Motivation for big rides.

I have a funny feeling we’re gonna head out on some epic rides together this summer :wink:

I found time by riding my commute. The most direct route was only 2.1 miles each way so I took a longer route, doing urban MUni. I would take 45 min to an hour each way & challenge myself enough to UPD ~ every 5 min.

For me if I’m already riding ~ 10 + hrs/ week my time is better spent in the gym hour for hour. The formula that seems to work for me is 25% of my total time doing something other than riding. Eg weights, core exercises, balance training, intense cardio.

Finally contacted the organizer of a 100 mile ride that will take place this summer to see what their take would be on allowing a unicycle rider into the event. I was told to call tomorrow and talk with them about it to see what accommodations I’d require.

Still on the fence about it though. I’ve only done a handful of rides since this thread, the longest being 45 miles and the other two being 25 and 17 miles.

I feel like given my youth (:p) and the fact that I did do nearly half a century, that I could probably get on and ride a hundred miles, but it would be long day if I wanted my knees to last.

whatever you do keep your knees healthy. I overtrained for Ride the Lobster (2008) and my knees are still paying the price. You are young but joint damage can be permanent.

On the subject of how to stay motivated to do big rides on a unicycle: get rid of your bike and make the rides interesting. It’s really hard to stay motivated going long distances if you know you have a perfectly good bike that can cover the same distance three times more efficiently.

Big Group Rides are More Motivating

I did a century as part of a big group ride (the MS150) after training to the point where I was (reasonably) comfortable doing 50-60 miles. The support I got from all the other riders was VERY motivating and made it easy to jump up that extra distance.

I’ve done 50 miles several times with big group rides and found similar motivation.

When it comes to riding unicycles in bike events, it’s better to ask forgiveness afterwards than permission before. This gets people paranoid, wondering if their insurance mentions unicycles (hopefully it doesn’t), and thinking you’re in more danger than the other riders at the event (you’re basically in less danger because you’re more visible).

You mentioned accommodations. The main difference with a unicycle on a century ride is that you’re generally slower, meaning less likely to finish as fast as the median bicyclist. Depending on their rules, they may want you off the course (get in sag wagon) after the cut-off point/time is reached.

If the event you’re looking at includes a metric century, that might be a better distance for “getting your feet wet”. After doing that, you’ll have more of an idea how much time you need to do such a distance, how much you like it, etc.

I’ve done several metric centuries as part of organized rides, but no centuries. I did one century ride, but it was self-supported. How much you enjoy the ride has a lot to do with how well you prepared your body with your training ahead of time. I’ve had fun rides, and forever, draggy rides.

To prepare, work yourself up to longer and longer rides, and try to ride on similar terrain. If there are hills on the ride, make sure your training isn’t all flat!

I would never try this.
If they stop you from riding at the start, you may have wasted your entrance fee, travel time and expenses, hotel costs, training time and effort, and time off from work.
I’d get permission first and reference past races that allow unicycles and past races you’ve done.

Differing opinions there. MuniOrBust has a good point especially if the ride has a steep registration fee or if you’re traveling to do it. That being said, so far I’ve never run into trouble by bringing a unicycle to any organized ride. That includes March of Dimes charity rides (my first long ride; 75k in 1980) and today’s more common century ride series’.

I think it’s less of a worry for the century-type rides, as they are held on public thoroughfares. These events often have requirements, such as everyone must wear helmets, ride single file, etc. but I haven’t come across any limitations about what you were allowed to ride, possibly because we’re out on public roads.

The other riders, for the most part, are very positive, and will help encourage you along the way. The more difficult part is having other riders still around you toward the end of the ride…

I would imagine it depends on the type of event. If it’s such a large event that there’ll be stragglers at the back no matter the wheel amount, you’ll probably be just fine, as worst case scenario you’ll be with those guys. If it’s a relatively small event where you’re expected to be a ‘competent’ road cyclist with an average of 20mph throughout the ride, and they’ve got a closed-off course that they’re under pressure to re-open after a certain amount of hours, the organisers might ask you not to unicycle as they might think you’ll be too slow to finnish before they close, which makes you a bit of a liability :smiley:

My current thought on this topic is, if it’s a race, I probably won’t bother (And if I did, I’d ask first). But if it’s just an event, I’d be happy to just turn up and potentially get sent home :smiley:

Yes, you’ll be required to keep up to whatever minimum is required for the ride, which has to be acceptable – it’s their event after all. My wife and I were the last finishers in the Solvang Prelude a couple of years back; for a few miles we were being stalked by one of the support vans. Finally we told them it was okay; they didn’t need to creep along behind us! Our reward at the finish? Basically nobody there, including the photographer that we’d paid to take our pictures. No more pre-purchasing of ride photos if they’re going to be at the end!

I agree. Races are a different story, where you will be riding in traffic with lots of bikes trying to go fast. Many moutnain bike events are very open to unicycles, but road (racing) events are probably going to be more restrictive. As the speeds get higher, the speed differential between you and them gets bigger. I definitely recommend asking the question when it’s a racing event. For best results, get a group of unicyclists to enter with you, and see if you can interest the organizers in doing a unicycle category. This will separate you from the bikes, and also give you someone more realistic to compete against. :slight_smile:

Little off topic,
Just out of curiousity, if you were on a geared 36er, and its not a race, how far lagging would you be if you’re an intermediate level rider, on road and light trails?
Perhaps not a hundred miles, but rather 30 miles…
Is it realistic to be able to keep up with bicyclists?

Really depends on the bicyclists. I can average about 9-10mph on about 20-mile rides on an ungeared 36er, and I’m not a great rider. I follow guys on Strava who can keep up 12+mph on long rides (on ungeared 36ers again), which is probably enough to keep up with cyclists as long as they’re not mashing it (My 2-wheeled rides, while usually a bit longer than my Uni rides, are usually between 12 and 14mph average).

Again, I go back to what I said on the previous page - expect to be at the back of the bunch with the slower/“just there for the fun of it” rider rather than the guys who show up on their carbon bikes and full racing kit. On a G36 you’ll probably be able to get somewhere towards the middle but the guys right at the front will always be the semi-pros going nuts (Even if it’s not a race, these guys exist, unless it’s a ride where you’re required to keep up together) :smiley:

Obviously this is all guesswork as I’ve never used a G36 and I’m a slow rider on both bikes and unis, so your mileage may vary!

Just now, I recalled and have heard from this one bicyclist that I talked to awhile ago. That they were biking and a couple of unicyclists were able to keep up with them, clocked at 26 mph. Im assuming that they had to have been on a geared 36er, and climbing the Redwood Gulch too!!

Whoa, 100 miles is whole helava alot, especially for my burning crotch. Why not get Fugs to ride with you?
I would really have to congratulate when/if you guys pull it off.:wink:

The event that I inquired about, is a ‘race’ in the fact that you have 10 hours to finish. He’s figuring on a 10mph average speed, so riding from 7 to 5. This actually seems pretty doable to me, as I’d average about 8mph on the climb of the course, and should be 12-15 on the descent. Insurance didn’t sound like an issue, other than the fact that if I decide to start an hour or two ahead of the other riders, I’m not covered or supported until the ride starts officially.

It’s not super serious, and when I mentioned gaining some publicity for Unicycling in Utah, he seemed to like the idea seeing as that means publicity for his ride.

My plan is to head out in the next coming weeks and do a shorter part of the course and see how I come out time/speed-wise.

UPD, Fugs has some kind of strange phobia of pavement and is therefore unable to ride on it.

I break out in a road rash just thinking of that last painful 50 miles:D

The best luck to you,
train safely, train hard!:wink:

I’m so scared!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

In a nutshell, assuming similar fitness levels the bike is going to be faster. So intermediate unicyclist will have trouble keeping up with intermediate bicyclist.

I’m an expert unicyclist with what I would call “good” fitness level (assuming I’ve trained properly) but I was the slowest rider at that event in Solvang. Part of that is because I have trouble going fast on the downhills, so I always get creamed on those. And that ride had some long, fast downhills! I do all right on the uphills, but nowhere near enough to make up for the downs… :frowning: