Laos Unicycle Tour 2006- OXFAM Charity Challenge

In Jan-Feb of 2006, a group of Adventure Unicyclists will take on the challenge of Unicycling 500km across Laos, starting from Thailand, in the Laos Unicycle Tour- An Adventure of Epic Proportions. Unicyclists from 6 different countries will be taking part.

As part of this challenge, we are aiming to raise money for the OXFAM Charity, which have several projects in Laos, one of the poorest countries in SE Asia. OXFAM is one of the largest secular charities in the world, originating in the UK. OXFAM UK and OXFAM Australia both operate projects in Laos.

A number of riders on this forum will be participating in this challenge, including:
Bruce Hall
Tony Melton
Ken Looi
David Buchanan
John Cooper
Barry Clearwater
Jason Williams
Sid Rajan
Nathan Hoover
Beau Hoover
Rob Bowman
Mike Scalisi
Kevin Gilbertson
Florian Schlumpf
Hans Fiby
Jesper Andersen
Thomas Olsen
Seth Golub
Grace Fleming

Check out the rider profiles on and sponsor your favourite rider :slight_smile:
The donations are being processed by New Zealand. They have agreed to sponsor merchant fees so that your money goes directly to the charity.
Donations can be made here:

Thanks for your support,

Ken Looi
Aka Gizmoduck

I’m kicking off the challenge by sponsoring Bruce Hall, one of the Kiwi riders. It’s not a competition, and there is no obligation for riders to be fundraising. However, I see that there will some healthy rivalry amongst our riders as to who can raise the most for our charity. My pick is on one of the RSU people to top our rankings- possibly Gilby or Nathan or Beau. Will be an interesting few weeks :).

Go Bruce!

Isn’t that cheating taking the ferry? Just kidding, it’s a long haul over some rough clay roads to Luang Prabang without it. I assume you have someone who has been there before, but just in case here is a few tip:

  1. Chiang Khong just on the Thai side of the border is a really nice place to hang out.
    2 The ferry is usually packed and only male travellers can ride on the roof. It’s not a lot of fun for 2 days for some.
  2. Hotels in Luang Prabang are very busy, if you have someone who is a couple of days ahead and can book rooms that would be great.

I wish I could do the ride myself on a Uni, I did it in a few years ago on a 2 wheeler.
Good luck

We’re putting on a Unicycle Demo/Clinic to raise awareness of unicycling in general in our town, and specifically to drum up sponsors for Oxfam and the Laos Unicycle Tour. This clinic is sponsored by the Los Gatos Athletic Club.

Any unicyclists in the SF Bay Area interested in attending are welcome - we already have several like Corbin who will be there to help teach and demonstrate unicycling. Just let me know if you would like to come:

Dec 11, 2005 - Sunday
Los Gatos High School.

Here’s our PDF flyer (also attached here).


PS Latest training ride photos from yesterday are up here.

UnicycleClinic.pdf (138 KB)

Thanks Brian,

We’re taking the ferry because apparently that is quite a cool trip down the Mekong. We could have ridden but I thought a boat ride would add a different dimension to the tour. When I was in Cambodia we certainly had an interesting but very noisy boat trip (I think my ears are still ringing). A Unicycle Tour is certainly the best way to see these places. I did the Cambodia trip on as part of a group of bicyclists- which was novel enough until the some guy rides past on a unicycle.

We’re using a tour operator based in Thailand, so all accomodation will be prebooked and we will have a support vehicle following behind us.

Daily updates during the tour will be on

Woohoo! That’s a fantastic idea. Good luck!

I’m going to write an article for the local MTB magazine as my main fundraising project.

Yup yup. I’m going to give some trials demonstrations, and lessons (if there is interest). Come and watch!

damn i was actualy thinking of doing something similar to this. only i was planning on doing it much later (about three years from now so i’m legal drinking age in all of asia) i was thinking of going across taiwan. not nearly as far but still across an asian country.

by the way how long did it take you guys to organize this?

Always hate to play favorites…it was easier last year Ken when it was just you. :slight_smile:

Just made a donation…quick and painless.

Tom, Marie, and Miles sponsor Nathan, Megumi, and Beau. Go Hoovers!

Tom (and Marie and Miles), you’re all awesome! THANKS.

And to ntappin, I’ve helped organize a couple of these tours and it basically starts with an idea about 2 years in advance and progresses to a plan that’s pretty detailed a year in advance. For the Alps Tour, we had applicants do a qualification ride (actually a pair of rides in 2 days) 11 months in advance and put down a deposit then. For Laos, the deposit was put down more like 9 months in advance. Laos is a little different since a tour operator working out of Thailand is doing the lodging and transportation (except flights). Each person pays the remainer of the lodging and support vehicle fee 2-3 months in advance and books their own travel.

Hope that helps.


I’d be surprised if you get ID’ed in some of these places.
We had an 18yr old on our Cambodia trip- she had a great time :stuck_out_tongue:

Depending on how this one goes, we may organise them every 2-3yrs, but based in Asia. And combined with Andy Cotters Unitours, which seem to be based in Europe, that probably gives a pretty good selection of Unitours. There are others also local tours like Denmark tour organised by the Danish Unicyclists. And then there are smaller individual tours like Roz’s China tour.

This tour started off as an idea two years ago when I did a tour through Cambodia with 35 bicyclists. I was the only unicyclist in the group, organised by Intrepid Travel to raise money for OXFAM. Our chief guide on that trip was branching off and setting up his own travel company, and we talked about this being a great opportunity to cobble together a Unicyclist-only tour. About 6 months ago I think I finally decided to go ahead with it. It’s no where near as much work as Andys’ tours, because the tour operator is based there and organises our support crew and accomodation. And because it’s based in Asia, it tends to be cheaper also. However, it’s still a fair amount of work. But it’s so cool to have internet- 10years ago we would be lucky to pull this off with 3-4 riders.

Anway, just use your imagination- look forward to your Unitour in the not-too-distant future!

Good luck,


And Beau takes the lead :sunglasses:

I’m about to print some limited edition keyrings as a free gift/bribe to entice people to sponsor me :smiley:

Should be out next week.


My son just moved to Chiang Mai. You should drop in and see him. He can teach you all English while you’re there.

Sorry Harper, part of the LUT experience requires riders to complete an English language test (not American) and to talk like Kiwis before being allowed to go home to their respective countries.

And our Australian riders in particular will only be allowed to order fush on the menu, until they get it right.

We also stopping in Chiang Rai, not Chiang Mai.

And Tony Melton takes the lead.


Well Diang Mai English, I must have read that wrong. On the map it looked like you were going to drive through Chiang Mai. Why would you teach everyone to speak Kiwi? Is there someone who listens to New Zealanders somewhere?

Maps wrong, it even says so :sunglasses:

I wish I was finacially able to support such a great ride, last I donated for the 24hr record and ate rice and beans for 2 weeks to make up for it. This time unfortunatlly when I go back to the states I’ll be eating rice and beans but it wont be on my own accord.

Best of luck to all the riders,


Melton is going to clean up. This is another good cause that deserves attention. Good luck, Ken.

Yes indeed. I need to start finding some people to promote me for this cause. :wink:

Haha, but I’m stockpiling some donations from family and friends which are offline donations. So you can’t tell how much I’ve raised as yet :smiley:

I still have spare LUT keyrings if anyone wants to sponsor me, and also if you’d like a postcard from Laos just sponsor me and send me a PM with your address on it :stuck_out_tongue: . I’ve already sponsored myself a postcard which I’ll send to myself when I’m in Laos.