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Old 2017-06-20, 02:02 PM   #1366
harper
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Go Nathan.
The article follows:

Not everyone wakes up on a Saturday morning and decides to pedal 240 kilometres through the snow and rain over a mountain pass from the Yukon to Alaska.

But Nathan Hoover and his teammates did.

On unicycles.

Last weekend, Hoover and three other unicyclists were the only team out of more than 1,300 participants to complete the route of the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay. For the first time in its 25-year history, the race was officially shut down by a freak June blizzard that left the road covered in black ice and several inches of snow.

But the unicyclists were undeterred.

“What else were we going to do that day, right?” said Hoover, 58.

Hoover is a serious unicyclist. He’s gone to the unicycle world championships every other year since 2000, and he once cycled an 800-kilometre road race the length of Nova Scotia.

But this, he said, was in his “top two or three” hardest racing days.

“It was ridiculous,” he said. “On my first leg, I was riding along and it wasn’t too bad … and then suddenly I came around the corner and there’s just this wall of wind.”

The Kluane bike relay stretches over 238 kilometres between the small community of Haines Junction, Yukon, and Haines, Alaska, with an elevation gain of more than 400 metres from the start to the top of the pass.

It attracts cyclists from all over the world — Hoover is from California — as well as a crowd of Yukoners who often put as much effort into creative costumes as they do into training for the race. One year, for instance, two men dressed up in sumo suits and rode the entire race on a tandem bicycle.

Leigh Ayton, 30, has ridden the race for the past six years. One year, her team of eight dressed up as a rainbow, each dressed in a full-body spandex suit of a different colour.

Another year, they dressed as Star Trek: The Next Generation (team name: Make It Slow). One person rode with a circuit board strapped to his chest.

This year, her team was the Bike Team Formerly Known As Prince. They were dressed fully in purple, with ruffles around their necks.

But their tribute was cut short by an unexpected snowstorm that started late Friday night in Haines Junction. Around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, as they were driving to the starting line from Whitehorse, the official email came saying the race was off.
Courtesy Vicky Hoover

“It was really disappointing for me,” Ayton said. “Our car was decorated with balloons and purple streamers.”

Others had it worse. Many cyclists drove out to Haines Junction on Friday night and camped, only to wake up to near-freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Some tents collapsed under the weight of the white stuff.

“This was totally shocking,” said Jason LaChappelle of the Wayward Salamanders, who camped out for the night.

Shawna Smith, who slept in her vehicle near Haines Junction, said people looked pretty disappointed as they emerged from their tents Saturday morning. But she decided to make the best of it, so she got into her Power Ranger outfit and built a snowman.

Rain had been pelting Haines Junction for several days before the race, said race co-ordinator Mike Kramer. He’d been worried about snow high up in the pass, but he hadn’t expected to wake up Saturday morning to a thick blanket of the stuff right in town.

The roads were covered in black ice that made it dangerous for cars to get around, let alone bikes. Kramer knew pretty quickly that he’d have to call the whole thing off.

But by that point, Hoover and his unicycle teammates were already well on their way. They’d started the relay at 4:22 a.m., long before the official start time, because unicycles aren’t as fast as road bikes.

Hoover thinks his team’s unicycles actually had an advantage over road bikes in those conditions, because their tires are thicker. Only one of his teammates bailed cycling over an icy bridge, he said.

They switched riders every few miles because of the harsh conditions, which isn’t technically allowed in the official relay rules. But once they were over the pass, the roads cleared right up.

“It did look impossible when we woke up. I mean really impossible. But it wasn’t. It was actually quite doable,” he said.

The unicyclists rolled into Haines at 5:48 p.m. local time, 14.5 hours after they started.

Even for the Yukon, a snowstorm in mid-June is unusual. In fact, Whitehorse experienced a heat wave just one week earlier, when temperatures soared into the mid-30s.

Back in Whitehorse Saturday afternoon, Smith said, she was out gardening in shorts and a T-shirt.

“If people don’t believe in climate change by this point, they should probably believe in it now, in my opinion,” she said.

