Distance Training

Great news,

The grant I applied for through work has been agreed :). THey are buying me a KH29 muni, 36 UDC second hand from trading post here, gloves, kh handle bars, camelpak, bicycle computer and a spare inner tube!!

Really just the clothing I need to get onto. WIll go and visit that shop when I next get a chance, need everything, socks, shorts, tops, a coat and the shoes!!

Lucky you… a lot of stuff :slight_smile:

Now you can collect some fashy outfit :wink:

Thanx for all the info guys. I’m leaving in less than three weeks to ride across the states. This has all been very helpful. I’ll be sure to post any tips i can come up with.

A bit off-topic, but I was thinking earlier about setting up a wiki-ish style collaborative website about unicycle touring. A definitive guide of all the tips and tricks and advice.

Would anybody find it useful? Would anyone contribute? I can do it, but it will only work if people contribute.

I know I started a thread like this one once, and I’ve seen more of them, and that makes me think it might be a good idea.

Back on topic, Wired: awesome news on the sponsorship, congratulations!

and in terms of shorts, it’s not even just the seams in regular underwear, it’s the material. Chamois (synthetic or not) is really porous, allowing your skin to breath.

I would love a wiki type thing, but instead of restricting it to just touring, we should cover all types of unicycling, hockey, basketball, freestyle, trials, Muni. Along with tricks and rules etc. see if we can get more support of course!!

Thanks, yer its great I got funding, but I forgot to include the price of the brake :confused: so I now need to either find £76 or get some donations!! Any other tips or how to get a brake for a KH29 on the cheap?

I think there’s something similar already?

You could take one of the brakes off of an old bike. Or even just buy one brand new, V-Brakes aren’t expensive. You’ll need to rig up some kind of adaptor for the magura mounts, like this:

I’m pretty sure you can buy v-brake adaptors too.

Indeed, I am aware of the unicyclopedia, and maybe the lack of anything about touring on there should be a hint that it’s not something people are willing to contribute to beyond what they do in forum topics. I personally am very interested in such a resource, but I haven’t contributed anything to unicyclopedia so maybe I should start there.

When I said “wiki” I didn’t mean wiki. I should be more specific, and I should probably stop hi-jacking this thread and start my own.

Wired, I thought of a few more things to mention:

Food. Eat lots and lots. If you’re feeling kind of off one day, eat some food. Try to eat lots of different things.

Don’t cary a spare tire. If you’re worried about it, have one ready to be sent.

Is this a supported tour or are you carrying everything on your back?

Thanks,

I am eating loads already but am kinda trying to lose weight on the way also!
I think my parents are coming along with me in a support car, there are also 2 support vans as well so wont have to carry much other than my camelbak and a banana.
I’m going to buy a spare inner tube, but wont carry it with me, no need with support vehicles!!
Think its just a matter of training. I’ve bought a 36er from the trading post, but having trouble getting hold of him to arrange to pick it up! Never mind, will make do with my 29 for the time being at least!

I saw no mention of Gu or PowerGel or Hammer Gel or ClifShots or…

…I’ve become a huge fan of these little energy boosters. They aren’t the best taste-wise but they’ve really saved my bacon on big days. Some times I can’t handle any solid (or even semi-solid) food after a long bout of riding, and these are the only products that keep me going.

Not sure, I don’t drink much caffine, prefer bananas, they seem to have the same result!!

On another point, got my KH29 this morning!! Awesome stuff, just the seat is a little too high, gonna have to get it cut down tomorrow, maybe I’ll try the hacksaw on it tonight.

There’s very little caffeine, if any, in these products. They’re concentrated carbohydrates. You need carbs to fuel your muscles. Caffeine just keeps you alert and increases your pain threshold.

The carb content of Gu products aren’t simple sugars (sucrose, fructose, anything-ose)… such carbs tend to give you a spike in energy followed by a crash. These are not fun 1/2 way through a ride.

Bananas are composed of simple sugars and starches. They’re a good supplement to complex carbs, but on their own, they won’t take you the distance.

You can only eat so many bananas on a 100 km day. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Uh, the carb content of Gu products is almost entirely simple sugars. Looking at ingredients of one type, the #1 ingredient is maltodextrin (basically, glucose), and #3 is fructose.

The only thing that’s useful about Gu is that it’s more easily digestible than more complex foods when you’re exercising. But it is certainly not more complex than a banana, or more likely to give you lasting energy.

Yes the “goos” (I like PowerGel) are designed to digest quickly and give you the boost sooner, rather than later. They are great for short-term stuff. They won’t keep you going all day, but will help you crest that big hill, or bouy you up if you don’t have that far to go. They, and the various bars out there are in-between stuff. You still need real food no matter what.

Using a big ride as a way to lose some pounds is great; it’s hard not to. The advice to eat and eat is what you’ll need to keep up on the calories. If you don’t do this you won’t be able to ride as far, and won’t enjoy those miles either. Be prepared to chow!

On “bars” beware that some are sports-oriented while others are “poser” products that are more like candy bars. I like Clif bars, but there are many good brands of those.

