Mt. Ventoux, 3X

from rec.bicycles.racing:

(I wish I could read Dutch. He also gives a speed, heart rate,
cadence graph for one Mt. Ventoux. Can anyone tell what kind
of uni he has; what crank length, wheel size, etc.?)

Did you see this nutter? He climbed the Mont Ventoux 3 times on 1 day
on his unicycle: http://www.lopa.be/ (pictures, and report in Dutch).

There is an online translator that can translate Dutch web pages into English at www.worldlingo.com
Direct link to online translator

The translation is still not very readable. :frowning:

It’s interesting that he’s using clipless pedals.

On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 18:18:06 GMT, hbaker1@pipeline.com wrote:

>from rec.bicycles.racing:
>
>(I wish I could read Dutch. He also gives a speed, heart rate,
>cadence graph for one Mt. Ventoux. Can anyone tell what kind
>of uni he has; what crank length, wheel size, etc.?)
>
>Did you see this nutter? He climbed the Mont Ventoux 3 times on 1 day
>on his unicycle: http://www.lopa.be/ (pictures, and report in Dutch).

The page seems to be written for non-unicyclists and does not contain a lot of uni-specific info. The uni is described as a standard 21" model, adapted to accept a 28" wheel. The crank size is unspecified; from the pictures I think they might be 170 or 175 mm. Slope on the Mt Ventoux is stated as “very steep, up to 12%” (which I don’t think is very steep but of course the total vertical difference still kills you). The speed/heartrate/etc graph on the web page is not of an actual Mt Ventoux climb but of a training session on a “hometrainer”.

I have e-mailed him for some more details.

Klaas Bil

(reposted on forum since newsgroup post didn’t propagate here)

Re: Mt. Ventoux, 3X

On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 18:18:06 GMT, hbaker1@pipeline.com wrote:

>from rec.bicycles.racing:
>
>(I wish I could read Dutch. He also gives a speed, heart rate,
>cadence graph for one Mt. Ventoux. Can anyone tell what kind
>of uni he has; what crank length, wheel size, etc.?)
>
>Did you see this nutter? He climbed the Mont Ventoux 3 times on 1 day
>on his unicycle: http://www.lopa.be/ (pictures, and report in Dutch).

The page seems to be written for non-unicyclists and does not contain
a lot of uni-specific info. The uni is described as a standard 21"
model, adapted to accept a 28" wheel. The crank size is unspecified;
from the pictures I think they might be 170 or 175 mm. Slope on the Mt
Ventoux is stated as “very steep, up to 12%” (which I don’t think is
very steep but of course the total vertical difference still kills
you). The speed/heartrate/etc graph on the web page is not of an
actual Mt Ventoux climb but of a training session on a “hometrainer”.

I have e-mailed him for some more details.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I go a sort of ok speed on my Coker… - Roger Davies

I lived at the foot of the Ventoux (in a tiny village called St Leger du Ventoux) for almost a year, and know the climb well. It’s a clear vertical mile from the river at the southern foot (le toulourenc) to the summit, a good day’s walk up and back just once. I’m amazed anyone could ride it in one go on a uni, let alone 3 times in a day. I’ve been meaning to go back and visit and ride it on the 2 wheeler, but maybe i’ll just take the 1 instead, after lots more training…

Some more details on this epic ride, supplied to me in Dutch by the rider himself (Belgian unicyclist Lode De Paepe):

Preparation was mainly on a 'home-trainer" (stationary bike) rather than on the unicycle. Riding in itself is not the problem, stamina is and the training was more controlled at home (PC connected to hometrainer, heart beat monitor etc).

Cranks were 155 mm from a child’s bike. Wheel 28".

Seat is a standard Viscount, no airseat or other mod.

He used so-called SPD pedals and shoes, which I understand to be clipless. They helped for climbing because he could also pull on the pedals. For the first half hour he managed to unclip his shoes in the case of a fall, thereafter he was too tired and just crashed into the tarmac. From this description and the fact that the total riding time was 9 hours, I guess it happened quite often. This is a new approach to falling for me. Possibly it makes more sense because the speed is low and the tarmac is near in case of a forward fall (because you climb).

