24hr Report...

(I’ll try to make this as short as possible)

I returned yesterday from my first ever competition on my muni - the Beaudesert 24hr Team Challenge. Gabe and I had a great time competing in a 2-man team against heaps of mountain bikers and as far as I know, we are the only unicyclists to have done so (for this event). I rode my 24" x 3" custom muni and Gabe rode his 26" x 3" custom muni which was almost exactly the same colour as mine. We ended up doing a total of 20 laps and had a great time despite a few complications.

I guess I should have seen it coming, but the race started 90 minutes late so after being fired up at 12:00 we had to wait until 1:30 to get going. While we were waiting for the start, we took a practise lap and discovered that the course was really hilly. Gabe’s done quite a few endurance events like this and said that this was more hilly than any of the others. There weren’t really many long gradual hills, but rather quite a few shortish steep ones. This was good in a way though because it made for some fun little downhill bits. There weren’t many flat bits at all though so we didn’t get much of a chance to rest. I was really happy to see several creek crossings including 3 (I think) where you rode across a little ground-level ladder bridge. Unfortunately, on this practise lap, Gabe’s shoulder was hurting.

Gabe took the first lap in under 30min and we took turns doing one lap each until we got up to 10. By the time Gabe got back from his 5th lap, his shoulder was hurting so much that he had to stop. We had someone check it out and it turned out that he has ‘Swimmer’s Shoulder’. Luckily, he got some drugs for it but had to rest it for the night. By my 5th (our 10th) lap the sun had gone down and I had a go at some night muni-ing. I hadn’t ever ridden at night (I didn’t really have time to try it leading up to the race) and I really struggled to stay on the muni in a lot of places. It’s so different to normal riding. That lap was 5min slower than my others and I didn’t enjoy it as much. I got back and decided to have a good night’s sleep and start up again early the next morning. I ended up getting 8 hours sleep (probably a bit too much but I wasn’t complaining) and I was refreshed the next morning. I rode on my own for the next 4 or so hours while Gabe recovered. Then Gabe joined me for our last 4 laps.

Everyone was so nice to us the whole time and we had so much support from all of the other competitors. There was a scouts group or something like that who told me that we were their favourite team. Whenever I got close to their camp, before I could even see them, I’d hear, “Hey it’s the unicycle guy!”. I only got one bad comment. One guy told both of us that we were clowns. At first I didn’t realise whether or not he was meaning to insult us (actually I still don’t really know). I told him that we’re not clowns and that unicycling is actually a sport. He said, “I’ll call you clowns if I want to”. I asked him if he had anything against unicycling and he said no so I’m still a bit confused. I overtook him up a hill and he kept saying, “Are you trying to race me?” and stuff like that. This was about 1km before the finish line and I was getting a little bit annoyed with him so I decided I wanted to beat him. He overtook me down the hill but just before the finish I caught up and beat him to the finish line. Everyone else was unbelievably nice though. It was such a good atmosphere.

Here are some of the comments I got:
“I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pass you”
“Go Kris Holm!” - I thought this was great, he actually knew something about unicycling.
“Is that fun or are you just crazy?”
“Go unicycle man!”
“You guys really amaze me. I’m buggered on two wheels…with brakes…and gears!”

There was one bunch of people (who were really supportive) that kept asking me to do a bunny hop. I did, and by the last lap I was only hopping about 10cms high.

The course was 4.6km long which is short but it was really hilly. We did 20 laps in total. I recorded my lap times to see what sorts of averages I was getting:
Lap 1 - 26:08, Av. 10.3km/h
Lap 2 - 26:06, Av. 10.5km/h
Lap 3 - 28:18, Av. 9.6km/h
Lap 4 - 28:10, Av. 9.8km/h
Lap 5 - 33:07, Av. 8.5km/h (in the dark)
Lap 6 - 31:50, Av. 9.1km/h (in the dark the next morning)
Lap 7 - 25:58, Av. 10.6km/h
Lap 8 - 26:32, Av. 10.0km/h
Lap 9 - 27:58, Av. 9.8km/h
Lap 10 - 28:47, Av. 9.3km/h
Lap 11 - 29:00?
Lap 12 - 30:00?
Lap 13 - 37:00?

*I think I did 13 laps but I forgot to record the times for the last 3.

On the last lap, my left crank fell off. I didn’t realise it, but the bolt must have come loose and fallen off. I’m a little annoyed with this because I tightened it on the first day of the race. I lost the bolt and the little washer thingy but I’ll apparently be able to find a new one. I would’ve wheel walked over the line but the wrong crank had fallen off, so I couldn’t mount it. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by attempting to hand wheel walk across either. The cranks fell off in the first kilometer of the course so I had a wuick search for it and then ran the rest of the way.

