Long Distance unicycling

hi i like endurance unicycling the furtherest i’ve bin is 3 miles wihtout stopping and 6 miles with a break anyone elses lik elomg distance unicycling got any tipsa for me? is it worth getting a camel pack?

I like medium distance Unicycling. After a while I get uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to get a camelpack unless it was for racing or something. I prefer carrying a bag with several items including water. I think the type of seat you use, and your pants have an effect on how long you can ride. Usually my trousers have seams which rub and are annoying in long distance. I think short cranks are good for long distances because they allow for extra speed to cover more ground. Big wheels are good too but not everyone has those.

I never know what distance I’ve done, but I often ride for 3+ hrs which I’m sure will be about 10+ miles (on a Muni).

I also prefer water bottles as they’re cheaper and probably more hygenic than a camelback.

I’ve also found that if seat pain becomes a problem, a short break for some water helps to alleviate it as it’s time off the seat.

It’s important to make sure you’re carrying stuff like a pump, allen key for seat adjustment and maybe a wrench for your crank nuts. It’s a real pain if your air seat deflates/seat twists/crank comes loose, if you’re miles from home with no tools.

I went out with 5 guys yesterday who were all riding Muni for about 5-6 miles. Everyone of them had a camelback. I think it is easier to slip the hose in your mouth and take a few gulps rather than reaching around for a bottle. Some of the nicer ones also have room to store all your other supplies such as a wrench, pump etc…

Speaking as a cyclist, rather than a unicyclist… (but I imagine it’s applicable)

I’ve found that using a camelback is significantly better than a waterbottle. It’s a lot easier to reach, and much better for keeping yourself more continuously hydrated (little and often), leading to a much more “comfortable” ride. If cost is an issue, there are cheaper versions about, or existing backpacks can be retrofitted with bladders.

Also, I really wish I’d brought my cycling shorts up with me now. Oh well, term’s nearly done.

Regarding tools, for the speed I can maintain on a unicycle, I’d rather not carry them, and walk home if there’s a problem. On a bike I tend to carry them if I know I’m going to be out for some time.

It’s interesting that this thread should come up right now. This weekend I rode in the Central Virginia Chapter MS Bike Tour. It was a 2-day 150 mile tour (75 miles each day) going from Richmond to Williamsburg and back.

I used my 700c Semcycle XL lite with 125mm cranks, Miyata air saddle, and GB4 handle. I don’t have a coker, but I figure it wouldn’t have been good for this ride anyway since Virginia is a very hilly state, even as far east as Williamsburg. The 700c is great at climbing hills, which was the only time I was able to keep up with nearby bikers (There were about 250 cyclists in all, I was the only unicyclist, there were three recumbants.)

Saturday went well. For the first half (about 37 miles) I averaged about 11-12 mph. After the midway rest stop I slowed my pace down to about 8-9 mph because of some muscle spasming in my quads. I did manage to finish up though after 8 1/2 hours of riding (7am to 3:30pm). There were actually 4 bicyclists behind me when I crossed the finish line.

Sunday however, I decided there was no way I could go another 75 miles in the alloted time. So I rode a support vehicle to the second to last rest stop and unied the remaining 25 miles of the tour. So, 100 miles in 2 days. Not the whole tour, but still a record for me. Plus now I have something to work towards next year.

Toward the end, I found that I still had plenty of muscle strength and probably could have made the whole thing if that was the only factor. The thing that really limited what I could do though wasn’t muscle endurance, but pain thresh hold. If not for the pain I think I might have gone on forever. This pain wasn’t just the normal crotch soreness/chaffing though that was ever present (even with bike shorts, air saddle and this). The pain that really got to me seemed to come from deep inside my hips and knees (arthritis? I’m 20).

Anyway, It was a great weekend, the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Plus I was able to raise over $1000 for MS research. I was hoping to get more press coverage, but I didn’t get my press release out there quick enough. I talked with the PR person for the Central VA MS Society, and we’re gonna try to work it better for next year.

The thing that surprised me most was that throughout the whole ordeal, I heard not one clown or circus joke from the other cyclists. Indeed, they were all very supportive and interested in what I was doing. I received standing ovations at both finish lines (which means a lot more coming from people who just biked 75 miles.)

