Can I do it?

I’m planning to do a 330 mile trip om a unicycle in about 36 hours. I’m just a
littlebit curious whether it is a long shot or not. Here’s some facts:

  1. I haven’t been riding the unicycle for 12 years (but I still can do it)
  2. I was then between level 3 and 4 on the USA Skill levels (I could easily do
    several miles without falling)
  3. I’m in decent physical shape, but nothing extraordinary
  4. I have 3-4 months to practice
  5. I’m planning to use a Coker Big One 36"
  6. I will have to cross a montain pass, but otherwise it’s not extremely hilly.

I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say…
can I do it?

Steinar

Re: Can I do it?

nospam@here.no writes:
>I’m planning to do a 330 mile trip om a unicycle in about 36 hours. I’m just a
>littlebit curious whether it is a long shot or not. Here’s some facts:
>
>1. I haven’t been riding the unicycle for 12 years (but I still can do it)
>2. I was then between level 3 and 4 on the USA Skill levels (I could easily do
> several miles without falling)
>3. I’m in decent physical shape, but nothing extraordinary
>4. I have 3-4 months to practice
>5. I’m planning to use a Coker Big One 36"
>6. I will have to cross a montain pass, but otherwise it’s not extremely hilly.
>
>I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say…
>can I do it?
No problem. Ride for an hour or two, then take a break. Cokers can easily
maintain 15mph, so every two hours at that rate gives you an hour of rest.

  • David
    >
    >Steinar

Re: Can I do it?

David Stone <dstone@packer.edu> wrote:
> No problem. Ride for an hour or two, then take a break. Cokers can easily
> maintain 15mph, so every two hours at that rate gives you an hour of rest.
> - David

Have you tried to do that yet David? Very few , very fit people can maintain
that kind of average for a few hours, most of us mere mortals find it gets hard
after the 60 mile mark . The Red Bull mayhem team last year were riding (
roughly ) one hour on, two hours off for 24 hours and before the end we hurt, we
had difficulty getting enough calories into our bodies and were all buzzing too
much to sleep.

I’d say the mamoth trip might be possible, but would need a lot of training and
good back up. I disapointed my self last summer when my knees gave up on me 65
miles into the first day of a 140 mile two day ride. The second day I rode
another 55 miles and was shattered at the end. Quite simply I hadn’t trained
enough. I’d over estimated my abilities.

sarah


Euro-cycle 2001 20 - 22 July Plymouth UK A european unicycle convention
http://www.eurocycle.org

Re(2): Can I do it?

sarah@vimes.u-net.com writes:
>David Stone <dstone@packer.edu> wrote:
>> No problem. Ride for an hour or two, then take a break. Cokers can
>easily
>> maintain 15mph, so every two hours at that rate gives you an hour of
>rest.
>> - David
>
>Have you tried to do that yet David?
No. I was judging by my brother’s experience. He typically rides around the bike
path in Central Park (NYC), a distance of 5.1 or 5.2 miles (he avoids a crazily
steep part). He typically goes around 4 times in less than two hours. Afterwards
he is fairly tired, but then he is racing. Of course, after posting my
ill-thought-out note, I realized that 15 mph is not reasonable for a long
period, esp if it is not like a track. Furthermore, my brother is in great shape
and the writer is not. Finally, I forgot that John DID ride about 50 miles in
one day recently, and he was pretty spent afterwards. Maybe he’ll fill us in on
the details.
>Very few , very fit people can maintain that kind of average for a few hours,
>most of us mere mortals find it gets hard after the 60 mile mark . The Red Bull
>mayhem team last year were riding ( roughly ) one hour on, two hours off for 24
>hours and before the end we hurt, we had difficulty getting enough calories
>into our bodies and were all buzzing too much to sleep.
>
>I’d say the mamoth trip might be possible, but would need a lot of training and
>good back up. I disapointed my self last summer when my knees gave up on me 65
>miles into the first day of a 140 mile two day ride. The second day I rode
>another 55 miles and was shattered at the end. Quite simply I hadn’t trained
>enough. I’d over estimated my abilities.
>
>sarah
Thanks so much for your insights. John and I are planning to ride across country
(Guiness lists a 3260-mile record in the 1996 edition) and were hoping to ride
75 miles a day. We may have to lengthen the trip and shorten the daily amount.
We will probably have to take whole days off. There is no telling how we’ll feel
after the first week, let alone the last one. So it’s great to hear from ppl who
have gone on these long rides.

