The Uni roundup was a success! Despite the 100 degree heat, we were all intrepid and made it around the park. The young uns rode up a storm throughout the day. This year’s turnout brought in some new multi age riders. Conversations started with unicycles, of course and went on from there. There were plenty of unicycles to try. Everyone shared with zest. A bag of Allen wrenches sat on the table for adjustments. The younger riders congregated in one area and the older riders hung around the awning in the shady grovelette of trees we were stationed in.
We changed the schedule in the middle of the day when some of the MUni riders had to leave to get some grub. Originally, the lunch was scheduled for after the park ride, but I think moving lunch before the ride worked out better in the long run. The shaded grouping of trees provided a respite from the intense heat of the day.
We had a delay in starting the park ride, because I was meeting with the trials committee. Having not done this part of the event before, we had to work out some glitches. I appreciated everyone’s patience.
It turned out that some of the younger riders, had been riding for hours the previous day and evening, and were already a little wiped. The MUni guys and Morgan were already wiped from the earlier MUni ride. It evened things out for all the riders.
We began our park ride with myself at the lead. We turned into a uni train as we all stretched out along the trail. Al Karel, on his 29er took the lead from us on our Uni 24s about a quarter of the way. Then, while in the lead, he does a gentlemanly thing of stopping to taking pictures. Cars stopped as we crossed the main park road onto a gravel like access driveway. We continued gallantly around on to a hard packed dirt path. As I was riding this stretch I noticed a hill to the left with a fork in the trail. ”Ohhh nuts”, I thought - I forgot about that hill. Then, instantly, I thought of Jonathan and Michael… Jonathan Kelley and Michael Carrington got lost last year on a cross park odyssey that turned into a 5 mile tour of the Sepulveda Basin because I hadn’t marked the course. I began to think, “Will some of the riders go up the hill, and in this heat?” We made it back, but as it turned out, yes, Jonathan had walked up the hill, not knowing which way to continue. Lightening strikes twice. I won’t make that mistake again. We curve around and are almost back at the encampment. Jess sees a corral type fencing and then gets up on it. After a few tries, he manages to ride about 6 feet. The fence is two to three inches wide and about 5 feet up. Eyal was also up there. I was happy just standing on the cooking concrete, watching.
Finally back at the ”resort”, we hung out and recovered from the inferno that consumed us. Erik wrote the directions for the trials sections and I taped them down.
Then the trials competition started. It’s 2:15 in the afternoon and the temperature is near the 100 mark. These guys are pouring it on, and I am not talking just about the sweat. I glanced over at Jess at one point and watched him fly from one line to another. I had set the time at 1.5 hours to complete all the lines. Fatigue was setting in for some of the MUni riders and you could see that they were “fried”. Jarrin and Cody deserve honors for determination. Both riders kept on pursuing one or two lines that evaded them well up into the 1.5 hour mark, but through sheer determination, fortitude and perseverance, they continued on to finishing all of the lines. Both were red faced, but smiles when they finished.
Personal schedules called for leaving the trials competition early for some riders. (I will post the scores later) A number of riders completed all the lines, but then had to leave while others remained determined to ride all 16 lines. This created a small problem, which I have yet to work out. I had some prizes for first and second place and no opportunity to do a tie breaker.
I really enjoyed meeting everyone again. There may be another Uni roundup planned for early November which will be organized by someone else. During the next year, I want to plan the Uni roundup for much earlier. We can’t due this in the heat anymore. That’s two years running with high heat.
Many thanks to all my helpers. Mike Sode helped me with the set up in the morning and laying out the signs marking the trail. John Long led the MUni ride down Hummingbird. Erik, Jake, Cody, Spencer, and Evan represented the trails competition committee in laying out the trials sections and Erik wrote the directions for the sections. Thanks also to the riders from the Santa Barbara area for making the trek southward for the event.
Pix to follow.