First geared century for me! :)

Normally I don’t like to post my rides, but I’ll post the big nasty ones that I’m proud and thankful to have finished… :slight_smile:

I just did an exactly 100.00 mile ride yesterday, from my house in Irvine to where I grew up in San Diego, and it was my first Century on my geared hub. I was quite scared of my legs bonking early from pushing the bigger 54" gear, so I didn’t go all out by any means, but I think that if I had, I’d have run out of gas a lot earlier than I did. There was around 800-1,000 meters of climbing over the whole ride, and most of it was toward the end, so during my last 14 miles I saw an entire mile per hour get shaved off my beautiful average. sheds a tear!

Anyway, my average rolling speed was 15.7 mph, for a rolling time of 6 hours, 22 minutes. The whole endeavor took about 35 or 40 minutes longer than that (from my Irvine front door to my San Diego front door).

For the first 50 miles, I didn’t dismount, and my average was 16.9 mph, which I was really happy about because there were some pretty damaging rolling hills in Laguna Beach, and because I was trying to hold myself back a bit to not die during the second half. The last half of the ride had only a 14.5 mph average, mostly due to the climbing, but also to the bonk that got me at 86 miles, which took good 2 mph chunk out of my flat cruising speed. There was also some good headwind action for a good 40 miles mixed in there, which generally turned an 18.6 mph cruise into an 16.8 mph hammerfest and made the going pretty tough. (And you can’t draft bikes, because they’re so small! :-P)

Whiiiiiich… brings me to my stops; I stopped once at 50 miles, and spent about 15 minutes there eating a couple of tacos and refilling my bottles. I also stopped at mile 75 and laid down on some cool shaded concrete at UCSD for about five minutes. And I also stopped for about 15 minutes at mile 86 when I bonked and had to get food.

Food-ification happened like this:
Pre-ride: 2 bowls of cereal
Mile 25: GU while riding
Mile 50: GU and two chicken tacos from Del Taco
Mile 65: Two GUs while riding
Mile 75: GU while riding
Mile 86: GU and two egg sandwich things from Starbuck’s
Post-ride: YUM YUM YUM YUM!!! :smiley: (this would mean fish burritos!)

Yeah, at 86 miles, my legs just gave out and felt really weak, so I ended up stopping at a Starbucks and eating two of their little re-heated excuses for an egg sandwich. Calories are calories; I was able to finish the ride after eating 'em! I think that I’d have performed much better if I had eaten both A) more food all around throughout the whole ride and B) distributed more of that intake among the first 50 miles, during which I pretty much didn’t eat anything at all. (1 GU isn’t really much food.) Looking at the distances where I ate, it’s pretty clear that I ate like four times as much from mile 50 to 100 as from mile 0 to 49. Live and ride and learn. :slight_smile:

I also went through about 10 bike bottles worth of water and lemonade. Luckily, I can carry four bottles on my unicycle now, so I never had to stop specifically to refill my bottles. I just filled them at 50 miles and 86 miles. (damn, that’s 1.7 gallons!)

So, that brings the whole endeavor to right around 7 hours from start to finish… so, not really too close to the record, which is 6:44, but it’s a start. 15 minutes is a really long time, and an extra 2/3 of a mile per hour over the whole ride… :-/

I was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY tired when I got home. I had about 5 minutes of lucidity and hugged my parents (it was my dad’s birthday), and then my energy just left, and I became really lethargic. I’d get told to do something (like, take a shower, put your unicycle out back, etc) and wouldn’t be able to do it because I couldn’t figure out what the tasks asked of me entailed… I would just stand around going “fooood…” I haven’t felt that exhausted in a couple of years, at least… maybe never. After I ate some food and laid down for 10 minutes I was feeling like myself again. I think my brainlessness immediately after my ride was because I ran out of calories from not eating enough, and from riding too hard for what food I did take in; I think that’s the case because this morning (the day after) on my ride to school, my legs didn’t really feel any less able than if I’d stayed up really late at night or something and missed out on a bunch of sleep. Human bodies are so cool! A machine that pushes itself as hard as we do would just wear out and break, whereas our bodies rise to the occasion and then heal right up with some food and rest. :slight_smile:

All in all, a superly, crazily, awesomely fun day full of tons of great 36ing!

