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Around The World On A Unicycle! | GCN Meets Ed Pratt

Around The World On A Unicycle! | GCN Meets Ed Pratt


(upbeat blues music) – This latest GCN
assignment hasn’t taken us very far from home, but
the reason that we’re lurking in this quiet and
quintessential English village is cause we’re actually
awaiting the arrival of a truly remarkable record setting cyclist. I think I can call him a cyclist. Can I call him a cyclist? He’s only got one wheel. (upbeat blues music) Ed Pratt set off from the sleepy county of Somerset in the UK as a 19-year-old. In three years, 22,000
miles later, he is back, having become the first person to have circumnavigated the world on a unicycle. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with his YouTube videos that have documented his trip, and
what a trip it’s been. We’ll hopefully find out some more. Here he is! Ed… he’s here! (laughing) – We clear? – We’re clear, go for it. Wowie. – How are you doing, Simon? – Very good, I’ll tell you
what, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you.
– You too, mate. – Thank you so much for stopping,
I appreciate you’re only a few miles from home now,
so I imagine if I were you I’d wanna get back,
but… do you want your adventure to end, or are you, like… – I think three years around the world on a unicycle, I think it’s enough. – Okay, alright, well, we don’t want to stop you for too long, so I thought maybe we could ride and chat whilst we go? I’ve brought a bike, or at
least kinda half a bike… – You can unicycle can you? – Well not yet. Is it hard? – Well we’ll give it a go, shall we, yeah. – Okay, cool. Game on. (upbeat pop rock music) Right, this is gonna be a
momentous occasion for me, so it seems fitting that we’re at this beautiful location of a small
village hall in Somerset. But anyway, that doesn’t matter, we’re here for the bike riding. – Absolutely. – So how do I start, mate? – So the theory is you’re always falling. Just try and get that in your head. You want your center of mass to always be kind of going in the
direction you wanna go. – Okay, that kinda sounds like always falling is probably…
comes quite naturally. – That’s it, so–
– Okay cool, alright. – So what you’re gonna do
is you’re gonna take your right foot, and put it on
your bottom pedal here– – So have it six o’clock? – That’s it, yeah.
– Alright, okay. – Cause anywhere else the wheel’s gonna want to go back to that position. – Good point. – Okay, so bring your left
foot onto the other one, and then you’re just gonna try and slowly bring yourself…
okay, that’s fine – Get backwards–
– Oh yeah I think you got it, you’re a pro. And then (laughs) you’re just gonna just try and bring yourself forward using the rail just to keep your balance. – Whoa! – That’s it. (playful funk music) Okay. And then if you feel confident, just try and let your body
weight fall forward a little bit, and then catch yourself
by falling forward. – Okay. Oh I see. – By pedaling again.
– Whoa! – That’s it. (laughs) – Alright. – That’s gonna happen a lot. – Yeah, so straight back on. Okay, I’m gonna try looking
where I’m going now. – But yeah, that’s the thing, yeah just looking in the direction
you wanna go will help. – Oh, whoa. – Keep going, keep going. – Oh yeah I’ve turned a corner! Okay, come on now–
– Oh, uphill’s gonna be a struggle. – Oh. I got my breath back now. That didn’t feel so bad. (playful funk music) I’ve kinda unofficially graduated from Ed’s School of Unicycling. So I’ve kind of given myself permission to be unleashed, out on the open road, and then we’re gonna have a little chat whilst we ride, just to find out a little bit more about Ed’s round the world trip, so yeah. Can’t imagine anything
could go wrong, really. That’s it… whoa, oh sorry mate, hang on. Just have to reset quickly. Right then, should we
do another go, take two? – Go for it. – Okay. Right, I’m going for it. Right then, so, what
were we talking about? Highlights of your trip, then. So what… can you kind
of distill down 22 thou… Oh, sorry, anyway, mate I’ve got this. – You’ve got it? – Oh, aw damn it we’re going uphill again. This is a dead end. Hang on a minute. (grunts) I wonder why this isn’t
going to work, mate. Do you mind if I just buy you a beer? – Absolutely, go for it. – Alright. (relaxed pop rock music) Well, this seems a little
bit more civilized, even if maybe you’re not actually making any progress, it’s
only got safer for me. – A bit more comfortable, isn’t it? – Yeah it is. Right so firstly then, you
actually set out with the aim of raising awareness of a charity, raising money for charity
with this trip, right? – That was it, yeah. So the charity that I’m raising money for, well I originally aimed to raise £18,000, I’ve smashed that, it’s
£300,000 right at the moment. – Nice. – And the charity is
called School in a Bag, and they’re based locally to where I live, it’s like 10 miles away from home, so when I was preparing this trip I kinda cycled to them just to
see if they’d be happy for me to support their cause. – And they basically send
