Wizards 50th Birthday

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October 23rd, 2014 at 12:24:13 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
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I did 20 miles today in 3:10. That comes to a speed of 6.3 MPH. Hopefully I can get my speed up with more practice.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
October 24th, 2014 at 5:40:31 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Quote: Wizard
That comes to a speed of 6.3 MPH. Hopefully I can get my speed up with more practice.


The bicycles of the 19th century had a 50"-60" front wheel making it much easier to pedal at 10 mph. As they were very unstable at high speeds, you would swing your legs up over the handle bars to reduce the risk of concussion or death in the event of a crash. As you can see, it still looks pretty painful.



A more modern penny farthing bicycle is restricted to 36" front wheel, and a larger rear wheel of 16" which makes it much more stable. Although people will make reproductions of the old kind (even without breaks), you can't really market something like that anymore and still get liability insurance.


The Wizard's cadence is an average of roughly 73 revolutions per minute. Since he doesn't have a meter we don't know how much variance he is showing, but presumably some portion is at 7 mph or higher.

inch ft circum ft/mile revolutions/mile rpm per 1 mph mph rpm
29 7.59 5280 695.45 11.59 6.30 73.02
29 7.59 5280 695.45 11.59 7.00 81.14
36 9.42 5280 560.23 9.34 6.30 58.82
58 15.18 5280 347.73 5.80 6.30 36.51


A 36" unicycle will make the 50 miles in 8 hours much more attainable, but the chances of having to recover from a painful crash are much higher. A 58" pennyfarthing implies an almost casual cadence of 37 rpm.

A typical beach cruiser with a single gear is usually geared to roughly a 58" wheel, so to follow the Wizard in a beach cruiser should not be difficult if you are in reasonable shape. Nearly anyone can do it with a 10-speed.
October 24th, 2014 at 6:32:38 PM permalink
terapined
Member since: Aug 6, 2014
Threads: 38
Posts: 3212
Quote: Wizard
I did 20 miles today in 3:10. That comes to a speed of 6.3 MPH. Hopefully I can get my speed up with more practice.


That's great. How hot is the weather you are riding in? How did you feel after the ride?
Wear a helmet?
When crossing a street, do you walk or ride?
Ever run into sandy patches on the trails you ride?
Some sidewalks can be bumpy, ride on sidewalks? If bumpy, go slow or normal speed?
Is there anything on a ride you try to avoid?
Do you listen to music while riding?
I understand you have 3 unicycles, what are the differences.? What are the pros and cons of each one?
How thick or thin are your tires?
Carry a spare tube and tools?
Do you carry a water bottle and if so, how is it carried?

I think you can do this. 6.3mph is kind slow though, must be passed by everybody but walkers.
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own - Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World"
October 24th, 2014 at 9:59:24 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Quote: terapined
I think you can do this. 6.3mph is kind slow though, must be passed by everybody but walkers.


Even an old fashioned 10 speed bicycle with an 11-25 cassette and a 53/39 pair of front chain rings with 27" wheels (including tire) ridden in top gear would be the equivalent of riding a unicycle with 53/11*27"=130" diameter wheels (called "gear-inches"). so one "roll-out" of the wheels (i.e. the circumference) would be 130*PI=34'.

Without gears a 30 inch wheel + tire has a roll-out of 7.85' . That's a lot less than a roll-out of 34'.

So a cadence of 73 revolutions per minute would be 28.2 mph in the toughest gear. Allowing for some gear shifting for hills, if the Wizard had put out roughly an equivalent amount of effort on a bicycle in 3:10 he would have covered over 80 miles.

EDIT struck out last sentence as per comment below.
October 25th, 2014 at 11:54:35 AM permalink
Mosca
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 17
Posts: 410
Guy on a unicycle races a truck down a mountain in the Alps.

October 25th, 2014 at 9:11:58 PM permalink
jml24
Member since: Dec 6, 2012
Threads: 0
Posts: 26
Quote: Pacomartin
So a cadence of 73 revolutions per minute would be 28.2 mph in the toughest gear. Allowing for some gear shifting for hills, if the Wizard had put out roughly an equivalent amount of effort on a bicycle in 3:10 he would have covered over 80 miles.


You are making some pretty big assumptions here. Only an elite level cyclist could maintain 28.2 mph for 3 hours and that would be under optimal conditions. Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of the speed. At the wizard's unicycling speed it is not very significant. The record for distance cycled in one hour was recently increased to 31.76 miles and that was an all out effort on in indoor, perfectly smooth track on an aerodynamic time trial style bicycle.

