This whole hour record thing

Pete, I’m still bothered by the idea of ‘setting’ a record that is only a
record in name. You were not the first to achieve a particular speed
record, and any of several people could break the ‘record’ any time. I
agree that it’s great to promote unicycling and to inspire people to climb
to new heights, but I really wish that the ‘record’ were a bit more

So I was wondering: Do you think that with more training, you could get
accustomed to riding that speed monster a bit faster? I mean, if you could
comfortably ride at, say, 17 mph for a full hour, then you’d have an
accomplishment under your belt that almost no one else could (currently)
lay claim to, with the possible exceptions of Ken, Christian, and possibly
my brother John. If you could maintain 18 mph (fast, oh my! But not too
high a cadence thanks to the virtual wheel size), then we could more
surely say that no one has ever maintained that speed for an hour – it
could be a true record.

As I noted in my earlier posts, you’ve accomplished some wonderful work
with the geared unicycle, and it’s really impressive that you’ve ridden so
fast ‘at your age’ (I’m almost there myself, so I really don’t think of it
as too old!). So kudos to you for those things and more.

When I read the Guiness Book, I’m not looking at each entry to see which
diamond was the largest submitted or which person was the heaviest
submitted. I’m looking for the largest or heaviest, period. Records
should go into the book when they are marks of notable achievement, with
the understanding that they haven’t already been broken or aren’t what
many other people could do.

So I hope you can shatter your own record soon (officially, of course).
Alternatively, I hope you inspire someone soon to go after the record
(officially, of course). It would almost make sense to have an open race
(at the velodrome of your choice!) where we could invite riders who would
like to pursue the official record with all the Guiness requirements met.
One hour later, we’d know who owned the record. In fact, this sounds like
a fun idea for a uni convention race – something to consider for the
upcoming conventions. But it’s a little bizarre talking about a record
that is only a record in name but not in fact.

Get back on that thang and hit 18mph, please!

David Stone

PS: I have no problem with the fact that the ‘record’ was set with a
geared uni. As U-Turn and many others have noted, it’s not about the
contruction of the uni but about the speed of that uni, and no one can
doubt that what you were riding was a unicycle! I think you’re going to
set the tone for unlimited races of the future, and in many ways, you’re
way ahead of us Neandertals. Keep it up!

“Get back on that thang and hit 18mph, please!”

Perhaps the greatest benefit of that record is the enthusiasm created. Now all kinds of folks will be excited to start fiddling with new geared unis and ticking the “record” higher and higher. That’s progress, and that’s the adventure of new experiences amongst friends mutually stoked, which is what it’s all about.

But man, is it gonna hurt when you go down!


I submitted the following to the forum back in 2001:

"I took Ken’s advice and measured an “out and back” 25K (15 mile) course with my car. If mile markers are accurate, then so is my odometer. My car’s odometer showed exactly 1 mile from mile marker to mile marker. I don’t know if this is the most accurate method of measurement, but for now it will have to do.

I used a dirt road as a marker (perpendicular to the course) as a 7.5-mile"halfway" turn around point. Unfortunately, while riding I turned at a dirt road that was only 7.2 miles into the ride. I realized that it was the wrong marker slightly after I turned. So, what was intended to be a 15-mile (25K) time trial, ended up being 14.4 miles. Next time I will complete the 15 miles!

Total time for the 14.4 miles was 1 hour 51 seconds. This would make the average speed at about 14.2 MPH. The ride was extremely intense. I expected the ride to involve more skill than fitness. Turning the cranks fast enough to average 15 miles an hour for 15 miles does take skill and practice. Surprisingly, I had the skill to turn the cranks faster than I was, however my lungs would not allow me to do so! Unicycling will test your level of fitness in a hurry!

A 1-hour 25K flat out and back time trial is a good goal for people to try and realize. I think that with training most can achieve this mark, however it will not be easy. Expect to suffer while attempting it! As with any activity there will be a few that will be able to meet the challenge easily. A genetically gifted rider in good condition should see 55 minutes or less. Nevertheless, anyone who completes this challenge in 1 hour or less has my respect. I hope all of you give it a try. I am confident that I can do it within the next couple of months.

BTW-- I did the above ride on a Coker with 5-inch cranks. Tire pressure was 50 pounds"


Note that this was a reply to David Stone posting a much faster ride. Also note that the late Unibiker posted a time will over 15 MPH for an hour.

That said, I agree with David in that someone needs to post a faster time.


David Stone: please send me your current e-mail address to


OOW wants to do an article on geared unicycles and I volunteered your input since you put about 150 miles on one. Negative input is VERY welcome in this article.

