Anybody done 12 or 24hr Muni in U.S.A?

After my first failed attempt at doing a 24hr mountain bike race on my 28" Yuni Muni down near Natchez, Mississippi (24 Hours of Clear Springs), because the course had way too many short steep up’s and downs that really wore me out. I.e. not many sections where you could just cruise along. I was wondering if anybody in the U.S. (I’ve read all about you guys overseas who’ve done 24hrs before; that was what inspired me!) has done a 12 or 24hr mt bike event on a muni. I guess I’m trying to figure out if anybody has and what the course was like; what would be a good venue for an epic muni like that? I was thinking maybe something in colorado that would have a longer climb followed by longer downhills, that way you know you could ride at least half the loop (probably more). Anybody out there?

MuniSano

A group of unicyclists has done the 24 Hours of Adrenaline race at Laguna Seca several times; it’s about an 11-mile loop with something like 1600 feet of climbing. Pretty much all rideable on a Coker or 29er, although there were a few sections with rutted uphills that were more efficient to walk than ride. It would be pretty brutal to try to do it solo; I think the smallest team that’s done that race was 4 people. I did it with 7 and did two laps (one day, one night).

Did you mean Solo?

Nathan Hoover is the only one I know of to do a 24hr event solo but I’m sure there are others.

If you mean 24hrs in general- there have been plenty- check the search feature. The first 24hr races I’d heard of with unicyclists in them are the 24hrs of Adrenalin series.

Ken

This year’s race at Georgia International Horse Park, on Oct. 7th, had only a 1032 ft. vert over 8 mi.
That’s the only one where they talked about the elevation change:( .
https://www.twenty4sports.com/twenty4/index.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_eventDetails&eventContentID=0be62ab7-7e90-e2a3-b90d-52f269dcaa6b

This year’s race at Georgia International Horse Park, on Oct. 7th, had only a 1032 ft. vert over 8 mi.
That’s the only one where they talked about the elevation change:( .
https://www.twenty4sports.com/twenty4/index.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_eventDetails&eventContentID=0be62ab7-7e90-e2a3-b90d-52f269dcaa6b

Sorry about the double post. This computer is slow and I didn’t realize my clicking the reply button.:o

i’ve done one here in iowa a couple times. both times as part of a 4 man team. i rode 4 laps one year. 6-ish mile course. and being iowa the only way to make things hard for bikers at that distance is to make it up and down fairly steep little hills with hardly any flats. i could ride 90% of the downhills, even in the dark, but maybe 50% of the uphills, even on a good day/fresh legs. i jogged/pushed almost as much as i rode. still fun, but super hard. 24munis were the order of the day for us. 29 was going to be 90% jogging.

When you say 28" do you mean literally a 28" with standard tyre?

Cos that is not really suitable for the kind of ride you’re talking about, a 29-er (same rim but with a much fatter tyre) would be better and, though less common, i suspect a 24x3 could be suitable for those conditions, certainly, for a newbie to that kind of riding, I’d suggest erring on the side of ease of riding, rather than the speed of a bigger wheel.

The frame I have is a 28" Yuni with a 26" Gazz so effectively it is a 28"x3" tire I’m rolling on. I’m getting 23" KH for Christmas so I’ll have some more options in the future. I’m looking at attempting 12hr to 24hr solo on a muni and was wondering for those of you who have participated in a 12hr or 24hr in the U.S. what venue you thought was good for it as, obviously, some are better than others. Right now I’m looking at doing the Dirt Spokes Production 12hr in Fort Yargo, Georgia next May. I know a guy who does epic muni rides there and it sounds like it may be just the place. I think he’s going to ride and is trying to round up some buddies to enter as a team. I spoke to the race director and he’s game so if anybody is interested come on down the website is:
http://www.dirtyspokes.com/index.php

Let’s have a unicycle invasion!

MuniSano

Then I think it would be best described as a 26x3 (assuming your tyre is a 3" one).

If so, then that gives you a similar diameter to a 29-er- more sluggish due to the weight, but get the tyre pressure right and you’ve got a set-up that should be highly suitable for the terrain you’re riding.

A 24x3 may still work better if you’re having difficulties on the 26x3; equally, plenty of practice for the next year on your current set-up could well result in success.

Not wanting to be pedantic, but there is no 23" KH (or any other unicycle)- terminology on uni.com is fairly well established and it makes answering questions easier if we’re all using the same notion of wheel/tyre size description.

24" KH, stupid typo! I just don’t understand why we don’t just talk about the effective wheel size. Yes I’m running a 26"x3" Gazz and it is to be used with a rim for 26" tires (though the rim must be wide enough to accomidate) but the effective outer diameter is running at around 28" which is why Yuni frame is 28". Anyhow practice, practice and more practice and I should be ready to go for that 12hr next May. I’ve got some long rides planned between then and now.

We don’t talk just about the effective wheel size, because a 26x3 has an effective wheel size very similar to a 29x2.1, but radically different performance characteristics.

