The 20th annual (and LAST) 12 Miles of Hell race/ride kicks off on March 4, 2007 in Lawton, OK, and I’d love to see some hardcore MUni riders there (see 12milesofhell.com). What makes it a good event for MUni? First off it is no cake walk and the course is usually longer than 12 miles (named for the first race), and anyone entering should consider training up for it unless they ride hard year around. Secondly it’s a single lap so a MUni won’t cause any traffic jams, and with the large number of recreational MTBers you can actually pass a few bikes for a change (over 500 riders there last year). After my ugly mug was posted on cycleok.com all year about riding there last year I about have to do it again this year - only with more preparation and better equipment. Some of you Texas riders need to come on up for this one will be the last one, and you don’t want to miss out on a great ride.
How far from Norman Ok.? I have to take a Business trip to Norman in March, mabe I can time it with this… And do you ride a 24 or a 29 on this ride
Why is it the last one?
It would take you slightly longer than an hour to get there from Norman. It is just off I-44 in Lawton at Ft. Sill. They are expecting a large turn-out so it would be well worth your time. I ride a 24" LM Surly rim, and for most of the trail it would be the preferred size due to the rocky conditions. In last year race there was a couple miles (out of 15.5) that I wished I had a 29 for the speed.
The organizers of it have tired of the logistical problems of putting on such a large event on a military base. In preparation every year they have to contend with hunters (it is a multi-use recreational area) or troop exercises. The southern part of the area borders on an artillery range so if you see a sign indicating off limits it pays to heed the advice.
So is this more of a race or just like a trail with many obstacles for muni?
I would love to go to this…
There is an actual race, but of course MOST of the riders there are not actually racing anyone only there for the experience or the chance to say they did it. Plenty of rocky and hilly terrain to keep any MUni busy, and I’d love to see someone do the Kevinator (SERIOUS downhill) on a MUni. I watched a couple of MTBs go down it and that was impressive too, but most of the riders (including myself of course) take the bypass. That area would be fun for a trials style rider and 20 incher, but the distance getting there and doing the entire course calls for a larger wheel. As far as obstacles per se, it is not a trials type of an event (I believe you like that style), and most gaps, drops, and required hops are small though plentiful.
Yeah I don;t think I could do much on it since my only “good” unicycle is a trials/street 20 inch lol.
Yes, that would be rough even if they do the first course again at “only” 12 miles. I just thought of the best way to describe it too, your physical abilities (cardio, strength) are more important there than your technical abilities.
i live in tulsa, ok and we go to 12moh almost every year. hope to be there this year for the last one.
I ride at Turkey Mt.(hill) in Tulsa and plan on making it to this event. I can pick up anyone in Norman if needed. Anyone in Tulsa can ride along also. Last year my leg was jammed up and caused me to miss this event.
JUGGLE508 - I’m getting a new ride put together so you probably can ride my old 26" muni (Snotrocket). She’s a good ride, but I want to graduate to a splined hub.
Can Texans ride? Ft. Sill is very close with a good highway from Dallas/Ft.Worth.
We otta get a camp going Friday night.
Been training for this year? I regret that I haven’t been up to Turkey Mtn. to ride with you, but I can promise this course is no joke on a MUni.
Well, that is over and done with… Thanks again to Doug and Peter for showing up and riding so well - I believe the sport of Muni was well represented there that day. The good news is that this ride is coming back again next year, but due to new sponsers it will be known as The Hills of Hell. This year’s 12 Miles of Hell was actually 17.5 miles (named for the 1st one 20 years ago), and I was hoping they would post a graph of the ride like they did last year though it would be fairly similar. Also looking forward to them posting the results for 2 reasons - first is due to the organizer of the event watching us finish together stated he will try to post our ride in a more appropriate category (I entered single speed). I tried to tell him the difference between a plain unicycle and Muni, but I’m guessing the category will be unicycle and that’s fine. Secondly a biker last year who tried to tell me I didn’t belong out there only to finish after me made himself known to me at the start this year and all over the course. This year he finished mere moments in front of me with an elderly gentleman between us. More than knowing his name, I am curious to find out how old this MTBer is that would celebrate beating a 44 year old man on a Muni.
The course begins with a decent climb that can be ridden completely, but due to the bottleneck of 730 riders, it must be partially hiked (cactus make passing in the grass a bad idea). The second ascent is wider, less traffic, and harder, and this year we got the pleasure of descending it towards the end of the ride though with 15 miles or so under our belt it was a mixture of pleasure and pain. One of the highlights of the trail is a downhill called the Kevinator with 2 trails down it - hard and harder. All of us wanted no part of the steeper line due mainly to the fact it was located over a dozen miles of rough terrain into the ride. It can be reached by car and would make a great place for trials or Muni riders with fresh legs. The event photographer was located here, and Peter put on a good show that I hope the photographer caught. I had only one more small drop to do when I UPDed and when I ran out of it almost took another photographer with me. Towards the end of the ride we were the first to come up on a rider with a bloody elbow and a wrist he couldn’t move, and got to play doctor by wrapping his wrist and pointing him back towards the road. We should of looked at his number to see if he wins the prize for the worst injury known as The Big Bawls Award.
Hopefully I’ll be back with some great downhill photos, but I will say again that I am grateful to Doug and Peter for riding along. This was the first time I had met Peter and I don’t admire the fact that 2 days after this ride he is doing jumprope and unicycle demonstrations at 2 different high schools, for mere walking is enough challenge for me right now. Oh yeah, it was also great to meet fellow Muni rider Russ from Kansas (though he rode there with a training wheel) and a young fellow I guess that I will meet again at Moab Muni Fest. Sounds like a potential 5 Muni’s next year! But we need 6 to keep growing at the same rate…
Sound like a great ride and a great time, Thanks for the write-up. I’d love to try it if it wasn’t so far away.
The results are now posted on 12milesofhell.com, but the race director didn’t give us our own category like he said but I’m sure he tried. The following photo was by the professional photographer there - Kenny Seals. The downhill we just did can be seen over my left shoulder, and yes it was as loose as it looks…
Looks like an awsome ride, wish I could have made it.
Just so you know it looks like it will be back next year about the same time…