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You’re a nut, man. Great job. 7 hours elapsed time is about equivalent to my best solo bike century.

Amazingly fast riding for the conditions. Congrats. Sounds like a fun day.

Congratulations! Very nice written writeup, I enjoyed every bit of it. Pictures would be nice, but you probably didn’t bring a camera which is perfectly understandable.

Your average speed is amazing, at the moment I can only dream of reaching that kind of speed for very a short distance.

Great job Chuck! I am still waiting on my hub to get back from Florian, but a geared century is on my list of things to do.

Have you had any other problems with your hub since Florian replaced it with a stronger planet carrier and bearings, or has it been running smoothly?

Once again, great job, that is an impressive time considering you had some climbing in the ride.

Whoa, that’s pretty fast! Nice one. Does anyone know what conditions the world record was set under, because this ride could be the fastest century ever done on public roads.

Congratulations on a great ride, Chuck! Time to go for the Guinness record. Yes, from your description it sounds like you shorted yourself on food during the ride. I’ve seen you eat! Maybe you can ride down to MUni Weekend on Friday and give us a break in the big Saturday race by being tired! :slight_smile:

Now you’ve made me hungry for tacos. I know where I’m going for lunch…

The existing Guinness 100 mile record was set on a cycling path of some sort. Off the top of my head, I know the path was very level, and the course involved many times going back and forth, I think with sharp U-turns at each end. It was August 1987 in Tokyo, so the weather was warm but I don’t know the details. Takayuki Koike was 18 years old, and rode the entire 100 miles without a dismount. If he has any feeling in his private parts now, 21 years later, he’s lucky. :smiley: His unicycle was a 43" air-tire unicycle with short cranks. Not sure how short, but I do know those old rickshaw wheels made today’s Coker wheels seem light as a feather.


that’s fantastic! Your first 50 miles with an average of 16.9 mph (so, almost 3 hours) were even slightly faster than Patrick Schmidt’s official world hour record, set on an athletics track in 2006. That record was 27.180 km/h, and was just last week broken by Jan Logemann with a speed slightly faster than your first 50 miles. Jan rode on a track as well (be it in heavy weather conditions).

What were your conditions like re traffic, turns etc? I always find that such things slow me down a lot. Unfortunately, with our country being as crowded as it is, it’s difficult to find long stretches of uninterrupted speed-hungry cycle lane or cyclable road. OTOH, hills are usually not an issue. :slight_smile:

During the first 50 miles I stopped at lights maybe fifteen times. There were only a few turns. Most of what slowed me down was the hills, really. On flat ground I’d be cruising between 18 and 21 mph, but my average hung around 16.6-17.0 because of all those darn 9-10 mph first-gear hill spins. Luckily, the end of the first 50 miles was pretty flat, so my average climbed a little right before I stopped.

I just found Jan’s record! That’s really awesome! I’ve been under a rock for a while; I missed his record when it happened. I saw the pictures over on his thread, and jeez, the conditions seem like they were NOT conducive to going fast at all. (Even on a clear calm day, I can’t hold 17mph through those turns on the track… they’re too tight!) Major props to Jan for that ride. I bet he’d go 29km or better if he gave himself some open road and a nice day…

Also… @James
Hey James! Yeah, my geared hub has been performing perfectly for me; it’s been a dream come true! Since Ride the Lobster, I’ve put about 1,500 more miles on it, mostly in high gear, and though it’s making some new audible clanking when I fall back and forth against the slop, it continues to chug along just as it’s supposed to. Far as I can tell, everything is working perfectly, and Schlumpf is a genius! You’re going to come out to CMW from DC, right? :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

As for CMW, I think I’m going to wear my KH24 in a uni backpack and then 36 on down to the train station. :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice riding Chuck. That is really really fast…

I don’t know how you eat all that Gu :stuck_out_tongue:

Peanut slabs and Ensure does it for me.

