Does anyone know, maybe John Foss, if there are any documented, “unassisted” distance records for riding an impossible [BC] wheel? I’m very curious about this. I would think that the ideal surface conditions for such a record would be a slight and consistent downhill, on a smooth, paved street or path that continues, unbroken, for at least 1 mile.
Seems like you once you got good at it, you could ride a pump track in circles forever, or until you got too dizzy to continue…
I’m not sure a mile-long perfect downhill is a good idea… By the time you hit the bottom you’d be going too fast to bail out
In that case… a mile-long perfect downhill that ends at a pool or off a pier.
I’m slowly getting to the point where I can “pump” with my unicycle.
A possible source of locations is the Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association Riding Locations.
Just get good at using a brake on a BC wheel. Then pick any long hill and go down it.
What Corbin said. There are many ways to brake on a BC. To my knowledge, there are no formal distance records. A discussion of such would lead to questions of what counts; are you allowed to use braking, must it be 100% human powered, etc.?
Naturally, something you do downhill is theoretically going to be limited only to the hill. Though skill may be a factor in making the full distance, it can probably be overcome with practice. In 1988 or so I did an informal distance record attempt for gliding, at about 1.4 km (sounds better than .9 mile). If I’d had easy access to that hill, practice would have gotten me from top to bottom consistently.
So if the goal is distance, and human-powered, I would say that to “level” the playing field it should be done on level ground only. Going down hills would be more of a “fun” record, which can be fine in terms of it being better than no record at all.
I’ve got to agree.
Just think how much more rewarding it would be to break a record on level ground rather than because your hill was longer.
How the heck would you be able to go any reasonably long distance on level ground? As I mentioned in the opening post, I think that a slight downhill would be all you would need to travel a long distance unassisted, i.e., no dog or anything else pulling you along! And unlike a unicycle, once you push off, momentum (and gravity if dh) is the only thing keeping you going, so it can’t be considered “human powered”, at least not after the initial push. And you’d better believe it would take skill and hyper-focus (much like a tightrope walker!) to stay on for a long distance, in the 1 mile range! But riding a BC that far on level ground ain’t gonna happen, even with a strong headwind!
haha, yeah, I was flipped around on that one!
But maybe one of these would help on flat ground, with enough wind!
Somewhere I’ve got a book with a nice picture of a big sail that straps on to a person’s back for ice skating. I think it would work better than holding that thing in your hands for balancing. Now I need a bc wheel so that I can try it.
A sail on your back? How would that propel you forward? Maybe if it were up above your head, so the wind could fill the sail and push you forward.
But these behind-the-back skateboard sails are used to slow you down and control speed.
What about one of these?
I think you’d need a pretty strong tailwind for that to work. If it had a frame though, with practice you could probably learn to tack and head upwind.
It would seem that the main issue with using a sail, especially “tacking” with one, would be the significant added difficulty of staying on the BC! And the fact that you need your hands/arms free to aid in balance. I was thinking that riding a BC is almost like doing a free-coasting “still stand”! Except that still standing on a uni is mostly side to side, not fore/aft.
The front sail might work but the back sail is inferior to simply having a brake. The best option of all is to ride a freewheel unicycle. You get a similar feeling of flying when you go downhill (brakeless), you can control your speed with a brake when the grade is too steep, and you can pedal back up the hill for another run. I simply don’t understand why more people don’t have these now that there are stock components.
I really love the simplicity and the feeling of frictionless coasting (no brake/braking) and that’s what attracted to BC-ing. There are plenty of slight downhill stretches in my area where I can ride without going too fast. It’s just a fun way to add some variety to my regular uni adventures.
That’s one of the things I like best about freewheel unicycling, too, coasting for hundreds of feet without touching the brake, trying to breathe normally while my core is engaged, making balance adjustments from variations in the sidewalk. One place I practice a lot has a small downhill section and when it gets flat (and your speed is around max) the sidewalk makes a very slight tipi. I’ve practiced catching air going slow over this but my goal is to be able to go fast down the hill and get air off this. Where is the area you practice?
Crouch and push the wheel.
Also you might want to look at these BC wheel videos:
Doing a long distance record on a BC wheel is just like doing a long distance of riding a unicycle, it’s wouldn’t be hard technically, just an endurance challenge.