Training for BAK

This year I am hoping to ride Bike Across Kansas. I have been unicycling for about 6 months now and have recently upgraded to a KH36 from my Nimbus II 20". I can free mount easily and have been doing many 15-30 mile per day rides each week. I am not getting tired, but the cold is keeping me from going longer. Hopefully as the weather gets warmer, my performance will increase with the added training time. I have six more months to keep training, what suggestions do you have to help with improving endurance?

My Uni specs are:

KH36 frame

KH T bar

114mm Nimbus Venture crank (taken from my Nimbus II) KH 110mm Crank is on its way

Fusion zero saddle

Mesa Alloy pedal - made by Fyxation

I am training hard so any input is helpful. I hope my gear and I will make the ride…

Also, for a longer ride, do you recommend a brake?

It sounds like you’re well on your way, Zachary. I’d say that the main thing is to keep riding a lot. The smoother and more comfortable you are, the more efficient you’ll be. That will make the biggest difference for a long-distance event.

Consider that at least a third of the time you have left for training will be in winter weather, so you need to take full advantage of that time. I suggest looking to upgrade your clothing situation so you aren’t getting cold while riding. There’s all kinds of amazing stuff these days, and when you’re going half the speed of a bicyclist while burning twice the calories, you really shouldn’t be having trouble staying warm. Many layers with zippers; warm base on your trunk; wind protection; cover fingers, neck, ears, etc; head sock under the helmet, since helmets are designed for summer cooling; dot dot dot

When using the Nimbus cranks do your feet naturally fall on the center of the pedal or do you find yourself riding with your feet a bit further out?

I ask this because you mention switching to KH cranks. The KH cranks have 12mm Q-factor compared to zero for the Nimbus. I feel that having the pedals 24mm wider would make a much bigger difference to your ride than 4mm in length. Whether it’s an improvement or not is up to your body.

I think that gloves and socks would be my biggest problem. My feet and hands get so cold.

So the KH cranks are 12mm wider? I do pedal closer to the ends of the pedals so that may be a good thing.

Yup. The Nimbus cranks are strait, KH cranks flair out 12mm to each side. Many people look only at the crank length which is only part of the comfort equation.

EDIT: How cold are you expecting this ride to be? What kind of “cold weather” gear do you have?

If you hand and feet get cold adding insulation to your arms and legs can make a big difference. If your blood is already cold when it reaches your extremities they will get cold no matter how well insulated they are.

How cold are you expecting this ride to be?QUOTE]

The ride it self will not be in the cold, but about 1/3 of the time I have to train will be. Never thought about keeping my arms and legs warm to help keep my hands and feet warm. Good idea!

Agree with saskatchewanian about keeping your body temperature up for less trouble with cold feet and hands. “If your feet are cold, put on a hat,” that’s what I was always told.

That said, I’ve got some funky shiny liner socks that my mom found somewhere years ago, with aluminum woven into them to reflect heat. They do make a difference under my regular socks when it’s below freezing. I’ve seen glove liners like that too but don’t have any. Adding layers usually does more than switching to a thicker single layer. And shoes that keep your feet from getting all sweaty in the summer are exactly the wrong idea now.

I think a lot of it is a confidence trick really. Fingers and toes that are cold or a little numb are only a problem if you mind them, and you won’t as much if you know that the situation won’t be getting worse. It’s nice to have one more zipper that isn’t all pulled the way up yet.

Good point, and I will have to keep an eye out for those sock liners…