Earlier this month a number of us attended UNICON 18, the unicycle world championship event in San Sebastian (Donostia), Spain. In addition to drinking lots of rioja and cider, some of us even competed in various events. We didn’t bring a basketball team, but Jimbo co-directed the basketball tournament and played on Eric Massoubre’s French team despite his injured shoulders and knee. A couple of locals (Lance and Kyle) played on the SLO Ballerz team that won the silver medal (losing to four-time champion WOOM).
The fields for most of the race events were enormous and strong; the best we had from a local rider was Corbin finishing second in the 30+ age group in the 10km and marathon (7th and 6th overall), as well as third in 30+ (14th overall) in XC. And Nathan represented for the old guys, finishing third in the 50+ male category in the 10km and the marathon.
Corbin also got style points for doing all the MUni events on his Coker.
And I had some fun MUni rides.
Unicon 19 will be in 2018 in Seoul, Korea. It’s likely to be a lot smaller just because of travel challenges.
Sherpa Dawa, our lead guide from the Nepal trip, is in town on vacation, and we got to take him up to Joaquin Miller for a fairly epic day (including almost all the best stuff in the park). Chris came in for the morning shift, and Ashley took his place for the afternoon. Dawa himself, though he’s now riding a unicycle, brought an extra wheel.
Chris won Best Biff and First Blood on a great faceplant off the drop at the bottom of Cinderella. Corbin’s bike got what looks like its first workout in many years. And fun was had by all.
A handful of us (think it was six if you count Corbin and Aaron) made the trek out to Sedona for the first organized MUni Weekend there. We had beautiful scenery, great MUni weather, and fun riding with a group of about 50 friends. None of our local crew could compete with Bobby Deeden from Houston for Best Biff (he won it two days in a row, with bonus points for landing in a cactus garden on the first one). It was good to be back on the sandstone; been too long!
We haven’t been doing much road riding lately, but our friend Sam Anderson was running the Slugapalooza bike race down in Santa Cruz, and he was kind enough to let us race a uni heat. We got seven riders out there, with Corbin winning going away, of course, with Harrison second and me third. We got some of the coolest race awards I’ve seen, laser-cut sheet metal slugs which can double as bottle openers. It was a beautiful day, beautiful course, and people really appreciated having us out there.
According to Strava, Corbin’s average speed was 20.8 kph, with a max of 49.0 kph (over 30 mph!) That back stretch was certainly a fun place for a geared 36er.
Chris and I snuck out for a wet ride in Joaquin Miller, with a bit of Dimond. It cleared up nicely and we had some beautiful steam coming off the meadows and trails. With Dragon and Ricardo not around, Chris had to take Best Biff for himself. At the end of Palos Colorados the creek was running down the trail, maybe 6-8 inches deep in places. Fortunately we’d brought unicycles, so we didn’t need to get our feet wet.
We were contacted last year by Christina, who works for AJC Children’s Foundation, an NGO which runs a school in San Francisco de Yojoa, Honduras. Someone gave a unicycle to the kids at the school, and several of them learned to ride and were really excited about it (as they should be!). Christina wanted someone to help her get more unis for the kids.
We worked with the California Unicycle Association, and Unicycle Latinoamérica to donate three new unicycles to the program. And now a bunch of the kids are riding and doing parades! We’re hoping to see them at a future U Games.
For our last ride of 2015 we had a visit from Down Under: Dave was in town from Sydney, and looking to hook up with some locals. No better thing to do than to take him up to Joaquin Miller for the tourist loop (Sequoia Bayview/Big Trees up/Chaparral/Sinawick to the overlook). Dave managed to win Best Injury, tweaking his ankle on Chaparral, but couldn’t beat Dragon for Best Biff (of course). The view was great and fun was had by all.
CalTV, a student-run station at Cal, did a piece at one of our weekly Tuesday basketball practices. 7:30 PM at San Pablo Park in Berkeley. As you can see from the footage, right now we’re doing a lot with kids, so the games are pretty mellow and welcoming to all.
Nate was in town from Phoenix, so we popped out for a couple of fun rides, a quick one on Whipsnake on Thursday, and then an epic one on Braille Trail on Sunday. We marked the last day of fall with a lot of falls. Nathan’s got some video on Brailled, though he didn’t manage to get any of Dragon. (Every season is fall for Dragon).