Sydney to Gong Bike Ride

Today was the annual Sydney to Gong Bike Ride. It is a 90km (56miles) ride between Sydney and Wollongong. Check out the map at http://www.msnsw.org.au/oe/syd-gong-bike2002/docs/map.php

Although the start and finish are at about the same elevation the highest point is about 200m (650 feet) which you hit twice, with a trip to about sea level in between.

I have done this once before on a Bike (in 1999) which I did in about 3.5 hours. Today I tried to do it on a Unicycle. As I had only had the Coker for a week I knew that I would be doing very well if I managed to finish. I set my goal to get to Waterfall (40kms, 25 miles) which I did manage to achieve.

I must say that it was an absolute blast doing the part of the ride that I did. I got so many positive comments from people that a few times I thought that if I got one or two more my grin would be that big that the top of my head would fall off. I had several people take a picture of me as the rode past and some stop ahead of me to take a shot.

I also had a lot of fun riding up hills and passing people. As the event is held on main roads I also had many people drive past cheering me on.

Statistics

Distance: 41.51 kms
Average Speed: 14.54 kms/hour
Trip Time: 2hours, 51mins, Real Time: about 3hours 30mins
Max Speed: 44kms/hour (I suspect that this may have occurred during a failed mount, I think my real max was mid to low 20’s)

UPD’s: 4, one uphill, one downhill (put the brake on too hard), one on the flat (hit a dip in the road) and one turning a corner.

I took a break at each scheduled rest point plus a few others along the way (mainly to give a particular part of the anatomy a blood supply again).

As far as I know no one has ever completed the 90km leg on a Unicycle, Joel Penson did the 58km leg in 1999 on a 24”. So as I failed this year the title still stands, hopefully I can do this next year with more training.

I had two people mention that they could ride a Unicycle, one guy who owns and rides a 20” had a go on it as well, he did well considering that he had only ever ridden a 20” before today.

From the trip I think I have a pulled muscle in my Left Thigh that is a bit painful when I walk and my right knee was a bit sore on the trip between the station and home but apart from that I am feeling pretty good (I will see how I feel in the morning).

One question that I do have is what sort of saddle do people use for Long Distance Unicycling, I was using a Miyata Air Saddle with an Air Pillow and Roach Cover, it was fine for about 10-15kms and then I started to go numb.

James (jimmy)

Hi Jimmy,
Congrats on your ride. That’s a great accomplishment for only having the Coker a week. As for your question, I have a CF seat base, air pillow, Reecycle seat cover and the gb handle. I’m with you on the numbness. When it starts I push down on the handle and that gets my body weight off the seat long enough to get the circulation going again. Definately worth the money. Congrats again and hope to hear about more of your rides.

Aj

Hi Jimmy,

Sounds like you had a fun ride!

I had a similar experience in the Marton to Wanganui race (we did 35km legs). The crotch numbness also set in at about the 10k mark, using the same set up- CF seat base, Roach and airpillow. Had to stop a couple of times so that the numbness wouldn’t become permanent (I would like to have children someday). Anyhow, I think it’s always worse on a road ride compared with MUni, because your spinning so fast and you don’t get a chance to relieve your weight off the saddle for extended periods. And worse when when you’re racing. Like BigWheelTex said, you can relieve this by resting your weight on the handle.
The GB handle might be better for this than the miyata:
GB handle

BTW would you be interested in coming to NZ to do any races? We’re planning a unicycle assault on the Karapoti Classic in March next yr. Would be good to get as many people as poss.

Ken :slight_smile:

Are you kidding? Australians and New Zealanders don’t even speak the same language!

For anyone who is interested here is a profile of the route for the ride.

I bailed at Waterfall Station. I have riden down the hill on a bike and I think I hit about 50-60kms/hour, the road is very twisty so it wouldn’t have been easy espically in my physical state at the time.

Thanks

James (jimmy)

ps: I hope the picture works, I can’t seem to preview it.