Moonride 24hr race

Hey everyone,

We’re just in the process of putting together our MUni teams for the Moonride . This is a 24hr mountainbike race in Rotorua, New Zealand. There were 2-3000 cyclists last year making it a really social event. Teams of 5 riders do as many of the 6-8km laps as possible in 24hrs. And we have Nathan Hoover as our guest this year going the whole 24hrs solo :slight_smile: .

Anyway, we have just about got two teams and two soloists finalised. I thought I’d throw an invite to any other potential overseas riders that would like to be in a team or solo (there is a 12hr option too). Especially to some of you across the ditch- airfares are pretty cheap from Australia at the moment :slight_smile:

Check out the NZUNi forums if you are interested:



Everyone who hasn’t gone to a 24 hour race:

I highly encourage you to try one out!

It’s a fantastic social gathering of great people. Add to that that everyone there looks at you like you are superhuman! Add to that your in between lap time is filled with zero, or close to zero maintenance…you wouldn’t believe what 300 gritty chains sound like in unison.

Whether there for a serious competition, or easier paced laps and some beers, you can’t have a bad time.

And for the 12 hour solo…don’t think of it as too intimidating…even if your laps are seperated by an hour or more, it is still very impressive, and a very good time. (I have never done a 12 hour, but it would be very similar…I don’t know many unicyclists that would want to go lap after lap after lap with no breaks…or am I wrong here?) I was wishing to have done at least one more lap in the last 24 hour race…I think a solo even is in my future.

I’ve ridden in the 5-Boro Bike Tour in New York City. That’s about 20,000 bikes, most of which are not in race-ready condition! It’s still a lot quieter than the same street with cars on it… :slight_smile:

I’ll be part of Team Cyclops in May at the Laguna Seca raceway. I just wish our laps were a little shorter than the prox. 16 km they are, with about 300m (?) of climbing…

Yes, long laps are not too cool. Just for lap count.

The first one I did had 17.5km laps which took sometimes over 2 hours (i forget the times, but they went from very good to, still not SO bad)

This last one we did (and the upcoming in May) is around 12.5km, the lap times were generally around an hour and 10 or 20…Excpet Ryan’s time skewwing sub-hour laps.

edit: no, it’s starting to come back to me…some of my first laps downright sucked! (it was my first season of MUni though, I’d like to check it out again, just to gauge myself)

Nathan and I are both going 24hrs solo. I did 24hrs solo and Peter Bier and Tony Melton both did 12hrs solo last year.

Somebody kick me:

That’s impressive, but what kind of rest times were you doing? Please tell you weren’t going straight! I have some serious conditioning to work on!

For the 12 hour solo I went pretty much straight through except for quick toilet stops and a couple of 3 minute breaks (to eat or adjust my unicycle). I survived mostly on power bars and food I could eat while cycling.

Tony rode more hard out than me and was much faster. I think he may have stopped for an actual meal somewhere in the 12 hours.

From memory I had a 3 minute break after about lap 3, lap 5 and all subsequent laps. Not sure whether that was the best way to go or not.

Wow! :astonished:

Sofa- I had far too many rest breaks :frowning:

I was reading the latest issue of NZ MTB magazine- they did an interview on our top 24hr racer who won the Moonride and also another 24hr event in NZ. He reckons that with 24hr events how well you do is roughly split into 40% mental, 30%physical and 30% equipment and support. I agree with him totally.

Once you stop at 2am- you have to get going as soon as you can. I snuggled up to a warm gas burner and some blankets and slept for a solid 2hrs. It took a huge amount of willpower to push myself back out into the freezing darkness again. If I had been better mentally prepared- I would have kept to 3min rest breaks max. Maybe a bit more for a meal break.

Equipment is almost as important. I had 25W of lightling which I thought would be more than adequate. Come 2am and fog and mist and muddy glasses and fatigue and I found myself woefully blind. If you want to ride at daylight speeds I think you need at least 35W or a HID system. I also found that my gear ratio was way off- Tony and Peter on their Cokers (150/170mm cranks) lapped my ass many times on my 125mm cranked 29’er. I won’t make that mistake again. And a dedicated support crew is probably the most important thing- you don’t want to be hunting for your batteries or finding someone to charge up your batteries in the middle of the night.

Anyway, I’ll see how much of that I put into practice this year :stuck_out_tongue:


p/s the 24hr Moonride is the only event that has ever brought me to tears- I bawled my eyes out for a good five minutes after finishing

I still don’t know how you did last year’s Moonride 24 hours solo, Ken. 12 hours solo was more than enough for me - it was the hardest unicycle event I’ve ever done.

For those interested in joining us at the Moonride there’s a forum here:

Having done both 12 hour and attempted a 24 hour ride, I’d say that a 12 hour ride is possible to get through just with a normal training and fitness alone, once you’ve built that up it’s just like a very long day ride, whereas a 24 hour ride is something totally beyond. Definately the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

At the point I did the 24 hour, I could ride for 10-12 hours with 5 minute breaks every 2-3 hours, but after that I had to take longer and more frequent breaks. From talking to the top solo riders and their helpers, they were riding solidly and eating on the go, only stopping to go to the loo. Their helpers were holding out bags of food for them and they were grabbing them as they rode past. It makes sense to me that it’s more efficient to ride constantly at the same intensity than to take breaks.

The level of fitness and dedication of the top solo riders is unbelievable and takes far far more work than I could ever put in. I was riding 60 miles a week as basic training plus long rides at the weekends for the 24hr, and they had put in probably twice as much training time as me. I think I rode well over 2000 miles in training for it.

The biggest threat to a 24hr rider is crashing, either literally falling off hard, which happened to me and cut out a big chunk of the time, or from exhaustion, which was happening to a lot of people. You have to be really careful not to be overcompetitive and ride beyond your limits.


I think it’s absolutely amazing that you guys can possibly ride constantly for so long. 12 hours is a very very long time…and 24hrs is double that! :slight_smile:

Did you find that easy things (in terms of skill) became more difficult as you went on?


Edit - Tony, check you PM’s

We did it! 24 hours of extreme MUni insanity!!

Big ups to Ken Looi and Nathan Hoover who each completed the 24hour event solo!!

It was a really good event and it’s the first time i’ve ever done anything like it. We had two teams of 5 unicyclists, “monoride moonriders #1” and “monoride moonriders #2”. So yeah, 12 unicyclists at one MTB event was a pretty good showing for lil old NZ.

There’s lots of photos and probably a few stories to come but I’ll just fill you in on the (somewhat unofficial) results and stuff…

1st place 24hr solo unicyclist: Ken Looi (25 laps - approx.175km)-NEW WORLD RECORD

2nd place 24hr solo unicyclist: Nathan Hoover (16 laps - approx.112km)

1st place 24hr unicycle team: Monoriders#1 (34 laps - approx.238km)

2nd place 24hr unicycle team: Monoriders#2 (24 laps - approx.168km)

waits for round of applause to subside
All up that’s nearly 700kms of offroad day and night riding on a busy 7km mountainbike track!

We were using quite a variety of wheel sizes for the laps, 24" through to 36". The best laptimes were achieved on the Cokers, Tony Melton and Rowan Chivers both managed 27minute laps which, believe me, is very quick (the best mountain bikers can get round in about 18 minutes).

Rowan also (somehow) managed a 33 minute lap on his 24" MUni!

Big thanks to Nathan for coming over to NZ, it was great to meet you. I hope to make it over to USA sooner than later so I can have a go at avoiding the Poison Oak! :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s 3 pages of photos to check out if you go to and choose “Uni Cyclists” from the drop down menu.

As I said tho, more photos to come.


Congratulations to you all. Can’t wait for more photos.

Joe’s posted the first batch of photos at under “Moonride 2004”

Nice photos, Pete! Thanks for posting them.