Another awesome 26.2 miles of Big wheeled fun-ness at the annual Long Beach Marathon, on Sunday, 9/10/11. I rode it non-stop and filmed while riding…shooting at least 20 minutes of footage along the way, and still managed to finish in 2:11.
Took a while just to get through the start line due to thousands of two-wheelers bottle necking at the start, and it took a good mile or so before things opened up enough to get a good pace going. I had switched my 110 moments for the lighter QuAx 114’s and they worked well, although I think I’m a tad faster with the 110’s.
Newest riding buddy, Clay, drove all the way in from San Diego, and I think there were a couple more one-wheelers out there too. Such a blast!
The crowds were great, and they sounded like a people at a rock concert, haha! Here’s the video, and I hope you enjoy.
I also road in the Long Beach Bike Tour (Marathon) this morning. I have not ridden in such a large group before and it was a bit disconcerting. The had about 3000 cyclist lined up at the starting line. Clay and I waited for most of them to get started before we began. It was still very crowded for the first few miles, and there were frequent obstacles and the more clueless cyclist came to a stop to adjust something along the busy and occasionally narrow route. Part of the early ride was along the beach bike trail, which was very scenic. After the bike trail we got on to roads and it finally opened up a bit, probably around mile ten. The bike route doubled back on itself, so the 11 mile mark was near the 24 mile mark going the other way. I was surprised to see bikes coming the other direction at this point. Some of those cyclist who got out fast at the beginning must have been smoking through the course! There was a small hill around mile 18, which was not big deal but I was getting tired, at least tired of sitting! Once we hit mile 20 we were backtracking along much of our previous route. It was nice because I had a good idea where we were going and had ridden the other direction on a lot of the roads earlier that morning. The final two miles were along shoreline drive, and the half marathon that started after us was running along the same road to their finish line. They had cones up to divide the road, but it was fun to see the runners out there working hard. I finally finished up with a 2:14 elapsed time. I had taken the course in essentially one sitting, and I was very pleased to STOP sitting and get off the unicycle. It was a good ride with a festival atmosphere. I would consider doing it again, but the massed start certainly left something to be desired.
I rode with Clay for a while at the beginning and saw Terry at the finish line.
It was great fun and I had a good idea of what to expect, especially the slow start. I didn’t even try to wiggle my way through the slower bikes since there were zillions of them all bunching up at the start.
But since the bike tour part is not a “timed” event, you can simply start your time pass the start gate, if you’re timing your ride at all. But yeah, you really can’t get up to a decent cruising speed for at least a mile out. I loved every minute of it!
I’ve been wondering why my sit bones are so painful the day after the marathon and it just dawned on me what the probable cause was. The lesser reason is that I did it all non stop. I usually stop at least a couple times on rides that long to stretch, but still, this is really the first time that I can remember, having sit bone pain.
But now I think the number one reason was changing the setup for this ride; The saddle was the same, but for a long time now, I’ve had aerobars connected to my “T” handle, allowing me to lean forward more, which changes my position (and weight bearing) on the saddle.
Without them I was sitting much more upright, putting direct weight on the sit bones. I think it was this sudden switch that could have done it. I had removed the aerobars for the marathon so I could attach my camera and monopod under the handle. It wouldn’t have fit with them on. :o
I put this ride on my bucketlist when I turned 30. I trained to do it a little at a time till I got up the distance on a ride the week before with Terry.
I woke up at 3am to get on my way to the tour. Got there at 5:30, just in time to put my uni together (doesn’t fit in the trunk with pi-bar on) and stretch a little bit.
I stayed in the back of the start with Scott and then made my way as the announcer made a big hoopla about us being on Unicycles. I was moving along well at 11mph avg with 150mm cranks when I was cut-off by a cyclist at mile 4. He got a pretty good taste of my bars between his shoulder blades. I was a little bummed because my goal was to do this ride in one mount. So, I figured, HELL, have fun from here on out and forget about goals, or times, or cyclist for that matter. It was at mile 6 that I hit my 2nd snare when I over pushed the crank and couldn’t get it back. I hit the ground hard right infront of my wife and mother and little brother. I can actually say it is the worse fall I have taken on my Uni. I got a scuffed Elbow, knee and ankle from it, but they didn’t have to remove anything, so I think I am good. The rest of the ride (20 miles) was done no problem.
It wasn’t till I was at work the next day that I started to feel it a little!
Glad to see you’ve joined our forum Clay! Too bad we didn’t see each other during the ride. I was more towards the middle of the pack waiting to start, and at one point, about 15 min before kick off, I walked around trying to locate you and saw Scott. He was back a little ways from where I was, but you weren’t with him at that point, although I think he said he saw you (or maybe somebody else) on a uni eve further back. There were so many thousands of bikes it was a literal maze of metal!
I was sorry to hear about your bad fall, but I thought you had said your wife didn’t ride a bike along with you, so how could she and your mom and brother have seen you at mile six? Did they somehow follow you in a car? Most of the streets were closed off to traffic near the marathon route.
You’ll have that opportunity, in less than two weeks, 10/23, with the next 36er group ride at Huntington beach pier. We hope to have a good sized group for this meet up. More details posted closer to ride day.
Congrats, guys, on what sounds like a really fun marathon event! Riding 26.2 miles nonstop is something a crotch has to experience to appreciate. It’s my own personal record for distance without a dismount (Unicon XIV, 2008), and I don’t know if my crotch has forgiven me yet. Your times were very good considering the crowded conditions!