And believe me, folks, if we ever DO go on this crazy ride, we’ll document every
minute of it for the rest of you. And we’ll definitely accept company for legs
of the trip. I hope we can attempt it in 2003 or even 2002. Our goal would also
be to raise money for research into Lou Gehrig’s disease. - David

Re: Can I do it?

Thank you all for your comments, I start to get a feeling how tough it will be.
It is really not that important to do it within the 36 hour, that will only mean
that I “fail” the arranged race which is for 2-wheeled bikes. I can always
finish the distance the day after the arrangement is finished. My main concern
is whether my knees will hold or not, but I guess I’ll just have to start the
training and see how it goes, right? I’ll make my decision very soon whether I
will go through with it or not.

Steinar

Re: Re(2): Can I do it?

In article <fc.000f4e67004b67ef3b9aca00d5c67046.4b6850@packer.edu>, David Stone
<dstone@packer.edu> wrote: )Thanks so much for your insights. John and I are
planning to ride across )country (Guiness lists a 3260-mile record in the 1996
edition) and were )hoping to ride 75 miles a day. We may have to lengthen the
trip and )shorten the daily amount. We will probably have to take whole days
off. )There is no telling how we’ll feel after the first week, let alone the
)last one.

If it’s anything like bike touring, you’ll gain enough strength in the first
week to handle the rest. A lot of under-trained people go on bike tours and get
beat up for a week or so, and then they’re OK.

I am a fit bicyclist who rides every day and rides several solo centuries (100
mile+ rides) every year. I’m not the fastest guy out there but I’m in good
biking shape. If I’m working relatively hard, a century will take me about 8
hours, and I’ll be pretty blasted afterwards. If I take it easy it’ll be about
10 hours. It would probably take a month of serious training to get up to the
point where I could ride over 300 miles in 36 hours–on TWO wheels, with a
freewheel. But I could contemplate it.

Yesterday I did a hilly 2.5 hour unicycle ride (my longest yet) and 24 hours
later I’m still sore. Don’t expect your biking strength to carry over to
unicycling.

On a related note; are there any technique tips for riding up really steep (over
20% grade) on-road hills? I was able to get going up the steepest blocks, but
lost momentum and had to step off about halfway up. (This was Marin Street in
Berkeley, if that helps). -Tom

Re: Re(2): Can I do it?

I did about 330 miles once…took me 8 days and my achilles tendons were so
swollen on day two that I thought I would have to give up. Used 28inch
wheel…I’ve not tried a coker but weaving up devon hills I suspect may be a
problem…what do you say Sarah? Dez David Stone wrote in message …
>sarah@vimes.u-net.com writes:
>>David Stone <dstone@packer.edu> wrote:
>>>
I did about 330 miles once…took me 8 days and my achilles tendons were so
swollen on day two that I thought I would have to give up. Used 28inch
wheel…I’ve not tried a coker but weaving up devon hills I suspect may be a
problem…what do you say Sarah? Dez

Re: Can I do it?

David Stone wrote:

> >I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say… can
> >I do it?
> No problem. Ride for an hour or two, then take a break. Cokers can easily
> maintain 15mph, so every two hours at that rate gives you an hour of rest.

I would not describe 15mph as easy to maintain. I find it difficult to maintain
that kind of speed for any distance on standard cranks, at that speed I am
riding anaerobically which is no good for a longer ride. On my best day on the
Minnesota ride I averaged 14.0 mph which was the fastest in the group. I go on
rides and can average 15 or 16 mph but these are only short rides of 30miles or
so and I am absolutely wasted at the end. It is worth noting that the Minnesota
ride had some of the best riders in the world riding on it and most over the
distance did not average 10mph - and it was flat. With hills as well I would
think that the 20mile climb that Steinar has to do he will be lucky to average
7mph over that. I have suggested that he does that with standard cranks then
change to short cranks for the flat and down hill.

Roger

Re: Can I do it?

Are you planning on sleeping any during the ride? That sounds like a long ways
to go in 36 hours! Want some company? Is this like a special event, world
record, bet with friends? -Mark

— “Steinardo” <nospam@here.no>
> wrote: I’m planning to do a 330 mile trip om a unicycle in about 36 hours. I’m
> just a littlebit curious whether it is a long shot or not. Here’s some facts:
>
>1. I haven’t been riding the unicycle for 12 years (but I still can do it)
>2. I was then between level 3 and 4 on the USA Skill levels (I could easily do
> several miles without falling)
>3. I’m in decent physical shape, but nothing extraordinary
>4. I have 3-4 months to practice
>5. I’m planning to use a Coker Big One 36"
>6. I will have to cross a montain pass, but otherwise it’s not extremely hilly.
>
>I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say…
>can I do it?
>
>Steinar


Free e-Mail and Webspace - http://Unicyclist.com

RE: Can I do it?