Well, ok, I better get back to work, I’ll write more later. Did anyone else ride in their Chapter’s bike tour? I thought I saw a thread a while ago from the guys in Conn. How did it go?

I’ve never paid more than $20 for padded b*ke shorts. They are a must if the ride is more than 10 or 15 minutes.

I carry water in bottles in fanny packs. I can carry 3-4 if I have to. I know of some rides that take me near spigots or water fountains to refill.

Camel backs are great for b*kers. So you can stay riding while drinking. I use water bottles for a couple of reasons. First, I’m usually stopped when drinking. I stop plenty while MUni-ing. B: They’re hot against my back. Memphis is a hot sweaty place in the spring, summer and fall (and sometimes winter). And 3: I don’t own one.

Later this summer, for those longer rides, when its really hot, I’ll probably get a camelback and still carry the fanny pack. I’ve mounted a water bottle on the seat post. But took it off because I like to keep the MUni as light as possible.

The only thing I can’t carry in a fanny pack (right now) is an air pump. I do carry flat repair (but no air??!!!), #6 Allen, 10 socket, 14 socket, socket wrench, little multi-tool, and Duct Tape (don’t leave home without it).

nice one!

as for the hip and knee pain, get professional advice but it might simply be as a result of riding 100 miles in 2 days!

I’ve done quite a few long rides. Personally I’m never without my camelbak. I get sweaty with or without it, but if I ride with it I can drink lots of water without having to mess around with bottles.

Camelbaks are great because you don’t have to stop to drink from them. Especially on solo rides I don’t really stop that much and I really need to drink quite often. With a camelbak, you can ride long technical bits flat out with the tube in your mouth and drink all the way down, rather than having to drink lots at the start and end of a section.

Proper camelbaks are really very nice and very well made, but the downside is they’re expensive. A cheaper option is to buy a Platypus bladder and put it inside a small rucksack you already have. You can also get Platypus brand rucksacks, or other rucksacks with special bits to hold the bladder in, I don’t know about the quality of these though.


I like to think I’m reasonably fit, and in ideal circumstances, I can do 12.5 - 13 miles in an hour on a Coker with 150s - but I can’t average that speed for much longer than an hour. So to average 11-12 mph on a 700c with 125s for 37 miles is amazing. And you wonder why bits started to hurt? :astonished:

But back to the original question - tips for doing distance.

First, build up to it. Don’t go on a 50 mile ride tomorrow if your furthest so far is 10 miles.

Second, set medium term targets: to ride 5 miles in a day; to ride to the cafe by the lake and back; to ride 5 miles without stopping; to ride 10 miles in a day; to ride for an hour without stopping; to do 15 miles in a day. And so on.

Third, when riding, set short term targets: I’ll ride to the cafe; I’ll stop at the top of the hill; I’ll complete the lap of the lake before I stop.

Fourth (OK, I’ll stop the numbering now!) keep a rhythm going. Too many stops will be bad for morale. Try to keep a sterady speed - too fast will wear you out; too slow will actually make the seat less comfortable. Really.

But have enough stops. It’s tempting to keep pushing on and on until suddenly it’s not fun any more and you’re a long way from base.

I tend to ride for about 45 minutes to an hour, then stop for 5 minutes. (If a stop’s too long, it does more harm than good.) As the day progresses, the time between stops reduces to around 10 - 15 minutes! On a day’s ride, I’ll normally have one proper stop for food and a hot drink, though.

You MUST take enough water and some calories. Coffee or tea is good for morale, but bad for hydration. (In the USA, tea is also bad for morale because they don’t understand how to make it. :roll_eyes: )

Camelbak (sic) or water bottle? For the last year, I’ve ridden with a waist pack with space for two water bottles. It tends to loosen as the ride progresses. Drinking from a bottle whilst riding is seldom a satisfying experience.

Today, I bought a Camelbak, but only because I’m planning to do the Blue Nun Mountain Mayhem in a couple of weeks, and I’ve developed a taste for time trials, and like to ride for an hour at a time without stopping. For touring and gentle riding, the water bottle gives an excuse to stop. Why go into the hills and forests if you’re not going to stop now and again to enjoy the view, relax, and soak up the atmosphere?

Some Camelbaks have space for a complete day’s equipment including food, drink, waterproofs. Others are simply water supplies.

And a note for USA readers. We have bum bags. Fy pack sounds rather rude to UK readers as Fy means an entirely different part of the anatomy. Perhaps we could compromise on Posterior Pouch?

Here, if you ask a sales clerk for a bum bag, she’ll show you a selection of colostomy bags. Or maybe hobo luggage.:stuck_out_tongue:

no women named F***y, then, eh?

though, being named Fanny here isn’t quite as sweet as Rose…

a Rose by any other name,
(anybody remember what Homer Simpson calls a rose, declaring it wouldn’t be as sweet?)

Does “fanny” not mean “bum” or “bottom” in the UK?

I call mine a butt bag. When riding, it’s always in the back.

Congratulations to Hell for the $1000 charity ride! 100 miles in 2 days is huge, especially if you haven’t trained much at long distances. Your pain probably has more to do with abusing your joints than anything else. In other words, it’s probably something along the lines of just too many wheel rotations in too few days. I get a similar problem with my knees if I ride too many miles in a day. I have to work my way up to more miles, though, to ride my Coker to work and back.

I love my Camelbak. I use it for all trail riding, but not riding to work. My bike has a bottle holder, and I’d rather not arrive at work with a huge sweatty spot on my back. I mostly only drink when stopped at the lights. On the trail, the Camelbak holds tools, spare tube, food bars, and a mini-pump. Handy trail stuff.

Camelbaks are expensive, but it’s one of those things where you get what you pay for. They are high quality and very, very tough. One of the advantages of it over a water bottle is the insulation; the water stays colder much longer, and my newer Camelbak has a big opening, making it easy to get ice in there. Fill it with ice and water on a 100 degree day, and it’ll stay cold for 5 hours or more!

I think the conversation was between Lisa and Bart. Lisa says, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” Bart replies something like, “Not if they were called stinkblossoms.”

Thanks for bringing this thread up, guys…for us uni-newbi’s, trying to get around the block is still difficult to do without falling, and these stories about long distance uniing are the kind of things that keep us determined and hopeful.

Thanks for the inspiration, all.


I didn’t know that. I was under the impression that a fanny was female genetalia, but after looking it up in the dictionary it seems that John is right.

    n : the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on [syn: buttocks, arse, butt, backside, bum, buns, can, fundament, hindquarters, hind end, keister, posterior, prat, rear, rear end, rump, stern, seat, tail, tail end, tooshie, tush, bottom, behind, derriere, ass]

Look up “fanny” in a British slang dictionary and you’ll get a very different definition. Do a Google search on “british slang” and you’ll find something like this:

Fanny - This is the word for a woman’s front bits! One doesn’t normally talk about anyone’s fanny as it is a bit rude. You certainly don’t have a fanny pack, or smack people on their fannys - you would get arrested for that! Careful use of this word in the UK is advised!

That was one of the more “G” rated definitions that I found.

I’ve been trying to use words like “hip pack” or “waist pack” instead of “fy pack" since learning of the British slang definition of that word. What’s funny is that CamelBak and most of the other US companies that sell “hip packs” call them "fy packs” on their web pages. :slight_smile:

with our brit-influenced history, u may want to be carefull with the use of the word i south africa as well

here in SA, the original brandname ‘MOONBAGS’ stuck as the generic
that also happened with cans of colddrinks
many years ago we had a range of canned softdrinks known as ‘GROOVY’
when serving certain sectors of the south african population it isn’t unusual to hear someone ask for a ‘groovy coke’, meaning a can as opposed to a bottle

back to the ‘pond-al’ divide
dont u guys have different interpretations of the word ‘nipple’ as well?


thanx for all the tips after considering the pros and conz i’ve decided 2 ge a camel pack wiht spac 2 carry tools food etc in thanx for the helpa nd tips!
well done on ou 100 mile uni ‘hell on a wheel’ that was amazing! i’d love 2 do that, maybe one day…:stuck_out_tongue:

John was almost right, Rowan is righter, according to my dictionary. It says, fanny is [informal] US English for bum or bottom, and [vulgar] UK English for female genitalia.

Klaas Bil
(used to completely different words for these)

Ms Potato, I think I will be getting a camelback too.

As we juggle to find an acceptable term for a pouch attached to a waist belt, it occurs to me that this internet will, over time, dilute and average out the entire world.

Understandable, but too bad in a way.

Viva l’differance! (sorry, I don’t speak/spell french)

Adios, tom.