Follow up

Just to follow up on my announcement that a couple mountain unicyclists were planning to invade the Dirty Spokes, 12 Hours of Fort Yargo (in Winder, Georgia U.S.A.). We’ll my friend Paul Foster and I (Robert Youngren), did indeed show up and I think we represented our sport quite well amongst the over 350 other mountain bikers! The course consisted of 12 mile loops with a few challenging places but for the most part was very rideable and forgivable and a great place to really pack the mileage on. Paul managed 5 loops inside the 12 hour time limit and I managed 4. So with the “parade lap” added at the begining (to thin the field out) I got in 50 miles in about 9 1/2 hours and Paul got the metric century (100k) in around 11h 16m. I was pretty pleased with myself as my goal was 50 miles and this was about 30 miles further than I’d ever ridden a unicycle (especially off road!). And interestingly enough, we were far from finishing last, especially when you take into account there was a concurrent 6 hour race as well and our splits at that point still put us ahead of several mtn bikers! You can checkout the results at:
http://www.dirtyspokes.com/forms/DS-Results-2007.pdf

I’m sure there will be pictures posted on that website soon as this was a fairly large event and there were a number of flashing cameras capturing these 1 wheeled oddities!

I will say that without exception every mtn biker that passed me was extremely supportive and respectful. No jeering from this crowd (before the start there was some, but once they saw we were for real I think we won their respect)!

I know it is a long loop, but it is a relatively “fast” course. Our first “long” loop was just under 2 hours, probably ~13 miles. Like I said there is a 6 hour option and team divisions as well. It is a great muni course if mileage is the goal. The race director said if we can increase our numbers next year he’ll have a seperate uni division! So consider it…

See you out there!

MuniSano

Awesome job! It’s true that bikers in an event are almost totally supportive and encouraging. After all, they think what you’re doing is impossible, and not just hard.

50 miles of trail riding! Sick, dude! Congrats!

Munisano, way to go! That’s a lot of miles in a little time!

So tell me about the logistics of this race. Did you take some good pit stop breaks each lap? What did you eat and drink? Did you have anybody to do support for you?

There’s a 12 hour in a couple weeks that a friend and I are considering entering solo, too, even though we’re both fat and in only minimally acceptable shape. The course seems decent and mostly ridable, and there’s already a unicycle class (course: 11+ miles per lap, with 1700’ climbing (1400’ on the first 4-mile fire-road climb, the rest rolling and downhill singletrack). I’ve never done (or even seen) this type of race before, and so want to have a sense of what to expect. Any info you can provide would be great to hear. I know I could do a search for this kind of info, too, but figured you might be able to give a fresh perspective.

Now the rest of the story:

  1. I rode my 2007 KH24 the whole way, stock set up (24x3 Duro’s with 150mm cranks, snafu pedals). This course probably had 1000’ climb (and like decent) over the 12mile+ distance, so not nearly as much climbing as some places. Paul ran with a KH29 but loaded with a 26x3 Nokian Gazz and I think 165mm cranks (after running 150’s the first 2 laps). In retrospect I think his was the superior set-up for high mileage muni. I errored on the side of caution and preferred a bit higher torque and more spinning of the smaller wheel and longer cranks since I’d never ridden this course before and it was my first time attempting a ride over 20 miles! But since after the first couple loops I was having to walk up some of the steep inclines I was cleaning the first two loops, I think I’d been better off with a “higher geared” setup to be faster in the flats.

  2. Logistically we prepared a few ice chests full of stuff. One ice chest was dedicated to “clean” ice, that is this was the ice we used to put into our packs. The other ice chests held other electrolyte drinks and energy foods. I like using Ensure or Boost personally, but to each their own. For electrolytes I used EFS and I think some Accelerade. ICE is the key here, keep stuff cold! Fill your pack full of ice!

  3. Why tried to keep the stop time to a minimum, mainly to avoid cramping up and getting stiff legged. It is better to keep moving than to sit around (else you may not go back out!). Yet at the same time have a good plan in mind and start thinking of what your going to do as you’re getting close to finishing your loop. This way you come into the transition area with a plan and then execute it. I mainly stuck with energy gels and the above listed drinks. These all provided plenty of “simple” calories and didn’t cause my stomach to get upset. Some people have trouble with digestion issues in events like this, myself included, so I like to keep the “real food” intake to a minimum (I can scarf stuff down after I’m done). If you can con somebody into crewing for you that is even better since they’ll be able to think logically about what you need to drink, eat, remember to carry. The longer you go the more likely you mind starts to go; it’s good to have somebody there to keep you focused! Luckily for Paul and I, we got to share the crew and supporters of a local mountain biking club that he’s friends with. So we had a cheering section as well!

  4. Just have fun with it. Set a realistic goal and go for it. If you goal is minimal, think about splitting your ride up to keep it fun. That is, save time to do a night loop. There is nothing more fun than riding at night. It is pretty cool, but can be dangerous if you are really tired! Even a trail you’ve been over a million times during the day looks so different at night!

