Today ws a perfect fall day in Pennsylvania. Temperature was around 55 and the trees looked beautiful with the fall colors. It was too nice not to go for a ride. I have only logged about 40 miles since Sept 10 with the longest being 12 miles, so I can’t say I was well prepared for the ride. But something inside me wanted to be able to say I’ve ridden a longer distance, so off I went.
I was determined to break my best of 18 miles. I knew I’d be okay for 20 miles and hoped to be feeling good enough to do 25 or 30. I went to a Rails to Trails path nearby to avoid traffic and hills. We have lots of steep hills in western PA, I wasn’t in the mood for them today. I was riding solo and settled into a 9 mph pace. After about 5 miles I had picked up to a 9.1 mile pace. At 14 miles I was still at 9.1 and turned to head back home. I picked up the pace a little and finished with the 9.2 average speed.
Overall I was feeling pretty good and due to the longer ride I learned a few things. I have finally gotten pretty comfortable with riding with both hands on the saddle handle (I don’t have handlebars on it yet) and am finding I prefer riding that way. It was helpful in getting weight off my seat and it also seems to prevent a lot of extra wheel and upper body movement.
I also started to add another step before free mounting. I like the extra momentum if gives me. It makes it easier to get past the initial “still stand” and into the pedaling mode quicker. It also seems to be easier when my legs are getting tired.
Stats for the day:
Total miles - 31.24
Total ride time - 4 hrs, 15 min
Total time on saddle - 3 hrs, 22 min
Avg speed - 9.2
Max speed - 12.7
Temp at 55 was perfect for shorts and a t shirt. I was sweating mildly and was just a bit cool all the time. Perfect!
There were some areas on the trail that had lots of maple trees hanging over the path. These maples had bright yellow leaves that were still on the trees but were also on the ground and across the path. It made these sections yellow above, below and to the sides. Small sections of grass and other plants were poking through and giving a little variety in the color. when I rode through these sections, the leaves on the path would create a surreal blurring effect as I rode. Normally the path was gray and didn’t show the motion much, but the leaves on the path made an interesting visual. It was fun! It sure is beautiful in PA in the fall. Oh yeah, the two whitetail dear that ran on the path ahead of me for a little while for nice to see also.
It was a good ride for me. Despite my lack of training I held up pretty well. My legs are tired but not totally trashed. I stayed fairly comfortable on the saddle, but will definitely be upgrading my saddle to an air seat for next year’s riding.
Distance is fun but I got a little lonely. Need to get another coker rider in the area. Today would have been a lot more fun if I had another rider with me. (That’s right unidaddy, I’m talking about you!)
Oh you definately should. The Pennsylvania country side is amazing in the fall, and in my opinion, there is good riding for every style of unicycling very close to me. Although, I am sure everyone feels this way.
I mean really, you go to Philly, you get street and trials and freestyle. You go to Ridley Creek State Park, you get Muni. you go to Lancaster, you get good cruising territory.
(I’m naming the places close to me, there are many more good places)
Okay, now I know the answer to the question of which uni to buy first!!! I’ll have to put a computer on my Schwinn to see how fast I can go…9.1, 9.1…I can just imagine my legs flailing around and me running out all kinds of UPD’s. Coker it is. I’m working out a deal with my wife as I write this…it’s gonna cost me!!
I’d like to do the fifty mile ride that I was telling you about from Coraopolis to the beginning of the Panhandle trail and back. I wonder if I could get a Coker here before the leaves are all gone?
Way to go, Bill…I’m all charged up just reading about it.
On the ride yesterday, I noticed how all the bike riders had long sleeves and their legs covered. They had to wear extra clothing to protect them from the wind chill. At the slower unicycle speed, we can ride all winter as long as there isn’t too much snow on the trail. A ride with an inch or two of snow on the trail would be cool. (no pun intended).
Maybe add a light and do some nights rides? Hmmm… could be an interesting winter.
Re: Re: New personal best for coker ride - 31 miles.
It means I had 53 minutes of break time that was spread throughout the ride. I have ridden at most an hour without getting off and it got pretty uncomfortable. Usually I will take a short break about every 30 minutes. Near the end of this ride I was taking a break every 20 minutes or so. I find that a short 1 minute break does wonders for the saddle discomfort. I usually try to keep the breaks quick, but on a few breaks I took off my camelbak to get out an energy bar or some cytomax. I only keep water in my camelbak bladder. On two of the breaks I called my wife to let her know I was okay and was going to be out later since I opted for the longer ride. On one break I stopped to talked to a person who was looking at a trail map and we talked for about 5 - 7 minutes.
Lots of short breaks is what works best for me to minimize saddle discomfort. When I take a saddle break, I usually do a couple of slow and deep squats and stretch out the quads a little. I seldom ride more than 30 minutes without a short saddle break.
Nice, Long rides are always exciting. What size cranks did you use? I plan on adding a coker to my collection next summer, but I am going to stick to my 29"er for campus riding now. I used to do the same thing with my seat (hold it in front), but Handlebars are so nice to have on long rides.
I recently bought a 28" Sun and rode 10 miles non-stop around Lake Hefner in OKC on a stock seat. In case anyone is wondering DON’T DO THAT! I tried it again on a KH seat and it was far better on comfort and the handle made adjustments and resting on my tricep possible. Never have considered riding farther than that, but maybe some day when I can’t go off-roading…
This is what I wanted to read. Someone riding for the sheer pleasure of the ride, seeing the world around them, appreciating it, and sharing the experience. It may be a week or two before I get the opportunity to ride the Coker again, and I must admit I’ve missed a couple of fairly recent chances because of the grotty weather. Thanks for the inspiration.
In response to an earlier comment on the thread, 1 - 2 hours without a stop is possible on a Coker. On a Viscount seat (not air seat) I’ve done 2 hours non stop a couple of times - 22 miles, if I remember correctly. It hurts, though.
Last week did 37.7 on my 28" at the LBI Unithon. It took 4 hours 15 minutes of riding time. Besides my knee hurting it was a great day of riding. I’m now riding too far for the 28er…I need a Coker…I need a Coker baaaaaad!
My personal best for a non-stop ride is presently at 13 miles, a ride time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. The route was on a road that had rolling hills (at least we call them rolling hills in western PA) and it was really windy. I was leaning sideways into the wind at times and only was able to average 8.5 mph.
Many times I spent a little time riding standing for 10 revolutions or so. It made a big difference for the seat. It was a little tiring on the legs, but did wonders for the seat discomfort.
Typically I am stopping every 20 - 30 minutes for a 1 minute seat break. I make a strong effort to make seat breaks very short. Doesn’t take much time to allow the butt to recover.
This week I’ll be on vacation and plan to ride daily for 7 days. My plan is to do 100 miles minimum for this week. That’ll also be a new personal best for me. It might be interesting to see how well the seat discomfort pans out on daily riding.