Some basic food advice from Andy Cotter, organizer of the original Unicycle Tour of Minnesota: Eat salty foods. This is a more natural way to keep your electrolytes up, especially if you’re sweating a lot. After a grueling climb in the Alps and before a big MUni ride down, Andy was adding more salt on top of some salty fried potatoes. It worked well.

Personally I find that things like bananas, apples, pears are great for immediate boosts. Bars of any kind were a bit pricey for me so I just kept a few at the bottom of my bag as back-up.

I’d recommend looking into powders for your water which add in the salts and other things you lose when you sweat. I had a few bad days where I was drinking litres upon litres of water but got terrible headaches from dehydration. I don’t find the sweetened mixes satisfying at all. The stuff I had was citrus flavoured and I used it in about one of every three bottles of water. It was supposedly designed just to replenish the salts, and not for energy. This is not something I know a lot about, so others here could probably give better advice they can back up. I just know what felt good.

I found my best days were after eating a huge carb-filled meal the night before (eg, spaghetti), and then a large breakfast. Oatmeal loaded with dried fruit, nuts and seeds, plus cinnamon and maybe maple syrup or something was my favourite. Funny, that’s definitely not something I’d ever seek out off tour…

Yup. eat, eat, eat.

Don’t worry, the weight will come off regardless if you are substantially more active than your norm. On one organized b*ke trip I went on there were 4 of us in the group but somehow in the food drop-offs we got rations for 12. We ate everything every day except the one day that there was just way too much chilly and rice. Anyway I still lost about 5 pounds over the week of riding. I was pretty skinny to begin with. The bigger kid on the ride had to safety pin his pants to keep them from falling down after the second day. I am not sure how much he lost but it was definitely visible even though we ate what would normally been ridiculous amounts of food.

Our favorite trail food was what we called “gop” it was basically oatmeal or cream of wheat with our GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts) trailmix, whatever we were supposed to cook for desert, our hot-chocolate mix, and whatever else we were supposed to have for snacks all sort of mixed together and cooked in a big frying pan over the fire. We would eat it out of bags for a breakfast when we got up and on the trail supplemented with fruit.

If you are going to put energy or electrolyte stuff in your water I would suggest mixing that stuff in a water bottle that you can have on your handlebar or in a cage behind your seat. Have clear water on your back in the form of a hydration pack. You will know when you need the electrolytes and when you just need water. Too many electrolytes is not a good thing either.

Thanks guys all great tips

@maestro8
Sorry I was getting mixed up, not heard of those products so assumed they were those sugary caffine shots that have just become popular! I expect I will take a lot of lucozade sport with me, find that repalces most things, but will also look for some kind of replacement

@magnustudios
Thsoe are good tips, I’m currently riding about 70-80 miles a week and am really tired all the time, just eating what I normally do, think I’m going to have to eat more than normal, bigger breakfasts, more carbs and snacks to keep me going! Syrup sounds good too, any excuse for some pancackes and syrup…

@saskatchewanian
I’m going to try that GOP before I go, may be good for me to eat at weekends when I go on my long 20-30 mile rides. I’m going to a bike shop today so will keep an eye out for those kind of mixes and ‘power bars’

Would a boost chocolate help, is that the kind of thing I’m looking for?

On another note, got my KH 29er yesterday :slight_smile: going for a nice ride on it today to get used to it, then a longish one tomorrow :slight_smile:

That’s one beautiful unicycle you got there!

Ok, been out on my first ride!! Got my wheel nice and dirty!!

Having a few issues tho, can anyone help?

  1. My arms seem to flail round a lot to try and keep balance I think. My right arm tends to go behind me, makes me twist
  2. My left leg seems to go inwards every now and then, occasionally this rubs against the wheel - OUCH
  3. I can’t hold my handle bars for more than 5 secs without having to let go
  4. When I do hold onto my handle bars I seem to pull back or push down on them making me lose balance, if I don’t do that I’m not really holding it!
  5. My feet ache when riding for about a mile or so, like im arching them a lot or something.

Other than that had a great ride, did about 5 miles, not too bad for the first time and was adjusting thing as I went to make sure it was good!

1, 2: Probably just part of getting used to the bigger wheel. Ride it lots and you’ll quickly gain more control over the beast, and quickly learn not to lean in your legs!

3, 4: Again. When you are comfortable riding the uni, you will be able to hold on longer. It will feel like you are giving up a lot of control at first, but then after a while you will find it gives you a different kind of control. Don’t try to lean hard on it until you’re comfortable just holding on. Once you’re used to that it will be possible to put a lot of weight on it without losing balance. Just takes practice.

5: From the photo it looks like you’ve got the middle of your feet on the pedals. Try resting the front of your foot on the pedals. I’m no expert here, but I find riding that way feels better over long distances, plus it allows me to spin faster.

Thanks, thought it was experience but who knows.
I can’t idle or go backwards for any distance so am going to master that to see if that helps, if not its something I need to learn anyway!

That photo was the first time I got on it, I normally have my feet a bit further back, but I will make sure I keep that in mind anyway!