We got our training series going with a reasonably mellow ride up in Joaquin Miller. No major biffing (Best Biff was a toss-up between Harrison’s awkard step in the stream, and George’s mount failure pedal smack). Everything was pretty damp up there, and I even did a bit of trail work (armoring a pothole in the middle of Sequoia Bayview that was draining underneath the trail).
It was beautiful up there, and great to get back on the trail. More rides to come!
Ben Soja, one of the top MUni downhillers in the world, was visiting Santa Cruz for a conference, so Corbin called a ride. We wound up with a great crew, a dozen riders on a chilly but beautiful day. The ground was super-soft, but unfortunately for Ricardo and Chris, the wood wasn’t. Ricardo won Best Biff(*) trying to get over an off-kilter log stack (I’m sure his thigh is lighting up in all kinds of Christmas colors), and Chris won Best Injury by dislocating his finger on a goofy fall on the train tracks.
It was fun to watch Ben and Josh pushed each other to go big on the jumps, which I’d say they split. Ben was amazing on the steep downhills, which there are a lot of on Chupacabra.
Shockingly, Josh had never been to Tamarancho with us. We finally rectified that oversight in early November. All three of us on the ride (Harrison being the other) were out of shape, and Tamarancho is a long ride if you’re out of shape, but it’s great riding, and there’s not anything quite like Endor (the flow trail) anywhere else. (There are other flow trails around, but most of them don’t work well for unicycles).
I can’t verify it, but I think it’s safe to assume that no one had ever ridden a unicycle to Treasure Island. The old Bay Bridge had no bike path, and while some intrepid cyclists had ridden there on the road, I’m pretty sure they all had at least two wheels. The new East Span has a bike path, but until October it hadn’t been connected to the island.
Now it is, so, it had to be uni’ed. A group of four of us, plus a handful of bikes, made the trip over to Yerba Buena Island, rode down the road, did a lap of the island and hung out at the marina, drinking wine and eating empanadas.
It’s a pretty mellow ride, and seeing the departing remnants of the old bridge was cool. And we got a bonus photo from a guy (John K) who was out shooting the bridge.
We’re big in West Marin; this morning I got interviewed for the “Off-Center Sports” radio show by Steve Sarrafzadeh of KWMR (West Marin Radio). We talked about uni basketball, MUni, and other uni sports. I think they were pretty impressed, and there wasn’t a single clown or circus reference.
Chris invited us down to Psycho, and we had a good group flailing and tumbling all over the hill. Vicente came out on his first MUni event (he’s not riding…yet), and we had a pretty spectacular array of biffs. Josh nominated my fall off the Overpass (caused when the small branch I was holding on to broke) for Best Biff, and Dragon of course had a number of contributions, but I think the award has to go to our first ever Tandem Best Biff, where Dragon pushed Ned backwards over a stump while still flying another 20 feet down the trail.
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!