Keyesville Bike Trials with Unicycles report

I wondered if it really was going to happen. The weather report showed that there was a 40 percent chance of rain forecast for Saturday. Temps were supposed to be around 46 degrees with winds at 24 mph. But, the uni God smiled on us on Saturday.

It was amazing that any of us made it there. The Delight family forged on spending 8 hours to get to Keyesville from the Sand Diego Area on Friday preceding the competition. Jake, John, and Erik drove up the previous night and planned to sleep in a tent during a drenching night of rain and cold. There borrowed tent leaked buckets. During the night, they migrated into their seats in a tiny but overstuffed Geo Metro. Terry and I had decided to drive up separately early Saturday morning from Los Angeles, but found that Interstate 5 was closed due to snow, but found an alternate route.

Despite all this, everyone was at the ready to ride before the rider meeting at 9:45 a.m.
We paid our fees - interestingly, we were charged 20 dollars instead of the 40 dollars the form stated, maybe it was because we had only one wheel… I passed out the TEAM OF ONE t-shirts, which when worn presented a force to be reckoned with. As we stood during the riders meeting, I could feel the trials riders dealing with the implied intimidation of the T-shirts. On the back were the words, “Who needs two wheels, anyway”. I think it worked :roll_eyes:

We were given score cards, that as an outsider appeared meaningless. In hindsight, I wish I had asked how to mark the score cards. I guess with all the newness of the experience I zoned. There was also some confusion as where to place us. Do we ride in our own class or ride against the bikers? We all just kind of looked at each other. I was under the impression this had been worked out prior to our stunning arrival. Nonetheless, we forged on.

During the day, we played with the schitzophrenic weather as the sun popped in and out of the clouds and a light but brief dusting of very light rain fell upon us off and on throughout the day. The winds picked up slightly, but nowhere near the predicted 24 mph winds.

A scouting of the routes showed a variety of challenges. Even some of the Beginner lines presented some challenges for some us with limited experience. We had trouble cleaning even those sections, so we made our own. We also had to come up with our own scoring system. We broke into two groups - simply group 1 and group 2. Group 1, The Three Musketeers, was the more experienced riders who could attack and prevail on the Expert sections- Group 2 consisted of the rest of us or The Merrymen.

Creative adjustments riding the sections including riding them in the reverse direction. Sometimes continued persistence paid off as we cheered each other on.

We watched the bike riders at times, and they watched us. They seemed like a decent group of gents, some of them offering “attaboys” as they observed us. I think the bike riders found watching The Three Musketeers whip out the sections disheartening and shocking. Many of them appeared to have spilled coffee on their pants…:wink:

We did most of the sections during the morning hours, then broke for lunch. After lunch, Terry spotted an area of lumpy rocks to create our lines. We dabbled here, then Erik suggested moving over to a separate area that could only be reached by automobile. We went back to our cars and drove to the lower boat area. This was the area where the Three Musketeers, Jake, John, and Erik had attempted to camp the night before.

This was an awesome area of smoothed out river boulders smoothed out from thousands of years of river water currents. I Mecca for natural trials – a playground. Immediately, the Three Musketeers began astonishing us all with long floating gaps and spring filled hops to higher boulders. Others of us, found a section to play that let us pretend to be the Three Musketeers. But, the previous night’s “sleep” in the Geo Metro was secretly taking it’s toll on the Three Musketeers. They were, understandably so, appearing fatigued. We spent more time chatting and slowing down. Then, a tight steel cable for a zip line across a lagoon presented an interesting option. Jake, the first climbed to the cable and then began moving hand over hand on it. The others followed and began modeling how to do pull ups. Whilst this was going on, I continued to work a small rock to another attempting to do seat out. Just as we were about to leave, I landed oddly on my right ankle, creating a tweak. Mild soreness today is the only result.

We had to be back at the tailgate of a Pathfinder for the awards ceremony by 3:00 per the instructions from the organizer. However, as we arrived on time, they had already started. We quickly tabulated the scores and sauntered over to the tailgate arena in UNIson. To our surprise, there were three trophies engraved with the words unicycle on the plaque and 1st through third place. By this time, the bike riders had finished, and we stepped forth with our scores. Our scoring methods caught a quick quip from one of the bike riders when I mentioned that Jake had scored a half point on one section – this due to splitting the line into two sections. We were all smiles and congratulated each other. We all walked away winners for competing in something new and challenging. Winners list is below.

It was a lot of work to get to the site but everyone had a great time. Anytime, you can get more than three unicycle riders together, is always a cause for celebration.

Of note was the vast array of places to ride for natural trials. Jason Heimann (screen name Maestro) in an email suggested possibly exploring the possibility of a MUni/ trials day at the same location. This is a strong suggestion and may make this venue a possibility for a MUni weekend, or just one day of trials and MUni. There was a MTB race going on nearby, so we have to assume there are trails. This needs more exploration. Though, timing is important. The summer months and early fall bring very hot temperatures to the area. Mosquito larvae were found in pools near where we rode in the afternoon, making the possibility of mosquitoes an issue, especially if we ride in that area during certain parts of the year. Moab is near the time I would plan such a gathering. I might worry about redundancy. Early fall is usually when we do Cal MUni weekend. It could be a venue for a Cal MUni weekend, but personally, I may never get to doing a full exploration of the site as needed before organizing something as big as a MUni weekend. But, you never know… Unless someone else would like to pursue it.

Expert Class
John Sprague (Trophy) 9 points first place
Erik Doan (Trophy) 10 points second place
Jake Sprague 10.5 points

Beginner/Sport Class
Magnus Delight (Trophy) 8 third place
Olaf Delight 5
Rod Wylie 2
Guy Delight 1
Terry Peterson 1
Bjorn Delight

Team support: Marie Delight

Expert class scored least points as the leader. Beginner/Sport class scored the highest as the leader.(Don’t ask, it’s just how it worked out :wink: ) In hindsight, we should have given our own created beginner lines at least 1 point, but at the time, we used zeros on the score card. The result of this was that those that completed our own created lines don’t have any points indicated, though they may have completed the line, anyway.

Pix to follow.


Sounds like a lot of fun, cant wait to see the pics =p

After hearing about this, the waterloo comp, and the comming of MOAB, all things I can’t go to. I really can’t wait until OUI. Can’t wait to see those pictures either.

WOOOO THAT GOT ME PUMPED! Thanks again for getting us together on that, Rod! I’ll post some highlite fotos in a sec. It turns out we didnt take any shots of the best lines :roll_eyes: I guess we were too busy riding those. Heres what we got:

I’ll write alot more later. Gotta go to work!

Ohh, cool on getting the pix up. I just got mine up after finding out that my camara is no longer recognized by any of my computers. Had to go buy a card reader. Also, I don’t have many images of the best lines, because I spent my time either just watching you guys on the harder lines or riding( the softer lines). I do, however have videos from my video camara that I took, but I have never edited or uploaded them to the net before. Should be interesting. :astonished:

Nice work on that collage of photos.

My pix are at

Thanks again for coming out!!


I just checked out the shots. Those are GREAT! I missed you guys riding the tree, but hearing you guys talk about it was, like… no big deal. :roll_eyes:

Sure seemed like it to me. All you guys got…

Nice pix with good angles, too.

I just finished putting together about an 8 min video of our Keyesville adventure, with nice transitions and a music bed, but keep in mind that I’m totally new to vid editing and it will probably seem pretty ametuer-ish,[sic] but it does contain some good clips of our day at Lake Isabella. I will try to post it soon.:smiley:

I agree Rod. I felt we made quite an impression on the trials bikers. I think the “who needs 2 wheels anyway” got to a few of them too lol. After they finished the 5th line, as I stood observing and waiting, one of the riders gave me the go ahead, and made a funny comment to his friend. Something along the lines of, “Man they got it easier.”
I then jokingly said with a grin,“ah but you guys have training wheels.”
He replied with a serious tone as he walked his bike by me, “man you guys don’t have a front wheel to worry about.”
I had never heard that kind of response so I just laughed a bit. It is true we don’t have to worry about controlling two wheels. Getting tangled up while flying over handle bars is very painful. The combo of a second wheel with handle bars is kind of a double-edge sword. It makes balancing and stearing easy. But at the same time, losing control of the stearing can really hurt you way more than losing control on a uni, especially when pushing it to the max. I hurt myself really bad numerous times, biking big dirt jumps and off-road trails before I made the transition to unicycling. Fortunately for me, I have not yet taken anywhere near the seriousness of falls as in biking.

Overall, I have A LOT of respect for those trials bikers and enjoyed watching them, though I do think they have it just a bit easier :slight_smile: The whole park was overwhelmingly beautiful and awesome for riding. I only wish I had the energy to scout out single track downhill trails; that place must have some amazing downhill. Did anyone get any info. from the bikers on this?

Thanks again Rod for putting it all together! I had a great time!
Nice pix and clips too


Can’t wait to see your vid Terry! N I wonder if the Delights are guna post anything ay ay?

sounds like a great weekend! Nice photos.

Erik, congrats for your 2nd place! You rock! :slight_smile:


OOOOh, i wish i could have gone, but alas, i needed to do other stuff and prep for moab.

Still pics from Delight’s on web (better late than never!)


It took awhile, but here are the still pics that Marie shot:

The video is still in progress, we’ll try to get it up soon!

Many thanks to Rod for getting us all up to Keyesville, the whole Delight family had a great time. It was worth the marathon drive through rain and LA traffice to get there! (We even had snow on the way home, but thankfully much less traffic)

As you can see in the pics, some of the rock formations downstream from Lake Isabella on the Kern river make for a fantastic Uni Trials playground. Erik, Jon and Jake treated us to awesome hopping!