That ends my thread jack.

The record set by Pete in no way indicates the top average speed attainable in one hour, Pete’s conditioning or ability, the integrity of his equipment, or the definition of a unicycle. I think even Roger Davies could go out cold on an ungeared Coker and beat Pete’s distance flat and there are many others, including yourself, who could do the same. Pete did go to the trouble of trying to make this an official record. Christian Hoverath would have blown him off the velodrome. But Christian didn’t do the paperwork.

I personally don’t care about records and I’m certainly too lazy to arrange to make one official. Ken Looi and Pete Peron DO care and DID do the work. And it generated some excitement both times. Pete himself will admit that he’s not a hot rider but he will also argue adamantly for improvements in speed riding technology. It appears that he has pushed the right buttons. Fast riders are responding.

Thank you Harper my inventive cohort!

Mind you, Guinness has yet to approve my distance, and until they do so, it’s not an official Guinness world record.

Right now, the Guinness folks are the only ones who recognize this. Guinness has (and when the IUF gets around to passing new regulations, they will have) certain standards for an official record attempt. So unless you meet those standards in your rides, it won’t be accepted as the official record. If you want an unofficial record, hey go for it. But the next person to break the hour record will have to do it with proper track certification, officials, witnesses, no drafting, etc. and then submit the paperwork just like Ken Looi and I did. That’s what makes it “official”.

And yes, because I was averaging over 15 until my crash very near the end, I know I can go faster. I was admittedly nervous, and the first time you do an attempt like that you tend to be. But without promising anything, I just may try do it again sometime.

Re: This whole hour record thing

Sheesh, seems like this one has really gotten under your skin David. The “record only in name” concept happens in all sorts of sports, but that doesn’t make the records that exist less valid. Let’s use competitive swimming or speed skating as examples. There are doubtless examples where a top athelete’s “personal best” in a practice session comes in better than the current world or olympic records held by someone else. There is probably some lifeguard in Australia that has swam a mile in open ocean faster than the current world record. Do either of those examples invalidate the world or olympic records? No…because the records were set under the rules and circumstances sanctioned by the governing body, and the practice session and ocean swim don’t meet the standards. I don’t think Pete ever claimed to be the fastest at anything…just that he bested the existing record under the rules and circumstances sanctioned by the governing body. Obviously there are people that could go faster and further in an hour. You claim to be one of them, and maybe you are. But doing it as part of a larger event or group ride introduces other factors into the equation. The ability to draft, for instance. and variations in terrain, ups and downs, etc. In this case, Guinness has established rules and circumstances that must be met for an attempt to be considered a world record by their criteria. Pending their review and approval, Pete took the time and care to execute his ride within those rules and circumstances, and bested the previously established mark. No more or less. Interesting that no one seemed to know or care or have issue with that previously established mark.

If you really wish that the record were a bit more unreachable, why not go make it so? If the pen is mightier than the sword, go make the pedal mightier than the pen.

Re: Re: This whole hour record thing

Right, but imagine if there were a meet where some of the top racers competed but only the 2nd place finisher submitted the … oh, never mind.

I totally get the point you’re trying to make, but in this case, Ken topped the ‘record’ during his 24-hour ride, so off the bat, the new attempt looks less like a superlative and more like a record only on paper.

As for putting my pedal where my mouth is (unpleasant as that sounds):
To the best of my knowledge, I have no easy access to a velodrome or other closed track. I can’t imagine wanting to take the time to get all of the documentation for Guiness (according to my bro, who researched a adifferent record, they can be nigh on impossible to contact and virtually no one at their HQ knows the answer to your questions, which is understandable given the vastness of their recordkeeping). If there were a sanctioned event (as I mentioned earlier), then I’d be happy to compete, tho I know that quite a few people could beat me. I only mentioned my own riding to illustrate that this ‘record’ is not as fast as it sounds, esp since it was done on a uni capable of going so much faster.

Pete, from your earlier reply, it sounds like you’re already setting sights on 16 mph or faster. Go for it!!! I’m sure you could do it – and then some. But seriously, protect yourself well from UPDs – I would not like to think about what a 20mph UPD could produce.

And finally, it is great that we’re all excited about setting records and talking about the IUF (and even Guiness). Let’s hope this all leads to something fun.


Re: Re: Re: This whole hour record thing

The Kissena Velodrome is located in Kissena Park in [I]Flushing, Queens, N.Y.[/I]

The entrance is on Booth Memorial Ave. at the intersection of Parsons Blvd.

I don’t think you could ask for a closer, more convenient location!

Regarding the paperwork… if Pete can do it, you can do it (if you really wanted to :))!