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.
A group of us pitched in at the Prescott Circus volunteer day on Friday. Jimbo and I provided some instruction on unicycle maintenance, and Dragon built juggling balls and painted stilts. In the end, Prescott wound up with 12 more working unicycles. Good luck with them, kids!
The newly revived Moab MUniFest is coming up, March 21-23. This has traditionally been the premier mountain unicycling event in the world, drawing over 200 riders the last year it ran. And it’s easy to see why; Moab is a beautiful place, with amazing riding for people of any level. The group will range from expert riders like Kris Holm to people who are just doing their first real MUni ride. It’s a great community event, and there are plenty of outdoor opportunities for friends and family who aren’t part of the uni crowd; some people hike along with the ride or rent bikes, or just go visit the two spectacular national parks outside of town (Arches and Canyonlands).
As anyone who has ridden there can tell you, the trails at Moab are long and strenuous. If you want to do three days of riding, or even two, you’ll need to build up your stamina. With that in mind, I’m running a Moab training ride series, starting this weekend and leading up to the event in March. There will be rides every weekend, sometimes two in one weekend to work on recovery.
We’ll start with easy, non-technical trails to encourage beginners to get out and build up their MUni skills. We’ll work up to longer rides to develop endurance, interspersed with increasingly difficult, technical rides to work on skills. Whether you’re going to Moab or not, this series is a great opportunity to have some fun and improve your riding and fitness.
Here’s the current schedule. All rides will go on regardless of weather, though the location may change on wet days. Dates and locations are subject to change, but there should be at least one ride every weekend until the event. Rides will typically meet at my place at 9:30 AM; make sure you’re on the mailing list to see any updates.
Jan 11 (Sat): Crash the BTCEB Gala Ride at Rockville Hills Park
Jan 12 (Sun): Beginner’s ride in Joaquin Miller
Jan 19 (Sun): Easy ride
Jan 25 (Sat): Longer, non-technical ride in China Camp
Feb 1 (Sat): Intermediate ride with technical features
Feb 9 (Sun): Intermediate ride in Joaquin Miller, focus on technical trails
Feb 15 (Sat): Longer intermediate ride with technical features at Annadel
Feb 23 (Sun): Dimond/Joaquin Miller climb and descent, strenuous
Mar 1 (Sat): Road trip to Soquel Demo Forest, long ride with technical features
Mar 8 (Sat): Short ride in Joaquin Miller focused on fun
Mar 9 (Sun): Rockville Hills technical expedition
Mar 15 (Sat): Mount Tam loop, long, strenuous ride
Mar 21-23: Moab MUniFest
Starting this Tuesday, the Cal Juggling Club has helped us obtain an indoor venue for basketball. We’ll be in the Hearst Gymnasium on the Cal campus, near the tennis courts on Bancroft Avenue. Enter from the side nearest the courts; if the folks at the desk ask you, tell them you’re with the Cal Juggling Club. The gym is upstairs.
No metal pedals, and non-marking tires only.
If you’re interested in basketball, make sure you’re on the hoops mailing list. We won’t be able to get this venue every week (for example, the campus is closed over the holidays), so we’ll send out mail each week about where we’re meeting. We should be able to do most of the rainy season inside, which will be great.
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.
Mike and I are slackers on Friday afternoon, so we’ve been getting some nice bonus MUni rides in while the park is empty. Mike cleaned Chaparral from the top of the rocky section, and I got the furthest I’ve ever gotten on Two Dollar Hill (about one pedal revolution further).
BTCEB is hosting another trail work day in Joaquin Miller this Saturday starting at 9:30. They’ll be working on Sequoia Bayview and Big Trees trails, two of our favorites (and featured on last week’s ride). I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it, but I encourage anyone who uses the trails to think about volunteering occasionally. I did some work last month on Cinderella and it was fun. Generally it runs about half a day, but you can leave whenever you want, they’ll appreciate whatever hands are around.
Then Sunday 1/30, meet at my place at 9:30 for an intermediate MUni ride up in Joaquin Miller. We’ll probably be looking at two loops, including Cinderella somewhere in there. And maybe we’ll shuttle it, depending on the number of drivers.
Nathan and I, with Grace and Nancy went on a ride/hike in Joaquin Miller on Thanksgiving, and had a bonus ride/hike in Dimond Canyon on Friday. It rained early in the day on Thanksgiving but was clearing up by the time we got up there; had some great light on Big Trees again. Fairly standard rides, just shaking things out and earning our dinners.