I’ve done about enough planning to go public now, so here goes:
On 29-30 September 2007 I plan to break the Guinness World Record for unicycle distance in 24 hours. This is currently 378.7km (235.3mi), held by Ken Looi since 2005.
My set-up will follow a similar pattern to Ken’s - using a ~400 metre tarmac running track around a flood-lit sports pitch at Aberystwyth University (kindly sponsoring all facility costs) and doing laps for 24 hours. I will be using an ungreared 36" unicycle with 90mm cranks and my own concoction of handlebars, similar to the T7, with additional bike aerobars attached.
The charity which I’m raising money for is Christian Aid - a UK-based organisation which “works with the world’s poorest people in more than 50 countries, regardless of race or faith. We tackle the causes and consequences of poverty and injustice”. They were one of the the many forces behind the Jubilee 2000 debt-relief campaign, Make Poverty History and their current campaign focus is on Climate Change - specifically the effects it is already having on the poorest. “Global warming is not a distant forecast. It’s already happening, and it’s poor people who are being hit hardest.”
Hey Sam, good to hear you’re going for records! I expect a full write up with speeds, food and the ammount of massages the sexy thai girls give you. It’s going to be hard to break the record but not impossible! Good luck mate
Thanks for all the messages. I’ll get some photos of my handlebars up soon, but I’m away for a week so don’t hold your breath. I need to make them look less like there is a broomstick in there too…
genbirch - Training schedule is pretty much ride lots, eat lots, sleep lots. I’ll ‘taper’ down a couple of weeks before, but until then I’ll try to keep up 200+ fast miles per week. I have a few favourite 10-20 mile flatish rides which I do at 15-16mph avg. Unfortunately I have a 9-5 job, so can’t ride all day
Ian - I’m planning on 9.30am Sat - 9.30am Sun.
Klaas Bil - My seat is a fairly normal KH Fusion airseat mod, with (I think) a 12" tube inside. That gives it a bit of a channel in the middle, and ends up quite flat (rather than curving up at front/back). It’s done me well for all of my two years of cokering, so I won’t change it now.
I won’t predict any distance targets, but it would be good to push the standard up another good notch. Ken - of course I’ll try to make the next guy suffer as much as possible.
There’s two basic approaches to breaking established records. Push it as far as humanly possible, if you never expect to attempt it again, or just do enough to own the record, if you want the publicity and might want to break it again in the future.
The second method works well for people like Peter Rosendahl, who every once in a while will re-break his smallest-wheel record or similar. Fresh publicity for doing something not too different from what he did before. Not that riding those tiny wheels is easy!
Have you been practicing riding on athletics tracks? That’s a pretty tight circle to make for 800+ times in a row. I’m sure you could maintain a faster pace on something larger.
Part of Sam’s early training for this was to ride 150 miles from Aberystwyth to Manchester one day, then the next day, 60 miles from Manchester to Blackpool. He was still the fastest rider on the Manchester to Blackpool ride too.
It’s cool to hear you’re actually gonna do this Sam, you gotta try and beat 250 miles!