Re: Check out the new content at (Barb K) writes:

> Be sure to check out Sem’s website and watch the video. It was great.

Yes, check out the picture gallery via the link:

picture gallery
submit your own pictures
and video of the event

There are dozens of pictures there about the big day and Sem’s ride
itself and two quicktime videos of two TV station’s coverage of the

Check out the video link (again):

Sem Abrahams 115 ft (2004)

It now shows a different, longer video of the record breaking ride!


Ken Fuchs <>

Did sem have control for the ride?

After watching the video’s of Sem’s ride I’m not so sure that it should count as a credible ride. It doesnt seem that he had control, maybe its impossible to demonstrait control over a uni that tall but riding as fast as you can untill you run out of chain and the cable harness that you have catches you from plumiting to your doom, that doesnt really seem like a ride to me. If this was to scale so to speak sem’s 28 foot ride its like riding a 5 foot giraffe 1.2 feet and falling off. Now I for one would not count that as a ride.

Still it was a cool attempt to beat a so called record.


Hey, Chex, I’ve ridden with you. Isn’t this not in control issue like the pot calling the kettle black or living in a glass house and throwing stones kinda thing? Control is for sissies.

Hey Harper…I’ve ridden with you and having only more control than Jamie doesn’t count for much!


I think the whole thing is kind of stupid because he isn’t balancing the unicycle at all it’s hanging from a crane and he’s just pedaling the thing forward the unicycle weighs thousands of pounds which he couldn’t possibly ballance so whats the point.


Actually, that is exactly the point. The ropes suspending the unicycle are slack. He really is balancing on the uni. The previous record was held by someone who had a unicycle that was being suspended by a crane, with the lines taut. This is the real thing. The support lines are a safety precaution. And the uni only weighs 208 pounds.

Oop Sorry my bad I thought it was the ride that we saw a video of at the cal muni weekend, I can’t seem to get most videos to play.


after thinking about it I really dont care, it was cool that he even built a unicycle that big and sat on the thing and pedaled 28 feet. Its alot further than I probably could have done concidering that I would pooped my pants getting out of the crane’s cherry picker.


well, somebody had to do it.
some people just want to have their name in that book, so good luck to them.

i wonder what the highest unicycle ever ridden without a saftey harness was?

I was curious to see how it compared to Sem’s earlier attempts (it doesn’t compare to the Steve McPeak one). Watching the video clips on the website doesn’t show too much, because the videos are very small, and the cycle very big. It was interesting to see Channels 2 and 4 use very similar shots of the ride.

Shame on the folks at Channel 4 for mentioning “That should be in the circus” or something similar at the end. The circus usually doesn’t have a high enough ceiling, thank you very much.

Anyway, I downloaded all the video clips from the site, and watched them at double size. First thing I noticed is that the TV footage appears to be of a different attempt than the “official” clip. I like the official clip the best, as only it shows the full cycle as it goes, and you can actually see the thing flexing like a giant bow! Plus it has by far the best sound track.

Does anyone agree with all that? He certainly was not riding as fast as he could. From watching the small videos only, it looks like he may be “falling” forward the whole distance. But watching the official clip at a larger size gave me a better picture. Hard to tell, but it looks like he definitely had the wheel in front of him at least a little bit. Hard to tell with the frame making “S” shapes.

Though people can probably question whether this cycle was ridden “under complete control,” a few things are certain:

  1. Based on the limited footage I’ve seen, this ride looks about equal in control to Sem’s 72’ ride in 1980. maybe better, but hard to tell with the limited video.

  2. Both the 115’ and the 72’ look like they were ridden with better control than Sem’s 45’. That cycle was very wiggly, so not sure how much one could have done with it, even with lots more practice. And I saw a lot of super-8 footage of that ride.

  3. Steve McPeak’s ride should now be listed as one of the “befores.” If Guinness does not accept this new ride, they will loose all credibility with us unicyclists. Rather, credibility will be restored for the ‘tallest unicycle’ record.

  4. It will be even harder to find an indoor venue to ride the next taller unicycle… :slight_smile:

So what defines control when riding a super-tall giraffe? Even stopping it at a desired spot might be super-hard, because the frame is flexing around. Idling might not be possible without a relatively high gear ratio, to move the wheel enough. Actually, it looked like there was some ratio other than 1:1 going on there. He made 5 revolutions of the pedals on the “official” video, which was surely more than 5 wheel rotations. With a 1:1 ratio I imagine it would require too much pedaling to be able to feel your results up there.

The amount of control demonstrated was limited. However it was the most control ever demonstrated on a unicycle over 72’ in height. He leaned forward, pedaled the wheel up underneath him (more or less), and covered 28’ of floor with the thing relatively straight up & down (as viewed from the side).

The part after the ride is where I’d be most likely to poop my pants. If anyone thinks all that safety equipment was redundant must not have noticed the “stopping” part. Whooo! The rides ended very abruptly. I assume there was some kind of stopper in the drivetrain to keep Sem from pedaling the chain off the wheel. That would be bad.

Along with the video clips shown in the left column of the web site, I also downloaded several short .avi clips, showing structural behaviors of the frame. These must have been done by the engineering firm that designed it, and were surely useful in being able to predict how the frame should behave under load. So it shouldn’t flex like a bow, rather like an “S” or two bows on top of each other.

With or without the blessing of Guinness, the new world record for me is 115’/35m.

So here’s the big question: Are Sem and Carlho willing to lower the seat and let Teresa ride it? That would increase the women’s record by 93’!

Does anyone know why only 30 feet of chain?

Was it simply, ‘already 60 feet of damn chain, that’s enough!’

Or…would a full loop chain never get enough tension?

As a unicyclist, I wouldn’t want to set out knowing that I would limited to only go 28 feet, so I think there must be a reason, mechanically, not financially, that the chain was two pieces.

Yeah I’m sorry that was a mistake on my part I was only watching the news feeds at the time I posted and when I saw the one on his site (non news feed) It deffenatlly shows that he was going at what looks like a pace where he was correcting for the movement of the wheel. I tried to edit my post but was too late.

The more I look at the video the more I see that although the ride was reletivly short. That for the period that he was on it he maintaned the unicycle staying upright on his own. aka legit ride.

Does anyone have any salt for my hat, its not that tastey.

Chain is heavy! I think that’s the main reason. Plus, how many links would be in about 220’ of chain? More than I’d want to worry about. Cable is lighter, and probalby safer, than all those individual parts.

I’m not the expert here, but I think the limit on how much you can ride is determined by your cable/trolley/crane setup. To use a trolley in the first place is limiting in that you can’t turn much, not that you’d probably want to. But it provides a way to keep a relatively short length of safety line, and have it move along with you.

For whatever reason, the decision was made to provide only a certain distance of “pedalability.” It looked like the crane setup had room in it to ride a little further, but I don’t know if that would have proved anything more. The ride would still be limited by the ability of the safety system to follow him along.

Maybe this is why not a full chain. Each link has a tiny amount of play in it. Extend that over about 220’, and it might become unmanageable, or have too much friction in it when tensioned. Bike chains are not designed to be more than about 6’ long, so there might be some risk involved as well.

See how many things you have to think about when going so far outside the normal parameters of unicycling?

How much does 220’ of chain cost?? Would you feel safe using a lot of bits of used chain? How much did the whole thing cost? That’s what I’d like to know. There does not appear to have been any sponsor. Was there a plan for one originally? Did the Abrahams finance the whole thing? Did it cost more than a new car?

No worries. I assumed most of you had only seen the small-size video clips. You can’t see much detail there.

If you’re still interested, try some tabasco sauce.

I wonder how Fear Factor would go if people were allowed to add Tabasco to the nasty stuff they had to eat? :smiley:

{Fear Factor is a TV show where people compete for a $50,000 prize by doing scary and gross things, like jumping from helicopters and eating any disgusting animal part you can think of}

On Oprah a while back (years) they had a group of audience volunteers sample the hottest known peppers.

No way would I do that, and I even volunteered at a Pepper Spray Demo to be the Perpper Spray-ee. I’ll let you in on a secret…it hurts!

Whoa! I didn’t notice that before. It’s not a continuous loop of chain. It’s spliced in the middle with cable. You can see it in this photo: Jason’s Pics

The following two articles in the Detroit News mention that it cost almost $20,000. I’m guessing that includes the cost of renting the Silverdome and the cranes and the other expenses. I wonder how much just the unicycle was along with the cost of designing it? Sem wins the who has spent the most on a unicycle award.

Livonia man tries for unicycle record
Unicyclist breaks world height record

Re: Re: Check out the new content at

68 meters of chain wil by to havy in it will never get enough tension

“john_childs” <>
schreef in bericht
> Sofa wrote:
> > *Does anyone know why only 30 feet of chain?
> >
> > Was it simply, ‘already 60 feet of damn chain, that’s enough!’
> >
> > Or…would a full loop chain never get enough tension?
> >
> > As a unicyclist, I wouldn’t want to set out knowing that I would
> > limited to only go 28 feet, so I think there must be a reason,
> > mechanically, not financially, that the chain was two pieces. *
> Whoa! I didn’t notice that before. It’s not a continuous loop of
> chain. It’s spliced in the middle with cable. You can see it in this
> photo: ‘Jason’s Pics’ (
> –
> john_childs - Guinness Mojo
> john_childs (at) hotmail (dot) com
> Gallery: ‘’ (
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> john_childs’s Profile:
> View this thread:

Re: Check out the new content at

Checkernuts <> wrote in message news:<>…
> Did sem have control for the ride?
> After watching the video’s of Sem’s ride I’m not so sure that it should
> count as a credible ride. It doesnt seem that he had control…

I agree - he didn’t have control. He was basically falling forwards
the entire way and tried to pedal fast enough to keep up. About half
way through the ride he stops pedaling and arches his body forward,
hanging by the safety strap. The unicycle continues to fall so far
forward that he never would have been able to pedal fast enough to
catch up. If he were riding a 10 foot Giraffe he would have fallen
quicker, but at 100+ feet it takes longer for a fall to the ground.
Also, if you look real careful, there’s a red safety strap without
slack and a yellow one with slack. I’m not sure why the two straps
are different colors but it is deceiving. You have to look close. It
looks like he’s being held up by the red strap and using it in an
attempt to keep the uni from falling (holding it with his legs).

It is a cool uni and a cool attempt - I’ll give him that. There
seemed to be too much flex in the pole to make for a controlled ride
though. He should have kept trying until he got used to it or maybe
got lucky enough to have a ride that was balanced/controlled.

Re: Re: Check out the new content at

now that checkernuts saw the larger video and changed his mind, who exactly are u agreeing with?

as for the chain discussion (and u guys know just how unmechanially gifted i am, so take this where it comes from), wouldn’t a shaft drive make more sense in this instance?
i have no idea what the weight implications would be (i assume that must be the main reason why not)

i had a dream about SEM taking the 115footer on a world tour, riding it at venues all around the world
could that be a way to recoup the $20 000?
wouldn’t that be a pretty kewl halftime show?
(would beat the crap out of janet jackson anyway)