Thinking about doing a 150-mile ride for MS.

Just got a thing in the mail today, addressed to the person who used to live here 2 years ago, inviting her to join the 150-mile MS cycle ride.
I think I want to enter on a uni.
I just don’t know if I can.
I’ve got pretty good endurance on a uni, but I’ve never gone more than about 20 miles a day on my 28-inch. I can do that in about 2 or 3 hours. I’m pretty sure I could do more, especially if I started training (right now I ride about once or twice a week, if that.)
The first day is 90 miles, the next day is 40. Together, this adds up to 150, according to them.

90 miles is a lot for one day.
I could also just do parts of it…they have smaller routes, down to 22 miles. So Maybe I could do that instead, but I’d really like to do the whole thing.

I suppose I’d have to buy a coker, though. I just don’t see myself doing this on my Sun 28. Probably need an airseat, too.

I know some of you have done this stuff. What do you think, realistically, I could do? I’m pretty fit, and the ride is Sept. 24th & 25th. What would be a good training schedule to get ready for it?

see the GURAI thread and trip reports linked within. there are people who’ve done similar mileages. It’s doable but definitely get yourself a coker. and train.

I’m doing it on September 10th and 11th. Good excuse to revive this thread.

I think really would need a Coker for that kind of distance. The 90 is a lot to do in one day. The WA state version is back to back 75 mile days, and that’s going to be a lot. I would not want to try 75 miles on a 28-er, although no doubt it’s been done.

I’ve been in pretty active training for the event, and would be happy to have some dialog with you if desired. The training regimen posted on is also worth consulting, although it may be overkill for just a two day ride. I’ve been trying to adhere to the principles of it (back to back rides, x miles without dismount, x miles in the rain, etc.) without adhering to the distance and elevation goals. It might give you a good base to then tailor for your specific situation and time constraints.

From an overall distance perspective, I rode 120 miles in May, 190 miles in June, and 202 miles in July. This is a good base, but in August I need to focus more on stringing some longer rides together back to back. I’ll probably try to do at least two 40/40 or 50/50 weekends between now and the event, although I don’t plan on riding the full 75 until I have to.

I hope you go for it…it’s a GREAT cause to support. PM me if you want to discuss more offline.


if you do it make sure you have a good saddle

Way to train, Tom! That is an impressive 3 months of training, you must look like superman by now! I admire your discipline to maintain the schedule.

I’m still plugging away at my 100 miles per month. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less, but the overall goals of 1,000 for the year is looking good. If I rode with you, I’d be over 1,000 by now.

At this years NAUCC, I did the 10K which was actually 8 plus miles. I did a personal best with an average speed of 12.1 mph. Still way behind the leaders, but great for me. My previous best for a distance of 5 plus miles was 11 mph. It’s nice to know my time in the saddle is paying off.


Re: Thinking about doing a 150-mile ride for MS.

If you’ve only got till september, you’d be pushed to get a coker and get trained up on it by then.

If I was to train for something like this and had under two months to train, I’d work up to 150 miles a week, then cut down a bit for the last couple of weeks, eg.
80, 100, 120, 140, 150, 150, 150,100, 50.

If you can possibly ride to work, then that’s a good way to get the miles in without wasting too much time. Last time I trained up properly, I did 20 miles commute 4 or 5 days a week, and one long ride at a weekend.

Don’t push yourself hard every day when training. I usually plan that every other ride is going to be a chilled out stop and look at the pretty flowers ride. It’s hard to not push yourself, but it makes a difference to how you ride on the hard days.

If it’s hilly, then it’ll be a lot more difficult than if it’s flat. A flat 90 miles in a day is mostly about will power and being happy to sit on your seat long enough. A hilly 90 requires an awful lot of fitness. If it’s flat, get some short cranks for the 29er and get used to them, if you’re riding a smaller wheel for this you’ll need to be used to 110 cranks or shorter, some people who’ve done long distances on 29ers have used 89s. I’ve done 60 miles on a 29er with 125s and it was doable, but I’d choose shorter by preference, especially for a longer ride.


Is a coker the best way to go for something like this?
I keep thinking that a geared uni might be best…I know several people have built them, and I’ve kicked around the idea of doing so as well. If I had more time, I certainly would, but right now I’m not sure I have the time to do it.
I could probably buy the cheap (non-deluxe) Coker pretty soon, but I have a hard time justifying spending that much on a uni I won’t use often…especially when really I could just donate that money to the MS society.

So you guys don’t try to ever do the full length of the ride before you do it?
I was planning on working my way up to being a 100 mile day followed by a 50 mile day, just to be sure I could do it.

