# 28 miles, 2 hours, 1 stupid rider

The doubt expressed by far more experienced riders has forced me to re-examine my data. My calculations were base off of my odometer readings, minus the known distance from my workplace to the destination. Driving today I came up with the same figures.

Still, unshure, I checked with Map Quest. My base data was right- if it was in Kilometers! I had set the odo to Kilometers.

The distance was, in fact, only 28 miles… which puts my average speed at only 14 mph.

I would eat crow, but I can’t get this foot out of my mouth.

Anybody know of a cycling computer that will allow for user defined wheel sizes up to 36"+ ? Short of that, I could set the wheel size to 18" and just double the read-out (although that would require me to multiply by 2, a feat I’m not sure I’m capable of, today.)

I get 36 mi x 0.621 = 22.4 mi.
22.4 mi / 2 hr = 11.2 mph.

Still, 2 hours on the saddle of a Coker is a feat in itself, let alone the 11.2 mph average. I ride my bicycle to work every day and average 10 mph. I can ride my Coker 10 mph but only for about 3 miles. I think you’re doing a great job and should be proud. I envy your stamina.

Oh, and when your goodies go numb, just go home and smack them a couple of times with a 2 by 4. A guy with brass balls like you probably wouldn’t even feel it.

Rhysling,

Do not do yourself down, what you have done is still an incredible feet.
Keep it up! If you play with the spread sheet you will see that your foot
speed was almost identical to what I am happy with. Why don’t you consider
going down in crank size, it is less hard on your knees and helps you keep
speed up. But wear wrist guards!

There is an easy way to set your computer, mulply the figure you have put
in by 0.621 , it will then show mph. I use a sigma sport one and it works
like that.

Roger

The UK’s Unicycle Source http://www.unicycle.uk.com

“rhysling” <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:9s42bp\$n47\$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu
> Anybody know of a cycling computer that will allow for user defined
> wheel sizes up to 36"+ ? Short of that, I could set the wheel size to
> 18" and just double the read-out (although that would require me to
> multiply by 2, a feat I’m not sure I’m capable of, today.)
>
>
>
>
>
> –
> rhysling Posted via the Unicyclist Community -

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAaaaa…
I really liked the words “it takes twice the man to ride half the bike”, infact i have started to tell bikers that they have extra wheels, it confuses them inless i am on my uni, whitch is most of the time so anyway… oo oo i have a joke, why is it called tuorist season if you cant shoot them? and why did the uncycler cross the road, hmmmmmm. oo oo how many unicyclers does it take to screew in a light bulb? hmmm if you know the anwers i will be pleased

dan

aim-dank da duck
email- danktheduck@hotmail.com

On Sun, 4 Nov 2001 18:45:13 +0000 (UTC), rhysling
<forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Anybody know of a cycling computer that will allow for user defined wheel
>sizes up to 36"+ ? Short of that, I could set the wheel size to 18" and
>just double the read-out (although that would require me to multiply by
>2, a feat I’m not sure I’m capable of, today.)
>

I have Echo-J12 (made in Taiwan). The circumference of the wheel can be
set up to 3000 mm (3,000 m). It has also cadence meter.

-Mika

36 was the distance I had figured after subtracting what I thought I was short from work. I drove it today (ya, with the odometer set to MILES), and 28 miles was accurate.

Thanx for the input on the comp’s. It’s a toss up right now on which to get first- the computer or the air saddle. I Suppose it depends on who I wana look silly in front of( bad data, or funny walk…hummm).

Roger, what is the trade with the shorter cranks? Leverage, sure, but where am I going to have to compensate? What muscle groups? I thought those last hills would kill me. I suppose I should work up to shorter cranks- although my primary weekness right now is in my knees. Your spread sheets were great! About foot speed: does foot speed equate to equal effort on different wheels, weather uni or bi?

Getting on the 24" was realy realy wierd today. My muscle memmory was all geared to the heavy wheel. The small wheel gets started so fast, then I’m pedaling WAY to fast and going no where…

Night,

> The problem with getting faster on a unicycle is not normally the that
> you can not push the gear it is that your foot can not move fast enough.
> I know that I can ride a road bike at 30mph I know what the that feels
> like and 16 or 17 mph feels similar on 110’s on a Coker in many ways.

