Bonkers night coker xc / touring

My bicyclist friend AJ and I rode about 11 miles tonight. Short and sweet! I just thought I’d jot down a few random things I found amusing.

The ride was entertaining for a number of reasons:

  • My first decent length of offroad (only lumpy bridgepaths, so XC not technical) on the 36" wheel. It was fast, and not too difficult, very pleased with it - I expected that it would be good as an XC machine and I wan’t disappointed. On the dry earth the slick 36" tyre (the Qu-Ax / Wheel TA model) gripped well and rolled easily.
  • I discovered that my right thigh obscures my light on every pedal downstroke, which in turn made it much more entertaining trying to remember what lumps I was about to encounter in the trail, several times a second. I really need a handlebar mount to get the light out of the way, plus a headlight would be really useful - it was awkward having to turn the uni to see what was off the side of the trail / read signs.
  • I rode over a motorway bridge with a really low fence. Usually the pedestrian motorway bridges have high fences you can’t possibly fall over on a unicycle, this one was about 4ft high so it’s not like I was likely to go over it in a UPD but it was not very comforting either. I judged it to be safe and rode carefully over, but afterwards the idea of landing in the path of some car freaked me out a bit so I don’t think I’d do it again!
  • After surviving all of the above successfully I fell off for no good reason whilst riding through town (I was just approsaching a steep humpback bridge and not really concentrating, but still I’ve done that bridge many times before). This involved bouncing hard on the saddle twice as the unicycle fell one direction, caught, then fell another direction: this bouncing really hurt! Also somehow it seems much easier to get pedal bites on the 36" than the 29" - presumably something to do with slightly different dimensions, coupled with there being further to fall, and more wheel in the way. I now have a five inch gash on my calf (thankfully not deep), and a little Z shaped cut which looks cool in a harry potter kind of way - I’m hoping that one scars :wink:

I got through about a litre of water from my hydration pack and a decent selection of chocolates. It was a really good ride, and a great way to work off some of the stresses of the day (and hopefully exercise off enough caffeine to be able to sleep :slight_smile: During most of the ride we weren’t sure where we were - next time we’ll plan a route or at least take a compass!

Edit: the route we took is here - Gmap pedometer is a great resource for plotting out routes, calculating distance, etc.

How is it riding a coker with a bicyclist? Can you keep up alright and still stay at a normal bike pace? Also what type of saddle are you using? Thanks.


My unicycle is a UDC Radial 360 with an airfoil rim, stainless spokes, extra wide hub, 29er tube, Qu-Ax slick tyre, and Nimbus Gel saddle. The cranks are 150mm pro wheel alloys.

My max speed ever is 17mph and I regularly hit 15-16mph whilst riding. This is a reasonably comfortable speed for someone on a mountain / town bike, without being their maximum. However, I can’t keep it up too long.

More realistic for me, being unfit, is to cruise around 10mph. If you’re fit enough (and/or have shorter cranks!) you should be able to manage a fair few mph higher than that.

As long as the cyclist with you doesn’t mind cruising along slowly, it’s a comfortable speed for you both to go, so it can be quite a nice outing. I’ve a few friends, also my girlfriend and my parents, who would quite happily go at that speed, but I also know those who’d find it a bit slow.

Nimbus Gel saddle, I have it fitted on two unis and it’s very nice. I did feel some numbness after the full ride, so rest breaks are useful. I’m planning on getting a handlebar unit, which will allow me to take some weight off the saddle.

That sounds like fun :). The same happens a lot to me as well. Most of the times I only know the direction, but so far I never got lost :roll_eyes: . I am really looking forward riding with you, even if the distance will be probably a little bit shorter for me due to my 20’’.

See you soon.