Okay, so maybe this has been talked about (I have seen it mentioned) but I couldn’t find any threads during my limited search.
I got a book of bike touring events in Utah the other day, and with my recent bout of 36er riding, my interest has been piqued. I’m not ready to jump right in and go touring with a bunch of bikes next week, but was curious as to whether or not it’s feasible to think by July or August (provided I train a bit) I could do one of these half centuries or 85 milers or maybe even a century? I’m not looking to be competitive at all, really just want to get out there and ride as well as publicize the sport a bit by just getting out into the community a bit.
Quite a few people on the forum have ridden event rides with bikes; both long road rides and mountain bike events. The one you linked to looks like a good choice; I’d register for a distance I was sure I could handle.
Group road rides starting from LBSs are a different story. These rides are usually at a faster pace than a unicycle could hope to maintain. I would focus on training with solo rides and not worry about riding with bikes before the event. Try to put together some routes that are similar to what the event course will cover. If the event is close enough for you to pre-ride the route, even better.
Additionally, depending on your current level of fitness, you could very likely finish a long ride. Unlike running or other high-impact activities, road unicycling does not wear on your muscles as much and you can go much farther, but at no point would you ever need to stop riding.
Yes, you’d be very uncomfortable, but I have no doubts that a person who is reasonably fit (if they could finish a 30-40 mile unicycle ride, per se) could also finish 75-100.
I’ve been riding in some XC bike events and I was not last, but for my first attempt. But anyway the speed of weakest bikers is somehow similar to ours in the terrain. We are faster on uphill, they on downhill (as long as it is not very technical, then the weakest slow down). But in the road event it will be hard to keep up, especially if the bikers are on road bikes and it is not very uphill. But anyway, even if you’re riding last, they will be cheering at your attempt so go for it. Just select the distance, so that you can finish within the time frame. It sucks being taken down from the track
That’s what’s holding me back from the local MTB Challenge rides. Even though they’re not a race, they have a soft ‘time limit’ when the organisers will pack up, go home and award you a DNF.
I know I can do the distances involved, but, for example, on the local 30-miler the slowest bikers to finish do it in around 5 hours. I currently average around 4 mph over MTB terrain so I’m pretty certain I’d not be able to keep up with them.
I’m training hard this summer and hoping that I can join in some of those events next year, but also hoping that I make faster progress.
I originally thought it would take me a year of road unicycling before I was ready for a MUni at XMas 2013 - I actually bought the MUni in March and have been riding rougher and rougher trails ever since.
It still seems a way off, but I can see I’m improving.
The last couple of entries in the “Who has Done a Hundred-Mile Ride” thread are from riders who did it as part of MS150 rides.
What makes these rides perfect, in my mind, for a century attempt is that the back of the pack is filled with riders for whom this is a giant goal, and who will struggle in at just about the same pace as a unicyclist. They’ll probably manage a slightly faster pace on the bike, but you can make that back by lingering less at the rest stops.
These rides are well supported, you’ll gain a LOT of motivation from the rock star status granted you for the day, and you’ll have SAG support if you have to throw in the towel early.
Can you get ready by August? Without question. The biggest limiting factor for most folks in saddle soreness, I think, so just putting in all the miles you can to get used to sitting in the saddle for long periods is key.