Unicycle Speed Record

HI!!!

    Does anyone know if there is a unicycle speed record? If there is do you
    know what it is? I am curious because I got a 28" uni yesterday for my
    birthday, adn was able to go 22.7 m.p.h on it today.

                                    Chris Cline MUni-Cow

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> Does anyone know if there is a unicycle speed record? If there is do you
> know what it is? I am curious because I got a 28" uni yesterday for my
> birthday, adn was able to go 22.7 m.p.h on it today.

A few years ago Floyd Beattie, a former 100 mile Guinness record holder, set
some speed marks. This was at an IHPVA (International Human Powered Vehicle
Association) convention in Indianapolis. He set an hour mark, which I believe
was just slightly under 15 miles, and also did their 200 meter speed trap. This
is how they measure top speed. If they do it like they do for automotive land
speed records, you have to ride the 200 meters in both directions, to cancel out
any wind effects. I don’t remember the times, but the speed he did was about the
same as yours. He was riding either a 40" or 45" big wheel, I believe.

So anyway, 22.7 (36.5 kph) is pretty darn fast for a unicycle, so
congratulations! Not as fast as Brett Bymaster gliding down a hill, but
non-pedaling records should be separate. Hope you were wearing lots of safety
equipment! If you can’t make it to nationals this year, hopefully we will at
least get to see you there next year (in Michigan). But we’ll make you ride a
24" on the track…

Back when I had a Cateye Solar on my racing uni (and when I used to practice for
races), the highest max. speed I ever recorded on the Cateye with my 24" was
17.5 mph (that’s 28.16 kph).

Stay on top,

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> Sorry, but no safty equipment at all, not even a helmet.

So will he learn by being smart, or the Bloodman way? Maybe that would make a
better Bicycling Magazine poll?

jf

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> Hoping that nothing worse will happen since I have no plans of wearing safty
> gear in the future.

The Bloodman way.

I hope I’ll never crash my car, but with that in mind I wear my seatbelt every
single time I’m in one, law or no law.

Stay on top,

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> >> Sorry, but no safty equipment at all, not even a helmet.
> >
> >So will he learn by being smart, or the Bloodman way? Maybe that would
make
> >a better Bicycling Magazine poll?
> >
> So far the worst injury I have had was either skinning my hands, or
cutting
> my finger. Hoping that nothing worse will happen since I have no plans
of
> wearing safty gear in the future.

Tee hee - all this reminds me of the Unicon in Guildford in 1996. The Americans
there seemed obsessed with safety equipment, wearing kneepads and elbow pads for
everything. I even saw a few wearing helmets! On unicycles! They seemed shocked
to see me playing hockey in my flip-flops.

This doesn’t do much for the UK perception of Americans as living in a
cotton-wool wrapped society resulting from excessive litigation. Live a little,
take a few risks, and don’t take this as flamebait <G>.

Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net Whose only protective unicycling equipment is a
pair of gloves to prevent hockey stick blisters

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

Danny Colyer wrote:

> This doesn’t do much for the UK perception of Americans as living in a
> cotton-wool wrapped society resulting from excessive litigation. Live a
> little, take a few risks, and don’t take this as flamebait <G>.

I agree with Danny completely. Our problem here is that we’re wrapped in not in
cotton, but lawyers. Out on the trails we can do whatever we want (though I
prefer to be protected), but when you ride in someone else’s building or at
someone else’s event, that’s when it gets sticky. We originally introduced
mandatory kneepads and gloves for IUF racing in 1988. The main reason for this
was image. As you know, a normal civilian seeing unicyclists automatically
thinks of us as zany clowns. It doesn’t matter if you’re covered with mud on a
trail miles from civilization, or zooming around a track at high speed. By
having some safety equipment on the kids, it forces people to at least notice
we’ve considered the possiblity of a tumble. The other reason is the press.
Watch the press when they come to a unicycle event. They will simply be waiting
around for a big nasty crash, because they expect them to happen and get
impatient if they don’t happen every few minutes, as they assumed they would.

A while back Beirne Konarski sent me a video from a very old episode of Charles
Kuralt Across America (spelling and title approximate). This was a TV show where
this guy criss-crossed the country showing all sorts of interesting things
people did. In the late 60’s or early 70’s they visited St. Helens school in
Newberry, Ohio. This was the school where everybody rode a unicycle as part of
the P.E. program. This video showd the kids, dressed in their formal looking
catholic school uniforms, riding regular unicycles and giraffes up & down the
halls, dodging nuns and going down stairs. In an interview with Father Moran (a
USA founding member), they asked him what about the kids getting hurt. He
replied something like kids get hurt every day, it’s part of growing up. But
when a kid learns to ride a unicycle, it’s something he or she does. Nobody can
do it for them, and it’s something they get to keep with them for the rest of
their lives.

Unfortunately Father Moran is gone, and most of our ability to take risks in
this country went with him. But unicycles are still ridden in schools, and the
people who do it know the benefits well.

> Tee hee - all this reminds me of the Unicon in Guildford in 1996. The
> Americans there seemed obsessed with safety equipment, wearing kneepads and
> elbow pads for everything. I even saw a few wearing helmets! On unicycles!
> They seemed shocked to see me playing hockey in my flip-flops.

Yes, I wear a helmet. Not for all forms of riding, but I find it protects me
from sunburn on the track! Those of you with full heads of hair need a different
excuse. I originally wore kneepads and gloves because I was tired of dealing
with scabs on my hands and knees. I’m not obsessed though. I put them on and I
ride. I make sure I have comfortable ones, so I can forget they are there while
I’m riding (again, the suntan later reminds me I was wearing them).

Currently there is a growing movement in the Unicycling Society of America to
make helmets mandatory for racing. I would rather not. I hope that in a fun
sport like unicycling, we can retain the freedom to make our own choices. Nobody
is going to be forced to not wear a helmet, but it’s a good idea for small
children, who are less likely to be experienced and have less control of their
body in a fall. Clubs can have a helmet rule if they wish, even whole
conventions. But let the people make their own choices.

But for me it only takes seeing a half-severed toe once (which I have) to
convince me to wear shoes when playing any kind of multi-rider sport like hockey
though… But I fully support your free choice not to!

Stay on top,

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> Klaus gently starts to ride. Arne switches to gliding when the speed
> increases. Their record so far is somewhere between 50 and 60km/h (how many
> miles? About 40mph I guess).

A cool place to do metric to English conversions (site built by unicyclist Jeff
Napier): http://members.aol.com/javawizard/numbers.html 50 kph = 31 mph 60 kph =
37.3 mph On a unicycle with no pedals? What happens when he hits a bump?

> This was also done by Dirty (David) from Frankfurt, Germany,

Was he dirty before he started doing this?

jf

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> down hill gliding was to break 25mph on a race-legal unicycle. So I did it on
> a Miyata 24" w/ 5.5" cranks and pedals attached. Its a real disadvantage to
> have the cranks on, because they cause the unicycle to oscillate at high
> speeds (>19mph). But it was my goal to do

It’s still race legal if you take off the cranks and pedals, but then it’s not
good for much besides wheel walking (and downhill gliding, but not coasting).

> weights on them), and a very very light frame with a special place to put your
> foot. A heavier wheel helps stabilize the uni while your gliding, and of
> course, lets you glide farther because there’s more momentum in the

I would put foot plates down hear the axle (or below), and add a suspension
seatpost to keep you level if you hit a bump with that heavy wheel.

Stay on top,

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> That blows me away! That’s amazing! Do you think that high speed gliding could
> be done with a very thick tire (maybe studded) on compact snow?

NO!

Well, maybe by you.

The thing is, you generally need a clean, dry contact between the tire and shoe.
I’ve done it a little bit with sand or wetness on the tire, but it changes the
rules. You would have to work out a tire/shoe interface that would still give
you the necessary control.

But why? Why?

jf

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

re: motorcycle pulling uni:
> Their record so far is somewhere between 50 and 60km/h (how many miles? About
> 40mph I guess).

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

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Re: Unicycle Speed Record

>> > That blows me away! That’s amazing! Do you think that high speed gliding
>> > could be done with a very thick tire (maybe studded) on compact
snow?
>>
>> NO!
>
>Yes…
>
>the control if anything is better for me.

How about ice or water? like skiing!!

tmm

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RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> Could a “glide-a-cycle” be made with a conventional bicycle wheel and BMX
> forks, with BMX axel pegs attached to each side of the axel?

That’s the ticket, and no good unicycle parts would be wasted in the process!
Only drawback is you can’t pedal it back up the hill.

jf

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

I took a bmx wheel, frame, and pegs and then stuck a schwinn seat post and seat
in the frame. It works really well and I have been able to get a lot of speed on
it. If I get going too fast I put my foot on the tire to slow down.

-Dan -----Original Message----- From: Kris Holm <kholm@eba.ca> To: Brett
Bymaster <bymaster@purdue.edu>
Cc: unicycling@winternet.com <unicycling@winternet.com> Date: Thursday, April
01, 1999 1:29 PM Subject: Re: Unicycle Speed Record

>Brett,
>
>I can’t glide, period (yet), but I was wondering:
>
>Could a “glide-a-cycle” be made with a conventional bicycle wheel and BMX
>forks, with BMX axel pegs attached to each side of the axel?
>
>-Kris.
>
> I’ve thought about putting together a glid-a-cycle.
>>It would have a 26" weighted wheel (heavy rim, and possibly spokes w/
small
>>weights on them), and a very very light frame with a special place to put your
>>foot. A heavier wheel helps stabilize the uni while your gliding,
and
>>of course, lets you glide farther because there’s more momentum in the wheel.
>>I’m pretty sure that I could glide at over 30mph unassisted with such a setup,
>>but I’m afraid that I’ll remove a major body part in the process. So I think I
>>stay content with 25…unless Guiness calls.
>>
>> Brett Bymaster bymaster@purdue.edu http://shay.ecn.purdue.edu/~bymaster
>>
>>At 09:17 AM 3/31/99 +0200, Lars Burgstahler wrote:
>>>Hi,
>>>
>>>are there any personal records for 24" unis? I did 22.6 km/h last week. I
>>>guess, that’s not very fast, but than, it’s on a 24".
>>>
>>>Arne Braunbeck from Germany maybe holds the record for non-pedaling. He calls
>>>his technique power-gliding, i.e. he is dragged by a motorcycle. The
>>>motorider was Klaus Bartl from Munich, Germany. They fix a rope at the moto
>>>and while Arne is wheel-walking (with the pedals removed), Klaus gently
>>>starts to ride. Arne switches to gliding when the speed increases. Their
>>>record so far is somewhere between 50 and 60km/h (how many miles? About 40mph
>>>I guess). This was also done by Dirty (David) from Frankfurt, Germany, (also
>>>with Klaus) but as far as I know, Arne was the first. I believe there was a
>>>photo in an old Cascade (European Juggling Magazine) two years ago.
>>>
>>>lars
>>>
>>>
>>>–
>>>Lars Burgstahler Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering
>>>University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany Tel:
>>>(+49) 711 685 7966 Fax: (+49) 711 685 7983 E-Mail:
>>>burgstahler@ind.uni-stuttgart.de
>>>
>>>When was the last time you were flabbergasted? CIRCOMIQUE
>>>
>>>
>>
>_______________________________________________________
>
>Kris Holm, B.Sc. Geologist, Forestry Group, EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
>Suite 550, Sun Life Plaza, 1100 Melville Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4A6
>Tel604) 685-0275 Fax604) 684-6241 Email: kholm@eba.ca
>

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

>So I think I stay content with 25…unless Guiness calls.
>
> Brett Bymaster bymaster@purdue.edu http://shay.ecn.purdue.edu/~bymaster

You do that and there will be a line up of impressed unicyclists waiting to buy
you a Guiness.

Wayne.

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> I have always thought that Floyd reached a momentary speed of 52 kph. I know
> this is incrdible, but I think we once discussed it and you confirmed. So is
> it true?

I know I have his IHPVA results written down somewhere, but I don’t know where.
However a speed of 52 kph (32.3 mph) does not ring a bell. I’ve never heard of
anyone pedaling a unicycle that fast. His speed thru the 200m speed trap was
around 23 mph or so. He could have done better, but it was a brand new unicycle
that had just been assembled, and he wasn’t used to it yet.

> (BTW, the fastest speed on a bicycle is an incrdib le 230 kph or so riding
> behind a car with a windshield)

Motorpacing might help some in a unicycle speed record, but I’m not going to
try it. 8-0

Stay on top,

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

> are there any personal records for 24" unis? I did 22.6 km/h last week. I
> guess, that’s not very fast, but than, it’s on a 24".

You can see a bunch of racing speed records at:
http://www.unicycling.org/usa/competition/records/

My personal best on a 24" is 17.5 mph (measured by a cycle computer on the uni).
That’s about 28.1627 kph.

> Klaus gently starts to ride. Arne switches to gliding when the speed
> increases. Their record so far is somewhere between 50 and 60km/h (how many
> miles? About 40mph I guess).

That’s 31 - 37 mph. Wow! Definitely candidates for Things not to do!

I wonder if by now they also have a speed record for being dragged behind a
motorcycle on the chest and forearms…

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“Lay down – I think I love you” - Bumper sticker seen in Sacramento

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

Hi,

are there any personal records for 24" unis? I did 22.6 km/h last week. I guess,
that’s not very fast, but than, it’s on a 24".

Arne Braunbeck from Germany maybe holds the record for non-pedaling. He calls
his technique power-gliding, i.e. he is dragged by a motorcycle. The motorider
was Klaus Bartl from Munich, Germany. They fix a rope at the moto and while Arne
is wheel-walking (with the pedals removed), Klaus gently starts to ride. Arne
switches to gliding when the speed increases. Their record so far is somewhere
between 50 and 60km/h (how many miles? About 40mph I guess). This was also done
by Dirty (David) from Frankfurt, Germany, (also with Klaus) but as far as I
know, Arne was the first. I believe there was a photo in an old Cascade
(European Juggling Magazine) two years ago.

lars


Lars Burgstahler Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering
University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany Tel: (+49)
711 685 7966 Fax: (+49) 711 685 7983 E-Mail: burgstahler@ind.uni-stuttgart.de

When was the last time you were flabbergasted? CIRCOMIQUE

RE: Unicycle Speed Record

I must say that I heartily disagree. It’s not necessarily that safety equipment
makes things safer, since your pain tolerance remains unchanged, just that you
can increase the amount of potential risk to a higher level than before, for the
same level of injury potential.

-Kris.

Hoping that nothing worse will happen since I have no plans
>of
>> wearing safty gear in the future.
>
>Tee hee - all this reminds me of the Unicon in Guildford in 1996. The Americans
>there seemed obsessed with safety equipment, wearing kneepads and elbow pads
>for everything. I even saw a few wearing helmets! On unicycles! They seemed
>shocked to see me playing hockey in my flip-flops.
>
>This doesn’t do much for the UK perception of Americans as living in a
>cotton-wool wrapped society resulting from excessive litigation. Live a little,
>take a few risks, and don’t take this as flamebait <G>.
>
>Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net Whose only protective unicycling equipment is
>a pair of gloves to prevent hockey stick blisters
>


Kris Holm, B.Sc. Geologist, Forestry Group, EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Suite 550, Sun Life Plaza, 1100 Melville Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4A6
Tel:(604) 685-0275 Fax:(604) 684-6241 Email: kholm@eba.ca

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

Danny wrote:
> Tee hee - all this reminds me of the Unicon in Guildford in 1996. The
> Americans there seemed obsessed with safety equipment, wearing kneepads and
> elbow pads for everything. I even saw a few wearing helmets! On unicycles!
> They seemed shocked to see me playing hockey in my flip-flops.

Well, yesterday evening I had my first serious crash and I would have given a
lot for kneepads. Fortunatelly, I wore gloves so my hands didn’t have any bruise
at all. My jacket also survived. But my brand new jeans (2 weeks old) are torn.
And my knees were bruised. I’m really thinking about kneepads. My 28" with the
short cranks is just too fast to come to a stop on my feet if I fall in full
speed. I have to admit that I’m not able to roll when falling, so I think I
should invest in safety equipment.

Which btw, doesn’t mean, that I wear all this if I train freestyle in a gym, but
who knows when I will start with this …

lars


Lars Burgstahler Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering
University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany Tel: (+49)
711 685 7966 Fax: (+49) 711 685 7983 E-Mail: burgstahler@ind.uni-stuttgart.de

When was the last time you were flabbergasted? CIRCOMIQUE

Re: Unicycle Speed Record

Foss, JohnX wrote:
> A cool place to do metric to English conversions (site built by unicyclist
> Jeff Napier): http://members.aol.com/javawizard/numbers.html 50 kph = 31
> mph 60 kph = 37.3 mph On a unicycle with no pedals? What happens when he
> hits a bump?

Well, what happens if someone hits a bump with about 35 mph? I think he
crashes. On the other hand, they did it on a dry clean road with a very smooth
surface. There were no bumps. As to “with no pedals”. I think pedals are only
for the worth. The add some momentum to the wheel and make it wobble. Without
pedals (maybe even without cranks, but I’m not sure anymore) the wheel is
absolutely symmetric and quite stable in its behaviour. Then, Arne is a
really good rider.

> > This was also done by Dirty (David) from Frankfurt, Germany,>
> Was he dirty before he started doing this?

Neither before nor after :slight_smile:

lars


Lars Burgstahler Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering
University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany Tel: (+49)
711 685 7966 Fax: (+49) 711 685 7983 E-Mail: burgstahler@ind.uni-stuttgart.de

When was the last time you were flabbergasted? CIRCOMIQUE