>I’m planning to do a 330 mile trip om a unicycle in about 36 hours. I’m just a
>littlebit curious whether it is a long shot or not. Here’s some facts:
>
>1. I haven’t been riding the unicycle for 12 years (but I still can do it)
>2. I was then between level 3 and 4 on the USA Skill levels (I could easily do
> several miles without falling)
>3. I’m in decent physical shape, but nothing extraordinary
>4. I have 3-4 months to practice
>5. I’m planning to use a Coker Big One 36"
>6. I will have to cross a montain pass, but otherwise it’s not extremely hilly.
>
>I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say…
>can I do it?

If you are planning on doing 330 in 36 hours and averaging 10 mph, that means
you have a total of 3 hours of rest. So, you would be riding pretty much none
stop for a day and a half. And, it isn’t easy riding as you said part of it was
over a mountian pass. Also, you mentioned that you haven’t really unicycles for
a number of years. I would say that you have quite a challenge in front of you.

If you really want to do it, start training now. Get a really regimented
training schedule that makes you ride for long periods. Practice both night and
day as it looks like your trip will be riding at night. Learn to ride when you
are really tired. I’m currently working on the European Unicycle Tour (1000
miles in 23 days) and even though our training is geared for a different type of
riding (medium distance, day after day), it could be of help. Here is the
website: http://home.t-online.de/home/0204196357

Good luck.

-Andy

Andy Cotter - Andy.Cotter@OutTech.com Unicycle Video “One Wheel - No Limit” -
http://www.tcuc.org/nolimit/ Twin Cities Unicycle Club - http://www.tcuc.org
European Unicycle Tour - http://home.t-online.de/home/0204196357/

Re: Can I do it?

I know some of you do serious long distance on the Coker. What have you found
your average cruising speed to be. 10 mph seems feasible, maybe 12. I would
think you would have to be careful about pacing yourself, not only so you don’t
wear yourself out too soon, but also it could become dangerous if your so dazed
with fatigue that you fall unexpectedly.

Also, is anyone using the Roach/air pillow combo on a Coker for long distance.
I have that on my Muni, but seems it would help a great deal on the long
distance butt.

An unexpected fall at 10-15mph on a Coker after 10hrs of riding might not be
fun. You’ve got to make sure you stay on your feet, hopefully you catch the
Coker, and if you don’t, hopefully the Coker doesn’t hit someone or something.
If the Coker takes a spill and you survive it, hopefully the Coker doesn’t get
broken. I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud. It sounds like a fun challenge!
Just be careful, and let us know how it goes!

In a message dated 3/14/01 9:39:00 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Andy.Cotter@OutTech.com writes:

> >I’m planning to do a 330 mile trip om a unicycle in about 36 hours.
> >I’m just a littlebit curious whether it is a long shot or not. Here’s some
> >facts:
> >
> >1. I haven’t been riding the unicycle for 12 years (but I still can do it)
> >2. I was then between level 3 and 4 on the USA Skill levels (I could easily
> > do several miles without falling)
> >3. I’m in decent physical shape, but nothing extraordinary
> >4. I have 3-4 months to practice
> >5. I’m planning to use a Coker Big One 36"
> >6. I will have to cross a montain pass, but otherwise it’s not extremely
> > hilly.
> >
> >I need to keep an average speed of about 10 mph, so what do you say… can I
> >do it?
>
> If you are planning on doing 330 in 36 hours and averaging 10 mph, that means
> you have a total of 3 hours of rest. So, you would be riding pretty much none
> stop for a day and a half. And, it isn’t easy riding as you said part of it
> was over a mountian pass. Also, you mentioned that you haven’t really
> unicycles for a number of years. I would say that you have quite a challenge
> in front of you.
>
> If you really want to do it, start training now. Get a really regimented
> training schedule that makes you ride for long periods. Practice both night
> and day as it looks like your trip will be riding at night. Learn to ride
> when you are really tired. I’m currently working on the European Unicycle
> Tour (1000 miles in 23 days) and even though our training is geared for a
> different type of riding (medium distance, day after day), it could be of
> help. Here is the website: http://home.t-online.de/home/0204196357
>
> Good luck.
>
> -Andy

RE: Re(2): Can I do it?

> If it’s anything like bike touring, you’ll gain enough strength in the first
> week to handle the rest. A lot of under-trained people go on bike tours and
> get beat up for a week or so, and then they’re OK.

