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Old 2014-12-02, 01:05 AM   #1
Wizard
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50 miles challenge for 50th birthday

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum. To introduce myself, I'm approaching 50 years old, live in Las Vegas, and am training to do a 50 mile ride for my 50th birthday, which is in May. I would have posted this in the unigeezer thread, but I'm still a little too young.

I write about my challenge on my own forum but there are not other unicyclists there so I don't get much useful crosstalk. I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules here by saying this discussion is at http://diversitytomorrow.com/thread/914/0/.

I usually ride a 29" unicycle but am trying to get used to an old 36" one. Still haven't mastered the self mount on that and it seems to tire me out more quickly than the 29" wheel.

Are there any other unicyclists in Las Vegas, in particular on the west side? It would be fun to ride with someone else, for once.

Any advice on shoes? I currently use a fairly new pair of running shoes, as they let my feet breathe and I find the hard sole to be more efficient. What do bicyclists typically wear who don't clip in?

I see on YouTube that serious distance riders all seems to have handlebars. How much benefit is this? I'm concerned about injury if I fall. If I go with a handlebar, do you recommend a single bar or a forked one?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 2014-12-02, 10:53 AM   #2
Alucard
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Hi Wizard and Welcome to the forum

Your 50 miles will be a lot easier on a 36" unicycle that's for sure, but it's also doable on a 29”. It'll just take a bit more time.
Keep practicing with the freemounting and see how you go. Do you have your 50 mile route planned ? It could be that there will be enough 'street furniture' so you can do assisted mounts.
Handlebars are a good idea. You can lean on the bars and give your bum a little relief every now and again. Also good place to put drinks bottles.
As for type of bar, hopefully someone will come forward to answer that one.
Have a good old search on the forum for ....
''100 mile rides''
''Which touring handle''
''5-10 shoes'' ''vans'' and '''Teva'' shoes. These are the sort with a good flat sole. A lot of unicyclists wear these as there is no heel to get caught on the pedal, easier to shift your feet while riding.
If you go on 'you tube' and seach ''unicycling'' there is oooodles of stuff.
Eventually you will come to uni-geezer's page. Have a look at all the stuff he's done. Mr P has done some excellent video's on long rides.
Hope that helps, and keep us posted.
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Old 2014-12-02, 10:30 PM   #3
Wizard
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Thank you for the suggestions. Although I live in Las Vegas, I'm planning to do the 50-mile ride along a long bike paths in the Los Angeles area, due to the level course and almost no street crossings. Appreciate the suggestion on Vans. I think I have a pair somewhere already.
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Old 2014-12-06, 04:31 AM   #4
bungeejoe
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Keep at it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard View Post

I usually ride a 29" unicycle but am trying to get used to an old 36" one. Still haven't mastered the self mount on that and it seems to tire me out more quickly than the 29" wheel.
If you're having issues self mounting the 36 might I recommend you work on riding the 36 as slow as you can, riding to a stop or near stop and continuing on, hopping, and try to still stand briefly on it between hops.

You might try using a wheel grab when self mounting, it will help you steady the wheel and should allow you more time to get adjusted. A Google search will turn up a few tutorial videos.

You should also know that self mounting shouldn't hold you back from your goal. I received my 36 less than two weeks prior to my first century ride and never self mounted once during the entire 100 miles.

Only once in my first dozen century rides have I ever had another unicyclist anywhere near me observe if I "cheated" or self mounted. And at the end of 200 miles in 24 hours I no longer cared or bothered to waste the energy to self mount as we finished the last few miles together. (The last few miles had thirty stops in downtown Portland, Oregon stop and go traffic.)

Unicyclist make a big thing out of showing proficiency at mounting. Give it some time. With practice it will come. Remember the purpose of your ride is to do 50 miles not 20 self mounts in a row.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard View Post

Any advice on shoes? I currently use a fairly new pair of running shoes, as they let my feet breathe and I find the hard sole to be more efficient. What do bicyclists typically wear who don't clip in?
Everything from bare feet to steel toed work boot has worked. Gracie went coast to coast, including a 100 mile day in bare feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard View Post

I see on YouTube that serious distance riders all seems to have handlebars. How much benefit is this? I'm concerned about injury if I fall. If I go with a handlebar, do you recommend a single bar or a forked one?
When some of us started riding distance a few limited edition options for 'handles' existed. Some like Lars and Jack used homemade/custom setups. I still don't bother with anything more than a KH saddle.

You might find it advantageous to first learn to ride without handlebars. Some self mounts (and UPDs) are more complicated when using a handlebar.

As you persist at riding distance you will learn what work for you and what doesn't. Just go out and enjoy working your way up to your 50 mile challenge.

JM
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Old 2014-12-24, 06:57 AM   #5
krjames
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Joe's reply covers it all, except he forgot to mention we all do it for fun!

In truth you will have done your 50 miles well before May if you are training regularly. It's certainly quite doable on a 29 if you aren't too keen on playing with the 36.

But most people end up riding distance on 36ers...

Regular riding is the main key to distance riding success.

Cheers
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Old 2014-12-24, 04:39 PM   #6
Standupnfall
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Congrats on the challenge you have given yourself. LOVE IT!!!

I'm only 36 years old, but just got my first 36" a few days ago. I have a similar goal of 50 miles this year, but have set it as "50 miles with no assisted mounting", and I will probably go for it at the Long Island Unithon which I think happens every year. It is nice and flat and I should be in shape by then.

Best of luck as I will certainly be following the thread.
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Old 2014-12-24, 08:59 PM   #7
bungeejoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Standupnfall View Post
"50 miles with no assisted mounting"
If your timing at intersections is good and the route is right you might shoot for "50 miles with only one mount without assistance".

Water intake balanced with restroom needs is the tricky part.

For me it usually happens when I haven't planned on it during training rides.

JM
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Old 2015-01-17, 03:00 AM   #8
AnimalCage
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Great Idea!!

Hey Wizard, and others,

I'm turning 50 in two days, and haven't done more than 3 miles on my 36er. But I have learned to freemount a good percentage of the time. Distance is one of my goals for this year, but I hadn't really set anything yet. Like kr said, Regular riding is the main key to distance riding success. I have to wait for my Massachusetts winter to end for regular riding, but I'll be getting out there when I can.

Wizard, I will wholeheartedly agree that learning to freemount a 36er is a daunting task. After many attempts, I would finally get on, then be too tired to ride. I did what bungeejoe said: Use an assisted mount, ride as slow as possible, and try hopping. Keep at it, and it'll come. I haven't ridden my 24 since I got my 36er. I just enjoy the larger weight and mass of the 36er much more.

I suppose my first stepping stone would be to ride for an hour. 10-12 miles? If I can do that by the end of May, I should be on my way. 50 miles? Yikes!!
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Old 2017-09-19, 07:06 AM   #9
JoanOliver
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Thanks for reporting! The challenge was totally successful, I suppose.
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