I’ve always been pretty good at riding fast, however it’s not something I’ve ever trained for, and something I’ve never consciously aspired to be better at. Until now I guess.
With the announcement of the date for the 2022 UK National Unicycle Road Race (19th June 2022 as part of the Horwich Festival of Racing), I thought I’d pop out for a quick ride to see how I’m doing. Needless to say that barely riding in the last two years has not put me in good shape, but I’m doing better than I expected.
- I did 8 (flat) miles about as fast as I could go and my legs are fine. There’s clearly some progress I can make here as going up hills slows me down more than I’d like, but I’m not too concerned.
- I didn’t at any point feel unstable or out of control.
- When riding at speed my riding felt bouncier than I would like (110mm KH Spirit cranks).
- It felt like I was compensating for the squirrelly nature of the wheel more than I’d like (NR Lite, Foss tube).
- Breathing started to hurt a little a few miles in.
- My right shoulder hurt.
- My lower back hurt.
- My neck hurt.
I don’t know whether the bounciness at speed is something that’s particularly resolvable without shorter cranks (getting some more holes drilled in these Spirits has been on my mind for a few years). I’ve always had this issue to an extent. My seat is maybe marginally lower than I’d have it for proper racing, but not much.
The squirrelly nature of the wheel feels like possibly the cause of much of my arm, back, and neck pain, as I’m having to compensate the movement with my arm(s) holding the bars, and I think I lock up a little when doing so, but with a future carbon rim it feels like this is only going to get worse.
Slight chest pains is always something I’ve experienced a little doing this kind of thing - I should probably talk to my GP about it, but I believe it’s at least partially down to my poor breathing technique.
Who else races? Anything sounding familiar? Any tips?