Last night, I hit 22 mph on my guni, according to my very reliable cycle computer. My GPS watch only showed a top speed of 20.4, but it tends to miss those small bursts of speed that the cyclo catches. The 20.4 made me happy because it means that I was able to maintain that speed for a short while.
I rode around Prospect Park in record time: 13.20 or so for the 3.35 miles of the course, averaging 14.8 mph for the hilly ride. I kept the uni in high gear even for the heavy-duty uphill part (I think that downshifting would have slowed me considerably) and could not have gone much faster, but I’m sure I can get the time under 13 minutes. I’ll give it another try this evening.
I can tell you one thing: That ride wore me out! When it was over, I went for another 3.5 miles over a different route, and most of that time I could barely manage 10 mph. My watch is programmed to chirp if my speed goes below 10, so after my super fast ride, the rest of my exercise was punctuated by the unpleasant reminder of my own exhaustion. My watch is also programmed to alert me if I ever exceed 20 mph, but I didn’t hear it due to the volume of my iPod combined with the rush of the wind. Bummer. I did want to hear that sound. I’ll have to try for that one again today!
No, but Ken Looi has! It is risky, but I know the road well and am actually holding back a bit (in case I need to correct my pitch). So far, 20.4 (the speed I actually kept at for a second or two) is the fastest I’ve felt comfortable maintaining, but I believe I’m capable of hitting a speed slightly higher still – the only problem being that if I need to speed up a bit BUT CAN’T, they’ll be cleaning me up for weeks.
That’s nearly TWICE the running speed of a world-class kenyan marathoner! I can’t do that speed on my bike! Hmmmm, ok. I do have an electric “Xkate” skatebaord (cost $1,200!!) that has a 1 HP motor that will do just about 20 mph, (on smooth, level ground) and that’s SMOKIN’! That’s nearly 3X the posted speed limit (8mph) on the beach bike path! I don’t think I could get even close to that speed on my coker, goin down hill, all out!
You need to get a good road racing bicycle. 22 mph is cruising speed for a good and fit road cyclist. 35 mph plus is sprinting speed or van drafting speed. 45 mph plus is downhill speed. Road bikes and human powered speed (with gravity assist at times) are a fun combination.
Bursts of 20 mph and better on a unicycle is impressive. What’s also going to be impressive is seeing 17 mph plus average speeds for the one hour time trial on a unicycle. It’s gonna happen.
Well, as pointed out already, marathoners run a quick pace for a LONG time; they’re not sprinting. Actually, I believe that when they do sprint, they can easily reach 15 mph.
As for your Coker, you are probably right when you say that you couldn’t hit that on your Coker. I have hit 21 mph on mine, but I was using the very unpopular 110mm cranks at the time, which are great for speed but unideal for sidewalk riding – they’re way too short for most people to feel comfortable on (including me, as it turns out). 20 mph on a Coker involves really high cadence – like 200 or 240 revs/minute? I can’t remember – and most people have a hard time pedaling that fast to begin with, not to mention the fear factor from falling (to be alliterative), which goes up exponentially with your speed!
Oh, yeah. I meant to address that, John. Absolutely. 20mph on a bike is cake. It’s not so easy on a flat (depending on the bike), but downhill, you can easily achieve that speed without even pedaling, if the hill is long enough.
I agree, but I know I’ll never be the one to do it. It’s barely possible for me to maintain 15 or 16 for even a short time now (like 4-5 minutes). I don’t think I’ll ever be in shape for a 60 minute ride at top speed.
It’s the 29" Schwalbe tire. Apparently it’s a very ‘tall’ tire, so in high gear (with the 1.55:1 ratio), it rides like a 45-46" wheel. I guess that means that I was in the cadence area of about 170 revs/minute, or nearly 3/second. I should test that.
Job, that is VERY fast for a 20" wheel! I have also hit that speed on a small wheel, but it’s really hard to do. Good job! Now get yourself a bigger wheel so we can hear all about your great riding! Best of luck!
Your 21 mph on a 36" wheel coresponds to 196 rpm or essentially 200 rpm cadence. I have ridden BlueShift, a 43" wheel, at what I thought to be slightly less than 3 rps or 180 rpm downhill which is essentially 20 mph. I UPD’d, went into a roll, and escaped uninjured. I was padded up with 661’s, a helmet, and full fingered gloves. The hydration pack on back helped also.
What kind of protective gear are you riding with at those speeds? Today I used skater knee pads and some soft cloth padded elbow covers, full fingered gloves, and a helmet. On a Coker I use no protective gear at all.
Wow! That is a really scary UPD. I can’t imagine. It’s amazing that you came out unscathed. We’ve all had UPDs at much slower speeds that have been much worse. Generally, when I fall and am wearing wristguards, I actually REACH for the ground in order to lessen the severity of the contact.
When I ride the guni, I always wear a helmet and wristguards. I won’t even take them off as I approach my destination in case the gear disengages. When I go racing, I usually wear elbow and knee pads, but this last time, I left them somewhere irretrievable (we’re in the process of moving, so they could be a number of places). I was concerned in case of a UPD at high speed, but I just rode carefully over a known track, and everything worked out fine.
The funny thing is that as I headed home, I had an unplanned dismount caused by scraggy road conditions in an area known for them, so I wasn’t going faster than 11 mph. I managed not to ‘fall,’ but my ankle was a bit sore afterwards from hitting the ground so hard. It didn’t keep me from setting a new record today for my commute home (normally 25 mins on the Coker, just 20:30 on the guni for 4.5 miles thru Brooklyn).
Because I’ve hurt my ankle a few times (as I did yestreen), I’ve considered getting a new pair of Active Ankles. I wonder if they’d work for regular commute-style riding, and I wonder if they’d have helped with this little ow-ie.