Carrying Luggage on a Long Distance Ride (36)

So, if one was going on a long unicycle journey, and they needed more than a single backpack, how might one attach or carry such luggage? What is the best way to carry things on a long journey? This would be done on a thirty six inch Coker and Nimbus Nightrider. Any help would be great!

I think the best advice is; don’t

I rode around 150 miles on my N36 with close to the bare essentials a year or two ago. Most of it was on my back, but I had the heavier stuff tied to the T7. With all of that weight, it really took all the pleasure out of the ride. It becomes a lot of hard work to ride, and kills the maneuvering.

I also rode a few mile with a backpack stuffed full, and a large bag attached to that, and a small bag in my hand. That wasn’t fun, and wasn’t safe either.

The thing you need to do is sort out the absolute minimum of what you need to take. Then leave around half of it behind. The heaviest and least fragile bits can be tied to the handlebars.

Some people have tried bicycle pannier carriers that mount on the seatpost (somewhere there’s a post by Siafirede discussing this), but I seem to remember the conclusion was that it wasn’t great.

STM

carrying stuff on a unicycle sucks. If you insist on using a unicycle carrying stuff in a backpack really speeds up and magnifies saddle soreness and strapping stuff to handles makes the unicycle handle like poop. I heard that there is a guy around Kamloops who tows a modified BOB trailer behind a unicycle but then I figure why not just bike?

I think if there were two people and you really need to carry so much stuff and it doesn’t fit in a backpack, I would have one person unicycling and the other riding an Xtracycled bike carrying all the gear. Take turns being the mule.

How far are you going and in what kind of weather are you doing this trip that you need so much stuff? Dehydrate your food, ditch your tent (bring a silnylon tarp), bring half as much cloths, buy a better sleeping bag and you should be able to fit everything you need for a month in a 60L bag

That’s a great idea actually, take a friggin mountain bike! You can bring anything you want, you have 24 gears or so and you can chill on the way down. If you miss the where’s your other wheel questions, just record them before your trip and put them on your ipod. Problem solved. Or wear something weird like a clowns costume or whatever, you’ll get the strange looks and stupid comments you’ve been missing.

But seriously, if you do a search you’ll find a couple of threads dealing with this subject.

Better than taking a bike would be to take a bike with someone else riding it: they can take the majority of your equipment as well as their own.

Unless you have to camp, you don’t need to take more than will fit in a small rucksack. The bare essentials will fit in a 20 litre camelbak. I can do summer camping (bivvying) from a 20 litre camelbak, although that is a bit of a tight fit, and I do put my (very small, waterproof down) sleeping bag on the outside.

If you find yourself needing more stuff than that, don’t bother bringing some of the stuff. That was Spencer’s problem above, where he says ‘the bare essentials’, he took about 3 or 4 times as much stuff as he needed, and had a really uncomfortable ride.

If you get it right, you can get away with a silly small amount of gear, it doesn’t affect the way your unicycle rides at all, and it is great fun. I’ve done muni rides with overnight stops and the muni was fine to ride, even on proper off road descents.

If you have to camp, then bivvy out, there’s loads of info on bivvying if you search for it.

Joe

i did a 28 day 2000km self supported ride using a nimbus 36 and my normal 60l hiking pack. Everthing people have said above is about right, but i found after about 5 days i didn’t notice an increase in saddle soreness or leg fatigue (just like when you start riding you thing you will never get used to having a funny saddle wedged between your legs). I had a one man tent (bivvy would have been better but it is nice to have more space than a plastic tomb if the weather turns) small metho cooker, 4 litres of water, 2 changes of thermals, 2 cycling nicks, food for 2 days, cycle tools, thermarest and sleeping bag and travel towel. Other stuff as well helps, like sanitising wash for your cycling nics (have to wash them after each day of riding), some deep heat, neurofen, and lots of bananas, marsbars, and museli bars.

Some things i learned- you need a spare tube and metal tyre levers, never skimp on carrying water (fill up whenever you get the chance), wrap your bag in some high vis material and buy a little rear vision mirror for your helmet.

As for thermals i can only recommend merino wool icebreakers. They are the most comfortable, don’t hold odour, dry quickly and have a pretty good life span- they are pricey but totally worth it.

If i remember anything else i will post again but those are some of the more important things i learned on my trip,
mark

You mean it’s possible to survive for a couple of days without the laptop and fridge? And surely the Jim Morrison carpet is an essential requirement! :wink:

Keeping on topic, I’ve never tried to unicycle far with more than a little rucksack of stuff. With a bike it’s best to keep all the luggage on the bike, not the rider, but I can imagine on a unicycle you’d have to keep any weight very close to the middle (i.e. on the seat post) to avoid screwing up the steering - a pair of bike panniers sticking out the back on a rack would probably be pretty nasty.

