I’m starting this as a sort of journal to document my journey to my first supported event, The Savannah Century Race. my goal this year is to ride the 37 mile coarse. I know I’m going to have questions as I go along. I will be riding my new UDC 32 trainer. I plan to officially begin my training this Monday.
at first it will be mostly just one day a week after work for distance and endurance. I will be riding a road that is 4 miles end to end but is pretty much a complete incline, so it’s all up then all down. I will be riding my 24 and 29 at work during lunch breaks a lot to work on other skills. I play tennis every Thursday weather permitting to help keep cardio and endurance in check. I’m worried my training is going to be limited for the next month or so as we are about to hit our winter here, luckily it is short lived.
So here is my first question, I feel anyone that rides any distance or even muni can chime in here. when carrying water or hydration what do you prefer
a backpack or bottles secured to the frame. is it better to be able to drink while you ride or just drink at rest stops
I like water on the frame and or saddle bag. I don’t like extra weight on my back/butt. I stop and drink because I need to stop and take a break every so often anyway.
Bottles, about two per hour, and I usually carry three with me in either the jersey pockets or a backpack.
Did the organizers say how long they are keeping the route open? You are obviously going to be a lot slower than everyone else. And all alone. With no one to cheer you on after the first 5 minutes. Am I making it sound fun?
Crotch management seems pretty important. If you’re not completely comfortable riding short distances, then 37 miles is going to kill you. Maybe buy some bib bike shorts. Learn to stand up in the seat for short periods of time. Learn to sit further back on the seat. Change your position frequently. Take a break every mile. Next time at the dentist, ask for no anesthetic. Walk on hot coals…
Increasing your speed/cadence is fine for practice, but for 37 miles, it’s all about survival, and you want to be riding at the most efficient, relaxed speed.
I cannot seem to find the 2020 schedule for the race. Is it early sept like last years? I want to do it also but will be about 5 hours up the coast thru the 29th of August.
Ride often, find your pace and don’t try to break any records. Its fun to hammer down in the beginning but after about 20 miles it will start catching back up with you. Fine tuning your ride to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible goes a long way when going a long way
Given the distance: just stop and drink.
You want to get out of the saddle every now and then anyway.
stop-interval: this really depends on your personal endurance / situation.
I wouldn’t considering stopping every mile on a 37 mile course.
Just stop before you get all numb or chafed down there.
Changing sitting position or standing will prolong the time before saddle-ache sets in. Handle bars help for this.
Bring a tube of cream and apply before starting and re-apply in time.
Once chafed the fun is over…
I love your enthusiasm, encouragement, and helpful abundance of shared experiences. You are always so willling to share. I feel so blessed each time I find one of your postings.
I’ll need to seriously consider your suggestion to walk on hot coals. I’ve had plenty of dental drilling without Novocain or gas.
My vote (as it seems to me normal recently) is for figuring out most stuff yourself, since it’s you who the strategy has to fit. I carry water in a backpack for normal rides, but on a race or event where there are rest stops, I’d tend to just rely on those. Make sure to check how long they keep those open, as a unicyclist in a bike event you are likely to be far behind most people.
I personally wouldn’t put an emphasis on drinking while riding, since I’d keep my water intake during the race pretty low (doing sports with a full bladder sucks). My first half marathon (running) I drank no water during the race, and on my first and only marathon on a unicycle, I drank half a cup of water on a reststop. I find that drinking enough leading up to the event is what is important for me. Again, that’s me personally, your body may work very differently, also very hot weather obviously changes that too.
If I had to dismount every mile, I wouldn’t ride any distances on a unicycle ever. Personally riding 42 km with just one accidental dismount was fine for me, only at the very end it was uncomfortable. But getting of for a minute or two then would have been enough. No T-Bar, no real setup change for the uni I borrowed to fit me, no bike shorts, just a pair of regular shorts and tight fitting running pants under them to prevent chaffing.
Don’t overthink it, train as much as you are able to, enter the event, and do your best. Maybe you have to be young and stupid for that mentality, but it has generally worked out for me. You will get a lot fitter and better in the process of training, that’s for sure, and an event like this is usually a good reason to train.
