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Unicycle Across Minnesota:

We had the opportunity to participate in Unicycle Across Minnesota with over 30 other unicyclists to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter. The benefit ride, starting on the Iowa border and finishing at International Falls on the Canada border, took place Aug. 14-22. We rode between 50 and 60 miles a day, averaging about 9 or 10 miles per hour.

It was a wonderful experience for us! We loved meeting all the unicyclists and are proud to be part of such a unique event. Tanya was one of 20 riders to unicycle the entire 479 miles! Tammy spent about three of the days in the RV recovering from a knee injury, but she rode most of the way.

Be sure to check out the Unicycle Across Minnesota web site for daily updates (written by Tammy) and pictures!

Distance Tips!

If you're interested in our observations and experiences with long distance riding, read our tips here!

Here are a few pictures from the ride! The first one is a group shot of us in Darwin, MN, home to the world's largest ball of twine made by one man. To the right is Tanya unicycling beside Aaron Svec, our friend and the official photographer for the ride who came along on a mountain bike to capture the memories. More photos can be found on the UAM web site.

Training Journal

We spent much of our summer preparing for the trek. Here is a weekly record of our miles and speeds, beginning May 1.

Week One

  • May 1: Rode around town with friends in the morning. Afternoon, bike trail in Watertown. Avg. Speed: 5, Miles: 8.75

  • May 2: To Aurora and back. WINDY! Sprinkles. Avg. Speed: 6.8, Miles: 15.65

  • Commuting: About 4.6 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 29

    Week Two

  • May 8: Around perimeter of Brookings -- bypass, 22nd, 12th St. So., Main, 8th St. So., Medary. Avg. Speed: 7.5, Miles: 8.2

  • May 9: Cruised town -- by Hillcrest, Pioneer, Fulsom St. WINDY! Avg. Speed: 7.2, Miles: 4.14

  • May 13: Bike path. Windy. Avg. Speed: 7.2, Miles: 8.73

  • Commuting: About 5 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 26.07

    Week Three

  • May 16: Rode to Bruce and 5 miles back home. Humid, cloudy, sprinkled. Headwind to Bruce, tailwind home. Avg. Speed: 7.2, Miles: 20

  • Commuting: About 7 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 27

    Week Four

  • May 22: Cruised Vermillion. Steep scenic highway. Avg. Speed: 6.4, Miles: 9.8

  • May 28: Cruised Linton. HOT! Nasty hotel water. Hilly. Avg. Speed: unknown, but low, Miles: 6.5

  • Commuting: About 18.5 miles Total Miles for Week: 34.8

    Reached 100 Mile Club

    Week Five

  • May 29: We trained with the Twin City Unicycle Club in Linton, N.D! Dropped off 30 miles south of Linton. Very hilly first half but tailwind, flatter second half but crosswind. Hot. Stopped at restaurant halfway. Rode with TCUC. Mile from Linton, Tammy popped her tire. Avg. Speed: 9, Miles: 27

  • May 30: Morning Ride: With TCUC. Fairly hilly. Cold, wet, windy. Rode to restaurant, got a ride home. Avg. Speed: 9.6, Miles: 14.3

  • May 30: Afternoon Ride: Rode from Hazelton to Linton. Raining, windy, pretty flat. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 15.8

  • May 31: Bike trail. Very sore from weekend. Avg. Speed: 7.2, Miles: 8.1

  • June 4: To the Norby's. HOT, HUMID, breeze, last mile gravel. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 12.68

  • Commuting: About 24.25 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 102.3

    Reached 200 Mile Club

    Week Six

  • June 6: Dropped off 20 miles south of town, rode in. Tanya "shoelaced." One superfast mile: 10, 11, 12 mph, a 5 and-a-half minute mile. Hot, humid, tailwind. Avg. Speed: 8.6, Miles: 21.5

  • June 8: Around Indian Hills -- bike trails, sidewalks, under bridges, roads. 81 degrees. Avg. Speed: 7.9, Miles: 8.3

  • June 10: Onaka trail bike path/road. Cemeteries. Fairly cool weather. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 10

  • June 11: To Volga on a horrible bike path with construction work. Around town, rode home. Avg. Speed: 9, Miles: 17.5

  • June 11: Bike path in Brookings, around town. Avg. Speed: 8.6, Miles: 9.13

  • Commuting:About 19.37 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 85.8

    Reached 300 Mile Club

    Week Seven

  • June 12: Around Indian Hills with Tara on her bike. Sidewalks, bike trails, etc. Avg. Speed: 9, Miles: 7.6

  • June 17: Around town, out to Sexhauer Park, along 8th St. home. Avg. Speed: 7.5, Miles: 5.5

  • Commuting: About 17.4 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 30.5

    Week Eight

  • June 19: From Murdo to Paul's ranch. Rather hilly, nice temp (evening ride). Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 12.65

  • June 22: Bike path from Breckenridge, CO, to Frisco, CO. 10,000 feet +, hilly, lots of bikers. Smooth path. Tammy wiped out at very beginning, elevation bothered Tanya. Avg. Speed: 8.6, Miles: 12.64

  • June 23: Gravel roads around Bonnie's cabin. Hilly. 10,000 feet. Avg. Speed: 7, Miles: 4.5

  • Commuting: In South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado. About .21 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 30

    Week Nine

  • June 26: Rode to circus grounds, around campus, around town. Hot and humid but early. Some gravel, some riding on grass, etc. Avg. Speed: 6.4, Miles: 7.4

  • June 27: Bike trail forwards, turned around and did it again! Few breaks. Avg. Speed: 9, Miles: 13.82

  • June 28: North on Medary, west to gravel, east on bypass. Went with Amelia and traded off unicycling and rollerblading. Some gravel roads brought speed down. Cool weather. Avg. Speed: 6.1, Miles: 11.69