Rob

Ok let’s keep this thread going…

Let’s change this up a bit. I’m planning (in the not too distant future) to do a semi-self supported multi-day (actually multi-week) almost totally off-road ride. By semi-self-supported I was aiming at carrying enough food so that I could be met by crew support (probably my wife) every couple or three days. Do you think one could go the Joe Marshall route and do this on a small rucksack say large camelbak type pack and be managable? I’m anticipating a fair portion of each day would be split between hiking and riding so I’d be able to get frequent breaks. Do to the nature of the terrain I’ll be riding my KH24. This trip will be at altitude and in the summer time so although I probably won’t need a full tent I’ll still have to have enough to stay warm at night… I imagine the total trip time will be between 2-3 weeks…

i would also suggest that sticking stuff to your unicycle as a means of carrying it is not such a good idea. When i was preparing for my trip i experimented a little but you can’t really put any substantial weight on the unicycle frame without it severely affecting your ability to ride- better in the bag than on your frame.

Munisano- your trip sounds like it would be fun to do. If i were you i would maybe look at a 30L camel back style bag (or even small hiking bag that you can chuck a bladder in). The ones i have seen recently have a back frame that keeps the bag off your back for ventilation, something that might be nice if you are exerting yourself off road.

Another thing that i just remembered- the KH fusion seat that has a channel for gouch relief is great for normal riding but if you are adding a few kgs in a bag, the foam is not dense enough to hold it’s form when you are carrying more weight. It might be worth your while to do what i have seen a few people do on this forum and experiment with exchanging the foams for ones of different density, or making the channel more pronounced (ie wallis road relief saddle).

mark

If you have to go for 3 days between re-supplies, that’s short enough to not need a change of clothes. If it is nice warm weather, then you can always jump in a stream (note: don’t jump in the sea - your body won’t like the whole salty clothes thing after a few miles). If it is bad weather, then you’ll be worrying about worse things than smelling a little. Warm clothes (fleece etc.) in case the weather gets cold can double up as clothes for sleeping in. Although be sure that you’ve got enough clothes to get a proper nights sleep, lack of sleep is really bad for your riding.

I’d plan where to camp so that you don’t have to camp too high - I’ve made the mistake of bivvying on high ridges several times, and you always end up waking up cold, unless you brought tons of gear. I tend to camp in valleys or a bit down the side of hills if possible.

Is it completely backcountry, or are there going to be any food buying opportunities?

Will there be enough water in the area that you can just fill up from streams? That’s what I do on a long ride.

Can you light fires or do you need a stove? You could do this kind of ride without hot meals - I’ve done a 3 dayer just on very lightweight, high energy food, chocolate bars etc. before. Although it is jolly nice to have a hot meal.

Savlon (antiseptic cream) is the best thing for soreness caused by sweat and rubbing which can be a problem on long rides with luggage.

Don’t forget to hang your camelbak on a tree if there’s likely to be any animals about. Avoids possums, squirrels or whatever trying to steal your food.

Joe

“Unicycle Max” DeMilner dide a 750 mile unsupported solo ride through New England in 2006 with a pretty crazy rack on his coker. I’m hoping Max will chime in with his experiences with that set-up. Watching him mount and ride with that much weight on the back was pretty incredible. One suggestion that someone gave him was to wrap the extra tube around the hub. It’s out of the way and probably doesn’t screw with your maneuverability. As for the 40lb dry bag and tent on the back though…

Note the lack of any extended handlebars. Long distance unicycling has really come a long way in just the past 3 years.

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napalm: thanks for the saddle advice. I’ve got the '07 KH Fusion (stock) saddle that came with my '07 KH 24. It is wonderful with the Thompson seatpost I have but you’re right I need to experiment with carrying/riding with a more substantial pack to see if “there is enough saddle there.” I also will definitely be aiming at carrying one of the larger camel back packs I have the “Hawg” right now which I think is plenty big for my trip logistics. I also won’t be strapping anything to my frame although BoojiBoy’s mentioning of strapping a spare tube to the hub center sounds promising and I might try that.

joemarshall: I’m definitely going to just have a single pair of clothes for 3 days at a time, probably will be cold camping (i.e. no fire except one I may build out of what I can find and a simple fire-starter). My route choice is largely backcountry but as I mentioned earlier there are several significant road crossings / towns that I’ll be passing through where I can either re-supply food items myself or (more likely) meet my wife to resupply food, swap out those stinky clothes :wink: and other things. The route I’m planning should have ample access to water throughout most of the route though there are areas were their will be longer stretches that I need to prepare for i.e. carry an extra water bladder. And I’ll definitely carry some lightweight parachute cord, good for everything including setting up my simple bivoac and using to hang my food items in a tree to keep away from animals (learned that from Boy Scouts).