Uniing to work is rather impracticle for me, as I work starting at 11:00pm and don’t like to ride in the dark too much. It’s 30 miles away, though, so in theory it should be good, except that my work has no sense of humour at all, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they fired me for doing so based on it being a “distraction/disturbance.” Plus, I’d be exhausted and drenched in sweat when I got there.

I should also mention that so far I’ve only used 150mm cranks on my 28. I reckon 125s might help quite a bit for distance training until I get a coker or geared uni.

A geared wheel may or may not be nice, I don’t think enough people have ridden this kind of distance on the latest ones to say whether they’re good, but it’d probably be nicer than a plain 29er. A coker is a very nice thing to have for this length of ride, but like you say, it might be silly to buy it if you’re not going to use it for other stuff. Cokers do take a bit of getting used to, if you’re going to have time to train tons and tons you should be okay, but otherwise you might not benefit from an added learning process.

I’d definately recommend shorter cranks on the 28", at least 125s, personally I’d not want to ride 90 miles on longer cranks than 110s. I use 110 cranks on a coker for that length of ride.

Riding to work really is the best way to get fit quickly. There are two things you’d need to do to make riding to work practical, firstly getting some kind of lights. Depending on whether it’s city riding or not, you might only need cheap lights to make you seen, otherwise, if you need to actually see by the lights, you could make some homebrew lights, they’re pretty cheap and easy to make. Secondly, you need some wet wipes / baby wipes and a change of clothes, which solves the being sweaty problem. Riding in the dark is great practice for long distance riding as it has so many similarities to riding when really tired. If you aren’t up to 60 miles a day, which you probably aren’t, you could park somewhere half way to work, ride there and back.

When I’ve done really long rides like this that I’ve trained for, I’ve trained up to about 75% of the distance, you should have time to work up to that, if you’re already pretty unicycling fit. On the day, adrenalin / determination get you through the other 25%.


My view on this is I know I can do it, so therefore there is no need to punish my body to that extent in advance of the ride. Similar analogy is with marathon running…marathoners don’t tend to run that distance in practice. Training is meant to build up your muscles, and that sort of endurance element breaks them down past the point of easy recovery. You train at shorter distances to build strength and endurance that can carry you through the one extreme event.

Right now I’m mixing up longer flat rides to build up “saddle callous” with shorter rides with lots of hills to work on my cardio and strength. Next step is to combine, and focus more on longer rides with lots of hills, so I get used to having to deliver over the longer distance. But I doubt I’ll go past 2/3rds of the actual event distance, i.e. will focus on back to back 40s or 50s.

There are probably better approaches, but this is where I’ve landed.

Thanks for the advice, guys.

I did 16 miles today in 2.5 hours on my 28"/150mm, pretty easy going, and could have done more, but I didn’t have time.
I’m pretty sure I could do 30miles a day like this at my current level in about 6 hours.

So, I’d say that would put me in pretty good shape if I had a Coker and 2 months to train.

I’ve ridden 2 Cokers before, just a few minutes each time, and I didn’t think it took too much adjusting, just a few minutes to get used to the weight and turning.

I’m seriously thinking about building a geared uni, though. If only I had more time…:frowning:

I wonder when the Austin one is, I ought to do that

No doubt.

I don’t know if I had the best setup, but my skinny 700c with 125 cranks got me up every hill between Richmond and Williamsburg (and back). I actually managed to pace with a biker for a while by passing her on the hills. I think riding the whole distance during training kinda defeats the purpose. The most I ever rode in training was 40 miles. I usually rode about 25-30.

The real key to keeping up (or at least finishing on time) is to take really short breaks at the rest stops. I never took breaks longer than 10 minutes, sometimes as short as five minutes. I managed to “pace” with several bikers this way too. I’d meet them at a rest stop, leave before them, they’d pass me 30 minutes later, I’d catch up with them at the next one and leave before them again.

This is from day 1:

well, I talked to my local bike shop today, and the guy there, having never ridden a unicycle, thought that my idea of building a geared uni would be better, and gave me lots of price quotes on parts.
Looks like it will be a lot cheaper than a Coker, if it works.
Big if. :frowning:

I’d be really surprised if you managed much cheaper than a stock coker with all the parts you’d need and the machining you’d need to do. Even a non-geared 29er built from parts comes pretty close in cost to a coker once you’ve remembered all the bits.

Be careful with asking people in bike shops about unicycles, as they’ll usually not have a clue about things like unicycles not having freewheels or bottom brackets, and clever stuff you have to do on a geared uni to make the pedal axis be through the wheel rather than on top of the wheel.


150 is a lot of miles

Yes it is Boy…you’ve really nailed that observation. It’s a big number. Why, if it were IQ points instead of miles, it would be…well, way beyond where your’s is.

ohh bbbbbbuuuurrnnnnn

why are you here?