Maine to California (step one)

also be sure to bring a camera, plenty of extra memory cards, and plenty of extra batteries.
oh, and underwear and about five million pairs of bike shorts.

You might be able to get away with just two pairs to alternate. More important than 5 million pairs of shorts is having one Visa or Mastercard. When your shorts get thin, stop at an LBS and buy a new pair. Don’t carry anything you don’t need to.

if you all havent noticed by now, when i exaggerate i tend to use terms such as “five million” or “thousands…”

that actually seems like a really good idea. i should learn to do that kind of thing…

Why is that dear? Is it your belief that the members of these fora can only comprehend numbers when they’re blown totally out of proportion? While I’m just one old lady, it’s been my observation that most people posting questions in RSU are actually looking for specific, accurate recommendations.


no ma’am… i only use it when appropriate (i hope) and it’s kind of a habit of mine…:stuck_out_tongue:

If we’re talking about the same guy, it wasn’t a Coker. JJuggle went to meet him when he got to New York, he should be able to give you more info about the guy.
EDIT: Found the thread.

Surely you remember this?

And this?

This thread carries links to both the Schlumpf option and the Dave Stockton produced version of Pete Perron’s geared Coker.
Some more reviews of the Schlumpf here.

Sockmonster- I can’t really help you with your uni technicalities. But I COMPLETELY know what you mean by you don’t really know what to do with your life. Like I had no idea on what college to go to and my parents weren’t too thrilled I ended up in Montana but I felt like it was the right place for me. But now I’m not too sure if it is anymore… and i really don’t know what to do next. I’m planning on a death ride from Missoula, MT to Pullman, WA in the spring, and 250 mile ride. Man, I really sympathize and emphasize with you. I’m thinking of leaving Montana and going to school back in Seattle, but my parents would be pissed if I don’t stick with the Engineering route here. Plus I miss my friends a TON but they are all over the globe, I just don’t know what to do. But if your planning a trip from Peru, ME to Mexico and your completely serious about it, you should do it, only given you really know what your getting yourself into(I mean that is an INTENSE ride), go for it, it would truly be an experience and adventure of a life time; just to get things squared away in your life. Best of luck i hope you make the right calls for yourself.

Here are some brief, uncoalesced thoughts.

  1. You’ll get all the advice you could possibly use wrt uni kit.

  2. It would help GREATLY if you contacted publishers BEFORE you left on your fabu adventure. Perhaps (likely) you won’t get a contract/advance$, but you would be well armed with cluefulness. Crazy ideas can be turned into books, i know someone (ex of NYT) who landed on the NYT best seller list for many months.

  3. it would help if you had a unifying theme – little baby ducks, ugly children, Amurka of yesterday-- to your trip. Even if it’s “finding yourself”… anything you want to sell to a publisher should “say” something.

  4. A travelogue book really wants pictures. You will need a NICE digital camera. And flash memory and something to upload to remote storage and soemthing to write with every night. I have friends who do this for a living.
    (one is a former Chicago Sun Times columnist). They have NICE cameras and know how to use them.

  5. It helps to be a people person. People don['t want to read 250+ pages of how the pavement looks. They will want to read about your interactions with the rest of the world, which usu. means people. It would be nice if you like to chat up odd and interesting people.

  6. ADVANCE ROUTE PLANNING AND COORDINATION. It’s a long trip you contemplate, and you should have a plan for where you’re going to stay, and with whom for some fraction of the ride. Several reasons – to keep to a track/schedule, support and flavor/color for your book, and so your loving family will know what’s up.

  7. planning needs to recognize your human limits – you’re not going to be able to write much of a book if you Coker 100 miles/day because you’ll be too tired. If you only ride 30 miles/day you’ll be on the road for years.

  8. perhaps you could dictate your thoughts into an MP3 machine for later transcription.

  9. perhaps you could combine your book idea with a film. You’d probably need an indie film crew to help w/ that

  10. $$. It’s going to cost a lot more than you think. Food, laundry, electronics, LODGING, anti-itch cream…

  11. Go back to school and get a degree in Asian languages, business and finance and forget about all this nonsense. :slight_smile:

Stream of conciousness stuff to be sure, but food for thought. What you suggest sounds like great fun, but would take a lot of work to really do right. If my atom smoosher ever closes, maybe i’ll try it myself.

Bon Chance,


Some wicked suggestions in there.
Would you recommend that he reads other travellogues to get a feel for the genre or do you think that could cloud his abillity to do something fresh?

I’m thinking something like this, this and this.

Your idea is great, and your mom is right, go for it.

For some people, the vast organization, computer support, insta-web-casting approach is the right one.

For others, all that extra stuff would get in the way and dominate, control, and ruin a good adventure.

It’s up to you to decide which you are. To me, from this brief thread, it sounds like you’d be the second kind. In that case, you might just do well to hop on your uni and get going, and figure things out as you go. Throw a notebook and a pen in your backpack, and take a bunch of notes as you go. Keep your eyes open each day, and forget about the next day until it comes. If you write a book, great, if not, so what? The important thing about writing is to be there, seeing.

For adventure like that, the uni you ride, the camera you use or not, the route you take, are all simply background issues, almost not relevant. The idea is to see things that are not part of you now, to learn, and grow, and adapt.

I’ve done a lot of travelling, quit my job and went around the world, and the fullest, richest most interesting people were that second type. I’ve seen backpackers with sponsorship, full of GPS mapping, webcasting, uploading at every resupply point, etc etc etc, sitting in a room, overburdened with all the stuff and all the demands on them. On the same trail, were guys that were scrounging for the food for their next trail leg, but were on their way and full of energy, with tons of stories to tell about Mexico, or Alaska. And isn’t writing a book just telling a story?

Oh, and Youth Hostels are great ways to meet other people that have that same itch.

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I say go for the KH 29" splined, good for touring… all the above


While you figure out the unicycle, start circling the towns along the way. Figure out a route that will take you past interesting things, but keep you away from heavy traffic as much as possible.

Smart brother! Before there were Cokers, people rode cross-country (and around the world) on hard-tire big wheels, where you feel every nuance of the pavement beneath you. Believe me, I have a 45" big wheel (from nearby Kokomo), and I would never consider it for a long ride now that I also have a Coker. The big wheel is good for medium rides, or better yet, parades and shows.

You could also ride a Schlumpf. Coker gearing with the option of the 29" gear for the uphills. But those are relatively new, so it might be a bit of a risk to see how the hub holds up. Impossible to fix if something went wrong mid-trip.

Other than a Coker or a Schlumpf, the only other thing I’d consider is some other unicycle with an air tire that’s at least 36".

Uh, you’d be riding it for distance. Isn’t that what it’s for? I’d like to hear from you where the cheating part comes in. Better yet, do a little math and calculate the number of wheel turns you’d need to make in 3000 miles on a 24", a 26", 29" and a 36". I think you’ll find the 36" will still require plenty of pedal turns!

Downhill is always easier than up. But by the time you got to the really big mountains, you’d be ready for them. Like someone else mentioned, read posts by Aspenmike. I rode up Mt. Diablo last year with a group of Cokers and 29ers. My conclusion at the end of that ride? The Coker is better. Once you get down to your minimum sustainable pedaling speed, the Coker is automatically faster. Just have some long cranks for that part.

The FedEx suggestion was a great one. You could also carry a spare with you, though you’ll want to keep weight to a minimum. Best would be to use a rack system. You don’t want any extra weight on your crotch, so no backpacks! Search on Unibago to read about Scot Cooper’s old road machine.

There is nothing wrong with cotterless cranks. You only need splined if you plan on doing Trials with your Coker, which would be a bad idea in any case.

Yah, that sure sounds like fun. So explain again why you think a unicycle with a not-small wheel would be cheating? Certainly not to the general public? They would most likely consider a bigger wheel harder to ride.

I’m sure you know who Lars Clausen is. If not, you might want to learn now because he’s already ridden around the country and written one book, with another possibly in the works. When he originally contacted this forum for advice, he didn’t know about Cokers either. But he figured out pretty fast! It worked very well for him.

Equipment advice (In invite others to join in on this):

  • Deluxe Coker rim (Airfoil) with wide hub. The wide hub makes the wheel stronger and might also make it possible to store some of your stuff inside there. But that would be rotating mass. Better to have it on a rear rack or elsewhere in a non-rotating place. You could also get a Dave Stockton wheel, which is super-strong but a lot more expensive.

