Feeler: Muni and Juggling Festival, East Tennesse?

I live in the midst of more than 1/2 dozen awesome off road riding areas, but I have few riding partners, so I’m wondering if anyone would be willing to commit to helping put topgether a festival from afar if I commit to setting up the site, web page, permits, etc…

The tentative festival site would be at Haw Ridge, a trail area honeycombed with single track riding of all difficulties. There would be camping at the site with porta potties. You would be able to ride onto the trial from your tent! The town of Oak Ridge, two miles distant, has some inexpensive hotels, Starbucks, and plenty of places to eat.

The plan for the festival would be to have everything on site including trials, meals, and entertainment (I’d build the obstacles if I can get some giuodance). This would be a low budget event, so shirts would be about the only thing you could buy. Everyone would be expected to bring some food and we would do a “white elephant” gift exchange.

In addition, if folks wanted to do a “Tour de Oak Ridge”, we could organize a 36er ride on local roads, with a start and finish on an adjacent paved Greenaway that is accessible from the festival site. Other possibilities include organized group rides at any of the other awesome muni spots that are all within a 1/2 hour drive.

I need help in setting up the trials and juggling, the muni and 36er stuff is not a problem, nor is organizing the site. The biggest issue is attendance, we need folks to come. I think the Knoxville area is ideal for this event because we are at the junction of I-75 and I-40, easy driving distance from major cities in GA, AL, NC, SC, VA, KY.

So, who’s up for this?

We need a a date that works best for students, so how about early June 2011?

i may go

Depending on my work situation at the time, I’d certainly want to make a trek. Are you thinking a weekend, or a week, competitions or no?

Probably a long weekend.

Is competition an attraction?

Is juggling an attraction?

Wow a unicycle event even closer to home! I’m definitely game, June 2011 you say? That could really work for me. I might even be able to drag along a couple folks from Georgia. The possibility of some sort of competition is intriguing, good excuse to really brush up my trials skills. Keep us posted.

The biggest challenge is getting enough attendance.

I put on a couple ultras at the same site and got a max of twenty-five runners, half of whom were local running partners.

I don’t have any local rider support so far, though we have a few local riders. We don’t have a uni club, only a High School Juggling Club across the county from us (Kevin Alexander).

So what I’m wondering is if I built it, will they come?

What has been other folks experience with uni fests and attracting folks from afar?

I would be looking at a 2200 mile drive to get there. :frowning: I will pass.

Good luck with your event. You might look at the map and query people within a few hundred miles.


One thing to consider is planning a MUni festival around where a lot of riders live. I know you’d love to showcase your trail system, but for maximum bang for your buck take a look at this forum and see where the Southern and East coast riders live and find a good central location and plan around that site. Would make much more work for you, but perhaps there are local riders in such an area that would be willing to help. I think it’s planning like that is one reason the West coast MUni festivals work; that and there are so many more riders there… We just need to grow the sport in our neck of the woods!

Count me in. It would be nice to have an event this close.

I’d love to plan the event with other local riders, but we don’t seem to have a very cohesive group:

These are the local riders:

KevinAlexander, forum member, HS teacher, rides a bunch, haven’t seen him more than once a year, but he could be really helpful since he knows a bunch of high schoolers who ride and juggle. He hasn’t reposnded to the thread, so I don’t know if he’s interested.

Knoxuni, high schooler, on the forum, never met him, posted that he “might go”, not exactly a vote of confidence from a local rider :wink:

My son Alex, high schooler, rides well, but has other interests these days, he’d be there to help and ride.

Alex’s buddy Jenny, same issues as Alex, she might come…

Cody, local rider I met with Kevin, haven’t seen him in a couple years, but he’s still around. I don’t know that he’s a forum member.

There are a couple other riders in Knoxville who I met through a bike shop, both good riders, but both are bicycle racers, so busy with other obligations.

There’s a core group in Asheville, NC, who have their own festival, so maybe a few would come over for one here…

Honestly, I ride 2-3x a week with my dogs, then once every few weeks I get my son to tag along, otherwise I ride alone :frowning:

So Munisano, really, we don’t have a local critical mass of riders, which is why I need help “from afar” and some traveling commitments.

Hey Tribe, how far are you from Ktown? Wanna ride sometime?

That’s why I said you have to go to the core. Perhaps it won’t be a Knoxville or East-Tennessee MUni Festival, but you asked how to have a good turn out at a MUniFest. If you want good turnout then have the MUniFest located closest to where there are a large group of riders? If you want a local MUniFest that’s great, but it will be difficult to get people to travel unless you promise a lot of bang for their buck. You know t-shirt, possibly a meal or two, etc… Standard race stuff. Another idea might be to make it a competitive race or races, seems like people might travel if there was an actual race or races and prizes and such were awarded? I don’t know, just trying to brain storm. I thought it might be cool to work a MUniFest around an existing mountain bike event, say a 12 or 24 hour race and get the MUniFest participants to form teams in the event (assuming it’s okay with the Race director) I’d love to take part in a 12-24 hour team race (I’ve done a couple of solo 12 hours)… There are a lot of these types of events around.

i am 90% shure i can attend it also depends on my school situation

I will help in any way I can to make a festival happen. Even if it ends up being just 7 or 8 people camping out and riding the next day. It doesn’t have to start out as a big event. If we make it fun for the few who attend this time, then attendance will grow next time. Let’s worry about the “fun factor” and attendance will take care of itself.

Not too far from there ~100 miles (Chattanooga). I would love to go riding sometime. It would be nice to ride with someone. I do need to work on my endurance though. It is currently pretty pathetic.

same here, i am out of shape

Sounds like fun but I couldn’t commit to an 8 1/2 hour drive from Maryland. If you end up looking for a location that might interest the mid-Atlantic riders you should check out Douthat State Park in Virginia. I have not been there but I have heard from mtbers that the trails are great and leave from the campground. It is a 4 hour drive for me and probably about the same for a lot of riders in the mid-Altlantic region.

Well, Moab doesn’t have huge local rider levels. That was popular, right? It probably starts small. Make sure the trails are good and it’s cheap enough to get to/stay and some people will come. If they like it, and the next year there is potential to ride similar/better/different trails next time, they’ll probably come back again and bring more folks.

Regarding juggling, it’ll excite some people and not others. The presence of post ride juggling wouldn’t effect my choice to come visit, but someone that juggles more than ten times a year might be more likely to come.

Trials competition? It’s probably better for you to start with a small course for people to play on, and maybe have an informal thing. Perhaps a “who can do these two lines the most in ten tries” sort of thing. A dozen pallets, some 2x4/6’s, a couple stumps or rocks, some small stairs would probably be enough for a group of non-champion trials riders to have fun playing on. Especially if they’re exhausted from a day of riding trails. I can commit to helping suggest a few things to have or build and setting some lines, It’s something I have some experience with.

That’s my motivation, to have some folks to ride with for a weekend.

I have done plenty of “race organizing” and those events don’t really get at the social aspect that would make the event fun for riders and non riders. The problem with uni is the rider density is very low, so I don’t know that there is a core group in this region unless I do something closer to a major city. That said, how many riders live in and around Atlanta?

We don’t have the draw of Moab, which is a world remowned riding mecca. But, the riding is pretty durn good here and it would be a blast to ride with folks from afar, but so far I’m not getting enough interest.

Seriously, considering how much time and effort it takes to build a festival, I could buy a plane ticket or take time off for driving, then head for someone else’s festival.

I guess what I’m saying is that if enough folks in this region want a festival, they need to do more than say they could “probably” come. This is why I need commitments and offers to help in preparing.

So, who can come and help prep a trials course? I know zip about trials.

Any uni clubs in the region want to commit to attend? How about juggling clubs?

Sadly, this thread has only been viewed sixteen times, so that pretty much sums up the interest level.

Too bad, I’d really like to make it happen, but at best I’d get 10% show rate, so about 1.5 people :o

Dont give up hope too fast. Its only been 6 days. Cant expect everyone to see it right away. Some of us cant get on here more than maybe once or twice a week, if that. So dont be discouraged.

If it was closer to me than I would definitly go, but Its a long distance trek to go on that ride so…

Why not try to emulate what the Brits and others have done invade a some 24 hour race somewhere and form several teams? Comaradery, fun riding, what more can one ask? For the East I’m thinking possibly 24 Hours of Big Bear:

I know there are numerous other 24 hour races in Georgia, North Carolina etc… I’d definitely be willing to travel to one of these races (I’ve done it before travelling to a couple different 12 hour and a 24 hour race).

I’d love to take part in a team effort at a 24 hour race; would be a blast! I’m sure we could scrounge up enough folks to put a few teams together, if not we can always at least get by with a single team or a few solos?

I’m game, let’s just pick an event in 2011 and go for it!