“It was so sunny and nice that the whole morning seemed like a weird dream,” said LaChappelle. “It didn’t seem real.”
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Old 2017-06-26, 07:11 PM   #1367
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Originally Posted by harper View Post
The article follows
Thank you Greg. I've stopped doing this service, and I have stopped reading posts in this thread that are only links. Nice read though, and kudos to Nathan and whoever the team mates were.
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Old 2017-06-26, 07:23 PM   #1368
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Thank you Greg. I've stopped doing this service, and I have stopped reading posts in this thread that are only links. Nice read though, and kudos to Nathan and whoever the team mates were.
I find the posting of a link, by itself, with no description, to be very annoying. I usually ignore them in a forum. I just delete the e-mail if they're in an e-mail. How hard can it be, right?
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Old 2017-06-27, 11:17 AM   #1369
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I find the posting of a link, by itself, with no description, to be very annoying. I usually ignore them in a forum. I just delete the e-mail if they're in an e-mail. How hard can it be, right?
The link was pretty clearly labeled: "Four men on unicycles only team to finish gruelling 249 km yukon relay after it was shut down by blizzard"

It seems to me that anybody that would be interested would click on it. How hard can it be, right?

--

I can see recopying it here - losing all the formatting and pictures, and creating a wall of text to scroll past - as an optional, somewhat useful archival thing, but the real story is at the link. It's not annoying to post it.
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Old 2017-06-27, 12:08 PM   #1370
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I tend to agree with you guys, but to be fair, the link was clearly describing what it was about.

Then I don't see the point of copy/past the whole shit on the forum, except for archiving/saving what is written on the article, since the article by itself is a bit more pleasant to read on the original Web site.
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Old 2017-06-28, 05:09 AM   #1371
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Then I don't see the point of copy/past the whole shit on the forum, except for archiving/saving what is written on the article, since the article by itself is a bit more pleasant to read on the original Web site.
Go back to the early pages of this thread and see if any of the links work. Any at all. Today, some publications post their stories in a way that allows archiving them without having to change the link, but most still don't. They either don't keep them online for long, or move them to an "archive" area or something, with a different link.

So the best way to immortalize any articles in this thread is to copy and past the text here, while including the link so people can see it in its original formatting, while it lasts.
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Old 2017-07-28, 12:27 PM   #1372
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This article was on the cover page of the Chattanooga "Get Out" magazine.

The original has some nice photos. Here's the article text:

Learning to walk on only one wheel

To hear Matthew Gant describe it, unicycling is about being in a state of constantly falling down. That's part of the fun, though, he says.

Gant started the Chattanooga Unicycle Club in 2013. Initially, only he and Brooks Bacon were members, and Gant was still learning how to ride. In the time since, over 70 people have joined the club, all eager to learn about and partake in one-wheeled transportation.

Gant initially got into unicycling as a challenge. He'd undergone knee surgery in early 2013 and wanted something that could provide a benchmark in how his rehab was going. He knew it would be hard but had little idea of just how difficult.

"If unicycling didn't exist and someone handed me the first-ever unicycle, after an hour I'd have told them no human could do it," laughs Gant. "It's as hard as learning to walk."

"Constantly falling down" is an accurate description. Unicycles can't even be propped against a wall without falling. Gant, an engineer by trade, says there's nothing more unstable than a single point of contact when that point of contact is a wheel. It took him months before he could travel in a straight line without falling, and even then he was equivalent to a baby still mastering his or her first steps.

"If you put even a credit card or a quarter in my way, I couldn't do it. Just that little bump would throw me off," he says. "Now, though, I can go trail riding on it."

It's not just a hobbyist's game. Gant says many of the club's members unicycle for transportation as well as fun.

There are even a few who commute to work via unicycle. Gant claims it's easier to go to the grocery store for a few things on a unicycle than a bike, since a unicycle is hands-free and holding groceries with both hands can keep the rider balanced.

"It's far safer than a bike, too," he says. "That's a fact. When you're unicycling, you're rarely going over eight miles per hour. You just don't have the speed to get hurt."

Cruising speed on a bike can vary between 12 and 15 mph, depending on the model and the cyclist.

Moreover, crashes on a unicycle are a simple affair. Since the overwhelming majority of spills happen because the unicycle shoots out from under the rider, the rider ends up standing in place on two feet while the cycle clatters to the ground. In the two months it took Gant to learn how to turn on his unicycle, he says he never once fell to his hands or shins.

Gant says the time it takes to learn how to unicycle varies from person to person, and can be as little as a few days for kids and teenagers who already have a good sense of balance.

No matter how much time it takes one to master the unicycle, though, the payoff is worth the effort, he says.
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Old 2017-07-28, 05:00 PM   #1373
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This article was on the cover page of the Chattanooga "Get Out" magazine.
Excellent. Thanks for posting both the link and the full text version of the article.
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Old 2017-08-10, 06:44 PM   #1374
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We'll never be cool...

I just found out that off road unicycling will never be cool.

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/art...be-cool-50560/

Oh well, I'll keep riding anyway.
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Old 2017-08-10, 07:48 PM   #1375
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Originally Posted by AzTinbender View Post
I just found out that off road unicycling will never be cool.

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/art...be-cool-50560/

Oh well, I'll keep riding anyway.
It's worth observing that bicyclists think of themselves as independent-thinking renegades, yet conformity rules that world. Yeah, I get that It's Serious Stuff, and you or someone else can be killed or seriously hurt if you screw up badly while riding in a tight pack. But we aren't putting anyone at mortal risk if we wear briefs under cycling shorts or wind our handlebar tape the other way or do/don't put the caps back on valve stems, yet most of the what goes on among cyclists is about establishing The Right Way vs The Wrong Way. And having only one wheel is clearly going to be the latter.

Having said that, "all the arm-waving is less rodeo cowboy and more a traffic argument in Rome" is pretty funny and not entirely untrue.

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Old 2017-08-10, 09:40 PM   #1376
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We made the #1 position!!!
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Old 2017-08-10, 10:08 PM   #1377
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Originally Posted by AzTinbender View Post
I just found out that off road unicycling will never be cool.

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/art...be-cool-50560/

Oh well, I'll keep riding anyway.
So, this means road unicycling is cool? The latest GCN show gave props to Ed Pratt for riding around the world. He's in Australia. His YouTube site has some fun videos. I'd like to ride with him when he makes it to the US.

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Old 2017-08-10, 10:52 PM   #1378
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My Comment to Unicycles Look, "a bit… clownish"

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/art...#disqus_thread
DearSteve Williams @ bikeradar,

Hey, how about before you offend the thousands of unicyclists around the world that don't take part in "circus" activity, you do some research about the amazing, fun, and highly skilled SPORT that is unicycling. Modern unicycles allow riders to reach high speed on the road(36" wheels, Geared hubs) with handles that eliminate the "silly" appearance and hand flailing you apparently so know so much about. . How about I pass you at 20 mph on my UNICYCLE and then you tell me how silly I look.
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Old 2017-08-11, 01:57 AM   #1379
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…tell me how silly I look.
Okay, I think we all look silly. But it doesn't bother me. I'll even hum "Entrance of the Gladiators" for anyone who mentions circus. For me it's not what others think that counts. It's not for any practical reason that I do silly things on unicycles.

If anyone cares to know why I unicycle or muni or hill climb or ride one or two hundred miles in a day or juggle while riding in the snow, or juggle on my unicycle wearing a clown costume for TV documentaries, I simply tell them "Because I can!"

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Last edited by bungeejoe; 2017-08-11 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Because I'm just silly!
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Old 2017-08-12, 01:08 PM   #1380
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I just found out that off road unicycling will never be cool.

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/art...be-cool-50560/
It's kind of cool that he knows enough about muni to make fun of things like the arm waving, and crotch grabbing, and silly high cadences - and that he expects his readers to recognize them too.

As if he considers us part of the mainstream now, the unwashed masses that the cool folks must rise above! That's progress, of a sort.
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