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.
Not sure whether they leave these archives up indefinitely, but the link right now is at: http://kwmr.org/broadcasts/5619
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.
Nathan had a three-sport party (disc golf, road riding, and MUni), plus beer and homemade pizza (thanks Massimo and Tim!) Great weather, great riding. Dragon won Best Biff both days, of course.
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.
K wanted a chance to try out a geared uni, which inspired us to go for Tom’s Rob-ish Ride. We hadn’t ridden it as a group in some time, although I often use it to crank out a quickie, so to speak.
The roads were dry but the trails were muddy after the week’s rains. We had fun playing in the mud, including a skidding contest in the meadow (Geronimo won). At Ricardo’s urging we modified the route to go down Cinderella, which was quite tricky given the conditions, but fun. And I was glad to see that the drains I dug at the trail maintenance day a few weeks back are working great.
We took a shortcut on the way back, on a route I had scouted but discarded as the main option for the ride. G won Best Human Cliffside Retrieval on the north part of Sunset Trail, which is also where Harrison won Best Unicycle Cliffside Retrieval. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after we got to the road that K won Best Biff, losing control on super-steep Castle Drive. Road biffing isn’t nearly as fun as mud biffing. No serious injuries, but the new route will be used on an as-required basis only. (It’s a little shorter.)
BACAFest was fun, even though we got skunked out of playing basketball on Friday night (Alameda High, I’m looking at you: changing the rules 48 hours before the event is not cool). Corbin had probably the coolest act in the show (does a cyr wheel count as a unicycle?) and we had fun rides on Saturday and Sunday.
A little tardy, here’s a recap of some of the fun the locals had at UNICON 17 in Montreal:
- Our two local world championships were Adam’s wins in the 3-point and free throw shooting contests.
- The Berkeley Revolution was third after the first round of the tournament, but lost in the second round, finishing fifth overall. Two locals, Lance and Tristan, played for the SLO Ballerz team which finished third.
- Nathan Hoover finished first in his age group in the marathon, and second in the 10K.
- Tom finished second in his age group in the MUni uphill.
- Ricardo won Best Biff in one of the Mont Tremblant mud puddles.
The results of the most critical competitions (disc golf and beer pong) aren’t listed on the UNICON web site; suffice it to say that fun was had by all.
See you in San Sebastian in 2016!
Full set of way too many pics
The Bay Area Circus Arts Festival (BACAFest) is back for 2014! October 3-5 at Alameda High, we’ll be running a MUni ride for beginners (and also one for advanced riders), playing uni basketball, and doing our always-popular party ride through the streets of Alameda. There will be workshops on unicycling and other circus skills, both at beginner-level and for experienced riders.
Don’t miss Saturday night’s “Art In Motion” performance, which is slated to have another great lineup of diverse talent.
We’ll hope to see you there!
We had some great fun over the beautiful holiday weekend; a slightly revised Tom’s Rob-ish Ride with three unis and six bikes (100% rollable with the new Sunset Trail revision), and then Dirt Friday up at Annadel. New traditions!
Full set of pics
Full set of pics