This wasn’t the best day for a long ride. After a couple of days of playing on my new MUni, my legs couldn’t push the necessary 34/15 gearing. I spent most of the ride on the 34/17 combination. Since I have seen no times posted yet, I might as well start the ball rolling with a dismal 1:09:45. The excuses are no better than the time. I should improve on this with fresh legs, or at least when it gets cooler. The heat index was 97 degrees during this ride (of course I picked the hottest time of the day and rode without my Camelbak). It was also uphill all the way (oh yeah - it’s a circle). Did I mention it was snowing? I’ll quit now. By the way, I finally got some pics in the gallery. Here’s the link.
I don’t coast much at all (maybe 5 seconds or so, occasionally). The balance point is pretty sensitive without a front wheel for ballast (however, I don’t have nearly the problem with the wind fouling up my steering). I’m either pedaling or braking most of the time. Since I have much less control when standing up (so I don’t) I don’t have much room for forward and backward movement, like on the 20-inch bikes which I could coast for half a block or so. How far can a good unicyclist coast without any drag on the wheel? If I took my feet off of the MUni pedals, I not only wouldn’t coast, but I wouldn’t be getting up for a while.
At UNICON Matteo Camani (Swiss National Team) coasted 119.82 meters in the track coasting competition. I don’t know what the record is for track coasting, but 119.82 meters is pretty darn good. This is coasting on a flat track. I have heard rumors of downhill coasting. I would guess that with the right nice long gentle slope that it would be possible to coast a long ways.
The disc is actually the third brake (as if two weren’t enough for one wheel). I have used two rim brakes (operated by separate levers) for quite a while, to allow resting of one arm at a time while maintaining control over the brakes. Then I moved to Nashville a few months ago and found an 11-mile loop at Percy Warner Park with very long, very steep hills. I could only make it about half way down the steepest before losing brake control due to hand fatigue (couldn’t have that). So I took the disc wheel off of the other bike and rigged it to a friction type gear shifter so I could ‘lock in’ the necessary braking to control the descent, while leaving the other brakes free to control the balance. It works great. I have now lost track of how many times I’ve made it around Percy Warner.
Of course, I could have saved myself some time by relying on the knowledge base in this forum. I spent a few hours considering the problem before the idea popped into my head. A month later, I saw a MUni on this site that had the same setup.
> I don’t know what the record is for track coasting, but
> 119.82 meters is pretty darn good. This is coasting
> on a flat track.
Flat, and high-friction. On a harder track, much longer distances should be
possible. I think the record is 144 meters or so, set by Yuichiro Kato at
UNICON VIII in England (1996). That must have been a less mushy track.
> I have heard rumors of downhill coasting. I would
> guess that with the right nice long gentle slope that
> it would be possible to coast a long ways.
We did this at UNICON IV, V, and VI. Can’t remember if we did it at any
others. The competitions were held on roadways that had slight downhill
slopes, so coasting experts could go until they ran out of hill. This was
what they did. At UNICON V, Jose Roman coasted to the end of the street,
which was in a neighboorhood, ending in a cul-de-sac (dead end). He actually
managed the bump up onto one of the driveways there, and partway up the
“Next time, I don’t want to camp the old fashioned way. I want the new and
improved way… WITH NO BEARS!!!” – 10 year old nephew Austin Miller, on
our recent camping experience (in a tent, with a bear trashing the campsite