2010 Distance Unicycling Racing Feeler

Calling all 36er and Schlumpf owners:

I was in my local LBS the other day when I was approached by a local race organizer looking to expand on this year’s successful event. This year there was an 85 mile road race (for the elites, there were shorter distances as well for other categories) which had a very good turnout- so good that he’s looking to expand the event to two days and hopefully get it to be the state championship races as well. He’s looking at a format of Saturday a road race, and Sunday a time trial and twilight downtown crit for cat 1’s and 2’s. If it gets state championship status, it will quite the premier event.

Now for the good part: he wants unicycles to be involved in parallel races. Actually at first he was talking about just the downtown events, but after a bit of discussion we both agreed that the 2 day format could work for unis as well. The big idea is that with a Sunday time trial in the morning and an evening crit for the elites, there is a bunch of down time. If the downtown is closed for bikes, why not uni?

The organizer is very open about what unis can do. He knows that I’ve done RTL and NAUCC '09 distance events and can give some good input. He’s not looking to have the unis just be a circus sideshow, but wants to treat the racing seriously. He knows that we can roll along at 15+ mph and thinks it would be great for spectators.

As far as details go, since he’s pursuing championship status, the date has to be handed over to the state cycling governing body. It should fall in the realm of May to mid Sept. 2010. We’ll be controlling most other aspects locally.

I guess I see this as a good chance to join forces and expose uni racing to a larger audience- especially if we’re talking about the state amateur bicycling championships. We’ll have easy access to a challenging road course, and a cool time trial route. The crit could be a ton of fun, as all of us who have been in one can attest to.

At this point I’m looking for all kinds of input. I’m thinking the road race would be somewhere in the neighborhood of marathon distance, the crit would be what works, and the time trial could mimic the road course- which would be at least 5 miles.

It could be really cool to legitimize uni racing to a whole new audience. The multiple race weekend format hopefully would make it worthwhile for you to make the trip. As far as that goes, we’re in Butler, PA - approximately an hour north of Pittsburgh. That puts us 8hr from Chicago, 2 1/2 from Cleveland, 6hrs from Philadelphia, about 3 or so from Buffalo NY, 5ish from Washington, DC- you get the picture.

I need to start gathering data now so we can hopefully prove that the uni racing is a viable option for this event. I’d like to ideally see 40-50 uni racers to prove we have some numbers. I realize that’s a bit hopeful, but I know it could happen.

Please reply to this thread (my email is fine, but not as public for discussion purposes) with your interest level and thoughts.

Dave Krack
Butler, PA

davedotbikesatyahoo.com - replace the dot and at

PS- We do have decent local skate park too, so events using that space for other disciplines isn’t out of the question.

I don’t have much input but I am a little interested.* I will be watching this for future updates.* When there is a definite date nailed down I will have a better idea of availability.* I am from just outside of Philly in NJ, if I end up going maybe people from the area can work on getting a car pool together.

I am sort of intrested but probably would not be able to go unless it is in september.

What I am most curious about though is what the whole state championship thing would mean for the rest of us. Do you have to be from Pensilvania to participate? would out of staters/forein riders compete for placing in the race but not state championship?

hope this works, we could use a few more races


The state championship would be for the bicycling end of things. As far as unis go, I’d love to have as much locational diversity as possible. (Is locational diversity actually a term?) I’m not sure what title the uni winners would get. Maybe we should have state/province champions for each person represented. You could be “Fastest unicyclist is Saskatchewan” :wink:

The way I see it is that it could be cool to expose other cyclists and the general public to unicycle racing. We’d be somewhat separate because I don’t believe there is anything in their charter governing real talent (just kidding!).

After an off road 36er ride the other day I thought that an on/off road 36er race could be really cool too. More technical than bicycle cyclocross with both road and single/doubletrack represented. That’s definitely a niche.

As far as the date goes, it will be when the road race happens. I honestly have no clue, neither does the organizer- it is out of his hands.

Hey Dave. Definitely interested. I’ve been looking for a good excuse to start putting more road miles on the 36er.

I’m in.

Definitely will try to make it if it’s June/July/early August.

I’m up for it.


Fellow freaks of nature,

I just got back from a meeting with the local city planning committee. We’re looking at the weekends around the 11th or 18th of July 2010. Ed, the main bicycling promoter, and I need to put together a bullet point one page presentation to pitch to city council. So far everybody is ecstatic about the prospects of seeing unicycle crits and time trials downtown (the road race is in a nearby township).

I do have a problem: I need to give a good idea of a head count and location of interested riders. I don’t have an entry fee for the whole event yet, but I want to keep it affordable. The road racing doesn’t necessarily appear to have state (or commonwealth) championship status, but there still is the push for it to be part of a big points pile for the roadies. Ed had 100 riders last year and hopes to double by going to a 2 day event instead of just one.

Anyways, I need to be able to pitch the fact that we’re serious about making this happen and there are more than just a couple of people committed to showing up. Optimistically I’d like to have 2-3 dozen uni riders. In the spectrum of entry fees vs. prize money, I’d rather err on the side of lower entry fees for all (at least in the uni category- half price makes sense).

Once again, if you’re really interested, I need to know so we can complete the sale of the concept. At least now we’re closer to a date and have more approval.

ride on,

Just raising my hand to say ‘I’m in’. Thanks for your efforts to get a event like this going.

Unfortunately, NAUCC is tentatively scheduled for July 10-17, which could limit participation in this event. Although our road events (which will include some never-before-done-at-NAUCC stuff like a mountain climb and a time trial) are likely to be mid-week, so maybe people could do both things if they’re really into it.

I’m interested in participating.

Hey sounds good to me. I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy another unicycle (I don’t have a 36" yet). I’m in the Atlanta, GA area, so any of you other cats that are around this area and want to keep costs down, maybe we could carpool it and save some money. Good job getting unicycles in the event, I hear from people too often that they haven’t seen a unicyclist in person before… :sunglasses:

I wish I would have known about NAUCC’s date. We made it a point to try to avoid conflicting. This year it was held at the end of July so I assumed…

NAUCC hosting is a huge undertaking. After attending last year I got a tiny perspective of what it takes to hold it successfully. With all the disciplines expanding, it must be tremendously difficult to pull off a quality event.

The convention is fantastic for unicyclists. I don’t want to appear snotty or elitist, but attracting the cycling public side of things can use improvement. Ride the Lobster was great for unicycling public relations. Unfortunately due to the nightmarish logistics it is very difficult to duplicate.

What we’re hoping to do by paralleling an elite (but not professional) bicycling event is get a bit more recognition for unicyclists as tough athletes.

I have no desire to compete with NAUCC’s date. After going last year, I definitely want to attend in 2010.

I realize hosting is a logistical nightmare- especially since the location varies each year, but it would be nice to know that NAUCC always falls on a particular pair of weekends so other plans can be made.

I hope this in no way sounds snotty or elitist. I’ve already contacted the bicycle organizer about changing the date for the racing weekend here. Hopefully we can make it later in the month. I don’t want people to have to choose between events.

Part of the thing is that NAUCC is held in different cities, with different organizing committees every year. It’s probably not feasible to keep it the same set of weekends every year, because every venue or city will have conflicts at different times.

This year the venue changed, at quite a late date, to Northern California, and the crew here has had only a couple months to find available dates and venues, so we only really nailed down the dates a couple of weeks ago. We’re working on getting a web site up with basic info to help others with planning.

We are really interested in focusing on fresher aspects of the sport; we had 13 people from the greater Bay Area in RTL, for example, so we’ll be emphasizing big wheel/geared road racing over track racing (though there will still be track races). The MUni events will also be featured, along with a number of just-for-fun rides like a San Francisco tour.

There are many requests for this, but the downside is that it requires planning farther in advance (at least 2 years ahead, which is still rare for the USA) and generally more money. The only way to pick the dates for the facilities you want is to be able to afford more choices. Unicyclists are cheap. :smiley:

The race idea is awesome BTW. If unicyclists make more showings at BMX events, Trials events, mountain bike events, etc. it will open the eyes of cyclists to us as well. The MTB race I participated in in October was a blast, with five unicyclists and about 70 mountain bikers of all levels up to Tinker Juarez. Also it was the hardest unicycle race I’ve ever done. I don’t count RTL in that because I had help.

I just figured I’d chime in with an expression of interest and/or intention to attend. That race weekend sounds like a lot of fun, and airfare from the west coast could be had for, what, 250 or 300 dollars?

Unicon for me looks like it’s not going to happen (stupidly knocked out three teeth on the ground after sliding out on a cool pneumatic pogo stick I just got, and need 12-13,000 dollars to replace them), so I’ll probably see you all at XVI, wherever it ends up. :frowning: But this sounds like a cool consolation fun-session for not hitting Unicon!

Definitely. I wish we had more support for stuff like this here though. I think Tinker Juarez heads here for races now and then.


Schlumpf Unicycle = cheap

Teeth = expensive

Friday, as I was leaving a message for Ed (the main cycling promoter) about the conflict he was confirming the date with the governing cycling body.

July 10th-11th 2010 it is. We now have to start hashing out the more gory details, but should you not be headed to NAUCC (and maybe even if you are) you should save the dates. As we get more information confirmed I’ll post them and get this upgraded from “feeler” status to event status.

Oh, a fair warning too. The road race will feature hills. Check around “Renfrew” and “Butler” PA in Google maps for a rough idea of what terrain to expect.