I’m sorry if I’m a bit sketchy on my route details as I don’t want anybody to do this route first! Suffice it to say it will be hugely epic and a trip of a life time; the logistics are starting to fall together I just need to finish up my PhD so I can train/plan some more and recon parts of the route…

Thanks for all the wonderful advice all!

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napalm: thanks for the saddle advice. I’ve got the '07 KH Fusion (stock) saddle that came with my '07 KH 24. It is wonderful with the Thompson seatpost I have but you’re right I need to experiment with carrying/riding with a more substantial pack to see if “there is enough saddle there.” I also will definitely be aiming at carrying one of the larger camel back packs I have the “Hawg” right now which I think is plenty big for my trip logistics. I also won’t be strapping anything to my frame although BoojiBoy’s mentioning of strapping a spare tube to the hub center sounds promising and I might try that.

joemarshall: I’m definitely going to just have a single pair of clothes for 3 days at a time, probably will be cold camping (i.e. no fire except one I may build out of what I can find and a simple fire-starter). My route choice is largely backcountry but as I mentioned earlier there are several significant road crossings / towns that I’ll be passing through where I can either re-supply food items myself or (more likely) meet my wife to resupply food, swap out those stinky clothes :wink: and other things. The route I’m planning should have ample access to water throughout most of the route though there are areas were their will be longer stretches that I need to prepare for i.e. carry an extra water bladder. And I’ll definitely carry some lightweight parachute cord, good for everything including setting up my simple bivoac and using to hang my food items in a tree to keep away from animals (learned that from Boy Scouts).

I’m sorry if I’m a bit sketchy on my route details as I don’t want anybody to do this route first! Suffice it to say it will be hugely epic and a trip of a life time; the logistics are starting to fall together I just need to finish up my PhD so I can train/plan some more and recon parts of the route…

Thanks for all the wonderful advice all!

very intriguing!

Why not apply for the Kris Holm Evolution Of Balance Award? It would help nicely I’m sure! As Kris is a bit of adventurer himself I’m sure he would agree to keep quiet about it for a while…

Although if you’re not planning on doing it for a while, you could wait till 2010 - this is the second year it’s run so I guess it’ll be run next year too (no inside information on this one, sorry).

Yeah sorry for that double post up there, I don’t know how that happened? Yikes!

mikepenton: Thanks for the Kris Holm Evolution of Balance Award suggestion, I’ve already considered that and will put in for it when the time is right. I don’t expect to get it but who knows? My muni/hike epic won’t depend on that Award but it would be nice wouldn’t it?

Hello, I’m up to share some of my learning experience in self support ride and trips. First I started riding a 36" since April 2009 (137/165mm schlumpf).

In my first trip in 2009 I looked up here to get some advice and tryed out this setup for a 1000km trip (I missed some points as you can see, haha);


I found out that there was too much weight on the rack, pushing the seat toward my nuts = soreness, but I was already on the road far from home. Also carrying a hammock, sleeping bag and extra clothes was heavy and useless because I’ve been freezing my nights outside. For these reasons my trip was shorten to 700km. Even with all the extra weight I’ve been used to the manoeuvrability and rode up 8%+ 2km hills without dismounting and rode down in schlumpf without trouble.

In 2010 I upgraded some parts of my unicycle; Air saddle now covered with the original kh2010 freeride foam, a much more stable bag on my rear rack, an aero bar also helped balancing the unicycle. There it is :


With this setup and adding a front bag to carry up my food that was just perfect to complete my 100 km non-stop ride in 5h06mins. The only thing I had to carry was a 3L water camel bak, so I didnt feel too much soreness. Evrything else was on the unicycle; food, tools and spare parts.

I’m pretty sure to use this setup in my next self support trip; 1100km Montréal-Gaspé in July 2011. I’ll add a water bottle suport on the handlebar next year and see if the handlebar needs reinforcement with all that weight over it.

I hope this can help and give you ideas for your future trips :smiley:

Jean

Have you tried sleeping in the hammock with your sleeping bag around both you AND the hammock? I did this for a while a couple years ago and was toasty warm while it was snowing. The trick is to have uncompressed insulation under you in a hammock.

Montreal to Gaspe is a beautiful drive. I bet it will be an amazing ride. Have fun in 2011!