A hot unicycling weekend!


Here’s what we did last weekend in the Sacramento area. First of all, it was
HOT! From a cold and rainy first part of the week, temperatures jumped up to
the point of setting records on Sunday and yesterday (Monday). But we had a
group ride planned plus the Davis Cyclebration Classic.

Saturday morning a group of us rode on the Brown’s Ravine Trail, on the east
side of Folsom Lake. We rode from an El Dorado Hills neighborhood southward,
toward the Brown’s Ravine Marina. Seven unicyclists and one bike: Beau Hoover,
Nathan Hoover, Dylan Bartley, John Foss, Andy Jennings, Peter Kittle, Brett
Bymaster, and Brett’s friend Sharon on her mountain bike.

We got a late start, because Sharon’s bike had a flat. Andy and Peter were
supposed to meet us, but they started riding from a different spot and we didn’t
know about them until bikers told us of seeing them riding ahead of us (trying
to “catch up to us” of course). Brett zoomed ahead to meet them.

The Brown’s Ravine trail is very nice for a wide range of riders because it’s
not real technical, and doesn’t have really big hills. It just rolls up & down
along the lake, with lots of interesting technical spots you can walk, or try to
ride over.

Unfortunately there is poison oak along this trail (and the area in general),
and I got some on me. We went back to my house after and did Tecnu baths, but I
think the act of rubbing that stuff around may have contributed to the problem.
I’ll have to read up on that…

Our riding distance wasn’t that long, probably about 9 miles. But it was into
the high 90’s before we were done, so pretty hot. Dylan and the Hoover’s waited
at Brown’s Ravine while the rest of us rode back to get the cars, another aspect
of this ride that would make it nice for a wide range of riders.

(NOTE: Dylan, your unicycle is safe in my garage, along with the Hooten
training cycle)

Most of us had to split off after the application of Tecnu, even with the
prospect of jumping in the pool. So it was just Beau, Nathan, and me going to
Katana for an awesome late-lunch of sushi, then to the tux shop and also to buy
a shirt for the hot show I was going to do Sunday. Then into the pool; the first
official pool use of the season! Lots of fun squirting the dogs in the mouth
with my new squirt gun, which they eagerly gobbled up.

Sunday was the Cyclebration Classic in Davis. Antique bicycles raced the streets
first, followed by the unicycles. the first race was around the block, maybe 1/2
mile. I raced the race for training purposes, but decided not to actively
compete. A little bit behind me Nathan came in first, on a 28" Telford with 4"
cranks. I don’t remember who was behind Nathan, was it Kurt? and in third was
Beau Hoover, racing against adults in a field of about a dozen riders!

Then there was the 100 meter race. I competed officially because the medals are
really cool (with a unicycle engraved on them). I managed first place, followed
by Nathan and again I don’t know who was behind him.

Then we built an obstacle course with cones, curbs, and wooden objects. Event
organizer Tim Bustos had built a ladder, where riders had to bump over four
2x4’s about 2’ apart. Then there was a palette, with a board nailed to it for a
ramp, which you had to ride up and over. The last wooden prop was a 6x6, with a
long piece of board nailed to it, making a teeter totter. Mix those with some
cones and riding off the curb, and you’ve got a fun little course.

As the course designer I abstained from competing. Brett Bymaster was the
winner, arriving from church just in time to enter. I think Scot Cooper was also
one of the top three finishers, on his 26" giraffe.

Peter Wagner had his “Whimcycles” there, and the street was then opened for
people to play on them. Check out the pictures from Davis Picnic Day, April
15:http://www.unicycling.com/ofoto/ That’s just a few of Wagner’s
fanciful cycles.

In the afternoon there were two performances by the GT Perfection On Wheels BMX
stunt team, and one show by yours truly. The BMX guys had a new ramp setup this
year. Their old one was a large quarter pipe built onto a trailer. The new ramp
had a smaller quarter pipe for jumping, a platform at the top, and a more
shallow ramp for landing the jumps. The fun thing about this ramp was that you
could unicycle up it! Brett and I rode on it in my show, with Brett taking the
plunge down the vertical launching side. Apparently, after the show he also
managed to ride up the steep side. I missed it!

For my show I did kind of a history and demonstration of unicycling arts. I
started with the invention of the unicycle, attempting to ride Tim’s 48"
reproduction penny farthing bike on the front wheel. That’s a big bike! Then I
rode on and told about these various cycles:

  • Standard
  • Handlebar unit (with pedals)
  • B.C. Wheel
  • Giraffe
  • Track (racing) unicycle
  • MUni
  • Artistic bicycle
  • 12" Mini

And I finished up with my nine footer, which hasn’t been used in a “show” since
I don’t know when. It was a nice mix. Thanks to the City of Davis, I had a nice
sound system and a wireless lavalier microphone so I could talk as I rode, all
over the street. It was a blast, and a blast furnace. I had the whole audience
saying “hot” when I pointed to them. That’s because it was HOT! Official
temperature for the day was 100 on the nose (37.77 C). We had to use some
cardboard for my volunteer to lay down so I could jump over him. And when I fell
backwards off the 12" uni in my spandex shorts, OUCH! It was HOT!!

Jacquie said it was the best show she’s seen me do. It worked out real nice,
because the audience had plenty of shade along the sides of the street to sit
in. I had plenty of room to ride, and I had lots of eager help. Thanks to all
the people who helped me load and unload, played the music, got me onto the nine
footer, brought me the wet towel, and handed me ice water during the show. I
couldn’t have done it without you. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

But I won’t mind if it’s not so HOT!

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“It’s never too early to be Friday” - John Foss

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“It’s never too early to be Friday” - John Foss