24hr - We need you help in a very important debate...

I emailed the cycling authorities a few days ago about riding the 24hr in April on unicycles and got this reply:

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for your enquiry. I must direct you to the Cycling Australia rule book - Rule 3.8.03 - The bicycle is a vehicle with two wheels of equal diameter. The front wheel shall be steerable, the rear wheel shall be driven through a system comprising pedals and a chain.

3.8.05 Position - The rider shall assume a sitting position on the bicycle. This position requires that he be suported solely by the pedals, the saddle and the handlebars. The riders hould have a handlebar which shall allow the bicycle to be ridden and manoeuvred in any circumstances and in complete safety.

So because of that Cycling Australia could not give permission for a unicycle to be used in any CA/CQ sanctioned events because of insurance issues.
With kind regards,
Wendy Sanders
State Manager
Cycling Queensland

I’m really digusted by this. I’m trying to plan a reply to this email and need your help with my arguments. So far I’ve got:

  • Rule 3.8.03 doesn’t seem relevant to me. A unicycle not having those characteristics doesn’t make it any less safe (I’m assuming safety to other riders is their concern because they mentioned insurance issues).

  • As for Rule 3.8.05, A unicyclist’s weight is supported by the seat and pedals. A unicyclist has the ability to manoeuvre and ride in any circumstance that a bie can in complete safety. From what they’ve said, they should be stopping riders from riding along with no hands but you don’t see that happening.

  • As for safety, unicyclists don’t ride as fast as bike riders and therefore have more time to react to potentially dangerous circumstances and can also stop faster. Another reason unicycles can stop faster is the fact that, while bikes will skid to a stop, unicycles will not skid nearly as much and will therefore be able to stop quicker. I’m assuming that this is because of the difference in the way the weight of the rider is distributed.

  • Unicycles are smaller than bikes and particularly not as long and won’t get in the way as much.

  • We’re all competant riders.

  • There was a unicyclist in the Canberra 24hr and many all over the world.

  • With this rider in the Canberra 24hr (which I’ll remind you is in Australia), they mentioned that because of Cycling Australia’s policies we can’t ride. Well, Cycling Australia was surely in charge of the Canberra 24hr and they let him ride and didn’t have any problems.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Obviously I really want to be able to ride in the 24hr and I’d really appreciate it if you could help me build my argument or give suggestions as to how I should go about delivering it.

Thanks a lot,


Rather than sending you an email telling you about this dilemma I figured you’d read this post anyway so please let me know when you read it. We also need another rider because we can only go in teams of 2, 4, or 6. Here’s a link to the registration form:


There’s also some more details here:



You got my support Andrew. I’m 100% with it and I’m angry at it already now. Somehow Cycling Australia over look us as clowns in the circus. WRONG!!! This is Unicycling we’re talking about. Unicycling has been around nearly about 120 or so years ago since the penny-farthing where it’s got the name from.
(Anyone disagree with that, that’s O’k I’ll wear it) What I’m saying that it’s wrong. It should be included in the 24Hr event, even if I had a go at them. No matter what event/s it is should be. Take Charity Rides for example, Would you ride a unicycle that’s Invovled a “MS Bicycle Charity Ride 2003”. To me YES. If they say “Two Wheels Permitted Only Please.” I’ll say " Go and Get stuff, It should Included Unicycles". And Yes Andrew, I got your Full Support, I’m 100% with you all the way. Want More, Get me back on this forum Topic page.


President of The Newcastle-Lake Macquarie Unicycle Club. :slight_smile:


I just spoke to Darcy from the bike shop who told me that he doesn’t think Cycling Queensland or Cycling Australia have anything to do with the event. Things are looking good at the moment and I’m just about to email Bill who is organising the event to get the okay.

Wish us luck,


Thanks for the support. I can’t believe I emailed the wrong people :). I would’ve thought they’d tell me they’re not organising the 24hr though. Oh well.


Oh dear. Oh Um… Oh well That’s @$%#@%@% Happens.
That’s Happens to me too. Oh Well as Derryn Hinch will Say
“That’s Life…Goodnight.”