In any case, that is pretty far from the topic at hand. I am sure with practice the wiz can increase his speed. I live in Seattle and there is a popular bike ride each year from Seattle to Portland. I participated a few years ago and at least one unicyclist finished the ride in two days (approximately 100 miles per day.) He was riding a high wheel model, I would estimate at least 5 feet in diameter.
October 25th, 2014 at 11:17:16 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Quote: jml24
I live in Seattle and there is a popular bike ride each year from Seattle to Portland. I participated a few years ago and at least one unicyclist finished the ride in two days (approximately 100 miles per day.) He was riding a high wheel model, I would estimate at least 5 feet in diameter.


I agree with your comment about ignoring drag. Big mistake.

Is this what you are calling a high wheel model?


This unit has a 56" rim, plus 1.5" tire would be 15' roll-out. A cadence of 58.5 rpm would get you 10 mph.

I don't think that 50 miles in 8 hours by a normal athlete can be done without a 36" unicycle.

I think there is a 1.5 mile flat trail at Angel Park. To make a realistic assessment the Wizard should see what can of cadence he can maintain for 3 miles on the 29" unicycle.
October 26th, 2014 at 7:20:56 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 3
Posts: 929
This fellow is just travelling through BC now and has put over 16,000 miles on his unicycle. His Facebook Page
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
October 26th, 2014 at 2:05:07 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Blogger who did 204 mile Seattle to Portland (STP) in two days on a unicycle.

It should be noted that he spent 22% of his road time NOT IN THE SADDLE. More importantly he did the race on a 36" unicycle, and would not consider doing it again without a geared cycle.

Personal achievements while training included riding thirty miles without getting off, maintaining an overall average speed (including stops) of 10 mph for over seventy miles, and riding up a 16% grade.

Short talk on pros and cons of different gearing systems.
October 26th, 2014 at 3:05:32 PM permalink
Wizard
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 145
Posts: 3174
I'm in southern California and just did 22 miles in 3 hours. That is a speed of 7.3 miles per hour. I might add that I could have easily kept going. This is much better than my performance in Vegas. I attribute this to:

1. Nearly level bike path along the beach.
2. It was nice and cool.
3. Only one street crossing, and even that was just in one direction (the other way I made a right turn).

This gives me hope to be able to make 50 here in May, despite my mediocre performance in Vegas.

To answer your questions...

Quote: terapined
That's great. How hot is the weather you are riding in?


Right now in Vegas it is still in the high 80s.

Quote: terapined
How did you feel after the ride?


After really long ride I obviously feel tired, but just for a few hours. You'd think it would just be in my legs, but it is all over.

Quote: terapined
Wear a helmet?


Depends on the ride. If I'm on the streets a lot, I do, otherwise, no.

Quote: terapined
When crossing a street, do you walk or ride?


If I'm lucky enough to hit the light green then I'll ride through. Otherwise, I get off and walk through.

Quote: terapined
Ever run into sandy patches on the trails you ride?


Yes. On my mountain unicycle I ride off road where I can. Nothing too impressive, but dirt or gravel areas.

Quote: terapined
Some sidewalks can be bumpy, ride on sidewalks? If bumpy, go slow or normal speed?


If it is a bumpy sidewalk then I go slower. I'm on sidewalks a fair bit so this may have something to do with my slow speed.

Quote: terapined
Is there anything on a ride you try to avoid?


I dislike streets that don't have a bike line.

Quote: terapined
Do you listen to music while riding?


No. That would be unsafe.

Quote: terapined
I understand you have 3 unicycles, what are the differences.? What are the pros and cons of each one?


Actually, I have six. I'll explain how they are different another time. I'm going to leave one of them here at my mom's house in California.

Quote: terapined
How thick or thin are your tires?


For the ones that emphasize distance/speed, it is about two inches thick. Thicker on the unicycles that are for off-roading or tricks.

Quote: terapined
Carry a spare tube and tools?


No.

Quote: terapined
Do you carry a water bottle and if so, how is it carried?


Yes. In a back pack.

Quote: terapined
I think you can do this. 6.3mph is kind slow though, must be passed by everybody but walkers.


I've never been passed by a runner. A major reason for the 6.3 is that it factors in break times and waiting at street crossings. When I'm actually riding I'm sure it is the 7 to 8 range.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber