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.
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.