Its good that everything worked out (sort of) but surely the AUS should be looking into affiliating with bicycling australia so we can compter in BA events.
As for the event, What about David? And I’m going to email gabe to hopefully put in some hours on his other 24 inch out at a few muni tracks.
Ive only ridden a 24 inch a few times and never on dirt so I’ll have to get some practice in before the event (Ive still only got my 20" until the kh24 arrives).
Any idea what the course is like?

Well, don’t be mad at yourself; just be glad you don’t have to participate in the event with a two-wheeler to fulfill the requirements.



I don’t dare to imagine how you would have equipped your two-wheeler with a handle bar and a chain…


Sam and David,

Great idea. I didn’t realise David was into muni. Would you like to join us David? I forgot to remind you about this Sam, you’ll need a good quality light. There’ll be recharging stations at the event as it says in that link I gave you. That’s good that you’re getting some 24" muni practice in. I’m not going to take this too seriously, it’s just that you’ll probably enjoy it more with more experience. naturally I’ll ride as hard and fast as I can though.

The course will be slightly longer than last year’s 12hr. The photo I’ve attached only shows the flat and non-technical stuff but there was also some fun technical single track in there. It took us about 15-16mins per lap on bikes. It was pretty hilly but it had this one really fun descent that was covered in deep, loose sand.

David, if you’re interesed in joining us check out that link I posted for more details and click on the link on that page to the registration form which lists the prices (I think).


…and of course I forgot the photo…

12hr - mark.jpg

The chain would come from a myran (spelled how?) cycle of course!

Andrew! I’m Interested in Mountain Biking since The bike came out in the first place. And as for Muni. Darn Yes I’m Interested.
Only One Problem. I Haven’t got a Proper Muni. All I got is a Standard Taiwanesse Juggleart 20" Unicycle with a Viscount Saddle I’ve put on back in 1994. I got rid of the Savage Saddle due to Hurting around my Pelvic area. I’ll go back to read your other posts as I will find little time. But I’ll Have to Check my diary to see what’s going on this year. I nearly took a TAFE Course for computers but that was Full and cannot take any more participants. I’ve got no Job because of my Disabilitie’s but I’m O’k I’m 100% fit but am looking for work very soon. I haven’t had a proper job since leaving school at 17 years old, except for a council Job in 1987 as a parks youth. It’s only temporay job too.
Mowing Parks And Streets. I move to Lake Macquaire in 1983 from Sydney where I originally lived from Concord. And I haven’t got the money to buy a Muni or a Coker. The Giraffe is still on my mind soon. I’ll Get back to you Soon.

David. :slight_smile:

I’ve only skimmed this thread, but a couple of thoughts:

There is a reason for those rules, although those rules seem to go far beyond that reason. If ‘bicycle’ is not defined carefully, it is conceivable they could get all sorts of people trying to enter the ride - say, tandems, tricycles, tandem trikes, Raleigh Choppers, recumbant bicycles and, yes, unicycles.

If the event is organised by sports bicyclists, for sports bicyclists, they are entitled, surely, to set their own criteria, to maintain the character of the event as they want it to be.

That said, their own rules as summarised earlier in the thread are bizarre. Not all bona fide sports bicycles (MTB/ATB or otherwise) have wheels of equal diameter. There was also a recent post in this forum showing a photograph of a shaft-driven bicycle. I can’t see that an otherwise conventional mountain bike with a shaft drive should ‘logically’ be excluded. But that’s their business: their event, their rules.

And it is fair to say that they are probably deliberately using the rules to exclude unicycles because they don’t properly appreciate what can be achieved on a unicycle. Their initial reaction may well have been, ‘Oh no, a rag week stunt - some bunch of idiots on unicycles doing it for a laugh. We don’t want them.’ This would be an understandable error. No one is to blame for being ignorant; they are only to blame if they close their minds.

So, how does one address this sort of prejudice:

  1. Attack them with logical arguments, pointing out inconsistencies in their position, etc.? I’d say not, because that would polarise their opinions.
  2. Explain that you understand their position, but perhaps they have not fully understood yours. Tell them you regulalry ride X mile distances. Send photos. Ask them to make an exception. It might work.
  3. Organise your own event. Make a name for yourself. Get your pictures in the paper. Establish some credibility, then if you still want to, give them lots of notice next year, so they can consider your application properly.

To do any serious distance or time on a unicycle is ‘a big ask’. Even on a Coker, 50 miles is a long day for most of us. On a 20, 30 miles is a long day! With no great attempt at scientific accuracy, my gut feeling is that a long ride on any unicycle is a number of miles equal to the wheel diameter in inches, and a long DAY is 1.5 - 2 times that distance.


If you’re still interested in riding and are not busy on the 12th and 13th of April, you can use my muni. Sam’s already going to use it and I have absolutely no problems with you using it. The cost of the race is on that site I put a link to. It’ll be spread out between 3 or 4 (hopefully) people so it shouldn’t cost too much.


Andrew! Sorry to break your heart. After checking my diary and the event is in April, I have to give it a miss. But the good is, If the event is on next year, that will be different by then. I got one problem, I got no Car, but I can drive. I’ve haven’t got my own proper car EVER since I gain my Driver’s licence and I cannot drive a Manual car. I know I’m in tears right now to give it a miss and looking forward to meeting you in the flesh. I know it will be fun but very sorry I cannot come to the event. I have logged on to those website you given and quite impressive. As I mention above. I’m am into Muni, Trials, Touring and Light Performences such as juggling, Basketball Unicycling, Follow the leader and some Unicycling Races along the Sporting Complex grounds.
I’m at Level 2 skilled and am committed to do more, where I can get the chance to do some. Because I live alone at home with my dog,
I have to be very careful with my money. If you want a private conversation with me, drop me a email and we’ll talked. I’ll even send you my Telephone No. if you want.
Best of luck.

Sorry Andrew, I think you should either start your own event or just ride a bike. It may be unfair to you not to get to ride a uni in this event, but it would be one more bit of work to an organizer who may already be at wit’s end. Have some mercy on the poor paper pushers! Do the event on a bike, but take the uni just in case they come to their senses when they see you hopping branches in the parking-lot. carjug

I’m not sure but you may have missed the middle of the thread. I actually emailed the wrong people. The organisation I emailed isn’t actually running the 24hr so I’ve emailed the proper people and I think I’ll probably be able to race on my unicycle. Thanks for the advice though.


[QUOTE Originally posted by carjug]

Sorry Andrew, I think you should either start your own event or just ride a bike.

Carjug… I agree with Andrew. I think you miss read some of his Threads. Re-read it Thoughly. And some of mine too. Sorry mate.
But I’m with him. And yes Thanks for our/advice. Applies to me too.


I was told that there are a couple of reasons usually for these funny rules about wheel size in mountain bike races.

The first one is that when mountain biking was getting popular, some cyclo-crossers caught onto the fact these offroad races were happening and entered and did rather well, but used cyclo-cross tactics, which basically means carrying the bike for all the fun bits. So a maximum wheel size was put in place to avoid there being silly people running all over the course and getting in the way on all the technical sections.

The second one is that at the same time BMX was still really big and some of the BMX people were pretty fast and it’s a bit embarrassing being beaten by someone on a £200 bmx when they’d got their spangly new mountain bikes to play with.

Nowadays many of these rules are being relaxed now that 29ers are coming in.

For 24 hour races, I’d never bother asking and just enter without telling them, you’ll almost certainly be allowed to ride, it’s not as if there aren’t a million people riding really slowly on the course anyway.

For normal races, I’ve always entered in the fun / beginner category, where it’s more often people getting in the way of you rather than vice versa. That way you have a chance of not coming last.

If Cycling Australia is anything like the British Cycling people, they probably only organise road racing and real whippet mtb races, national series etc. which cost a fortune to enter and aren’t that fun because people take them way too seriously.


Thanks Joe for that info mate. I hope Andrew have read your info or not. Very interesting indeed. Thanks.