Please keep in mind I ultimately I will do what works best for me but I am open to any and all thoughts from those more experienced with longer rides than myself.
thanks for the input so far, it is helpful. a couple of the comments are… well
anyway just for the sake of everyone knowing where I am in my riding here is a quick run down
I’m about 3 years back on a uni, the 32 is new to me but other than when I ride at work to work on stalls and learning to idle it is my primary ride
I had gotten to where my minimum ride on my 29 with 127 cranks was 8 miles
I routinely rode 9 to 13 miles at lease one a week. I averaged 5 miles before my first stop to stretch and take a drink. I had got to averaging about 7.5 to 8.5 MPH. I am now at 9.5 to 10 MPH and still find myself making that first stop around 5 to 6 miles. I have done both stop to drink and us a back pack and drink while I ride. I found the back pack awkward but am willing to work with it if it is the better way to go, hence my asking those that have done this before or regularly.
as for the event the details are not out yet but I’m going to try to contact the event planners and ask about the route times. I may find logistically I can’t ride the 37 but I’m going to train for it anyway.
again thanks for the comments and suggestions
I apologize to the forum, especially the OP, if anything I said was discouraging. I was trying to make a silly joke about crotch discomfort. I tried to put myself into the position of the OP (assuming what I do about their level of experience) and give advice. The OP can take or leave my advice. We are all different. So much for my stupid sense of humor…
no need to apologize on my account, I didn’t take it as discouraging, but I will admit I was a little confused by the stop every mile, dental and hot coals part
no harm though I understood what you were saying other than that
I added a couple things to the 32 since I got it, being as all my riding right now ends after it gets dark I added some lights, the original front lights I had were pretty weak so these are new, I hope to see how well they do tonight
I installed 4 little red lights on the back and 2 spoke lights . I had built a single bar handle bar that I like but have found it is almost impossible to use with both hands, So I had a extra drink holder bracket and fixed it to the end of the handle bar and wrapped it with tennis handle wrap. this is mostly to see what I need as far as a handle bar to improve my stability. I had some left over decals from another project and they were just the right size so I put them on the forks
I think there’s a good chance your extension for 2 hands may break or bend within a couple of rides. It needs to be really strong.
I think you are right, 1 good UPD and it’s going to bend right over but it’s all I had at the moment and will be a good test to see what I need as far as position on height, distance from the seat ext.
as it is I can adjust it closer if needed or even raise it up some. I have it to where I can use the single handle for mounting and if I need to really put my weight on it. this extension is more for getting used to riding with 2 hands and find that sweet spot for comfort. then I can fabricate a more permanent one like Jim has.
Good point, I think that one thing missing on off the shelf or homemade handlebars is a dedicated front bumper. They will smack the ground or road sometimes and it make sense, just like a modern unicycle saddle to be prepared for the inevitable.
On my daily rider I added a tough front bumper to protect the handle. It can slam into the pavement with great speed and force with no damage. On this one the tennis ball (with a little padding inside the ball) will hit the road well before the handle.
OK I rode on the new road yesterday after work, couple observations
1 the new handle bar extension isn’t going cut it, mostly because it flexes a lot
good call on that one guys
2 I have to carry water even for short rides
I think I’ll try a lower tire pressure next time, it rode nice and smooth but was bouncy and a bit twitchy. I rode it down first then back up for a total of 8.29 miles, I averaged 9.83 MPH. I stopped at 4.2 miles to stretch for less then 2 min and was off, at the top of the longest grade about another 2.5 miles I had to stop again for a min to stretch because my left calf was cramping up. seems that this is a very popular road for cycling and jogging. there were a good handful of cyclist out there with me running the same road
even had one come up and ask to take a pic of him riding beside me, he wanted to send it to his girlfriend, said she wouldn’t believe him without proof :D. all in all it was a good ride, I have to admit though it was the hardest 8 miles I have ever ridden so far, I just need to stick with it and keep pushing
On the water, have you thought of a camelback?
yep, I have one and have used it a few times, it is a bit awkward because it moves around on me, I also have a small fanny pack type thing I used when riding the 24 on the beach, it works good and can hold 2 bottles of water.
I guess I’ll just try both until I decide which one works best. once it stays light long enough that I can remove my front lights I can put a bigger bottle under my handlebar
I suggest taking a look at the Topeak Handlebar Water Bottle Cage Mount
I use one for MUni and road and they are a very easy, durable and inexpensive way to add a bottle cage. They cost about $5 and on a unicycle you can put one on the back of the seat post and one on the handlebar. Both options can be accessed while riding
What is the event date? I would love to do it as well
I don’t have the date yet but will post the info here as soon as I have it
I’m sure it’s going to be around the first of Sep.