Distance Riding

For the past month and a half of my summer vacation, I’ve been helping my dad around the house, while my unicycles gather dust. Well, as irony would have it, I hurt my right ankle in a non-unicycling activity, I decided to stop practicing my freestyle, UW and BC wheel. I still wanted to unicycle, so I decided to commute around for some exercise, and when i have to travel to classes for college.

I got up around 10, which is pretty earlier for a teenager in the summer. There are about 15 different roads in my neighborhood, al boxed in by major roads. I rode around, doing as many intricate patterns as i could, while i enjoyed the cool pre-noon weather and the lack of cars honking at me.

The next day, which was today, i decided to count my revolutions so i can see the distance i travled, average speed, etc … I counted around 5000 revolutions while riding about an hour (yea my legs dont have the endurance yet) since im using my 20" freestyle, it was an approximate distance of 5 miles, with only one UPD.

I was wondering. How much better is a Coker or a 29" for distance traveling? i was thinking about getting one, but im not sure if i really need it. What things can i do now to increase my endurance?

For distance riding, the Coker is best, and the 29 is reasonable.

A Coker with 150 mm (standard) cranks is about the same as a 29 with 110mm cranks for speed, but the 29 is more ‘frantic’ because of the higher cadence needed.

On the other hand, the 29 is lighter and easier to control in traffic, crowds, or congested areas. Riding the Coker well takes practice, otherwise it can run away from you on descents or if you try to stop suddenly.

The 29 is more versatile; the Coker is more fun.

(To be precise, my own ‘29’ is in fact a 28, but the difference in wheel size is negligible.)

But the biggest thing with distance riding is the determination of the rider. I have ridden 20 miles in a day on a 20 inch wheel, and 28 miles on a 28. If you sit on it for long enough, you do the distance.

The Coker has an ‘autopilot’ feature because of the flywheel effect of the massive wheel, so it’s far easier to cover massive distances at a steady pace. 10 miles in an hour (not just 10 mph) is easily achievable.

Technique: keep a steady rhythm; stop for rests, but not too often; set progressively harder targets; choose your route carefully; be very good at freemounting.

i can see that i am going to have to buy you a WTB Nano or Moto Rapter someday.the differance is more than negligible in comfort.imagine if a Coker had a 1.25 tyre…

Totally. A standard 700c tyre is a very different thing to a 29" tyre. That extra fatness makes it much nicer to ride.


Before you drop a chunk of change on a Coker make sure you have some good places to ride it! It can do a lot of distance on tarmac and is still pretty good on milder trails, but it is lousy if there are cars buzzing by. The Coker is just not good for riding in traffic!

With a good rider I think the coker is by far the best unicycle in traffic. It’s stable and predictable, goes really fast and is very visible. It’s unicycly enough to be able to do cunning manouvres in traffic jams, thread through traffic etc. but bikey enough to be less effort to ride.


Re: Distance Riding

DasDingus: Sounds like a great ride, but did you really count 5 0 0 0 pedal strokes. Sheeewwweeee!!! Spring for $9.97 at your local Wally World for a Schwinn Bike (Unicycle :)) Computer, it would sure make that ride a lot more enjoyable. --chirokid–

That’s what I did. It may not be the fanciest cycle computer, but it has all the details you need (specifically: distance travelled, average speed, and top speed) and a bunch of other interesting info. It’s a very good $10.00 investment. And while you’re at Waldo-Mart, the ones around here have cheap Camelback knockoffs for $30.00. Not a bad investment, if a little more expensive than the computer.
You know, even though Wal-Mart is an evil corporation who puts their competition out of business and creates a homogenous market, I can’t help but like how convenient and cheap they are.

Hot damn!

Actually i made it over 5000. You count in increments of ten, remember which hunderd you are at, and reset at 1000.

Ex. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 etc …

A little trick i learned from martial arts

Counting keeps me focused on riding, which helps b/c i have a short attention span. I can roughly calculate my distance travled and my average speed. All i really care about is exercise.

Re: Distance Riding

On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 23:57:34 -0500, DasDingus
<DasDingus.r5quo@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>> but did you really count 5 0 0 0 pedal strokes. Sheeewwweeee!!!
>Actually i made it over 5000. You count in increments of ten, remember
>which hunderd you are at, and reset at 1000.
>Ex. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 etc …

Recently, my birthday passed without my wishlisted cycle computer
materialising. So I still rely on my counting technique (and a
stopwatch) for speed measurement. Especially when using short cranks
my rpm is so high that counting every individual pedal stroke takes
away concentration. So I only count every second pedal stroke, like 2
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20. But the number series in between 10-folds are
replaced by saying ‘en dat is dan’ (meaning ‘and that is then’). So
all in all I count like

0 en dat is dan 10 en dat is dan 20 en dat is dan 30 (etc).

After 100 I start again; I measure for about one minute only so I
don’t need to remember the number of times I pass 100’s (as it only
happens once).

If it would be for measuring longer distances like DasDingus does I
could count like

0 en dat is dan 1 en dat is dan 2 en dat is dan 3 (etc).

That way, you can count up to 100 (which is 1000 revs) without
remembering anything.

Notwithstanding all this cunning counting, I still want that cycle

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“the helmet is to protect the brain, not replace it. - iunicycle”

The truth is that the coker is better for city rideing thanks the smaler wheel sizes in traffic. The reason i say this is that in areas that side walks dont exist you can ride in the guter with out fear of the petals coming down on the curb and knocking you into the traffic. I used to ridea 24" around town untill i was knocked buy a car from this veary reason luckly thet olny thing that was hurt was the Uni. You can bacicaly ride right next to the curb and your pedal wont hit it as is comes down.

and 20 miles on a coker is easy after you get a KH seat


Well, instead of taking my time riding 5 miles, I decided to see how fast I could ride a mile (with some help of my sister’s knowledge from cross country, i know which roads to ride to make it a mile). Well, i rode and finished in 9 minutes 30 seconds. Well, I didnt know what to compare that too, so i went onlien and checked the unicyclign record for 1600m. I was shocked when i read that john foss rode it in ~ 4 min 30 sec. Well, i assumed that he had a flat track without cars, cracks, and hills. So everyday i would ride, and gradaully i got my tiem down to 7 min 40 sec. If i can break 6 min 30 sec, ill be happy.

The track races are also done on a 24" uni with 125mm cranks.

I don’t know what size unicycle you rode for your 1 mile time. If you’re on a 24" uni it likely doesn’t have 125mm cranks on it stock. If you want a more accurate comparison try the mile ride again on a 24" with 125mm cranks and see how you do. Shorter cranks will allow you to keep a higher spin and go faster.

With the high profile presented to motorists and pot-hole eating tyre, the Coker is my proffered unicycle for riding in traffic.

I wouldn’t like to duel with auto’s at lunch rush on a 24" (can you imagine? low-visibility on a slow crack catcher?).

Uni’s in general aren’t good for traffic- but the Coker is best among the bad, and, while it’s absurd, I enjoy the challenge.


I hope you wear your helmet while “challenging” traffic! I don’t trust the drivers around here… even while on the crosswalks.
I had a friend who broke her arm when she was broadsided in her car when another driver decided that they couldn’t wait for a green light. I would hate to think what would have happened if she’d been on her unicycle at the time.

Well, when i ride, i use my 20" freestyle. I have 5" cranks, so that should be 125 mm. Hmmm maybe i’ll talk to my friend’s brother, who i know has a 24" lying aroudn somewhere.

They should charge 8 dollars a gallon for gas! (calvin and hobbes kicks ass)