I think this was true also for the riders of Unicycle Across Minnesota. But
if it’s a ride of only 1.5 - 3 days or so, this won’t help you. If you
haven’t trained up to the task, you won’t be able to complete it without a
recovery period.

As already described, you need to work your way up to very long rides, and see
where your body starts to have problems. The most common ones on UAM were with
knees, Achilles tendons, and of course saddle soreness. On a unicycle you do a
lot more pedaling than on a bike, and (unless you’re really good) you never get
to coast. I know that for myself, going beyond 10 miles on a MUni ride I start
to have problems with my knees. I’ve never gone over about 55 miles in one day,
but I know the second 50 would be a lot harder than the first.

So train yourself up, and you’ll start to get a very good idea of what you’ll be
able to handle.

> On a related note; are there any technique tips for riding up really steep
> (over 20% grade) on-road hills? I was able to get going up the steepest
> blocks, but lost momentum and had to step off about halfway up. (This was
> Marin Street in Berkeley, if that helps).

As your road gets steeper, your “balance envelope”, as George Peck calls it,
gets smaller. You have less leeway between the forward lean you need to keep
going, and too much forward lean and not being able to pedal up to it.

your pedaling motion goes in surges, each time you press a pedal down. On a long
hill, it’s impossible to just spin and try to keep a smooth rotation. You’re
vulnerable at the dead spots, when one pedal is at the bottom. Make sure you
have momentum to carry you through those, and stay aware of your narrow balance
envelope as you go.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com www.unicycling.com

RE: Re(2): Can I do it?

> One reason it’s easier to maintain balance going downhill is that we are
> stronger when doing negative work than positive. This is also why we can do
> bigger drops than ups.

Definitely we have more power going with gravity than against it. You get a
bunch of “free” inertia on the downhill, but you have to work for all of it on
the uphill.

However when the road or trail starts getting real steep, downhill can be almost
as hard as uphill. And, I get more sore from a long downhill than from a long
uphill. My legs are just not used to all of the tension during extension my
muscles get when riding down a long, steep hill.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com www.unicycling.com

“Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.” – Kyoyo, 9

Re: Can I do it?

What have you
> found your average cruising speed to be. 10 mph seems feasible, maybe 12.

I average about 11mph. But I’m 40 yrs old and weigh 230 lbs.

> Also, is anyone using the Roach/air pillow combo on a Coker for long distance.
> I have that on my Muni, but seems it would help a great deal on the long
> distance butt.
>
I’ve been using Roach cover with all of the original Miyata padding on top of
a 12" tube.

> An unexpected fall at 10-15mph on a Coker after 10hrs of riding might not be
> fun. You’ve got to make sure you stay on your feet, hopefully you catch the
> Coker, and if you don’t, hopefully the Coker doesn’t hit someone or
> something. If the Coker takes a spill and you survive it, hopefully the Coker
> doesn’t get broken.

I can’t run it out and stay on my feet if I’m going faster than about 12 mph
when I dismount. I try to land on my wristguards and roll over my shoulder. It’s
not as scary as it sounds, but elbow pads are helpful with this type of a roll.
Forget about catching the Coker when you dismount at high speed. It’s too heavy
and not a good idea to try. It can survive many wrecks. Also, the Coker tends to
not move very far without a rider(usually).


Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Auctions - Buy the things you want at great prices.
http://auctions.yahoo.com/

Re: Can I do it?

"This is a stupid question but might as well ask it. How do you put a speed
moniter on it the wheel would keep on getting in the way?

Re: Can I do it?

Nycjoe@aol.com wrote:
>
> I know some of you do serious long distance on the Coker. What have you found
> your average cruising speed to be. 10 mph seems feasible, maybe 12.

On the Unicycle Across Minnesota, I averaged 12 mph on the days that I wasn’t
hurting (knee and achilies). You can see my ride log from both the training for
the UAM and during the UAM at http://www.gilby.com/unicycling/log/

    ___________ =================================================== ___ /_/
    / / / / Kevin Gilbertson - mail@gilby.com <a href="http://gilby.com/">http://gilby.com</a> / _ '/ / /
    _'\_ / IT-Labs: gilb0179@itlabs.umn.edu \_ /_/_/,___/ / Free
    Unicyclist.com e-Mail at <a href="http://unicyclist.com/">http://unicyclist.com</a> /\/ /__________/ World
    UNICON X: <a href="http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/unicon10">http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/unicon10</a> \__/
    ========================================================

Re: Re(2): Can I do it?

