Kurt Osburn rode a Wheelie on his bicycle from Hollywood, CA (USA) to the Guinness World Records Experience in Orlando, FL. from April 13th to June 25th, 1999. He rode 2,839.6 miles on one wheel setting a new Guinness World Record and becoming the first person in history to ride a bicycle wheelie coast to coast!
Interesting Facts: averaged 50 miles a day with winds in excess of 40 miles per hour, traveled on the 110 Highway, was chased by dogs almost everyday, had 4 flat tires (on the rear tire of course), over 1.8 million pedal revolutions from start to finish.
A bicycle wheelieTo perform a wheelie on a bicycle, put the bike in low gear and pedal forward while pulling hard on the handlebars. This can most easily be done from a starting position. Experts with sufficient experience and strength can, using the proper gearing, execute successful wheelies while moving. While the front wheel is in the air, maintain an upright posture and lean around to control balance - do not hunch over the handlebars. For added control, tap the rear brake (forward balance) or pedal forward (rearward balance).
A wheelie can be maintained indefinitely. To complete the move, lean forward and allow the front wheel to drop back to the ground. Ensure it is straight on contact, or control of the bike may be lost.
Once the wheelie has been conquered the manual wheelie can be attempted. This is the same as a wheelie but without pedaling. The bike is balanced by the rider's weight and sometimes use of the rear brake.
To travel farther on the back wheel of a bicycle, the rider must put the bike into a higher gear with the body weight leaned forward (over the handle bars if needed) and the stronger foot highest in the pedalling cycle. The rider kicks hard with the stronger foot, throw all their weight backwards and lands their backside on the seat, then straighten out the arms and put weight and tension on them. The rider keeps pedalling, and when the wheelie feels too high up, feathers the back brake slightly.
To lower the "balance point", put the saddle higher up, which will mean that the "maximum height" of the wheelie is brought down, and it will also be more comfortable to go for long distances on the back wheel. There is a skill to being able to stop on the back wheel, and then keep going more slowly, this can be done by striking a balance between the back brake and the pedalling.
Leaning back too far (i.e. as a result of pedalling too hard) will cause the bike to fly out from under the rider. Although most riders will instinctively hit the ground running, practice recovering from this event before attempting an actual wheelie. Balancing left to right can easily be controlled in the air by moving the knees and handlebars back and forth.
Injury can be avoided by keeping speeds down and/or learning to use the rear brake. However, higher speeds, unintuitively, are often necessary to master the wheelie as more balancing skills are necessary with decreasing speed, which are usually not present without sufficient practice. For this reason, beginners attempting wheelies on bicycles should tune up their rear brakes and aim for an 12-18 km/h (8-12 mph) wheelie for maximum safety.
Thanks to Matt Pingel for the link.