Introducing la monocyclette and her trip accross Patagonia (Chili & Argentina)

La monocyclette is the unicycle that a friend, Sam Whittingham, frame builder from Naked Bikes, built me for the unicycle tour I’m about to start. After I rode across the Canadian Rockies, I was asked what was next, here his the answer: crossing Patagonia (actually a bit more: from Ushuaia aiming towards Santiago de Chili). And la monocyclette will be my companion for the adventure.

When I was reading blogs and stories from bikers who went on similar trip, I remember being shocked that they often got possession of their bikes only a little before they started their trip and that they had not really tested their equipment. But of course, I ended up doing the exact same thing since I only contacted Sam in September while I was totally aware about the long waiting line he has. I’m really grateful he accepted the challenge anyway with such short notice even though he had never built a unicycle before (but he could already ride one) and I’m really happy he made me such a beautiful piece.

Here are the details that make her really special:

  • the painting matching my helmet colors with local native art

  • a dedicated rack at the front and at the back

  • the brake cable internally routed

  • the space available for spare spokes

  • the attachements for water bottle cages and a pump

Here is la monocyclette fully loaded:

As for the adventure we’re going on together, the plan is start in Ushuaia, all the way south of South-America and ride for six months. I have no idea if we’ll reach Santiago de Chili or not. The distance between the 2 cities is not that big, about 3500 km but the difficult riding conditions (crazy winds, a lot of rain , gravel roads half the way, limited supplies in somes areas) make it really hard to estimate my average speed though. It doesn’t matter so much anyway, because my goal is not to go for a world record but to explore an area I’m interested in and meet a lot of people on the way.

You can find more info about the trip on the website:








Good luck, An’so! I haven’t been to Argentinian Patagonia, but Torres del Paine on the Chilean side is one of the most amazing places I’ve been. What an adventure!

(Typographical note: It’s Chile, not Chili)

Congratulations! This must be incredible adventure!
Please keep us updated!
Best of luck!!! :roll_eyes:

Really cool unicycle, and good luck on your trip.

Go An’So! Go monocyclette!

Riding across South America was one of my dreams, so I keep fingers crossed for you.

good luck with your great adventure.
Send some pics and story about your trip when you can

I thought it can’t be, so I’ve looked it up to make sure: so it’s that Sam Whittingham you got your uni from. World record holder Sam “133 km/h on the flat” Whittingham.
Wow. :sunglasses:

This looks like a very well-designed travel unicycle, though it’s probably slower than his two-wheeler. :wink:
I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

Je reste toujours ébahi de ces exploits. Bonne chance!

Amazing adventure ahead for you, that is, living your life. Go for it An’so!

Wooo Hoooo! I have never seen so much freaking awesomeness in one post! You and your uni are pushing the envelop in uni touring. I think you just earned the Evolution of Balance award for 2013, at least in my book.

Best of luck (and hard work). I eagerly await your reports.


In a word, EPIC!

Go An’So!!!

Inspiring to say the least. The uni is a true thing of beauty. Good luck on your journey!

I like it, it looks very cool

Yes, I love the unicycle. There aren’t many proper Touring unicycles out there, but that sure is one. Best of luck on your adventure!


Absolutely awesome.
You are a legend.

Fantastic. Hope you keep a tour log so we can follow from our couches.

Amazing unicycle.

Sorry for not giving news earlier. Internet access is limited.
Thanks tons for the encouragements. And Geoff, I have to say, when I have a hard time, I think of your comment and it helps.
Thanks for the note, Tom, about Chile. Indeed I’m all mixed up with English, Spanish and French… too many languages (and hard to English spelling on Spanish computers or a phone), and I made the mistake everywhere.

I’m not going to blog along the way, it would be too stressful. People waiting for news… I already feel pressure with my GPS since you can follow my route and know where I’m at everyday. And also because I wanted to be away fro m internet for a bit (I’m not succeeding as much as i wanted though)

Regarding the other discussion about world touring and wheel size, I decided to go with 29er and geared, and I’m pretty happy so far (well, I can’t use the high gear now but it won’t be like that all the time). Of course I’m taking a risk that it can brake, but I think it is worth it. I have access to replacement parts, and a fast postal service easily so that helps (but the customs in Argentina are pretty bad, so I’m only allowed to break in Chile :slight_smile: )
Also Justin has a geared hub that I could borrow I guess if mine has problems, otherwise I would have a normal hub and spokes shipped.

I left on January 27th. The first 2 days went ok, hard but not too bad (with 50 or 60 km in a day). And then I discovered the real winds of Patagonia. No way I could use the high gear. The worst is when trucks pass (or cross) me, the air drag is so bad that it makes me fall even at low gear. So my most important piece of equipment is my mirror.
The fifth day was just scary, first that my tent was going to break, then because I could not even mount on the uni. The head winds were at about 80km/h. The news even sais tgat there were gustwind of 130km/h. I was hoping that in the evening the wind would be nicer,but no. It looks like tomorrow is not going to be nice either so I will probably wait for another day.

Wow, that’s a huge adventure. And a superb design of unicycle to do such a tour with. I hadn’t seen this thread before but I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you’ll have tons of fun. Even those winds will add spice to your stories later on, you’ll be glad they were that strong!