2007 Unicycle Tour of San Francisco

Newbie on a 29

So, I started riding last July (right around my 44th birthday. Since then, I’ve been playing Uni BBall, and getting dragged to various MUni courses by Tom “the Hub” Holub. So today, after doing a short MUni ride with Tom, Scalisi, and Rachel, I asked Mike (Scalisi) about doing the tour on a 29" (since I have no 36", everyone is waiting for the new ones to come out).

I was basically told that somebody like Tom could hang, but probably not me :slight_smile: Well, that stoked the fire. I’m coming on my 29 – since you are providing a route map, I may get left behind, but hopefully, I arrive at the dinner in time for dessert.

Jim Sowers

P.S. I am a newbie on a uni, but I have ridden a motorcycle from Cape Town to Cairo (ALONE!)

So, just curious…any stuff we have to do to sign up? Or just show up?

This is not an official ride of any sort. There is no waiver to sign, no fee, no nothing. You can’t sue us if you get injured or killed (or even left behind!) By showing up and joining the ride you are joining a group of friends who like to ride together. We will try to make it fun for everyone but anyone having trouble (or getting injured or whatever) is pretty much on their own to find transportation, etc. There is no support vehicle or anything like that. Everyone is expected to be self-sufficient. There’s no qualification or anything you need to come (although riding a motorcycle from Cape Town to Cairo alone allows you to not only come on the ride, but to lead the group down Lombard Street!)

One of our buddies from the Mediterranean Tour is flying in from Texas just for this ride. It will be great!


Hey, thanks for the quick reply! I’m working on getting transportation out there…

this sounds great.

think I could keep up on my 24x3.0 with 140mm cranks?

psh, that’s only a 16% grade on Lombard St… (as per wikipedia)
I do like 15% for the same distance (albeit non-switchbacked) without a brake on 110s every morning :stuck_out_tongue:

sadly I’m not on the right side of the continent to show up, which is truly a shame. I’ll have to see if I can make it for one of the cool california rides next summer.

Wimp! :wink:


Unfortunately I will not be able to join the group this year. I’ll be at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. What I learn there will hopefully help me get next year’s pictures processed and uploaded faster! Also, I hate to say it but I have to miss the second half of MUni Weekend as well, due to a trip that was scheduled earlier. I’ll be able to do part of Saturday’s activities, but then have to cut out for a very early Sunday morning departure… :frowning:

I know the solution to that – make up your own event! Then you have supreme control over date, time, location, etc. :slight_smile: A Coker tour of Roseville? It could work…

When we knew you a few years ago you were pretty tough. I give you about five miles before you’re exhausted. The first few miles are all flat, so the pace is pretty quick. Maybe you can borrow a Coker?

Well, actually, they say the hill is a 27% grade. Might be a little tougher with those 110s.

I think the curvy part of Lombard isn’t so hard; the grade is probably 27%, but it switches back and forth so the actual slope you have to deal with is a lot less.

The downhill block of Lombard after the curvy block is a lot harder to ride than the curvy block.

The wiki says the “natural grade” is 27%. So that’s what the grade would be if there were no switchbacks.

Most times we’ve done the curvy part of Lombard, we are riding with a long string of cars. We go faster than the cars of course, but that means you only can ride along the right side of the road. This makes it harder. If you have the whole road, it’s easier - that did happen last year but that was the only time.

With 125mm cranks and a brake it is fun and easy, especially without cars. With 125mm and no brake and cars right alongside you, it is hard but rideable (just).

The percentage grade changes a lot when you’re riding with cars - when you have to take the inside of one of the switchbacks, it’s pretty steep, but it’s momentary.


Pressure :slight_smile:

Hey Nathan!

Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at Side-O on Saturday (I was entertaining some friends from Trinidad). Anyway, thanks for the quote above! Not sure if I could lead you guys anywhere, but I once ran UP Lombard for a video I made – non-stop :wink: Looking forward to meeting you at the ride.


p.s. some African photos of ride at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimbosowers/sets/

It’s good to see someone who knows the real meaning of the word adventure these days! Great photos!

Looking forward to meeting you Jim,


falls off and removes a sizeable portion of surface skin from his leg

This ride is next weekend! Turns out some of us are doing a big ride the day before as our Ride the Lobster qualifier rides. Let me know if you want in on that as well. Saturday’s ride starts at my house at 10am Sept 8, about 6 hours. 38 miles, 4000’ climbing, 1 mile on gravel.


RTL Qualifier

So, according to the RTL FAQ, qualifying is as follows:

Two consecutive days with the first day rating 125 and the second day rating 150 (see the rating calculator below). This roughly works out to be 75 km with 500 m of elevation gained for both days. Or, with little or no elevation it is 87 km the first day and 90 km the second day.

Using their calculator at http://www.unitours.org/Unitours/tours/MUT/Rating.aspx and the numbers you provided (roughly -> 38mi = 60km; 4000’ = 1200m), the Sat. ride calculates to a rating of 175, with a next-day carryover of 31.25. I’m assuming that the next day (SF Tour) will easily count.

The only issue is, whether I can survive – my longest ride in my life is about 20 miles – have only been at this for a year. The good news is, I’m writing this after just returning from a MUni ride with Tom “the Hub” Holub and Ashley Foster.

I’d have to advise you to build up a better base before you go for the qualifying rides. (Particularly if you’re going to do it with Nathan and Beau). And probably a better unicycle, too. (For that kind of distance, you’ll either want a Coker or a 29er with 110s or shorter. And definitely a better seat.)