Finally Rode to Work

I finally made my goal of riding into work (~3km)! It took about as long as it takes me to walk when I am reading a book (45 minutes).

I love being able to take the Gallopping Goose to work.

PS: I ride a 20" no-name.

Great job!


Yes, great job.

Out of curiousity what do you, or any others who commute to work on their unis, generally have to carry to and from work? My commute would be 7 miles (~11km), with one very steep hill, and I usually have my laptop and its powersource, lunch and assorted papers and CDs.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

My commute is 5 miles (8 km) each way with two steep downs on the way and, of course, two steep ups on the way home. I carry a backpack with lunch and change of clothes and I carry a water bottle in one of the front pockets of my shorts. My average times are:

Car- 20 minutes
Bike- 30 minutes
Coker/Blue Shift- 40 minutes
Bus- 45 minutes

Yes, I unicycle to work faster than I can get there on the bus. That says more about Seattle’s Metro transit than it does about my unicycling.

Re: Finally Rode to Work

I bet it would take you 15 minutes on a coker!


Good work, Mandell! Victoria is a wonderful city for commuting by wheel! The Goose is a nice way to get around…I commuted by bike when I worked over there, and Erin and I rode out in May on our 29ers from Swartz Bay to around Blenkinsop (properly called the Lochside trail instead of the GG, I guess)…a fun ride!

I don’t actually commute on my unicycle, but I do USE it in my work as a field biologist. I am currently doing a population survey for an exotic beetle on Westham Island to the west of Ladner, BC. I <cringe> drive there from Vancouver, and then use my 29" unicycle to move around the island and check the pheromone baited ground traps I have located along the gravel dykes and the road (when in the fields, I still hike around to keep the growers from worrying about my squishing their crops). The dykes are private (I have only met one other person in my summer of riding), but I have permission to use them for the purpose of the survey. The landowners recognize me by my uni, so they don’t have to run me off their land thinking I am a random trespasser (most dykes in the area are public land, so vistors occassionally assume they can walk the perimeter of Westham as well).

The equipment I carry is a large field vest filled with film canisters (for scooping up specimens), a trowel, a wash tub (for dumping traps into), a nasty looking sickle (for clearing grass and brambles around traps), 3’ long orange flags, lunch, water, and assorted other clothing and field supplies. The island is all soil-based farmland with a 300 ha bird sanctuary at the northern tip. On one side of the dyke is farm fields or grassland setasides, while the other side is usually saltmarsh followed by Georgia Strait or the Fraser River. I’ve seen tonnes of cool birds, a sea lion, beavers, muskrats, snakes, frogs, MOSQUITOS, etc. The unicycle works better than my bike in that I can hold all the equipment in one hand (sickle nested in the tub), and use the GPS/maps in the other…it’s not such a bad way to get around, really!

To augment Raphael’s question, does anyone else actually use their unicycle FOR work? (other than the obvious occupation use by performers?)

Raphael: I carry a change of clothes, a water bottle, and a few odds and ends in my backpack. I removed about 5 pounds of assorted stuff from my usual walking pack (juggling balls, books, Palm keyboard) to keep the weight down. There is only one steep up hill (but short) and I had to walk it up (it is about 45 degrees). There are also a couple of downhill segments that are fairly steep, but I didn’t have a problem with those (going back, I might :smiley: ).

Eric: I don’t think I am going to be able to buy another uni for a year or two :frowning: to test your theory. Even then, I am leaning towards a 29er rather than a coker. I see a coker as the 4th on my list (after a good muni) of unicycles to buy. By then, I should be ready to do some serious distance.

My commute is two miles each way. I carry a messenger bag with my lunch, battery for my head lamp, and some tools.


YOW!!! Measure that puppy. I’ll bet it’s 15 degrees at the most.

My Coker-with-Wyganowski-handlebar has a bottle cage on it, holding a regular-sized water bottle (tall one won’t fit). This keeps my back free of Camelbak and a gallon of sweat.

My butt bag contains rudimentary tools, cell phone, wallet, keys, camera, etc.

A small backpack holds the day’s “work” clothes, deodorant, comb, and any papers or other objects going to work that day. It gets crudely strapped to the back Wyganowski bar with a couple of bungees. I will either upgrade or replace this bar system with something having a Unibago-type rear rack.

Harper, my commute times are about the same as yours. How far do you go? My drive time is highly dependent on traffic of course. 20 minutes with none (in my dreams), though I can’t complain about Sacramento traffic after living in NY. Note: my driving route is several miles longer than the cycling route, which uses a bike path-only bridge over the river and a more direct route.

For Raphael to bring a laptop, powersource, lunch, plus (let’s assume) clothes and some tools, it will be a big chunk of weight. I would not want to attach my laptop to my unicycle under any circumstances, which means a backpack and plenty of padding. Lunch and other non-essentials could possibly be attached to the unicycle though. Except cans of soft drinks, beer, etc. :slight_smile:

If you have a Coker wtih a wide axle, there is potentially a good-sized space inside the wheel where you could put stuff. Stuff that doesn’t mind going round and round. Light stuff, I guess.

Another possible storage location on a Coker would be panniers that ride below the pedals. I don’t know how much room you’d have down there (got to allow for leaning turns), but I’m sure it would make the ride interesting. They could either swing, or be rigidly attached to the frame. I think rigid would be better, and swinging would really mess up your riding.

When I have to go into work and aren’t going drinking afterwards I sometimes ride in with my laptop and stuff. It isn’t too much of a problem as long as you’re riding something you know you won’t fall off. Although given the roads on the way to my work (Hammersmith junction anyone) falling off just isn’t an option, I wouldn’t ride it unless I knew I wasn’t going to fall off.


My commute is 5 miles each way regardless of the means of transportation. On the bike/Coker/BlueShift route there are 9 traffic signals and 11 stop signs. Seattle has to have the most over-regulated traffic in the US.

I use the Platypus Typhoon hydration pack. It has 1750 CU in cargo capacity plus it holds 100 0z of water. When I load it with my work clothes, towel, tool and lunch it gets heavy. I take a nice gentle down hill 3 miles to work and a longer(7-10 miles) up hill route home, this of course in on a Coker. There was a time when I had the pack overload with some books on top of everything else, I got about two blocks from home and turn around, it just felt unsafe to ride next to traffic I had short cranks on at the time and I did not feel in control of the beast. On another saftey note,I got myself one of those little mirrors that attach to the side of your glasses because I find it very hard to look back over my shoulder for approaching cars before a left hand turn.

I only ride to and frome school, which is nearly a mile. It takes me a mere 15-20 minutes on a 20 inch. A coker would probably be less than 10 minutes.

The lights and stop signs are only at intersections, right? That just might be a good thing (assuming we’re talking about high-volume downtown areas).

I only have three critical traffic lights and one stop sign. Other stop signs and lights are low-traffic and I seldom have to stop. Oddly enough, it’s not the same three lights in each direction, due to side of intersection ridden, and oddball intersections. Stopping is a pain, so I’m glad I have my bike path and relatively easy route.

Well, when it isn’t summer holidays…:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: … I ride about 12 km one way to work/school… that’s 20 min by car, 40 is my best time on the 29’er and 55 on the 24 inch wheel.

I carry small backpack with a large lunch and a two tools: one allen key and one small wrench. Sometimes I have to haul a larger pack to bring fresh clothes to work to restock my ‘file cabinet dresser’ (a couple of files in front and clothes to change into after uni’ing, in behind).


Some lights are at driveway entrances to parks or sidestreets crossing two lane arterials. I can often make it without putting my foot down on my bike. I have made it without putting my foot down on the Coker and Blue Shift once each. It’s a pretty ride, part of it around Green Lake Park, part of it through campus, and part through the older residential university district.

If you’re in town again it’s one of the many rides we will go on if you like.

Re: Finally Rode to Work

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 15:44:38 -0500, harper
<> wrote:

>YOW!!! Measure that puppy. I’ll bet it’s 15 degrees at the most.


Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

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

The return trip

My return trip started out great. The first part from work is 5 blocks on sidewalks. I walked accross each intersection and nailed the mounts first try:D each time. Then I got to the Goose and rode solidly for about 1 Km (from Kelvin road to the middle of the trestle for those who know Victoria). I took a break after walking to the top of trestle and had a drink of water. I then rode down the trestle, but was unable to manage the transition to uphill dirt track at the entrance to the park:(. I walked to the top of the hill, remounted (after 2 tries) and rode down the steep hill clean !!!:smiley: :smiley:

BTW: Thanks Klaas for the idea on how to measure the hill. I’ll let you know the actual incline tomorrow.

After riding down the hill, my legs were at the end of their strength and I was unable to make the very slight up hill that fallowed. I ended up walking through most of the rest of the park and up to the road. When I got to the flat part of the road, I remounted and rode for another block before hitting the end of my endurance. I walked another block and tried to remount: It took 10 tries to even get on :angry: . I only managed another block and half after that. I had to walk up the last hill to my place.:frowning:

I guess the combination of the earlier ride and having all of the difficult riding at the end did me in. Still, making it home in 45 minutes was an accomplishment.:slight_smile:

Re: Re: Finally Rode to Work

I stand humbled by the wisdom of my elders.

The hill in question about 12 degrees (approximately 20% grade), as measured by a hastily assembled inclinometer (thanks Klaas). It was interesting to see, on my way in this morning, the inclines of the various bits of my trip (I walked today to let myself recover from yesterday). The “big” hill near my place, it turns out, is only a 5% grade.