Long distance Riding- Advice Wanted!

Hello everyone, I am a new member to this website and i am looking for some advice…This saturday, I will be riding 50 miles on my 36 inch nimbus impulse in Wichita Falls Texas’s “Hotter N Hell Bike Ride.” I am very excited about the challenge, i have only done 35 miles in one day up to this point (at most). I would love to know if anyone has any advice about making the saddle soreness a little less of a problem. My legs seem to be ok on long distances, i am more worried about the saddle soreness…Any other advice about what to eat before and during the ride would also be much appreciated! Thanks…BTW, anyone interested in riding along w me on this ride would be welcome…I average about 9-10 miles an hour, but can adjust. Jonah Hill (not the actor)

Ah, I did a 50 miler on my Coker Big One last Saturday. If you’ve done 35 miles in a day, you should certainly be able to do 50. As for saddle soreness, there might be a seat mod you can do (search around on the forums) If not willing to cut up your seat, or can’t find a mod, you might just have to tough it out. What I did during my ride, was take a a few minutes out of the saddle for every 10 miles in it. I did my ride in normal shorts and jeans, but if you have padded bike shorts I would suggest you wear them. They specifically have seamless padding in the crotch to help prevent chaffing, and to make it a more comfortable ride… trust me, they’re glorious on a bicycle and still significantly help on a unicycle. If you have handlebars, put some extra pressure on them because it helps to take pressure off the seat. You can also learn to do some riding while standing on the pedals (This does take extra energy and is a bit tougher, but if you’re not willing to completely stop or don’t feel like you’ve earned a rest, you can give your crotch a break by taking your weight off the saddle.) I suggest you just tough it out though, if you don’t modify the saddle correctly, things could go wrong. As for what you should eat before the ride, good, nutritious food that you can digest easily. Things like fruits, ya know? During the ride, I highly suggest some granola bars, maybe an apple or two, and DEFINITELY bananas. Bananas are a good source of electrolytes and provide an immediate and prolonged source of energy. But if you take bananas, make sure you find a way to protect them from the friction of your backpack. I made the mistake of letting them run loose inside my bag… wasn’t pretty. If you find yourself heading out to the grocery store, you might want to pick up some Gatorade as well – Again, good source of electrolytes and carbs. Make sure you don’t eat too much before the ride though – a bloated unicyclist is not a pretty sight, nor would it be a fun ride.

Well, that’s my 2 cents about it – I don’t know a ton about distance riding and nutrition, but with such little training I had before my 50 miler (About 105 miles in 11 days) I think that it helped me loads.

Proper cycling nics, some chamois butter, and decent length cranks (anything over 125 is too long for proper distance riding) will get you half way there. Proper hydration (replace you salts to prevent cramping) and some ok food- bananas, muesli bars etc will do the rest. A touring bar also really helps with the saddle soreness- split your weight between it and your seat to last for longer without irritation.
good luck

With a 35 under your belt, you’ll get through it no problem. Some of this is a repeat, but here are things I’d look at:

–Double layer of cycling shorts…the proper tight chamois as base layer (no underwear), and the lined/padded mountain bike shorts for top layer

–Lube up with Chamois Buttr like crazy…slather the sh(t on, and bring a little extra in case you want to reload

–If you have the ability to, play with your saddle angle a bit. I’ve found raising the front a bit helps, so that your “sit bones” are in contact with the widest part of the saddle near the back. You don’t want to have all your weight on your taint on the narrowest part of the saddle.

–Standing breaks every 5 miles, with a dismount break every 10. For standing breaks, just pull up to a wall or telephone pole or something for balance, and stand up for 60 seconds or so. Move your legs around, get the blood flowing in there. Reach down in and re-rack before you start up again.

–Nutrition…bananas mentioned, good. Same w/ peanut butter. And pickles! For me on long rides, I like to pack along a “proper lunch”, i.e. sandwich or roll-up with meat, mayo, avocado, cheese…and not just rely on clif bars.

–Secret Hint: pack along a 3 Musketeers bar for about Mile 43…when you’re draggin’ ass and not sure about the last miles. It’s pretty light for a candy bar, and you can eat it while you’re riding without getting to overblown on the “mouthfeel”. And the boost…it comes fast and good.

Have fun.

I agree w/all the advice here.

In my experience the handlebars help MUCH more than anything else to prevent sore taint syndrome. And they need to be low enough to get a significant portion of your weight on your arms/hands and off your underside.