Over the 24hrs Gabe and only rode about 92km but we had heaps of fun. We ended up beating one of the solo guys and we were 6 laps behind a 2-man team. I didn’t have the chance to take as many photos as I’d have liked to but I got some. You can see them in a new gallery at http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/andrew. There are some photos of Gabe’s custom muni (with a disk brake) there too for those of you who were interested.

Thanks a lot to everyone who convinced me to compete in this event. It was heaps of fun and we got so many positive comments. I strongly recommend it to anyone who’s been considering an endurance event. Just go at your own pace like we did. I can now understand how much of a freak (in a good way) Peter Bier is for even considering going solo.


Sorry…that’s Ken (GizmoDuck), not Peter. I’m soooo tired!

And the link is http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/andrew

good job gents!

thanx for the report

Congratulations Andrew and the Guys. Great Story. A job well Done.


Well done Andrew! I take my helmet off to you guys- 24hrs shared among two people! That’s pretty hardcore.

The course looks really ccol too- love the pics and video. It’s great to see that your lap times are so consistent. Those are pretty fast laps times for a 24’ MUni. Did you manage to beat any bike teams?

Anyway, well done guys. Wish I were there. Perhaps next year we could do a Trans-Tasman thing?


p/s Gabe, that is one sweet machine you’ve got :sunglasses: Hmmm disc brakes…


Cheers. We beat one solo guy and were about 6 laps behind a 2-man team. A Trans-Tasman thing sounds good to me. I’m looking forward to reading all about your solo 24hr experiences. How far away is it?


Very impressive. Bummer about the crank falling off. Mechanicals suck. Fortunately it was on your last lap.

From the pictures it looks like the course may have been Cokerable. A 29er could be a good choice for a course like that. It would be fun to take a Coker on one lap of a course like that just to see how the Coker would do.

For the metrically challenged a lap distance of 4.6km is 2.86 miles per lap. Andrew did 13 laps total for 37.18 miles. His lap speeds were around 10 km/h which is 6.2 mph.


Nice job! If your buddy hadn’t been injured you might have beaten that 2-man team!

Most MBers I’ve met on the trail are impressed and curious, some are intimidated, some pointedly ignore me. And I’m not that fast, flashy or impressive. So I’m not to see your range of reactions. It’s irritating when a MBer says, “Where’s your other wheel?” though.

That’s a good pace for so many laps. I did 5 miles in an hour last fall, but for one lap only! I jogged some of the uphills because it was more energy-efficient and faster. This was on the 26".

It really does look as though a Coker would have been great for the trail. On the type of terrain it appears to be, the Coker is quite a bit faster (twice or more), with little or no extra energy output.

Me too.

As for Cokers on the course, I don’t really know because I’ve never ridden one but I would imagine that the biggest wheel you’d want would be a 28". I don’t think the photos gave a good indication of the course. There were lots of little steep bits that were fine on a 24" but I don’t think I’d have been able to ride them on a 36". Gabe, having ridden a Coker, said it definately wouldn’t have been Cokerable.

Generally, the course seems different to a lot of the other ones I’ve seen photos of. It seems a lot shorter but steeper. But, like I said I’ve never ridden a Coker nor competed in any other endurance events.

Come to think of it, a 29" with long enough (170mm?) cranks might have been good.


Edit: One thing I forgot to mention was that I found myself taking lines on the track that were harder but a lot more fun. The section I come out of at the start of the video was much more fun and had some little drops and sharper turns. It was great! For those of you considering doing one of these events, this is a great way to keep things nice and interesting.

I’m always surprised at what is cokerable. I think it’s much more than you’d expect unless you ride a coker off road regularly. The real problem for cokers is bits with low trees and long very steep sections. If the uphills are pretty short a coker can get up really steep bits very well because of the momentum.

There’s not much point putting long cranks >150mm on a 29er, as it becomes pretty similar to a 26" wheel or a 24"x3".

I’ve never had a crank fall off, although I’ve had the sudden loosening thing but luckily noticed it in time to stop and tighten it up. That’s a real bummer losing the crank bolt.


Re: 24hr Report…

In article <joemarshall.lvpna@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
joemarshall <joemarshall.lvpna@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)There’s not much point putting long cranks >150mm on a 29er, as it
)becomes pretty similar to a 26" wheel or a 24"x3".

I disagree with this. I had 170s on my 29er at Moab, and on any flat
dirt sections (day 2) I was significantly faster than anyone else. I’m
planning on going with 150s for the 24 hour race in Monterey, but on a
hillier course I think the 170s would be warranted.

Re: Re: 24hr Report…

That’s probably because everyone else had 170 cranks on too. You’re about 10% faster than someone on a 26" with 170 cranks, but not quite as fast as someone on a 26" with 150 cranks.

