A group of us, as Cylops and The Other Wheels, went up to the Kinetic Grand Championship in Humboldt County over the long weekend. It was, as usual, a glorious event, with incredible art and a lot of innovative (though not entirely successful) engineering.
After checking out the last minute preparations at the Kinetic Lab the night before, we showed up in Arcata town plaza to demonstrate our engineering (effective but minimal–I got points for being able to hop), art (eyeballs), and pageantry (glorious with multiple unicycles), and then headed out along the road towards the Manila Dunes.
It had rained a bit earlier, but it turned out to be a nice day for a ride except for occasionally nasty cross-winds. As usual, we arrived at the dunes before most of the rest of the sculptures, made the transition to sand mode (low pressure and 170mm cranks) and headed off to the beach. The Larry tire handled most of it with no problem, including getting me through almost a mile on the beach with only one dismount. A couple of the steeper uphills took painstaking work, getting one pedal revolution at a time, falling off and getting back on where I came off. I had one good fall off a drop onto the beach directly onto my butt.
At Dead Man’s Drop, the Other Wheels gloriously rolled down the dune to smooth it out; their efforts weren’t quite enough to let me ride the whole thing (I came off once, went back up, came off again, mounted from there and rode the rest), but it did earn us the Golden Flipper award as none of the sculptures actually flipped this year.