On your road bike you are much more aerodynamic than on a unicycle. I’d
imagine that your body’s frontal area is close to half on the bike what it
is on the unicycle. The bike itself probably has less wind resistance as
well, due to skinny tires and wheels that don’t wobble side to side.

So though your 36" is basically limited by pedaling speed, if your wheel
is larger you will eventually reach the point where aero is more of a
factor than pedal speed. I’m a lot closer to that on my 45", though my
conditioning is not such that I could tell you which is more of a factor.

A 24" wheel (the size we mainly race on) is all pedal speed, and
aerodynamics play no part at all. Back in the early 80’s when I was
learning racing, I experimented with aero body positions on the
unicycle. But they didn’t make any difference. It was more important to
sit up straight for maximum lung capacity. So I’ve always sat up
straight when racing. Even this summer in Toronto in the Marathon, in
which I rode a Coker. It was the farthest I’ve ridden a Coker, but I
suspect that you might start to see some benefit from aero positioning
if you’re racing on one.

So what’s aero positioning on a unicycle? Basically this means to bend
forward. It would help to have a handlebar for this, similar to the front
part of a triathlon bar for a bike. Unfortunately bending forward on a
unicycle has the effect of moving your upper body rearward, making your
pedals essentially further forward. This is probably a little cramped
compared to your average road bike, but something we have to deal with as
long as we’re on simple unicycles (a complex unicycle could use a chain
and have the pedals wherever you want).

Stay on top (with the wind at your back), John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com www.unicycling.com

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” - Kevin
“Gilby” Gilbertson

“rhysling” wrote:

> 36 was the distance I had figured after subtracting what I thought I was
> short from work. I drove it today (ya, with the odometer set to MILES),
> and 28 miles was accurate.

still a fantastic ride.

> Thanx for the input on the comp’s. It’s a toss up right now on which to
> get first- the computer or the air saddle. I Suppose it depends on who I
> wana look silly in front of( bad data, or funny walk…hummm).
>
> Roger, what is the trade with the shorter cranks? Leverage, sure, but
> where am I going to have to compensate?

The problem with getting faster on a unicycle is not normally the that you
can not push the gear it is that your foot can not move fast enough. I
know that I can ride a road bike at 30mph I know what the that feels like
and 16 or 17 mph feels similar on 110’s on a Coker in many ways.

> What muscle groups?

The same ones but you are not stretching the muscles as much and the
critical bit is that there is less lateral force on the knees from wobble.

> I thought those last hills would kill me.

That is practice, I can ride 25% hills on my 110’s but is not good. I do
not suggest you go to the extreme that I have but shorten your cranks a
bit when you are happy to. do one step at a time.

> I suppose I should work up to shorter cranks- although my primary
> foot speed: does foot speed equate to equal effort on different wheels,
> weather uni or bi?

Yes, it is a direct corrolation. Because unicycles are fixed gears they
make the physics a lot easier, I will get my old maths books out if you
would like and give you the formular (or someone else can). If you don’t
believe me look at the figures for the standard unicycles. Play with the
spread sheet until you get the same foot speed for each wheel size and
then go and ride each size, the feel is the same. Also if you look at what
the Japanize lads ride for marathen, 24" x 75 cranks, they have a similar
performance to a Coker.

> Getting on the 24" was realy realy wierd today.

Yes your foot speed is a lot slower as well.

> My muscle memmory was all geared to the heavy wheel. The small wheel
> gets started so fast, then I’m pedaling WAY to fast and going no where…

I would have said it was you balance memory that was set for the bigger
wheel, the bigger the crank ratio the smaller the angle of balance is.

Roger

> what is the trade with the shorter cranks? Leverage, sure, but where am
> I going to have to compensate?

There’s a very noticeable difference with balance.

I switched to 5" cranks after a couple of months. They were a revelation.
I found they gave me a much smoother, more comfortable ride with a more
natural feeling pedalling circle than the 6" cranks. Unfortunately, I also
found that maintaining my balance with them took a lot more concentration
than I was comfortable with at 08:00.

If you ride the Coker a lot, you’ll soon get used to the balance
differences. But for me, my 10 mile round trip to work once a week just
wasn’t enough. I never managed to reach quite the same average speed on
the 5" cranks as on the 6", and I never felt quite as safe. I switched
back to 6" after a few weeks.

> What muscle groups? I thought those last hills would kill me. I suppose
> I should work up to shorter cranks- although my primary weekness right
> now is in my knees.

If you’re doing hills and you’re having problems with your knees, shorter
cranks probably aren’t a good idea. OTOH the smaller range of knee
movement needed to ride with shorter cranks may be beneficial.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent bikes page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ “Make
it idiot-proof and someone will build a better idiot.”

Jack Halpern suggested:
> Have you tried 5.5"? I feel very confortable with them though I
> live in a
hilly
> area. It is true that on a flat surfaces 5" is smoother, but 5.5", at
least for
> me and I suspect many others, has the advantage of being a good length
> “all around”.

I’ve thought about it, but never got round to doing anything about it.
Maybe I’ll give it a go next year sometime.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent bikes page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ “Make
it idiot-proof and someone will build a better idiot.”

Jack Halpern suggested:
> Have you tried 5.5"? I feel very confortable with them though I
> live in a
hilly
> area. It is true that on a flat surfaces 5" is smoother, but 5.5", at
least for
> me and I suspect many others, has the advantage of being a good length
> “all around”.

I’ve thought about it, but never got round to doing anything about it.
Maybe I’ll give it a go next year sometime.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent bikes page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ “Make
it idiot-proof and someone will build a better idiot.”

Greetings

In message “Re: 28 miles, 2 hours, 1 stupid rider”, Danny Colyer wrote…
>Jack Halpern suggested:
>> Have you tried 5.5"? I feel very confortable with them though I
>> live in a
>hilly
>> area. It is true that on a flat surfaces 5" is smoother, but 5.5", at
>least for
>> me and I suspect many others, has the advantage of being a good length
>> “all around”.
>
>I’ve thought about it, but never got round to doing anything about it.
>Maybe I’ll give it a go next year sometime.

I highly reconmmend it.

Stay on top, Jack Halpern Executive Director for International Development
International Unicycling Federation, Inc. Website: http://www.kanji.org

you are much more aerodynamic than on a unicycle. I’d
> So though your 36" is basically limited by pedaling speed, if your wheel
is
> larger you will eventually reach the point where aero is more of a
> factor than pedal speed. I’m a lot closer to that on my 45", though my
conditioning
> is not such that I could tell you which is more of a factor.
>
> A 24" wheel (the size we mainly race on) is all pedal speed, and
> aerodynamics play no part at all. Back in the early 80’s when I was
learning
> racing, I experimented with aero body positions on the unicycle. But
> they didn’t make any difference. It was more important to sit up
> straight for maximum lung capacity. So I’ve always sat up straight when
> racing. Even
this
> summer in Toronto in the Marathon, in which I rode a Coker. It was the
> farthest I’ve ridden a Coker, but I suspect that you might start to see
some
> benefit from aero positioning if you’re racing on one.

I’ve noticed in any kind of a headwind, going a bit more aero makes a
really big difference to me on a Coker, especially when riding as fast as
I can down the hill on the way home from work. It’s most noticeable when
I’m riding along by the river in London cos it has a great big wind tunnel
effect sometimes.

> So what’s aero positioning on a unicycle? Basically this means to bend
> forward. It would help to have a handlebar for this, similar to the
> front part of a triathlon bar for a bike. Unfortunately bending forward
> on a unicycle has the effect of moving your upper body rearward, making
> your pedals essentially further forward. This is probably a little
> cramped compared to your average road bike, but something we have to
> deal with as long as we’re on simple unicycles (a complex unicycle could
> use a chain
and
> have the pedals wherever you want).

I lean forwards a lot, grab the seat handle with one hand and put the
other arm in front of me. You don’t need the spare arm much for balance
once you’re going at a decent speed.

It’s quite tiring though, I wouldn’t want to ride distances on it.

Joe