In my opinion wheels and tyres for 29ers just aren’t the best tool for riding anything that you’d need 170 cranks for, putting them on a 29er makes it just like a 26" with 150 cranks except with less good tyres & less choice of tyres, a weaker wheel and less hoppability for technical sections. This really outweighs the slightly improved roll over things ability. In my opinion big wheels only come into their own when you ride them with a setup that isn’t obtainable with sensible cranks on a normal sized wheel.

I put 125s on my 29er for exactly this reason, even with 150s it wasn’t fast enough compared to the 26 (with 150s also) to be worth the extra effort riding anything technical. With the 125s it’s similar to a 26" with 110s, but doesn’t have the odd pedal action needed for the 26" which makes a 26" with 110s too strange to ride off road (not enough turning leverage).

Also, in my experience, as long as the trail is pretty smooth a coker/29er can get up almost anything, but when it gets bumpy, it’s much less good. Maybe this is why they’re so good for 24 hour races, because the trail is usually pretty smooth with all those people riding over it.


Excellent report, and excellent result, with some fine speeds for the wheel sizes and terrain described. I’m well impressed.

Best of all, I’m glad to see it is permissible to have 8 hours’ sleep on a 24 hour event. I am happy to do the 8 hours’ asleep for our team on the Red Bull. :smiley:

Re: 24hr Report…

In article <joemarshall.lvwcy@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
joemarshall <joemarshall.lvwcy@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)Tom Holub wrote:
)> *
)> I disagree with this. I had 170s on my 29er at Moab, and on any flat
)> dirt sections (day 2) I was significantly faster than anyone else.
)> I’m planning on going with 150s for the 24 hour race in Monterey, but
)> on a hillier course I think the 170s would be warranted.
)> -Tom
)> *
)That’s probably because everyone else had 170 cranks on too. You’re
)about 10% faster than someone on a 26" with 170 cranks, but not quite as
)fast as someone on a 26" with 150 cranks.

I’m not talking about 10%. I was probably 30-50% faster on the dirt
sections. Maybe that’s partly just me being stoked about being on a
part of the trail I can actually ride, but I see the same effect when
I ride with people in Berkeley on 24s and 26s. On non-rocky dirt
trails, the thing just flies, even with 170s.

)Also, in my experience, as long as the trail is pretty smooth a
)coker/29er can get up almost anything, but when it gets bumpy, it’s much
)less good. Maybe this is why they’re so good for 24 hour races, because
)the trail is usually pretty smooth with all those people riding over

My Yuni 24x3 is scheduled for delivery tomorrow, so I’ll have a better
basis for comparison after a few rides on it. I do agree that the
29er loses a lot of performance on rocky trails, and of course I can
say from experience that you lose reliability when doing technical,
rocky stuff.

But I’d take you on in that race against a 26 with 150s.

Well I don’t know, but I made it permissible. I’d decided that I was going to have fun for the full 24hrs and since I wasn’t enjoying the night riding as much, I got a good night’s sleep. I got up before the sun rose the next morning feeling really refreshed and when the sun did rise I did my fastest lap, so I have no regrets.


I agree with you about getting up early and start a new day ahead before the sun rise. Have early breakfast and then off you go. Works with me.
I walk my Dog “Shandy” Every morning, (Except on Raining days when there are breaks in the weather) and kept me fresh too. I normally get up at 5.30am in the morning. Put on the raido listening to David Collins and Tanya Wilks on KOFM 102.9FM Radio.
Then 10 or 15 minutes later take my dog for a walk. Normally I take him right into town of Toronto and heading back home on the main road. I normally by a paper but I get home delivered now. And then get myself breakfast. Don’t forget Andrew, I live alone now for the moment until I get a girlfriend one of these years soon.


Re: 24hr Report…

On Tue, 15 Apr 2003 05:04:33 -0500, djm
<djm.lx97b@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>I live alone now for the moment until I
>get a girlfriend one of these years soon.
>I love my new girlfriend.

Relation Police <shows ID card>. What’s it gonna be boy Yes or No?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“When someone asks you, ““A penny for your thoughts”” and you put your two cents in . . . what happens to the other penny? - George Carlin”

Re: Re: 24hr Report…

Very Funny Klaas.:smiley: I love reading your threads but take it easy on me. And yes we (Both) help solve the problems on other unicyclist and myself too included to be helpful to others. Let’s stick it to it shall we mate. Good. Cheers Mate.


… right. I dont understand, but I think thats a good thing.
I get that problem a lot around djm. I think I just need to pay more attention.

Don’t worry about me Samuel. I’m older. I’m 36 years old. And I can take a joke too. Some not if it’s offended by me. You’ll get there buddy. Cheers.