  • Frame type is optional. You could use a regular Coker frame, but I’d highly recommend getting a handlebar and rack setup for it. This might make it easier to just order a custom frame from Hunter or one of the other guys who has already built some for the Coker Tourers. I’d opt for an adjustable handlebar setup, which would offer you a choice of multiple hand positions. You’ll want handlebars. Like a bike, this will allow you to keep some of your weight off the seat.

  • Instead of a rear rack, which might make the cycle sluggish in handling, you could also try designing a pannier setup. This would be a pair of bags that hang down below the pedals. I’m not sure how much room there would be down there. You’d have to allow for some angle of turning, and curve them on the bottom so they wouldn’t scrape the ground in mounts and dismounts. Then they could just be a lower extension of your frame.

  • A good pair of adjustable cranks if you can find them. There are a few kinds out there. Nathan Hoover has a pair that seem to work for him. If not those, then a few different sizes, like 110 for the flats, 125 or 140 for mixed terrain, and some 170s for the big climbs.

  • And you may as well get it with a brake, which will make the downhills a lot more pleasant.

I can think of at least ten people who have ridden across North America between 1933 and 2003. One of the most recent was a school teacher from San Francisco who rode a plain old Schwinn 24". I think he finally made it, but he didn’t seek much publicity so we didn’t hear much about him. I still recommend a Coker or similar wheel!

So sounds like you need a coker bro. If nothing else, this trip is a great excuse to get yourself a really fantastic uni. This forum is one of the best resources you can use to prepare yourself and network places to crash along the way. I’m really excited for you and I would like to help you out in anyway possible. What do you think about setting up a website with a paypal account for donations?

As for the “people person” thing, Max has practically grown up in the middle of an Improv Comedy Troupe. He has an incredible wit, a very unique perspective and great attention to detail. It seems like everywhere he goes he ends up in some wacky situation or finds a quirky story to tell. From Michael Bolton’s limo attack to marriage proposals from strangers on the streets of Boston, Max’s unicycles have already brought him plenty of stories to tell. I can’t wait to hear or read about his adventures across the country.

You got some great suggestions here bro. I say make it happen. Duty Now

Okay, so I’m feeling good about the unicycle. A Coker Deluxe with an airsaddle and brakes. I have my aunt shopping for featherweight camping essentials, and has given me the number of a friend of hers that is a master welder. He could probably make me a nice rack. If my brother, Boojiboy, can set up a website for donations, and a map, and maybe a blog of sorts, then the project would have a little more clout when I start step two in the next couple of weeks- finding sponsers.

Thanks a lot, everyone. I’ll be on the road next May!


I just saw this today in the paper. For accomodations try:

I say go for it, but I seem to be a lot like you.


Any Idea how much ground can be covered in a day? I would be up to flying back somewhere along the trip and join the ride for 4 or 5 days and then fly back home.
Although we still need to find a good way to get a Coker on a plane

Oh yeah, I’d love some uni company here and there. Some cities I’m looking to pass through- Manchester, NH, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, St. Louis, MO, Flagstaff, AZ, Calexico, CA, and Mexicali, MX. Nothing about my route is solid, though, so I’m more than willing to take a couple days to ride out to meet a fellow unicyclist (especially if you’ll let me take a shower, shave, and sleep on your couch.)

But, I have to get sponsorship or else there is no ride. Any tips or suggestions?

maybe this book has some insight. or you could sell plasma like this guy

It would make sense to me to start by looking at companies with a track record of sponsoring simmilar rides. And by that I mean b*ke rides.
Also look at companies who can use the ‘coast-to-coast’ or ‘we get it there, whatever it takes’ aspect of your ride in their advertising campaigns. Courier companies spring to mind.

Yeah, definitely look at getting sponsored. You can get sponsored by Cliff bars for example like our local freeride club, or powerade, or anything that you would consider using on the ride. Another thing to look into is making it a charitable event by getting sponsored from friends, family, random people, fellow unicyclists, and donating money to an organization. If you were to come by DC I would ride with you for a little ways and would be glad to put you up for a night or two, as Im sure other unicyclists on this board would do the same. The key here is obviously planning, but you cant plan for everything and that is part of the reason why this adventure will be fun for you if you carry it out.