24hr and 100mile World Record Attempt for OXFAM Tsunami Relief

We’re all set to go!!!

As some of you may know, I’m going to have a crack at the 100mile Record (6hrs 44min, Takayuki Koike, Japan, 1987) and the 24hr Distance Record (202 miles, Lars Clauson, USA, 2002).

We’ve set the date as 5th February, starting at 8am, at the Basin Reserve Cricket Ground, Wellington, NZ. I will be riding for charity (OXFAM NZ) in support of their Tsunami Relief Programme in SE Asia.

If you are interested in helping out, there is an online donation box set up by Unicycle.com NZ:

Please feel free to donate any amount you like- it’s for a good cause, and will keep me motivated riding around in circles! There are some nice prizes from our sponsors too (it’s not all there yet). Including a US$50 Unicycle.com voucher (international), and some unicycle accessories (NZ and Aus only).

Thanks for your support!

Ken Looi

As I promised earlier I am pledging $50 (us) or 70.93nz towards the goal. Hopefully I will be one of many unicyclist to support this great ride. Goodluck and Godspeed ken go get thoes records!


edit: I’m actually having some trouble it seems with the credit card processing vendor for unicycle.com NZ. Do you kiwi’s have more numbers on your credit cards or something? If anyone can help me out with this I would be greatful… send a pm if you can…

Update, seems the problem was on my part by putting Mike as my first name and not Michael as it apperes on my card.

Go out there and donate boys and girls, I’m a poor college student and that $50 pledge is going to make me eat rice and beans for a solid month. So come on and put up all the spare change you can, they need every dime they can get!


Wow! Good luck.

I’ve made a donation. Go Ken! Break those records!

Go Ken! If you beat the 100 mile record the 24 hour record will be yours. Just don’t beat it by too much. I want a crack at it some day ;-).

i’ve made a token donation
i prefer to make most of my charitable donations in my own currency, (probably) falsely beliving that somehow that will reduce the exchange rate’s erosion of the value of the money i’ve donated
but i just couldn’t not make a donation to Ken’s effort

since the 24 record is just over 200miles, does that mean u’ll have a go at setting a new 100mile record first and then breaking your own record on the second 100?

Thanks for your support guys! The track is only 465m in circumference- so it’s great to have some motivation to keep on going! I calculate I’ll need to ride around 699 times to beat that record.

Gild- I’m doing the first 100miles as fast as I can (hopefully beating the 100mile record), and then going keep on riding after that for the 24hr record. I know that if I paced myself I should be able to do 202miles relatively OK, but it’s the first 100miles that is going to be really really hard. Takayuki must have been an some unicyclist! I think he did it on a solid non-pneumatic tyre too.

Mike- I think you were actually the first to donate! If it makes you feel any better, one of my fav race fuels are baked beans, followed closely by vanilla creamed rice. Will be thinking of you as I scoff my 10th tin.


Takayuki had two advantages over you:

  1. He was 18

  2. He was on an air-tire 42" wheel. Kind of like a larger Coker.

He had some disadvantages too:

  • Those old rickshaw tires were heavy, and the steel rims, made to last forever, were even heavier
  • I think he had to make turnarounds at each end of his course, similar to the 10k in Japan.
  • He probalby didn’t have your experience with distance and long-hours riding
  • He had Floyd Beattie chasing him (at least for the first hour or two)

Takayuki also has the longest-ride-without-a-dismount record. That would be a fun one to go for as well! I hope you don’t get too sick of your course. 699 times around anything sounds like enough to make you puke. Since it’s a relatively closed course, I’d be wearing me some headphones and zoning out to some tunes.

Jacquie and I will donate, probably somewhere in the $50 - $200 range, depending on if we have other charities we need to cover.

Best of luck! Even if things don’t go perfectly, you have a good chance of breaking at least one of those records. And any single one of those (three) will be a powerful ride on its own.

Are you calling me old :astonished: I’m only 26!

I won’t be going for the longest-ride-without-a-dismount-record, that sounds painful! I didn’t know Takayuki was on an air tyre though. I thought it was a Penny Farthing Wheel. Still…don’t imagine his wheel would be as comfy as a coker with it’s large volume tyre.

699 times is tedius, but Guinness have made new rules since Lars Clausons 24hr ride- it now has to be a closed circuit unless you have very accurate satellite mapping of the course. I had to get a registered surveyor to measure the inside diameter of the track. Previously I was planning the record on a 445km point-to-point bike race- it was going to be physically harder (3000m climbing) but these things are more mental than they are physical.

Thanks for your support! We’ve got $250 already- and it’s only been announced on RSU so far. You guys rock!


I would see that as an advantage…I know for myself at least if someone is chasing me it will push me to go a lot faster.

One potential problem with listening to tunes as you ride is that you can start pedaling in sync with the rhythm and speed of the music. If you’re listening to a faster song you may start to pedal faster and in sync with the beat of the music. When the next song is slower you may slow the cadence down if you’re not careful. With the music you run the risk of getting lulled in to a sub optimal and inconsistent cadence.

Then with some people the music could work to an advantage in that it can keep you jazzed and ready to go. As long as all the music is at a fast tempo.

What is the course like? How long, is it circular, how tight are the turns, etc.?

John, I’ve been offered an MP3 player but I think I will stick with a pocket radio tuned in to my fav radio station for now. The course is circular- a concrete path surrounding a cricket pitch. The measurement is from the innermost circumference- so I will be riding slightly more than the certified distance each lap. That and also the fact that there is a big stairwell on the course which I have to dodge- probably adds a couple of meters. I’ll be putting some photos up in a gallery later this week.

By the way, just to make everyone aware that EVERY dollar donated goes to OXFAM NZ. Unicycle.com have kindly agreed to pay the online transaction fees, as well as donate some cool prizes.

Not only that, the NZ Government is matching every donation dollar for dollar, so if we raise the target of $10,000; it will actually be $20,000 that goes towards the Tsunami relief.

I’ve chosen OXFAM as my charity because they work towards building communities, and have good long term as well as short term goals. It’s an international organisation (started as OXford FAmine relief in the UK), but OXFAM NZ is most active around the Asia Pacific region.

It doesn’t matter how much you give, it all adds up :stuck_out_tongue: . (Don’t forget about that $50 unicycle.com voucher.) Every donation carries equal chance of winning.


My donation is in. I wish you the best of luck with breaking the records. It’s good of you to do this for such a great cause.

a stupid question, but i’m known for them:p, are u going to ride the same way around for the entire period or are u allowed to switch direction every so often?

and if u have to go in one direction only, doesn’t that hold some potential physical risks?

Ah, I missed the following where you gave the length of the course:

465m is about 0.289 miles per lap. That’s like riding around a 1/4 mile oval running track. That’s tight. I’ve tried riding a Coker around a 1/4 mile oval running track and the turns at either end of the oval were difficult to maintain speed and difficult to get the Coker to navigate. The Coker doesn’t like turning like that at full speed. I had to slow down for the two turns and then speed up for the straightaways. Not optimal on a Coker.

Not at all; I forgot how not-old you are. Besides, endurance athletes tend to be older anyway. So please take away that disadvantage.

This is true. Make sure you get some practice in on that track so you’re used to the turns. It is for this reason I will never recommend racing Cokers on a regular athletics track. Speed plus multiple riders of dubious experience could lead to some nasty pileups in the short races.

Anyway, after the first 500 laps or so I think you’ll be real good on those turns. You might need to ride the opposite way some just to keep your tire from wearing down unevenly :smiley:

So Jacquie and I think it would be fun to donate based on how far you get. But we want to do more than $1 a mile. So it’ll be $1 per kilometer. Isn’t that the measure you use down there? If not, no matter, it’s just math. I will put in an initial $200, and then fill in the rest after your ride. That came out to $280 NZ.

C’mon people. A buck a mile, or kilometer, may be too much for you, but put in what you can. How about a quarter a mile, or a dime? I can’t think of a better cause. Let’s pump up Ken’s total!

Re: 24hr and 100mile World Record Attempt for OXFAM Tsunami Relief

On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 18:46:03 -0600, “johnfoss” wrote:

>Anyway, after the first 500 laps or so I think you’ll be real good on
>those turns.

I think that should read “turn” (singular). It’s a single turn of
hopefully more than 251640 degrees. Assuming that Ken won’t change

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

It’s impossible to get old when you ride a unicycle - John (what’s in a name) Childs

This is why RSU rocks!

Wow that’s really generous guys! John, we wanted to do the sponsor by lap thing- but it ended up being quite complicated. But feel free to do so- it’ll give me added incentive to push my limits even further.

By my estimates (I don’t have access to the info), probably slightly over half the online donations are from this forum. We’re almost at the $1000 mark from online donations, and well over that if you include the people that have pledged something off-line.

I’m meeting the local newspaper photographer and reporter tomorrow. Will get some photos up of the Basin Reserve.

Will also consider changing directions every few hours or so. The turn is not actually that bad- it’s curved all the way round. But I have to get a good rhythm going especially if I am to average 24km/h mininum (for the 100mile record).

I received a message from Lars Clauson yesterday (the current 24hr record holder). That was very cool- he’s certainly an inspiration to me. I think I will leave his longest-ride-on-a-unicycle record well alone though- 9136 miles!!!

Thanks for your support,