Massive UPD - perhaps expected...

Today during my ritual Saturday 10 mile ride I experienced a most massive crash. I am very fortunate that I had knee, elbow, and wrist pads, and I had a helmet.

Until today I never thought that much about a helmet on a unicycle. I just wore it because it felt like part of the uniform, with the other pads.

But today, while using my CrazyCranks at 4.5", I psyched myself up and up and up and went super fast… Crazy like never before, totally pushing it… then had a massive crash… lawn sale for sure, as unicycle went bouncing away and I half-stumbled and the lost it and managed to go into tuck and roll ten or so feet. Even with the pads I lost a bit of knee and elbow skin, and lightly smacked my head against the pavement.

I got right back up, thanks to all the protection. That would have been a trip to the hospital. I hit my right knee and elbow and my left wrist really hard, and at the very least smacked my head against the asphalt.

Here’s the best part – the bike computer survived… 15.3 MPH!!! Just for the briefest instant, I was smoking, before I died. I got too close to the Sun and it melted my wings. This shatters my previous record of 12.4 MPH.

FYI the CrazyCranks are holding up extremely well. I changed them alot during my ride – 5.5 - 6.5 - 4.5 - 6.5 - 4.5 - 5.5. The 6.5- 4.5" is quite the transition, have to raise/lower the seat alot, and it takes a bit for the legs to deal with it.

Yeah, that’s it.

I forgot about that one aspect of adjustable cranks: that you have to adjust the seat height, too! Still, it’s got to be great changing cranks for long up- and down-hills. I wonder what will prove “better” in the end, adjustable cranks or geared unicycles. It might just end up being rider preference.

Too bad about your UPD, but as you point out, you DID manage to hit a new personal speed record, and that’s always nice. You didn’t mention what wheel size you are riding, but if that was on a small wheel, then it would explain why you are more likely to go flying – it’s harder to get your feet into proper running position from a small wheel than from a taller wheel. Losing balance on a Coker at 15mph isn’t as bad as losing balance on a 29" at 12 mph.

I dread the day I have a bad fall on my guni. I’ve hit 22 mph down a hill, and if I suddenly lost it at any speed over 18, I’d probably be meat, even with the pads and helmet.

Thanks for the Icarus reference. David Stone will soon have a faster Coker for you to try. This one is not made of wax and feathers. It’s a long haul from Vermont, though.

CrazyChris where in Vermont are you? I’m in Shelburne. Also know a bunch of riders in the Montelier area.


LOL!! Just to know we’ve got our priorities right…scars heal, but records stand until broken!


Perhaps a little off topic- but i am glad to hear of other VT unicyclists- I grew up in Monkton, south of Burlington a bit and spent last year in South Royalton at Vermont Law School in an ill fated attempt to kill my soul and abandon all that I loved for a career I soon figured out I was going to hate. Anyway, I’d like to say I’m going to be back in the area soon but I’m getting ready to move out to Montana now. Anyway, Vermont is great and if anybody needs a couple of tips on swimming holes, skiing, driving shortcuts, etc. I’m here to help. Also, there was a guy on a uni in the Free Press last spring- anybody know who it was?

This picture appeared in the Free Press December 26, 2002:

He’s a friend of mine. I don’t remember hearing about a uni picture last Spring, but I may have missed it.

The pic I saw had a caption that mentioned something about the guy saying how long it took him to learn, and I think he wasn’t wearing a hood, but I may be mistaken. Anyway, if there have been two uni’s in the Free Press in the last year, then all the better!

My ride

I was riding my Sun 28". And I live in beautiful Burlington VT.

And yeah I have to adjust the seat quite a bit. Bit of a pain, all in all. It’s pretty amazing how different the unicycle feels at different crank lengths and seat heights. 4.5" down any kind of hill is incredibly difficult. My speed record was actually slightly uphill!

I might try a different design, somethink like this:

That would need only a pedal wrench.

But I don’t know, my crank design is holding up well.


David_Stone, you went 22 mph downhill on a guni!!! Holy smokes that must have been one white knuckled ride! I can’t imagine that… must have been pretty cool, though.

I think the geared unis will win. After using my adjustable cranks for a while, I am of the opinion that they aren’t terribly practical for adapting to frequent terrain changes during a ride. The time to adjust them isn’t really the issue, IMHO, but rather it is how much your riding geometry changes. But a quicker change time (mine take 5-10 minutes) would be great.

The 6.5" to 4.5" transition is unbelievably difficult, at least for me. At 6.5 your legs more up and down alot. At 4.5 is seems like they hardly move at all, and I find free mounting to be incredibly hard. I usually leave them at 5.5 for tooling around.

Anyway enough rambling… I’m wound up having just returned from a Helmet show… they rocked.