  • June 29: To Indian Hills, did 20th St. So. loop a few times. Fairly cool. Crosswind. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 12.1

  • June 30: Got up at 5:30 to ride south on 22nd Ave. Very cool. Stretch of roadwork. Avg. Speed: 9.3, Miles: 15.03

  • July 1: South on main, did a few extra loops, rode toward country club. Hot. Avg. Speed: 8.4, Miles: 20.21

  • July 2: Bike trail, Indian Hills bike trails and roads, bike trail again. Cool but humid. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 20.16

  • July 2: Parents drove us out and dropped us off a few miles past Oakwooda nd we rode in. Pleasant temp but muggy, drizzled later. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 20.68

  • Commuting: About 6.11 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 127.2

    Reached 400 Mile Club

    Week Ten

  • July 5: Bike trail with Anita, who biked. Hot, very humid, VERY windy! Avg. Speed: 7.5, Miles: 8.55

  • July 6: To White and back. HOT, slight breeze, many breaks. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 32.59

  • July 8: Bike trail twice. HOT, HUMID, WINDY! Few breaks. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 13.72

  • July 9: North on Medary, turned east for awhile, came back. Nice tailwind...AWFUL headwind! Cool but WINDY! Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 15.68

  • Commuting: about 3.36 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 73.9

    Reached 500 Mile Club

    Week Eleven

  • July 10: Bike trail. Cool (50 degrees), slight breeze, no Camelbaks. Avg. Speed: 9.3, Miles: 8.57

  • July 11: Out by Lake Campbell with Amelia on her bike. Perfect summer evening. Long breaks. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 19.9

  • July 13: To Aurora and back. Hot at first, then sprinkles, then rain, then it poured, then hailed, then normal. Hot wind. Few breaks. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 14.88

  • July 14: To Lake Benton and halfway home. HOT!! 96 degrees. Humid. Slight breeze. Some big hills. Lots of long breaks. Avg. Speed: 8.2, Miles: 47.18

  • July 16: Bike trail in morning. Cool but humid. No gloves, no Camelbaks. Some wind. Avg. Speed: 9, Miles: 8.62

  • Commuting: about 6.85 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 106

    Reached 600 Mile Club

    Week Twelve

  • July 17: We went up to Minneapolis to do another training ride with the TCUC. Rode loop around Ulmer's cabin in Wisconsin with Andy and Neil. Nice temp, sunny. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 11.8

  • July 18: Rode around part of Lake Minnetonka with Irene, Gilby, Andy, Neil, and Iris. Cool, cloudy, sprinkles. Some roads, some limestone bike trail. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 23.56

  • July 20: Bike trail with Amelia on rollerblades. Cool, muggy, sprinkles. Went slower for Amelia. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 8.97

  • July 22: To Aurora, 2 miles further, and home. Hot day, but early. Some wind. Muggy. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 19.3

  • July 23: Drove to Ivanhoe, rode to Hendricks and back. HOT!! Humid! Sunny, some breezes. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 25.01

  • Commuting: about 3.88 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 92.52

    Reached 700 Mile Club

    Week Thirteen

  • July 24: Ride began at 5:30 a.m.! Did bike trail with Aaron Svec, the photographer for the ride, on bike, then rode to Daktronics with him to drop him off. Continued without him to the roadside rest by Aurora. Cool, very foggy, humid. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 19.68

  • July 25: Began ride at 6 a.m. Rode with Svec on bike through part of the bike trail, then did a big loop around 22nd Ave, Main, and some highways. "Leapfrogging" brought our speed from 9.0 to 9.7! Warm, humid. Avg. Speed: 9.7, Miles: 16.13

  • July 26: Rode around town with Svec, then did Highway 14 bypass alone, then rode to Hardees, etc. Nice shoulder and temperature. Avg. Speed 8.2 overall, 10.0 on bypass, Miles: 15.07

  • July 27: Rode to and around Lake Campbell from 6-10 a.m. Nice and cool, humid. Avg. Speed: 10.0, Miles: 28.69

  • July 29: Ride started at 5:45 a.m. Went up Medary to bypass, west to Volga bridge, back east to 22nd. Ave, South to 8th st. south, home. Avg. Speed: 9.3, Miles: 10.01

  • Commuting: about 16 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 105.58

    Reached 800 Mile Club

    Week Fourteen

  • July 31: Rode from Cedar Shore over Missouri River to Pukwana in a big square. Up "Heartbreak Hill." Rode with bikers Mel, Kent, Ed and Rod (relatives at family reunion). Cool, windy, sprinkled. Big hills, up and down. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 27.8

  • Aug. 3: Went south on 22nd in a loop with Amelia on her bike. Cool. Avg. Speed: 10.0, Miles: 15.34

  • Aug. 6: Bike trail, end to start. Hot, sunny. Avg. Speed: 9.0, Miles: 9.03

  • Commuting: about 11.63 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 63.8 (Tammy was sick)

    Reached 900 Mile Club

    Week Fifteen

  • Aug. 7: Drove to Arlington, rode to Lake Preston, beyond, a tad back. Very windy and cool. Nasty shoulder dragged average down from 10.4. Avg. Speed: 10.0, Miles: 17.52

  • Aug. 10: Rode to Bruce and beyond. Very cool, foggy. Went fast, few breaks. And back - hot and sunny, no breeze. Slowed down and took many breaks. Avg. Speed: 9.3, Miles: 35.78

  • Aug. 10: Rode to Aurora then to roadside rest and back home. Hot, getting dark. 55 mile day total. Avg. speed: 9.3, Miles: 17.11

  • Commuting: about 16.09 miles

    Total Miles for Week: 86.5

    Reached 1000 Mile Club!!!

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