these little red rucksacks, they fill them with educational resources, so exercise books, pens,
maths sets, pencils, you know, everything you’d want. – So, I mean you smashed your target, and then the other thing of course was circumnavigating the
globe, and on your website, it says 18,000 miles,
but you’ve just told me it’s 22,000 miles, you kind of… detours? – Just a bit wiggly, you know, I met a guy out in China, and it was
British guy who was also riding around the world, and for a month we sort of spent together,
you know it was a lot of stopping, taking videos, going
little detours and things, and after that, I just
thought let’s just keep it a bit more wiggly, and
that was kind of our motto, yeah, let’s just keep it wiggly. – (laughs) Nice. Cause how far can you cover in a day? Again, I saw that you’d done a max of 210 K’s in 24 hours which is pretty epic. – Well that was ridiculous,
yeah, and that was… it was 24 hours so it
wasn’t really the day, it was a little bit of cheating, I left at I think it was 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and I arrived at 2:00 p.m. the next day. – Well you… it does have credit for riding through the night, I think that’s– – Yeah, 130 miles, 210
kilometers, it killed me. – And that was, yeah, through the night on Chinese highways, it
was a little bit sketchy. – Yeah, but in a normal day
riding at 10, 12 miles an hour? – Yeah, I generally don’t
do more than about 50. 50 is about good. Any more than that, I definitely start to feel it, and I don’t enjoy it. – It still sounds like
a remarkable distance on a unicycle, maybe that’s
just because you know I’m still not quite grasped it yet, but you’re heavy laden
as well, aren’t you, you’ve got… this isn’t
lightweight bike packing, – No.
– You’re of course going away for three years,
you’ve got everything. – I’m carrying everything I need to sort of live on the roads. And that’s the thing, it’s always this compromise between being
comfortable on the bike, and being comfortable off the bike, and I love the freedom of just having everything I own on the bike, pretty much, or everything that I need,
so tent, sleeping bag, I’ve got a cooking stove,
I’ve got a computer, and I’ve got probably about
five kilos of filmmaking stuff, cause I make videos on the road, so… – Yeah well you’ve got a
great video literally about the kit that you’ve taken how many… so make sure you check out Ed’s channel if you wanna have a look at that. You kind of literally been pedaling for the whole three years… – No, I take a lot of breaks. I think probably when
I’m rolling, I’m probably only doing five days of the week, and then I’ll take a couple of days off. – Nice. – I’ve taken weeks off before now, I took seven months off when
I was in Kyrgyzstan, I rode– – Was that a preplanned seven months off? – I kinda– – Cause it seems like a…
– Yeah. – an odd place to stop for seven months, but I don’t know Kyrgyzstan very well. – Kyrgyzstan. – Kyrgyzstan. – Yeah, it actually, weirdly
makes a lot of sense, cause visas are easy, you
sort of get two months free, and then all you need to
do is go to the border, come back, you get another two months, so visa wise it’s very easy. And also it was just to
get out of the winter. Cause I was almost hit by a
car when I was in Kazakhstan, you know, icy roads, it was
the first day it had actually properly snowed, the roads
were just covered in sheet ice, and this car just loses control on the other side of the road,
almost smashes into me, I was lucky there was a car
overtaking me at that point, cause otherwise it
would’ve smashed into me. – I see cause it hit the other car– – As it happened it
smashed into the other car, both those guys were kind
of hobbling out there, it was quite serious, and
after this I was just like I’m not prepared to do another
thousand miles of cycling on this ice, cause it would’ve
been another thousand miles until I got to Bishkek, where I was planning to stop for the winter. (relaxed pop rock music) – So here is… can I call it the beast? It’s pretty… I mean it’s
– You can call it a beast, you can call it a bike, you
can call it a unicycle, yeah. – Alright, I’ll call it a
unicycle, that seems fair. 36 inch wheel, is that
like as big as you can get? – Yeah, kind of the biggest
you can get on a unicycle, people do take penny-farthing wheels, and convert them into unicycles, they’ll make their own frames, but if you want something
with a pneumatic wheel, then 36 is the biggest
you can get it for you. – Yeah, and I mean, who makes it? – Unicycle.com. – Okay. – Yep. – Wow, that’s quite fast and simple, yeah in Google–
– Easy, yeah. – Right there we go then. And then talk through the
customizations on it then, because that does not look standard. – So weirdly, the wheel,
all of this, the frame, and the seat, and the brake even are pretty standard bits, you could go out, you could buy one today. – What brake is it on there? See I mean disk brake obviously but… – Yeah it’s disk and it’s hydraulic. I don’t know the exact brand, but the stuff that’s special is
