The most extreme weather you‘ve ever ridden in

it would be interesting to know what the most extreme weather is you‘ve ever unicycled in. My records aren‘t so impressive (5 bft, 12 C, light rain), but at the moment it‘s about 8 bft, so I might try later on.
Post your worst or most interesting weather conditions here. Pics of your rides are also welcome.
Looking forward to your posts,

Just came back from a ride in 6 bft (gusts to 7). No problem mounting and riding, though some gusts made me use all 10 ft of pavement width.
I‘m sure there are a lot of you out there who will do way better.

I rode during one of the spring storms in Southern California. I started out riding in the gutter of a nearby street. The water was all the way up to the top of the curb. That was really fun. Then I rode down to the Aliso Creek (my nearby muni stomping ground). I could not recognize the landscape any more. The creek had turned into a fast-moving, wide river. I was riding on a paved bike bath, adjacent to the creek, and the high water was nearly to the point of flooding the bike path. I crossed over a foot bridge. Normally, the bridge clears the creek by 10 feet, but the water was running just under the bridge. The wind was blowing the rain sideways. I was sopping wet when I arrived home. I normally sweat like a pig, though, so not much difference there…

I try to avoid very gusty days. Grand Rapids is a pretty windy city, and I remember having 35 mph head and crosswinds on my commute once… wasn’t fun at all, but the temp was fine. Sustained wind isn’t bad, but heavy gusting can throw you off.

Honestly worse than that was our nighttime muni in the winter with 5 inches of snow. I knew the trail and was prepared with lights, but it’s completely black out there, and around 15-20 degrees. Break something and you’d be in a lot of trouble.

Not on the unicycle, but when touring in Colorado we were crossing a valley and hit hail up to about dime size… that was rather painful, but the temp was only 40 or so and winds weren’t too bad either, maybe 15.

I once unicycled on a very rainy, windy day without hurting myself, and also once in the middle of the winter when it was windy and the windchill was sub-zero. I almost froze my butt off on that long ride, good thing it was dry that day.

I’ve tried riding through snow but couldn’t go very far and returned home.

A windy day on the Central Otago Rail Trail:

I pedaled to work in snowstorms, well I pedal to work everyday. The worst I’ve been in I think it’s when I rode to work when it was -34C outside, that was without windchill.

Summer wise, I started riding once in the sun, to finish in a thunderstorm. I saw lightning at less than 100m from me. Trails were closed for 2 weeks after that ride because the water destroyed the trails.

Looks like a crosswind landing!

Two days ago I watched a movie in which it is said that if you run on extreme cold (-34°C is what I call extreme) you take the risk of having your lungs that explode because of crystallization of the air and you can die drowning in your own blood.
you were not running but unicycling, but that still sounds dangerous to me, but maybe the movie is saying bullshit for the scenario.

When a New Zealander says it’s windy, pay attention. First thing that came to my mind on this topic was the Marathon race at Unicon XV (New Zealand). Not a particularly windy day in Wellington, apparently, the race wasn’t cancelled or anything. The 10k was cancelled one night due to wind, but that was an urban course with parts along the edge of the water. So the weather on the day of the Marathon, by Wellington standards, was probably called “somewhat breezy”. I was literally bitch-slapped off the unicycle as I came around a hill with wind blowing on the other side of it. It was so gusty in that little section, I walked about 100m before starting up again. Of course there were probably 100 other people in that race. I don’t know if I was the only bitch. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cold: Coldest conditions I’ve been out in were in Saranac Lake, NY, on a day with the high temp of -11f (-23.9c), so Jaco Flans has me beat on that.

Ice: As seen here (sorry the image was so small but that page dates from the 90s), we found some ice that was quite frictionless. Cold temps with the risk of getting wet on top of that; par for the course for winter fun in Michigan…

Hot/Humid: Performing for hours in the Singapore wet heat was a challenge, but some people live in those conditions.

No A/C: At NAUCC 2004 in Salt Lake City, we had a high school gym with no air conditioning. It was fun playing basketball in a 94-degree gym with no air movement, but it was exhausting.

Riding Surface: This isn’t weather, but on a rained-all-day in Manhattan, I had to perform on wet astroturf (plastic artificial turf). This was under a tent, but the wetness just permeated everything. Not a recommended performing surface for unicycles!

I don’t know about the exploding lungs.
I’ve gone out in -10C to -30C many times and end up in just a technical shirt by the end of the ride.

Like Jaco, if you don’t go out in the cold, you don’t ride for a long time with our winters.

The drawback at anything less than -10C is that if something goes wrong and you can’t stay warm, you’re in big trouble.
This is where your tools in your backpack change to a winter ditch kit. (survival kit and SPOT device)

Most dangerous weather for me now is any strenuous riding above 27C. I have to watch for heat exhaustion/stroke. So now I try to have a lake swim immediately after to reduce my core temperature because it seems to help a lot.

Ken,should I be scared more than I already am? :-)))

Extreme weather conditions? I have many!

It’s Scott Wilton and me, on a mountain pass in China, waiting for the rest of the group. After 20 km of uphill, rainy, windy, cold, we waited over there half an hour… On the downhill I had my feet anesthetized…

Indonesia, Nusa Penida island. 40+km, Damn hot! I drank liters of water, liters of salts but I ended the day vomiting and with dizziness…

Who remebers “the epic day” in Uzbekistan? We had to stop for lunch, but we prefer not to stop because it was too freezing and we prefer to kept our bodies moving…

When Bruce (rest in pace) had the cerebral edema because of the high altitude on the Himalayas and the sherpas carried him down
Sending Bruce back down to lower altitude with 6 sherpas in a snowstorm
picture by Ken Looi

we were in a camping, and it started rain, a lot… After it ended we decide to ride…

Camargue, in the south of France. Very hot, no assistance and… after a UPD I lost my water bottle (I had it under my seat)…


-Ride it baby-


A “fit” person can run in those temperatures and lower. At least I have done it in my younger days, and a large number of others here in Alaska have run in those temps.
Two items that help is to breathe through nose, and if possible, wear some sort of protection over nose/mouth.
Of course, proper dressing goes without saying.
I’ve not heard of the lung problem, but have heard of possible bronchial tube problems

fwiw- in grade school here in Alaska where I live, we couldn’t wait for recess or local school tournaments to go out and play soccer during winter months. Here locally, it was called Alaska soccer. First time I saw how soccer is played normally, I literally couldn’t believe it. All that nice grass, and not much clothing. Try playing soccer on frozen ground, on ice, on snow, with lots of clothes and boots :slight_smile:

lol, maybe us homesteaders just didn’t know better, but cold didn’t stop us from doing anything…at least that I remember.

I know this is off topic but the standard sport at recess was three way tackle snow soccer. 3 “teams”, 2 balls, lots of chaos, sometimes somewhat resembling rugby. Method of play would spontaneously change.

I freeze my nostrils if I breath through my nose working hard in winter. I put my tongue against the top of my mouth and breath in around it making vorticies that seem to protect your throat from the freezing cold. When I was commercial fishing I had a homemade wool felt re-breather thing that made normal breathing comfortable in -50.

On the subject of epic rides I used to do 20-40km loops in winter before I remembered what x-country skis were for. For most of them the weather was actually pretty decent. I found some old ride reports Rocks, Roots, Ice, Snow, Swamp, Muskeg, Gravel and Sand: Ride Report – Esker loop '09

I have ridden in -40 just to say that I have done it and to see if a Monty Eagle Claw will crack at those temperatures like a Creepy Crawler, and the answer unfortunately is yes. Probably the coldest I have ridden in with a purpose/destination would be around -30 C a few times commuting to poly-tech or university depending what year it was.

Once, on the same day, I unicycled on the surface of Pluto and then on the surface of Mercury. I rode in flip-flops and without a helmet on both planets. It was tough but not that tough. Not like tailgating Tom Blackwood, for instance.

Naturally nothing fancy compared to yous. The Netherlands don’t really have extreme weather. In DK I rode in the snow at night a few times and once in heavy rainfall, where I couldn’t see anything through my glasses and I forgot a rainsuit, so I was soaking wet and got sick in the days after. :slight_smile:

Well, I do know that it’s not the best idea, but I had things to do, and no driving liscence (even if I had, I probably start way easier than my car :smiley: )

Being well covered is the key. When I go out in those temperature, I put on my space clothing, which I have no contact with the outside. I’ve ridden more than I should in those weathers, but hey, Canadian winters are long, if you dont move, it’ll be even longer.

Picture from a Fatbike CX race I did on my muni a few years back :wink:
Note this isn’t my space clothing, I ride with ski goggles when it’s really really cold, that was only really cold.

Geez, am I glad we don‘t have at cold in Germany! -2C is the coldest I hav been out on one wheel. Some winters don‘t even have daytime sub-zero temperatures.

Let’s see:

Snow at 4000+ meters in Nepal.

Wind gusts above 100kph in Moab.

Massive lightning storm during the time trial at Ride the Lobster.

I was in that race but where I was (we were spread out by time) I was mostly feeling wet and cold. Especially afterward; they made the cars take a very long, round-about way to the finish, to avoid driving on the course. You had a bunch of lycra-clad people standing around a park in the pouring rain, shivering. Also during the race it got very hard to see. With glasses on, you needed wipers, and without, I had to keep my eyes closed to slits in the pouring rain.

I’m sure Tom saw a lot more lightning during his time on the course, and I know it was there. That reminded me of the first Trials competition at a USA convention (before the IUF had one), in 1999 at the top of the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. In a lightning storm. The Muni race overlapped the time that was available for Trials. It was still finishing up as they were closing down the ski lifts (some people got stuck up there). Meanwhile, the little Trials course was being neglected because everyone was mostly trying to get out of there. But I gave it a try, in what was light rain at the time, under a scary sky of thunder and lightning. Smart? No, but I wanted to try the first Unicycle Trials competition course I ever had access to. Geoff Faraghan was my judge, and my wife videotaped my lame riding from a slightly opened car window, hating me because she doesn’t like thunder.

It was the only time in my life I will get to say I came in second in a Trials competition. The winner was Kris Holm (of course), the main course designer and main guy behind Trials as a uni event. Clearly from those results there were not too many entries…

The next day, the newspaper headline for the area said, I kid you not, “Lightning Strikes 10,000 Times.” :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: