Unicycle trip through Blue Mountains

Last weekend Andrew Rowe and I (James Gifford) unicycled the `6 Foot Track’
walking track in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

The track stretches for 42 km between Jenolan Caves and the town of Katoomba. Is
is recommended as a three-day bushwalk. The terrain is quite hilly - from
Jenolan caves there is a climb of 300m, then a descent of 800m, then a climb
again of 750m back to Katoomba, but the track is mostly fairly wide and not too
rough, so in general it is ridable. I would say that we were able to ride about
80% of the total distance. In places of course it was too rough to ride, but it
was no problem to wheel the cycles through (up) these sections.

Riding with packs (we had the usual bushwalking gear - tents, sleeping bags,
cooking gear etc) was a challenge, and it was a demanding trip. It well worth it
though - it was the first attempt at unicycle-touring I have made, and I am
likely to do more in the future as a result.

It was good fun watching the reactions of the people we met on the route. The
reactions were all positive. One fellow we met was writing a book on the track
(it is quite famous and has a long history so it is worth writing a book about)

  • he got quite excited and took a number of photographs. He had been walking
    the track for the last decade and claimed that he had not seen anyone unicycle
    it before…

We were both quite worried about our seats and the effects of spending so long
in the saddle with the added load of the packs. To mitigate the effects, I had a
large gel seat pad (intended for bicycles) fitted over the seat, and Andrew was
experimenting with an `air conversion’. Both were successful - neither of us
really noticed any significant seat pain. Probably we were to busy thinking
about staying upright to notice.

By the end of the ride we were elated but completely exhausted. Because of leg
stiffness neither of us could walk normally or descend stairs for several days

I have put some photographs of the trip, as well as some notes on the route, on
the web at

   <a href="http://wwwmaths.anu.edu.au/~james/sixfoot/">http://wwwmaths.anu.edu.au/~james/sixfoot/</a>

I wonder if anyone else has tried unsupported multi-day offroad unicycling? I
know that unicycle teams enter the Polaris challenge. After this trip I must
take my hat off to anyone who is willing to race under these conditions!


James Gifford