  5. Despite my quads being totally shot (i.e. it is really hard going down stairs right now) and my lower back screaming at me, I’m actually pretty stoked about my ride and looking forward to doing it again. I’ll think I’ll hold off on a 24hrs of muni for a while. A 12 hour is plenty long for muni’ing on moderate to difficult terrain; especially on a longer loop like we did (I was always running out of fluid near the end of each loop).

Good luck and have fun!

munisano

Now the rest of the story:

  1. I rode my 2007 KH24 the whole way, stock set up (24x3 Duro’s with 150mm cranks, snafu pedals). This course probably had 1000’ climb (and like decent) over the 12mile+ distance, so not nearly as much climbing as some places. Paul ran with a KH29 but loaded with a 26x3 Nokian Gazz and I think 165mm cranks (after running 150’s the first 2 laps). In retrospect I think his was the superior set-up for high mileage muni. I errored on the side of caution and preferred a bit higher torque and more spinning of the smaller wheel and longer cranks since I’d never ridden this course before and it was my first time attempting a ride over 20 miles! But since after the first couple loops I was having to walk up some of the steep inclines I was cleaning the first two loops, I think I’d been better off with a “higher geared” setup to be faster in the flats.

  2. Logistically we prepared a few ice chests full of stuff. One ice chest was dedicated to “clean” ice, that is this was the ice we used to put into our packs. The other ice chests held other electrolyte drinks and energy foods. I like using Ensure or Boost personally, but to each their own. For electrolytes I used EFS and I think some Accelerade. ICE is the key here, keep stuff cold! Fill your pack full of ice!

  3. Why tried to keep the stop time to a minimum, mainly to avoid cramping up and getting stiff legged. It is better to keep moving than to sit around (else you may not go back out!). Yet at the same time have a good plan in mind and start thinking of what your going to do as you’re getting close to finishing your loop. This way you come into the transition area with a plan and then execute it. I mainly stuck with energy gels and the above listed drinks. These all provided plenty of “simple” calories and didn’t cause my stomach to get upset. Some people have trouble with digestion issues in events like this, myself included, so I like to keep the “real food” intake to a minimum (I can scarf stuff down after I’m done). If you can con somebody into crewing for you that is even better since they’ll be able to think logically about what you need to drink, eat, remember to carry. The longer you go the more likely you mind starts to go; it’s good to have somebody there to keep you focused! Luckily for Paul and I, we got to share the crew and supporters of a local mountain biking club that he’s friends with. So we had a cheering section as well!

  4. Just have fun with it. Set a realistic goal and go for it. If you goal is minimal, think about splitting your ride up to keep it fun. That is, save time to do a night loop. There is nothing more fun than riding at night. It is pretty cool, but can be dangerous if you are really tired! Even a trail you’ve been over a million times during the day looks so different at night!

  5. Despite my quads being totally shot (i.e. it is really hard going down stairs right now) and my lower back screaming at me, I’m actually pretty stoked about my ride and looking forward to doing it again. I’ll think I’ll hold off on a 24hrs of muni for a while. A 12 hour is plenty long for muni’ing on moderate to difficult terrain; especially on a longer loop like we did (I was always running out of fluid near the end of each loop).

Good luck and have fun!

munisano

Thanks for the suggestions. In a couple weeks a bunch of us forum denizens are riding on 5-person teams in a 24 hr race up near Toronto and I’m going to use some of your suggestions. I’ll also use your performance as inspiration!

I’ve done a number of 24 hour MTB races on Uni, but only one solo. That was with Ken in New Zealand in 2004. Solo is a really difficult proposition whereas doing it as a team is a blast (but still hard if you are competitive).

Either way, you have to carefully decide on uni or unis based on the course and your experience. I’ve never been to a course that a 29er can’t handle, although I prefer slightly less technical courses where it’s possible to ride a 36er. Our first race in California in 2002 had a 10.5 mile lap with 1600’ (IIRC) climbing and descent. Coker worked fine for experienced riders - Kris Holm even raced an incredibly fast time at night on a Coker. But it was technical enough that a number of riders used 26" wheels. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous near Toronto, is similar but a little more technical. It’s been done on a 36" but 29" seems to be the wheel of choice. It was 36" all the way in New Zealand at the Moonride. At Mountain Mayhem in England in 2004, it was 29er for me, but 36" for Roger and Dez. Others used 26 or 29 - that one was unusual because there was so much mud.

Ride the biggest wheel you can possibly take on the course with the shortest cranks as fast as you possibly can. Maybe smaller during the night, but that can probably be solved with better and brighter lighting systems. Unless it’s some kind of killer technical course I’ve never heard of, do not use a 24" wheel and do not use long cranks. Practice spinning fast through everything.

If you’re looking for an interesting race, the one I’ve always wanted to do (can’t this year though due to MUT) is 24 Hours of Light. 6 weeks away…

Good luck!

—Nathan

THAT looks cool.