Training for my first long distance trip

I am planning on going on my first long distance uni trip in late August. I am going to the Netherlands and plan to travel from the Hoek von Holland to the German border over a 5 day period.
It looks like most days will be 80 or so kilometers but the terrain is relatively flat. I am riding a Surly Conundrum with a Black Floyd tire and a geared hub.
Any advice on how I should be training or what to expect during a long distance uni trip would be appreciated greatly.

Saddle time. There is no substitute for saddle time, and if you are on a tight schedule, find hills and ride up them. Whenever possible choose your unicycle as your means of transportation. To work, to the market, to your friends house, saddle time will be the best way to prepare for a long ride. the hills are a good way to make a short ride seem long. Good luck and ride safe.


Strangely enough, I hadn’t considered hills. I avoid them because they tire me out, but now that you mention it on days where I only have a limited amount of time to ride they would be a great way to train.
I try to do two or three longish rides a week of 20 to 30 kilometers, and am sure I could fit in a couple days of doing hills.
Thanks for the advice.

Also if any Netherland riders want to meet up along the way let me know.

+1 on lots of Hills
IMO it’s best to first hit the weights and inc strength and more importantly endurance. Machines that emphasize glutes and upper hamstrings are best IMO. Also considering time required its hard to get the necessary training from riding only. Riding standing & SIF helps but not quite the right mussels.

For me if I can do 10 sets of 20 of twice my weight w/ 2 min breaks (I usually work other muscles, esp core, between sets) I have most of the needed strength/endurance. Or 5 sets of standing squats (held for 3 min) w/ 2 min breaks.

Hills require different technique so u have to ride some. Many here seem to recommend riding ony, but I feel that’s not the most efficient use of my time.

Double post :o

I guess another question is what should I take with me. I am planning on bringing a couple of spare tubes and a set of allen wrenches but what else? I want to travel light so maybe only a couple changes of clothes and things. Any suggestions on what it would be a good idea to bring along would be greatly appreciated.

I just started adding some longish rides to weekly routine and I am already getting saddle sore, so for sure get some good saddle time in, also make sure you are riding every day since that will best mimic your future experience.

If you have some time before you go, consider flattening a seat to improve comfort, also if you are thinking of getting new short or shoes, get them early so you can break them in and get used to the feel.

Bring an extra tube, the Foss is superlight.

Find a pack that you can ride with comfortabley and that will carry ~20# or so. I ride with an Osprey munlti use pack. For tools, think road side repair, so a multitool, allen wrenches, tire irons, zip ties, some gorilla or duct tape, extra bolts for seat, extra seat post clamp (they do break), extra spokoes and nips, truing wrench, crank puller, extra crank bolts, extra bearing.

Don’t forget a basic first aid kit with cloth tape, eye drops, tweezers, a small mirror, antiacid tablets, NSAIDs, think comfort and day to day items that being on the road would be hard to find.

A change of riding clothes, one set of reusuable street clothes, extra socks, make all cothes multi purpose, so you can wear some to stay warm when you are in town walking around or riding. Don’t forget hand and head protection, sun glasses, sunscreen.

I haven’t ever heard of NSAIDS before but I did a little research and it is just aspirin correct. I guess if it helps keep the swelling down than it is a good thing to have. How often and when should these be taken? Once a day just after a ride?
I went out for 30 kilometers before work today and after a UPD, my first in a long time, my handle bars needed adjusting. I stopped on a bridge to adjust them and lost my allen wrench over the side. Had to ride 20 of the 30K with only a right handlebar. I think I should take at least one spare one with me on my trip.
Also does anyone know any Netherland riders? I may have asked this before but I would love to meet up with some people along the way.

Don’t adjust your uni on bridges??

NSAID’s also include Ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin), Acetominophen (Tylenol), Sodium Naproxin (Alleve), etc…

Some people avoid Acetominophen for liver issues and Aspirin for stomach issues.

I prefer Naproxin.

How often you take NSAIDs as a prophylatic would depend on which one you use and what you need. If you have pain due to swelling that is use related vs injury related, then keeping the swelling down can reduce pain. That said, keep in mind that swelling is not a bad thing as it is part of the inflammatory response that leads to healing.

All things in moderation :slight_smile:

If the roads are level, I would go for short cranks. For longer journey I prefer hard soled shoes which deliver better energy transfer onto the pedals thus saving a lot of your physical energy, they also put less stress on ankles and knees while cycling. Rubbing soap on the inside of your socks can reduce friction burns. Jar of Vaseline for your butt. Tape bottle cage on to frame, under rear of saddle. Needle n thread/cotton.

Make sure to try out any new ideas and suggestions many times BEFORE you go away’

Hope this helps.

How do you ever get any where?

If I carried all these spares and stuff I don’t think I’d ever manage to get anywhere. Thanks to Kris Holm I really only need two allens, water, and juggling balls.

On another note - no seat is great for distance. Don’t bother trying them all. Like riding a ‘Brooks’ you never break in the saddle. You break in your butt (Calluses!).


I was thinking of the short cranks, but am not too comfortable switching gears with them. Currently I have 110/137 Spirit Cranks that I keep at 137. I can ride fairly easily in normal gear with the 110’s but in high gear (if I manage to switch to high gear without dismounting) I tire my legs out quickly.
Perhaps I should give the short cranks another go now that I am more experienced with shifting.

It doesn’t weigh much, other than the crank puller (optional as you can always find a shop with one to lend). I carry all of this repair gear on my daily rides and it adds less than a pound.

As to clothing, two days of riding gear, rotated as needed for washing, all the rest is standard light packing stuff.

Even a unicycle needs maintenance, so be sure and check bolts every day or so, esp with all the miles you’ll be putting in…

Trust me, once you break a seat post clamp/bolt you will always carry a back up :roll_eyes:

So has he left yet??

Yes, being able to use the 110s will in effect give you two extra gears to choose from, but you will need to build up your legs with regular cycling on the 110 setting. Don’t forget to adjust your saddle height up an extra 27mm when riding the 110s. Pay attention to your knees, especially in top gear.If the extra load in top gear causes knee pain then don’t use top gear on the 110 setting.
P.S. When packing your back pack put heavier items at the top, this will greatly reduce strain on your lower back.

Will you have company for some or all of it? By chance, I uni-ed alongside a skateboarder yesterday who challenged me to ride faster than usual for longer than usual, and my left thighs still has a charlie horse. It made me realize I need to do more of that. Normally I ride slower because my dog runs alongside as my riding partner, but Sunday it was too hot for her.

Think about pushing the speed, if that’s a training interest.