I’m doing my first geared century at the end of November. Best time so far 7hrs43min. Will see if I can shave off as much as you did! You should come down next year for it:
It’s Australasias biggest bicycle race…we had 12,000 people last year. If you did a 6hr century you would be pretty much the average bike time. In fact, I think it would be close to the median, you’d beat about 5-6,000 bicyclists.

Great job and fast time! Question: How often did you have to switch to 1:1, or did you do the entire 100 in geared mode?

Wow, great report. I’m new to unicycling but I’ve been running marathons and ultramarathons for awhile (15 last year), and the similarities are amazing. Actually what you did is more comparable to an ultramarathon, a 50k or 50-miler, and your diet is more like what ultra runners eat. Chicken tacos and egg sandwiches, mmmmmmm…

Wow Ken, 7:43 on a direct drive wheel is really, really cooking. I know I couldn’t do that. If I had infinite money, you KNOW I’d go down there and do that century with you and all those bikers! Heck yeah! :slight_smile: (But, alas, I don’t have the income for it :frowning: )… If there’s one that’s very near UNICON 15, then I might be able to go down and kill 2 rides with one round trip flight…

And to Terry, yeah, I spent maybe 93 or 94 out of the 100 in high gear. I shifted, pretty much, whenever the grade went over 4-5% for a long enough stretch to for me to not be able to just muscle through it in high gear and get it over with without losing speed.

I shifted all the time, though, to stop at lights. Every time I stop, I downshift at the end of the braking (right before the wheel locks and I start tilting back upright) in order to go into an idle or find my way to a pole to hold onto or something.

Braking with a geared hub is like…
lean-back, braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-downshift-ake, tip upright, start idling or riding really slowly in circles or grab a pole, then go and shift up to start riding again.

Nice write up, Chuck! I’ve gotta start saving for a geared hub. It’s my second priority right now, right after I get a trials uni. See you at CMW. Only 4 more days!!! :astonished: :smiley:

Wow, you must have been mentally tired as well. That is really fast and sustained, nice going. You can make up 15 minutes, congrats on a awesome achievment.

Good to know there have been no further problems. I’ve been waiting 3 months for my hub to come back :(. Once I get it back I am putting it in a KH 36" frame and going to ride the dream uni.

Unfortunately I am not coming out to CMW, but I am still looking at the possibility of moving out to Northern California. I need a change of scenery.

Damn! Poor teh James! Corbin’s got your problem, too. Well, almost. He has a working hub, but no frame to put it in. I’ve become so attached to my geared uni that I don’t know what I’d do without it. if it broke… I might even… ride my bike!

That said… MOVE! Move out to Norcal! There are tons of us out here, and come June I’ll be living there, too!

And there are (or will be) lots of geared 36ers in Norcal… one more if you live there! Normally when I go unicycling now, I go with slower road bikers, because there aren’t any unicycles within a 400 miles of here that can keep up (no geared up 36ers!)… but once we have geared 36ers, we can all go on strong, fastish road rides and cruise down the road at 18 miles an hour, drafting each other! :stuck_out_tongue: (that WOULD be fun! Imagine a paceline of six 36" gunis!) Jeez, you’re making me miss northern california… the hills are so durn beautiful and fun to ride… If you’re looking for easily accessible, ridable scenery, norcal is definitely a place to go.

Nice Chuck! Contratulation… Sounds really fun! :smiley:

Every ride report that I read makes me want a 36 more and more!.. Time to raise some money :stuck_out_tongue:

7 hours is faster than any of my bicycling century rides.

My problems with energy levels and endurance are more with electrolyte balance than with food energy. Getting low on electrolytes can feel like bonking, but is not a true bonk. Low electrolytes will leave you drained, foggy headed, slow reactions from the muscles, low on energy, faster heart rate, slightly clammy feeling, cramps. Many of those are the same symptoms of the bonk. So it’s easy to confuse which is occurring.

I’m now much more careful and watchful of my electrolyte levels. I carry salt tablets with me during strenuous rides and make sure to take the salt regularly during the ride and in a quantity proportional to how much salt I am sweating (I sweat salt like a salt lick).

Sweet Jesus!! Five minutes back on and my blood is doing the ‘pumping-faster’ thing! And, this, just after a comfy two hour spin. What a poseur I’ve been lately compared to you Chuck!