Unicycle trip through Blue Mountains

Unicycle trip through Blue Mountains

Post by James.Giff.. » Mon, 23 Nov 1998 04:00:00

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 e***d 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 afterwards.

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

       http://SportToday.org/~james/sixfoot/

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!

Cheers,

James Gifford

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