Some people have said that they’ve ridden 20+ miles on a 24’’ uni in a day or so (not really sure exactly what amount of time is) but I’m wondering how that is possible.
When I pedal my torker lx 24’’ as fast as possible, I can’t even go 3/4 as fast as when I go for a run, and it’s pretty difficult to keep the uni at that pace b/c it hardly feels like my legs are on the pedals (i.e. there’s basically no resistance from the pedals at that speed).
Nevertheless, b/c the 24’’ uni goes so damn slow, I don’t see how someone could do 20 miles (or 50, as a rare few have claimed). I bet a good consistent speed on a 24’’ in 5 mph…which means 4 hours of non-stop pedaling to reach 20miles.
Well, considering your 20 miles in 4 hours statement, I would have thought doing that much riding in a day (say 8-10 hours) would be fairly straightforward. Whether someone is fit enough is another matter, but I’d assume (having done 12 miles in less than 1.5 hours on a coker) that you wouldn’t need to be that fit (I’m not).
In October of next year I turn 60 and was thinking of doing something out of the ordinary to commemorate it. My first thought was to log 60 miles but I’m not sure I have the stamina and there may not be enough daylight (although Daylight Savings Time will be extended).
Then I had the bright idea of logging 60 km which is 37.26 miles. The most I’ve ever ridden in a day is 12 miles and that was with four or five rest stops. I ride a 28" Sun with a KH seat. With a carefully mapped out route and minimal vertical to contend with it might just be doable.
As a beginner (under 600 miles ridden), I rode
20+ miles with an average pedalling speed of 6.4 mph.
Took me 3.11.39.
On 170mm cranks.
On a no carb diet.
The physical difficulty didn’t set in until about 18 miles.
The “tough” part about it was the saddle time.
Even though I was exhausted at the end of the ride, ironically it was easier to ride than walk. The next day, the only cramped or sore muscle was my right forearm (which was responsible for holding the uni when I walked the last mile home).
My goal is to do 24 miles, but I don’t want to do it alone, and no one else seems to want to make such a ride.
Think about it: if 36 miles is doable on a Coker, and 28 is doable on a 28 (and most riders would acknowledge that these feats are possible) then the ratio is just the same for 24 miles on a 24.
It depends on the unicycle, the rider and the route, of course.
The ideal unicycle would probably have a reasonably smooth tyre, fairly fast cranks (110 mm or so) and a comfortable seat. The ideal rider would be fit, determined and self-disciplined. The ideal route would be reasonably flat, with features of interest every so often, and no headwind.
Then you just say that 20 miles is 4 lots of 5 miles. You can ride 5 miles in an hour, allowing for breaks. 4 hours = 20 miles.
If onthe other hand you choose a knobbly-tyred MUni with 170mm cranks, and you are 3 stone overweight, and have never ridden further than the burger bar, and you live at the bottom of a steep sided valley, then 20 miles would be more of a problem.
The simple fact is, sit on it for long enough and you will do the distance.
And Patmoore: you should have no problems at all. Go for it.
When you did the 12 miles with the 4-5 rest stops, was it mostly to relieve your seat, or to relieve your legs? I’ve found that my butt is the weak link in the equation and that if I manage seat breaks well (many short ones, some riding standing on the pedals as well) that the ride distance isn’t so important as the saddle time. From the photo I’d say you are in great shape and you would have a great time celebrating your 60th in such a fun way!! Ride on!
Most of my rest stops are “involuntary” and a case of getting careless. I’ve discovered when doing a sudden dismount after a stretch of two or three miles that the legs are very rubbery and it takes a few steps to regain my balance. I can’t say that the seat bothers me too much although my first 12 mile ride on the stock seat left the inside of my thighs bleeding. The KH seat on the other hand is very comfortable. I drink from a CamelBak so there’s no need for stops for water.
The big date is still a little more than a year off and the child bride (she’s only 52) may have other plans for me. On the other hand, if I do decide to try it, I can see I’ll need to do some serious training. I wonder if I should be looking into a Coker?
I think the 20 miles on a 24 is very doable. I’ve done 5 mi. at a shot on mine in just over and hour and I was tired but felt like I could’ve easily done 5 more with just a little break. I think with adequate breaks and proper nutrition (power bars, gatoraide, power gels or whatever) it shouldn’t be too tough. I’ve done as much as 120 miles without a significant break on my road bike. It’s all in the conditioning and nutrition. Go for it and good luck.
Patmoore; I think you oughta go for the 60km ride. I’m inspired to see other oldguy unicyclists do long rides. I can’t wait til my 29er is finished. Woohoo.
I’ve done 20 miles on a 24 before in a single day, several times. It doesn’t really take that much effort or endurance either, riding 20 miles on a 24" seems much easier than riding 40 or 50+ on a coker.
We’re all doing insane things on unicycles, everything is possible.
i like going FAST on my 26". i just get used to moving my legs faster and putting less pressure on the pedals. my top comfortable speed on my 26" is about 10 miles per hour which is like bke speed. you don’t NEED a coker to ride bke speed.
If you use shorter cranks it will make a big difference on how fast you can ride comfortably. Though the regulation size for racing is 125mm, you can ride comfortably with much shorter cranks as well.
With 125s I used to be able to get up to 17.5 mph. Not for very long though!
But I could cruise at 11 mph for quite a while. I rode a 9 mile race in something like 55 minutes.
my fisrt few BIG muni X-country trips were on a sem XL 24 with a mildly knobly tire. I did accros the lake district ,about 20 miles a day. And was riding on the North york Moors regulary doing 15-20 mile rides. So yes its doable.
I’ve just been out on the 28, done about 12 mixed miles in about an hour and a half. Got back to the car, and I felt almost as fresh as when I set off.
Legs and feet: these are pushing a lot less than they would be on a bicycle. You are in a low gear on a unicycle, so you don’t have to put much effort in to move rider and machine.
Wind resistance: a unicycle is a fair bit slower than a bicycle in most circumstances. Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed. Therefore, riding a unicycle is substantially easier from this point of view.
Saddle discomfort: get used to it. After Saturday’s 50 mile jaunt, and my experiment with clothing, I rode for 1.5 hours today (with 4 UPDs but no stops for rests) in a thin pair of Lycra cycling tights with no padding, on a standard Miyata saddle. No pain.
Pace yourself, discipline yourself, build up confidence and skill, and there is no reason why you should not be able to unicycle steadily for 4 or 5 hours over the course of a day out.
Yes and no. On the one hand, we’re going slow enough that we may not be aware of much wind resistance. On the other hand, we are aerodynamically a disaster compared to a road bike + rider. We basically stand straight up, unless we have low handles and seek an “aero” position.
My conclusion from my 24" racing days was that speeds were low enough that trying to shrink to a more aerodynamic position was detrimental to good breathing and energy output. On a 29" or Coker, you’re much more aware of the wind (and the bad aerodynamics of cycle + rider).
This was especially true for me the couple of times I’ve raced my 29er with 102mm cranks. The seat is high, my legs are very straight, and I’m a virtual wall to the wind. Air-wise, it feels like a really dumb position for trying to go fast.
This is why, if I ever have my own Coker frame made, it will have some sort of adjustable handlebar system that allows me to experiment with a progressively lower upper body. I don’t want to go to a full-on time trial position, as a crash in that position could be pretty horrendous. But I’d like to experiment.