On 16 Mar 2001 12:30:11 -0800, john_foss@asinet.com (John Foss) wrote:

>As your road gets steeper, your “balance envelope”, as George Peck calls it,
>gets smaller. You have less leeway between the forward lean you need to keep
>going, and too much forward lean and not being able to pedal up to it.
>
>your pedaling motion goes in surges, each time you press a pedal down. On a
>long hill, it’s impossible to just spin and try to keep a smooth rotation.
>You’re vulnerable at the dead spots, when one pedal is at the bottom. Make sure
>you have momentum to carry you through those, and stay aware of your narrow
>balance envelope as you go.

I find it easier to maintain balance when going down a hill than up. Is that
usual? Would the balance envelope be wider when going downhill? Or it may just
be that I go faster down than up so that I keep more momentum as I understand
from John’s post. Next time up a hill, I’ll make a conscious effort to go
faster. I never realised this; on horizontal roads my balance is not dependent
on speed (within reasonable boundaries).

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “Arafat, intelligence, Aldrich Ames”

Re: Re(2): Can I do it?

When climbing long steep hills (like Marin in Berkeley - although I’ve not done
that one yet), I ride slowly, stopping after each half-turn. I couldn’t do this
until I was comfortable with the slow-speed balance, but now it feels more like
walking than riding. Step, pause, step, pause, step, … very easy. The steeper
the hill, the longer the pause. You have to have the power to get all the way
around to the next rest position (pedals horizontal of course). This technique
is the only way I can get up long steep hills (defined as long and steep enough
that trying to ride up at a normal pace ends up with complete and utter
lung/heart overload, lots of sweat and general bad feelings). We used to ride
until we literally dropped, I’m sure with a heartrate over the recommended
maximum. I have climbed over 1500 vertical feet several times this way, without
dismounting and without feeling bad at all, so there must be something in it! As
far as I know, the pioneers of this technique were George Peck and Bruce Bundy.

—Nathan

“Klaas Bil” <klaasbil_remove_the_spamkiller_@xs4all.nl> wrote in message
news:3ab28cd9.2494958@newszilla.xs4all.nl
> On 16 Mar 2001 12:30:11 -0800, john_foss@asinet.com (John Foss) wrote:
>
> >As your road gets steeper, your “balance envelope”, as George Peck calls
it,
> >gets smaller. You have less leeway between the forward lean you need to
keep
> >going, and too much forward lean and not being able to pedal up to it.
> >
> >your pedaling motion goes in surges, each time you press a pedal down. On
a
> >long hill, it’s impossible to just spin and try to keep a smooth
rotation.
> >You’re vulnerable at the dead spots, when one pedal is at the bottom.
Make
> >sure you have momentum to carry you through those, and stay aware of your
> >narrow balance envelope as you go.
>
> I find it easier to maintain balance when going down a hill than up. Is that
> usual? Would the balance envelope be wider when going downhill? Or it may just
> be that I go faster down than up so that I keep more momentum as I understand
> from John’s post. Next time up a hill, I’ll make a conscious effort to go
> faster. I never realised this; on horizontal roads my balance is not dependent
> on speed (within reasonable boundaries).
>
> Klaas Bil
> –
> "To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:"
> “Arafat, intelligence, Aldrich Ames”

Re: Re(2): Can I do it?

One reason it’s easier to maintain balance going downhill is that we are
stronger when doing negative work than positive. This is also why we can do
bigger drops than ups.

Chris

On Fri, 16 Mar 2001, Klaas Bil wrote:

> On 16 Mar 2001 12:30:11 -0800, john_foss@asinet.com (John Foss) wrote:
>
> >As your road gets steeper, your “balance envelope”, as George Peck calls it,
> >gets smaller. You have less leeway between the forward lean you need to keep
> >going, and too much forward lean and not being able to pedal up to it.
> >
> >your pedaling motion goes in surges, each time you press a pedal down. On a
> >long hill, it’s impossible to just spin and try to keep a smooth rotation.
> >You’re vulnerable at the dead spots, when one pedal is at the bottom. Make
> >sure you have momentum to carry you through those, and stay aware of your
> >narrow balance envelope as you go.
>
> I find it easier to maintain balance when going down a hill than up. Is that
> usual? Would the balance envelope be wider when going downhill? Or it may just
> be that I go faster down than up so that I keep more momentum as I understand
> from John’s post. Next time up a hill, I’ll make a conscious effort to go
> faster. I never realised this; on horizontal roads my balance is not dependent
> on speed (within reasonable boundaries).
>
> Klaas Bil
> –
> "To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
> automagically from a database:" “Arafat, intelligence, Aldrich Ames”