully I will before too long. Just after you complete your marathon ride, a few of your fellow Red Buller's will be riding coast-to-coast along the Trans Pennine Trail. It may not quite be up to the 1000 miles you'll be doing, but at 215 miles over 4 days it'll still more than a stroll in the park - we're just not as fit as yourself. Have fun.

Have a great time and good luck.
BTW, Bananas are excellant for cramp - eat plenty. Do drink lots and keep your salt intake up.

Looking forward to hearing all about it en-route, or just after.

Steve
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Old 2005-08-26, 12:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnhimsworth
Bananas, many of them. Talk to Chris Dobbie, he had some very appetizing semi-dried bananas a while ago, which would take up less space and weight, plus if you got a serious stomach bug, they'd look no worse at either end.

But trust me on the bananas.

John

edit: sorry, I mean trust me on the bananas, you crazy mentalist fool.

Yay! Yay! and yet thrice YAY!! for the awesome power of the sundried banana.

12 sundried bananas take up less space than 1 ordinary banana, don't bruise, squish or over-ripen and will keep for decades. 12x the flavour, 12x the nutritional benefits. They may look like something a hedgehog would eat (or deposit ?) but they taste fantastic. Readily available in most healthfood shops.

As already mentioned, salted nuts are also ideal ride-fodder. I think I read somewhere that cashews have about the highest calorific content, but for raw nuts I prefer brazils.

Don't just try to cram in the calories at the expense of real food. Maintaining a good balance of all essential nutrients is crucial to keep your body and mind working safely and efficiently.

Try to maintain a constant amount of water in your body by drinking in lots of frequent sips rather than a few binges.

Oh, and take plenty of time to enjoy the varied scenery you will encounter, otherwise you will just be doing a long ride.

Have a very healthy, safe and above all happy ride.

Chris

p.s. did I mention sundried bananas ?
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Old 2005-08-26, 06:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butty
those seats look painful how did they ride that distance on them?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm glad someone posted some more info about previous rides. I know Michel Arets from the many Unicons he's been to. I actually thought he'd done that ride earlier than 1986, but maybe that was the only time.

As for the seats, again it was 1986. Even Miyatas may have been virtually impossible to get in the UK at that time, and of course there were no KHs to choose from. What we today know as the Viscount saddle only came out in late 1986, and that may have only been on the Schwinns.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but I'm guessing those are DM Ringmaster unicycles (and seats). I rode on one of those in the 10k race at Unicon VIII and found the seat quite comfortable. For the time period, it's probably one of the best seats you could use without making or customizing your own.
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Old 2005-08-28, 03:49 PM   #30
redwelly
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I had my first decent day's riding the new 36 wheel, Shadowfax. It made me feel much less scared about the 'can I really ride this much?' aspect.

Starting at 6am, I smashed my previous best distance-between-dismounts, from ~14 miles up to 25, in two hours of cruising. After that I took it more normally, breaking every 10 miles or less.

From Bath to Lynton, North Devon coast, totalled 94 miles. I was there in time for dinner at six. Up to 70 miles or so was fine. The road was good, the sun came and went, the odd 'beefy shower' livened things up a bit. Then I hit the SW headwind, and the coastal Devon hills. I think even taking an icecream in Minehead (for medicinal reasons), I couldn't pedal up Porlock hill (infamously 25%) and the further mile or so of ~13% onto the top of Exmoor. Lots of walking ensued, but I made it in the end.

Having a backpack for my food/overnight stuff, even making it as light as possible, I think it put my centre of mass back behind the axle. I had to lean forwards quite a bit to remove the dragging feeling which I concluded was my own weight pushing me back rather than forwards. The same reason why it's hard to ride a bike uphill in the saddle I guess. So I shall try to carry as little on my back as possible.

I think the satisfyingly 'used' sensation in my legs was a bit more like how one is meant to feel after 'Redbull' (seemingly I didn't put in enough effort that weekend to wipe myself out). I think doing about half of this each day should be ok

Dried bananas... sadly not readily available in the health food shop in Bath. I got some banana chips, though I know they're not the same. Sainsbury's have some excellent muisli bars, called 'balance bars'. I don't know if she spotted the pun, but my mum has stocked me abundantly with these.

Steve: doing ~54 miles of off-road for four days sounds like a pretty hardcore ride! Is the whole route cyclist permissable? I thought that was a footpath.

Adam: I don't know where we'll be between Okehampton and Taunton, but it may be the A39.

Woo. Planning something like this takes a considerable amount of emailing. Just the time for the Water works people to dig through our road's phone line, putting home internet out of the window for the next week! Looking forward to just getting out on the road now...

Sam

Last edited by redwelly; 2005-08-28 at 03:56 PM.
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