all of this, obviously, it’s the framework that holds the bags, that holds all the stuff that I’ve used to get around the world– – And you say the frame
was made by your granddad? – It was, yeah, so– – What a legend, that’s brilliant. – Just under four years ago now, I kinda came to him with the idea, I said hey I’m gonna try and
unicycle around the world, and he’s a very skilled sort of engineer, so I kind of present to him
this problem and he was… Yeah he went away in his
workshop for two weeks, and came out with all this stuff. – It’s beautiful, it’s like a
mudguard slash pannier rack, which is just a, you know,
seems like a genius combination. And the bags, then are
custom made for your– – Yeah. So the bags are made by a
guy in the States called Carrie Gray, and I think
he’s still making them for people who want to buy them. – Is it quite a niche thing? – It’s very niche, yeah so it’s hand made, just not on a machine,
he worked quite hard to get the design right, cause obviously with the
unicycle, you’re limited on how much stuff you can put on it, mainly just because your legs go here– – Well yeah, I did notice
you kind of like… you gotta sorta knee
out, pedaling, turning, which is good, cause it
means that you’ve got more room to put stuff on your bike. – You either do that or
you chafe the insides of your legs, so he’s
worked on that design, and then I got in touch with
him, sort of similar time when I was preparing for the trip, and he sent out the bags, and then I wanted my granddad to then work on the framework to hold them. – So cool. And in those bags, you’ve
got a tent, and stove, and sleeping bag, and camera kit, and… – Everything that a normal sort of cycle tourer would
carry, and probably more. I’m carrying a drone
at the moment as well. – Wow. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Yeah, so you just kinda cruise around and you fly a drone, – That’s it, yeah.
– Brilliant, genius. And the other thing is that you’ve got handlebars, of course, on there. Is that for aerodynamics? – It’s just for somewhere
to put your hands. Otherwise, like you found,
you’re just flailing all over. – Yeah, you don’t wanna do that. – And it’s to take a little bit of weight off your bum as well. – And then the other
thing that I’m noticing is your pretty cool wristband there. – I know, it’s neat, isn’t it? – So what… I mean, what’s that for? – So yeah this was made
for me by a guy called Jim Sowers in the States,
and he gave it to me right at the start of my
US leg in San Francisco, and it’s just a rear view
mirror, so I can put it up, and I can see the traffic
that’s coming behind me. – Cool, is there anything
else that you, I mean, in terms of mechanicals, punctures? – 80, maybe. – 80 punctures? – Yeah, so it’s not too bad, if you consider the three year trip. There was a section on
the Route 66 in America where I was getting one every day. – Oh no. – And there was just… yeah. I became pretty good at fixing them. – Yeah, I was gonna say,
– It was frustrating. – 36 inch tubes, you know, you won’t find them in every bike shop, will you? – You don’t replace, you just patch. Yeah I carry one spare, and– – So does that mean that there are 40 patches on your inner tube? – No, cause you know, I do replace them– – Ah okay, when you can.
– Well when I get the time. But I do carry one spare, I
like to patch it when I can. (upbeat pop rock music) – Okay so you are 30 miles away from home, roughly 24 hours away from
your coming home party, so you got a leisurely one tonight, what then comes after that? Is it back to… I don’t know
what to say, is it your house? Is it your mum and dad’s house? I mean you haven’t been
there for three years. – Yeah, I’ll stay with mum
and dad for a little bit. And yeah, I don’t know what happens next, but I’ve got a lot of video editing to do, there’s still a lot of that to do, so I’m sure I’ll stop in one place and just kind of get that out, cause I know people are keen
to see what I’ve been up to, I’d like to do some talks,
and then I think at some point I’ll head out on another
trip, human powered. That’s probably all I
wanna say at this point, – Fantastic. – But we got ideas. – Great stuff, alright well,
Ed, thank you very much, again, for stopping to talk to us, and also trying to teach
me how to ride a unicycle. You know, I think that’s probably me done for unicycling for another
20 years, but anyway, yeah, all the best, ride safe
for the next 30 miles, and then enjoy the homecoming. – Cheers, Si. – Ed, thank you again for stopping off, enjoy the last 30 miles home. – Cheers Si. – And yeah, safe unicycling.
– Cheers for coming out to find me today, it was great. – Hey it’s a pleasure. Next time you do something
amazing, give us a shout. – Alright. See you, man.
– Let’s see how it’s done then. – Take care! – What an absolute legend. Please, you gotta join me in giving Ed a massive thumbs up,
because he’s a nice bloke, and that was an incredible achievement. Now if you wanna watch
another video on GCN which is perhaps a little
bit out of our ordinary, then why not check out
Mark Beaumont tackling the world penny-farthing hour record.

100 comments on “Around The World On A Unicycle! | GCN Meets Ed Pratt

  1. Terrific! Outstanding achievement…well…for both of you…OK, OK…mostly for Ed though. I always thoroughly enjoy your presentations Si. You do have an unpretentious yet lively and charismatic style.

  2. For a moment, I thought that this was about to be the first show for your new channel Global Unicycling Network (GUN) but then I realized that this was actually the first show from the Global Beer Network. Wishing you the best of luck with both.

  3. Seriously I shit myself at thinking of the idea of unicycling uphill and downhill around the world, you can see si start complaining even at the slightest incline.

  4. Si might actually fit in with the circus! Honestly though that was an awesome effort, I think I’ll stick on two wheels though if you don’t mind.

  5. EDDDDDD FUUUUCCCKKIINNNNGGG PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  6. Wow, great work Ed. Hadn’t heard anything about your trip previously but definitely going to head over to your channel to learn more 🙂

  7. mental ! the man is totally mental ( in the nicest way possible )

    was grinning throughout the video. the interview too was lovely. thank you <3

  8. Had the pleasure meeting Ed and he stayed for two days while he traveled across Australia. Huge congratulations on this achievement

  9. I know it's only 8 out of nearly 2000 people, but how can 8 people conceivably dislike this? What is to dislike? That you offered him a beer and bought him water?

    It totally baffles me.

    Great video – loved it.

  10. The guy he was cycling with is a friend of mine – Super Cycling Man! The spoke highly of his time with Ed and said he was inspirational. He’s still out there cycling round the world. Check him out at: https://m.facebook.com/supercyclingmanfacebookpage/

  11. Really cool I followed Ed and kept my eyes open for news from him but kinda lost his progress since Kyrgystan te last 30miles will be a reflective ride I bet ya!!!!!!

  12. I've seen all his videos over the years and can't wait for the new ones! Congratulations! What an achievement! Unbelievable!

  13. Wow does not do this justice. I've experience long distance cycling, 5000 miles in 2 months, that's looking mighty paltry right now. It's an amazing (still not enough) accomplishment, hope he writes a book. Documentary would be great, the next adventure has me curious, "human powered" leaves it wide open.

  14. Watched this vid. Led me to watch some of Ed's own you tubes. Excellent documentaries Ed. Mature beyond your years. I kind of think you ought to think a bit bigger than the GCN approach. Your more like a future David Attenborough if you want to be. Worthy of a following in the millions, rather than thousands. Great effort…… Royal Britania!!

  15. I ran into Ed in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few days after I had started my TransAm trip. I couldn’t believe he had climbed all the way up there! I am so glad you filmed this and provided a link to his channel. I didn’t know he had one.

  16. Y'know, I've always looked sideways at unicycling, but that was a genuinely nice feature. What a great adventure for a young man, and major kudos on destroying his charity goal: chapeau, chap!

  17. Any chance of doing a video on Osymetric chainring vs round chainring? I.e. 30 km ride with a constant FTP and see the results on Time/feel?

  18. i did not think i would care for this, and thought it to be a novelty thing but upon viewing i find myself impressed. this is quite the journey ! very humbling. Bravo Ed ! someone should make a movie about you. what charity was it that you raised the money for ?

  19. Regarding strange bikes.
    I would really love to see you expert bikers trying this one.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0

  20. I feel it's important for the community that we see a lot more content of Si on a unicycle, who can we bribe to make this happen?

  21. Wow. the dude raised the bar so high that it seems quite impossible to break his record: around the whole globe, on nothing but one single wheel ? :))

  22. Amazing video 📹 such an inspiration! Always think 🤔 💭 Si is the right guy for these type of interviews he seems to strike up great rapport with folk. This is why I luv GCN and luv eccentricity! Ed is a legend (needs more publicity, should he wish)!!

  23. Ed has great content on his channel. He is a great Ambassador for the UK. Thanks GCN for showing this, it is nice to see something different every now and then!

  24. 10:40 Ed's carry-bags were made by a guy name "Carry"? Haha, but seriously, it turns out Cary James Gray is an amazing unicycle rider, and human being, in his own right — for one thing he learned to draw and paint with his feet, just for the challenge!
    http://www.caryoutthere.com

  25. Ed is an inspiration to young people and a treasure to the human race in general.
    Amazing achievement to a beautiful, patient, compassionate soul.
    I wish him every success.

  26. brilliant Ed, and respect to Simon for riding that unicycle across the car park after no time at all. Well done

  27. You took the Lord's name in vain . . . In one of your Australian videos shame on you you took my Lord's name in vain

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