I find this triple Mt Ventoux an awsome endeavour and way beyond what I could imagine doing.

Klaas Bil

(Reposted once more because after some 3 hours I get impatient when a post isn’t relayed. It just should be.)

Yes, I’m impressed.
But why Mt. Ventoux? That mountain is like a moonscape up at the top. It’s just ugly up there. Pick a climb that’s more visually attractive if you’re going to do something like that.

Re: Mt. Ventoux, 3X

Looks like the posts above answered most of these questions, but I didn’t see an answer to “what kind”. The single picture of the uni (the one without rider) shows a Pashley Muni. Pashley coined the term “MUni” for Mountain Unicycle, although their technology has not kept pace with the advances in that sport.

Probably because it is so well-known in bicyclist circles. The Mont Ventoux is the most mythical mountain of the Tour de France, which itself is the most prestigious cycling race in the world. It is also the place where British cyclist Tom Simpson died (incidentally, on my 14th birthday) of heat exhaustion and amphetamine abuse in a desperate attempt to be the first to arrive at the top of that day’s Tour de France etappe.

Tom Blackwood asked about the kind of uni. It is described as a standard low cost (<100 euro while 1 euro is slightly above 1 $) 20" unicycle of which he extended the forks to accommodate a 28" wheel.

Lode De Paepe has joined us in this thread but he did so via the newsgroup. Once again the propagation forum<>newsgroup is dead so his post doesn’t appear here. I’ll leave you guessing :slight_smile:

Klaas Bil

Re: Mt. Ventoux, 3X

Some more details on this epic ride, supplied to me in Dutch by the
rider himself (Belgian unicyclist Lode De Paepe):

Preparation was mainly on a 'home-trainer" (stationary bike) rather
than on the unicycle. Riding in itself is not the problem, stamina is
and the training was more controlled at home (PC connected to
hometrainer, heart beat monitor etc).

Cranks were 155 mm from a child’s bike. Wheel 28".

Seat is a standard Viscount, no airseat or other mod.

He used so-called SPD pedals and shoes, which I understand to be
clipless. They helped for climbing because he could also pull on the
pedals. For the first half hour he managed to unclip his shoes in the
case of a fall, thereafter he was too tired and just crashed into the
tarmac. From this description and the fact that the total riding time
was 9 hours, I guess it happened quite often. This is a new approach
to falling for me. Possibly it makes more sense because the speed is
low and the tarmac is near in case of a forward fall (because you
climb).

I find this triple Mt Ventoux an awsome endeavour and way beyond what
I could imagine doing.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I go a sort of ok speed on my Coker… - Roger Davies

Re: Mt. Ventoux, 3X

> He used so-called SPD pedals and shoes, which I understand to be
> clipless. They helped for climbing because he could also pull on the
> pedals. For the first half hour he managed to unclip his shoes in the
> case of a fall, thereafter he was too tired and just crashed into the
> tarmac. From this description and the fact that the total riding time
> was 9 hours, I guess it happened quite often. This is a new approach
> to falling for me. Possibly it makes more sense because the speed is
> low and the tarmac is near in case of a forward fall (because you
> climb).

It certainly looks like I am promoting a new trend in ‘how to get off
a unicycle the hard way’… well, I’m not! :wink:
I only ‘crashed’ once during the 3-fold climb, in the last bend, about
50 meters from the summet (last climb). It was close to 10 pm,
completely dark and the car that followed me had to take the turn at
the inside (another car was coming down) => no light for me => crash.
The most difficult part in riding with clipless pedals is to get the
confidence, knowing that one single moment of distraction is likely to
end in a dive…
Obviously, the use of clipless pedals only makes sense (at leat it
does to me) when riding on normal roads. Using them for off-road /
MUNI is probably not a good idea.

So far for now. I will put a page in english on the web in the near
future, describing the 3-fold Mt Ventoux climb from a unicyclers point
of view (unlike the dutch page that is aimed to a ‘normal’ audience).

Regards,
Lode De Paepe