LBI Unithon Report

Well, this is going to brief for starters as I’m really tired. The 5th Annual LBI Unithon has come and gone and was a great time. We had some rain, but it did not dampen spirits or prevent anyone from finishing. The ride, due to some changes to the route is now up to 19.3 miles from its previous 18.5.

Dave (uni57) finished despite his misgivings effectively increasing his longest ride by more than 4 times. He also, hands down, raised the biggest individual dollar amount from his sponsors for the Alliance for a Living Ocean.

A young man named Noah finished the entire ride on a 20"er as did 3 riders on 24"ers.

In total we had about 18 riders all of whom completed the ride.

And someone even snuck some beers into the state park.

As always, a big thanks to the organizers of the ride, the Sprouls family.

Hopefully, someone will have some photos to post soon.

Until next year,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

That sounds like a great time. Glad to hear that Uni 57 made it OK. It is still Saturday right?:smiley: Based on his earlier comments I was expecting to hear about him rolling in hours after everyone else. 19.5 miles! Congrats to all who participated, that is one long ride.

bugman – actually I didn’t quite make it. But thanks for the concern. Here comes a long post I was working on while you posted your message…

Dave (uni57)


You must be REALLY tired… Were you there right when I arrived? I thought I thoroughly announced that I gave up and got driven to the end. I didn’t exactly keep it a secret!

For the record, I did 12.38 miles, according to my cycle computer. This is three times my previous best. I absolutely hated to give up, but my legs were so tired, I didn’t really feel safe wobbling along the side of the busy road. Plus I was sick last weekend with a cold that I’m still not entirely rid of. And every time I stopped to rest, I would get cold (and sometimes shiver) – it was cool and rainy – but not that cold. I felt like if I kept going, I would not only make myself sicker, but I would have a bad fall (I wasn’t actually “sick” today, I was simply getting over last week’s cold). When you hit a dip or something that suddenly slows your wheel down, you have to pedal forcefully to speed up the wheel – my legs didn’t have the energy for that. I felt like I was highly susceptible to UPDs. And worse yet, I wasn’t sure whether my legs had the energy to absorb the impact of a UPD. I felt like I was an accident waiting to happen on the side of a busy road.

So, I’m not making excuses. I’m just describing all the forces that led me to give up. No one factor did it. It was a combination of everything. Exhaustion and inexperience. Nineteen miles was just not in my reach. I’ve been riding since October. I did the Unithon on my 29er.

NEXT year, I will do great. With another whole year to practice. In spite of being a slow learner, I should be competent by then!

Actually, I got a lot of practice today. My riding improved during the course of the ride. My legs got so tired, they had no choice but to relax and have a light touch on the pedals. So, instead of my legs constantly fighting each other (NOT as badly as a beginner – but slightly, which takes its toll over the course of miles), I would keep speeding up and slowing down. I would glide along, lean forward too much, go faster – then have an uncontrollable urge to slow way down, then ride normal, then speed up, etc. Herky-jerky wears you out!

It was a great day in spite of the weather and in spite of me QUITTING. Next year, I’m staying with the pack. I’m in training already. And I’ll cheer for next year’s newbies.

Thank you to all the riders and organizers. This was a wonderful event. Extremely well run. I’m glad I participated! I feel a strong sense of accomplishment, yet also combined with a sense of failure and disappointment. After the Unithon was over, I drove back to the starting point in my car. Along the way, I found the spot where I gave up. Driving those 12.38 miles in the car gave me a sense of accomplishment. I was flabbergasted – I kept driving and driving and driving on this long straight road thinking – I rode all this way on a unicycle!!! No way!

Oh, yeah – about Noah. That kid is amazing. He was determined to finish and nothing was going to stop him. I rode with him during the first third. On my 29er, I would pass him up, but then I would need a rest. And he would catch up on his 20" and pass me as I rested. He was like a machine. Nothing would stop him. And he just didn’t stop until he finished. I actually don’t recall ever seeing him stop to rest. He learned to ride shortly before I did, and having just struggled through twelve miles myself, only one word came to mind when I saw him ride his unicycle up to the ending point. “Respect.” With a capital “R”.

Sorry to ramble. I’m exhausted!

Dave (uni57)

12+ miles when your previous long ride was 4 miles is still impressive in my book. I look forward to putting some miles like that on my Uni.

Sorry, man. Sitting here now Sunday morning I do (vaguely) remember that conversation. I was really tired. :thinking:

Ah, to think before we post!

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Congratulations, Dave, and Raphael, and Noah! It was a blast participating with you guys.