Mt Diablo Challenge 2005

We had a great day today in Danville, California at the 24th annual Mount Diablo Challenge. Last year I was the only unicyclist. But this time Scot Cooper, Mike Scalisi and my son Beau joined me. We cranked up the 10.8 mile course climbing 3300’ or so, in perfect weather. Scot was gunning for a record time and did manage a personal best at 1:19. Beau and I finished a bit under 1:30 and Mike took a relaxed pace, just beating 2 hours. I think we all were on Cokers with 152mm cranks. The unicycle record was set a couple of years ago by Glenn Drummond at 1:13 and seems safe. Well, if Beau keeps getting stronger at the rate he is, maybe only for a year or two. Glenn was on hand again this year, riding with his son on a Trail-a-bike. Gary Kanuch, Mt Diablo unicycle pioneer (and 2nd place record holder) was also sharing a Trail-a-bike with his 5 1/2 year old son - he said it was the hardest ride he ever did in his life. Since he once took 3rd place overall in this race on a bike, that is pretty amazing.

This was the biggest turnout ever, with about 1200 cyclists supposedly starting. I didn’t get all our places, but Beau was 615 and I was 621. The fastest bike was just under 48 minutes. It was great fun as usual, starting behind most of the bicyclists and passing passing passing, all the way up. I squeezed past my last 2 victims 10 feet from the line. Unicyclists get a lot of respect at this event. At the awards ceremony, they had all of us get on stage and introduce ourselves.

Here’s a link to: GPS/Heart Rate/Elevation data. (with one little glitch - no my pulse did not go up to 186, but did make it just above my theoretical max of 173.) The dip at mile 5 was a one minute seat repair stop.

Sorry, no photos this year. Here’s an album from 2002 when we had 8 unicyclists including Scot on his giraffe:

Anyone interested in unicycling this race next year is welcome - always the first Sunday in October and you get a free ride from the airport & place to stay if you come in from far away.


Wow - congrats on a great race, from another lover of uphill cycle races.

I don’t think they had this in past years, but there was a course photographer at the finish line. Here are a couple of them.



Here I am!


Great job guys. Finishing ahead of that many bikes must have been fun. That is cool that Scot got a personal best. I guess his knee is doing okay.
And yes, I’m betting on Beau for the record before long!


Here’s Scot finishing in the awesome time of 1:19.


Nice shot. Maybe it’s the angle, but it looks more like he’s on a 29-er than a Coker.

Nice ride all of you animals! Were not getting younger, but were getting faster. Looks like the day was stellar, what a great ride on such a nice day. What kind of times are you guys doing on the way down? Congrats to all on a great race.:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

This is for AspenMike.

One of the bicyclists asked if I knew the guy from Colorado who rode a similar wheel. Dude, your famous even here in California!!

Way to go.

Actually that is a Coker. Scot borrowed Ken Adelman’s light-weight Coker (standard Coker frame, custom made light wheel with UDC hub) for the race. It looks small because he’s so big and strong.

It’s no problem to ride down the mountain, especially with a brake. It takes under an hour since it’s 11 miles of downhill. On the day of the race, we always help out one of the sponsors, Diablo Motors, who supply the pace car and other vehicles to transport volunteers. We usually drive a couple of their cars down. It’s kind of difficult getting all the bicyclists down safely. They are released in batches of a hundred or so and have to follow a car. This year a biker crashed on the way down and we had to wait for an hour for the ambulance to come etc. Scot drove a Jeep and Mike and I had BMWs (I stole the M5 from him but he got a 740il instead).


Once you got going that must have been sweeeeeet!

Scot found the professional photos from “Devil’s Elbow”, a sharp turn about a mile from the end. Here’s Beau and me.


Here’s one of me ahead of a bunch of bikes we’ve just passed.