Hi Jonah,

I did 58 miles (London to Brighton) on a standard 26" Sem Cycle. I had only ever done 8 miles prior to the event!

So, I endorse all of the above re shorts, chamois butter (I used baby lotion) and also make sure your dietry preparations start the day before. Avoid: red meat, fatty foods, alcohol, sugar etc. Eat: pasta, chicken, fish, fresh and/or dried fuit.

Good luck with your ride and the best bit of advice is: Enjoy it!


I’ve been thinking about riding the “Hotter N Hell”, but not this year. I’m not in good enough shape yet. Maybe next year I’ll join you.

You’ll have to tell us how it goes. Pictures would be good too.

My best answer is to ask us a little earlier. Good advice above, but now you’ll have to be trying everything either at the last minute, or on the day-of. It’s better to get those experiences as part of your preparation…

During the ride, don’t neglect taking some breaks in the first half. If you don’t you may regret it during the second half! Not necessarily long ones, but what some of us call “circulation breaks” are always good.

Like everyone else said, a hand bar helps heaps. if it is adjustable, give it a shot set up long and low. I find that that is the best for getting weight off the saddle on longer rides.

If you are leanding into a handle your seat can be tilted forward a bit more than you would usually have it.

The above bits and pieces of advice and much much more have been covered in the thread “Training for 100 mile ride”.

Check it out.


PS welcome to the forums. May it be your new home. Lot’s of nice helpful people here and we don’t bite (much).

Thanks to everyone for all the advice!!

I want to thank you all for the advice at such a last minute. I am very excited about this milestone in my “unicycling career.” I have handlebars on my nimbus and even a disc brake…theres no question about the unicycle being worthy of this trip…I have 125/110 double hole kris holm cranks too. Ill probably use the 125s the whole time. I will try the lotion stuff that bikers use on the saddle area…never used it before but I want to make this as comfortable of a ride as possible…lol…Thanks again to everyone! If anyone wants to join me last minute…give me a call 972-268-2707! Thiis ride is going to be a blast!!

will do!

Just have fun!

Tom: priceless advise. You forgot to mention expresso.*
I have learned to break all the rules. It makes the ride more fun.*

Only advise I have is –
– Just have fun.*

If you haven’t tested it on a long ride then DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW!

Joe Myers

ok i hate to be a jerk but it’s espresso not expresso.

Off subject but…

I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.

whatever it’s still espresso.


Sometimes rides like this have an “elevation profile” they publish, so you can see where any big hills are. If it’s mostly flat, which I suspect could be the case in Texas, and you’ve spent any time at all riding the 110 setting, I think you’d find that to be easier on your legs. Even if there are small hills, the 110s could be better because you’d be more likely to have to stand up a bit for the climb, giving you an automatic circulation break.

But if you’re not comfortable with the 110s, a big event ride like this probably isn’t the best place to change.

Yeah, no matter what you do you’ll put in about 27,000 pedal revolutions. It doesn’t seem like it when comparing the two on shorter rides, but the 110s would really save your knees, and muscles. It’s a significantly larger range of motion with the 125s, and when you’re putting in big miles, you can really notice the difference. Like Tom said, if you don’t have experience with the 110s or don’t feel comfortable with them, stick with the 125s.

The ride was a huge success!

Thanks again for all your comments and advice. The ride went very well. I completed the 50 miles in just under 6 hours on saturday. This ride was an experience Ill never forget…next goal will be the 100k! I used the Nimbus Impulse with my 125 cranks the whole ride. As some of you suggested, I should not try anything new…so I didnt. Next ride, ill try using the 110s. My legs were fine until mile 40…then the cramps got really bad…really bad. I pushed through the rest of the ride after the last rest stop where I rehydrated with whatever they had (pickle juice, power aid, and water)…also had a few bananas and cookies. The ride was awesome…15,000 bikes and 2 unicycles…i never actually saw the other unicyclist…i think he was doing the 10 mile or 25…if anyone has tricks about preventing the cramps, id love to hear their advice!

Congratulations on your accomplishment!

I prevent or minimize leg cramps in long events by:

  • The more training prior to the event, the better (of course).
  • During the event, drink early and often, before you’re thirsty.
  • During the event, eat early and on a rigorous schedule (e.g. I eat Cliff Gel every 30 minutes, even when I’m not hungry)