Mt Diablo Challenge ?

Anyone going tomorrow?

Gary Kanuch and I are going, as well as Tom Holub, Glen Drummond, and maybe a few more.

See you at the starting line! I’ll be on the Hunter36.

—Nathan

Wish I could be there, next year maybe. Let me know what your times are. Have fun, sounds like there is a great Uni showing.

Ok Mike. Will do. I wish you could come for this event. It’s really fun, but then again it’s a long trip for a 90 minute ride!

—Nathan

Results

Wow, what a great day. It was a textbook example of PERFECT weather for the 22nd Mt Diablo Challenge this morning. The Mt Diablo Challenge is a nearly 100% uphill road race, about 11 miles, about 3300’ (1000m) of climbing. No cars and GREAT views. 7 unicyclists and at least 700 bicyclists showed up this year.

The (unofficial) results for the unicyclists:

  1. Glenn Drummond - new world record, approx 1:13. He was delayed at least 30 seconds in a crash near the start too. Glenn was riding a carbon fiber 36" unicycle he made with 165mm cranks and shaved down Crupi pedals. He has drilled 2000 holes in the Airfoil rim AND gone tubeless. His seat and Reeder-style handle are a single piece of carbon fiber. He runs 14ga spokes meaning that there is only one item from Coker on his cycle - the tire. All this attention to weight results in a complete cycle at 13.5 pounds! I think he could lose a couple more ounces by shaving the tire too. It’s not just the ultra-light unicycle - his incredible fitness is what allowed him to break the record by approx 4 minutes. WOW! Just call him Mr Anaerobic. Also he’s over 40, so old guys CAN crank.

  2. Gary Kanuch, approx 1:20 on a Coker with Reeder handle and - get this - 210mm cranks. They are custom machined and the most beautiful but outlandishly long cranks I have ever seen. They feel quite strange to ride. All in all the experiment was sort of a failure though. They were so long that they actually ended up costing him a couple minutes from last years world record time.

  3. Your reporter, Nathan Hoover on a Hunter 36 with Reeder handle and 152mm cranks on the extra-wide Dave Stockton super Coker wheel. Official time 1:26:02, not my fastest, but the ride was great. Maybe I could’ve gone faster if I removed my brake?

  4. John Hooten (first unicyclist over 50) on a Coker with 170mm cranks and a GB handle. This was John’s first time up the mountain on unicycle and he says he’s coming back next year.

  5. Tom Holub from Berkeley on his 29er. Tom started 15 minutes late but still enjoyed the race. Tom was also the only one wild enough to go with clipless pedals. He had one crash, very slow speed while hanging onto a post resting. The injury was slight.

  6. Keelen Evans of Berkeley, last year almost the last rider to finish, this year did much better. He rode a borrowed 24" cycle as the largest wheel he owns is a 20".

  7. Marc Hertlein from Berkeley on a 26". Marc forgot one thing which unfortunately was training. But he showed incredible stick-to-it-ness and cranked up the mountain, finishing after everyone else.

Now that I told Glenn about Christian, he is really hoping Christian can make it next year. If anyone wants to come out for this (one guy flew out from Florida just for the race), let me know and just get to San Jose or SFO airports and I’ll take care of the rest. First Sunday in October, every year.

Sorry no photos yet, but Gary should have some soon.

----Nathan

CONGRATS to all of you, you are my heroes! Fantastic time Glen, new record even. Your Uni sounds like a climbing machine. Thanks for the quick update Nathan, I was thinking of you guys today. I have to make it next year, there are direct flights to SF from Aspen. What are your times going down? Congrats again to all the unicyclists who where there, and yes old guys can crank!

Re: Results

Wow! We need pictures of that unicycle.

Did Glenn do any pre-rides up the mountain to figure out the best crank length? If he is in that good of shape it seems that 165’s might be a bit long for optimum speed especially on the first half of the climb. I looked at the ride profile at www.mtdiablochallenge.com (click on the Route Map link). The first half has an average grade of about 4.5%, the second half has an average grade of 6.9%. I haven’t done an extended climb on the Coker up a paved 7% grade hill, but I don’t think I would need 165 mm or 170 mm cranks.

When I get my new Coker built up (should be built up this week) I’ll have to find a long paved 7% grade and see how well I do going up with 150’s (or 152’s).

Yes Glenn lives near the mountain and rides it once a week for training. He doesn’t think he could do it on less than 165s (and has tried 160s). He thinks 170 is a little long so has settled on 165mm. That’s what I rode last year and for me 152mm is better. I’ve done it with 140mm once, but it was really hard and the top section (16% for a long time) was desperate. Each person is built differently and has a different style. Gary would probably be happiest with something like 185 or 190mm. I think Christian would blaze up it with his 125s. I’d kind of like to try it with 125mm sometime, why I don’t know, but I just would.

—Nathan

Mike, about riding down…it took a while to get the guts to try it but we’ve now done it a number of times on training rides. I only know of one person who’s ridden down without a brake (Scot Cooper of course). At the race, we get to drive down - a local car dealer who sponsors the race has a number of cars on top that we help him drive down. I drove a HUGE Yukon today with 5 of us. I think one time Gary drove a BMW.

—Nathan

wrong part of the world for me :frowning:

Amazing, Nathan. Scot was here at the NJ Muni weekend but he was thinking about you guys during your race.

Like John, pics please! of the CF uni. Does Glenn have any issues with the tubeless aspect of the cycle? Does he ride tubeless all the time or just for the race?

It seems obvious that his 2000 holes were in the inner wall. Does he use this rim off-road?

What kind of handle/seat arrangement did he use?

Re: Results

Hey Sofa! Now that Nathan has said it, do you believe me?

Now that I think about it more, this is not obvious after all. By sealing the inner surfaces for tubeless use, drilling the outer wall would result in more substantial weight savings.

Is this a wheel designed only for this hill climb? It seems as though it would be substantially weaker for other uses.

Dave, yes you’re right on your second try - the holes are drilled in the outside. Then he covers it over with carbon fiber, so you can barely see any difference from the unmodified rim. He also didn’t use the special nipples from Semcycle (didn’t know they existed). So he redrilled the spoke holes too and used regular nipples.

Certainly the wheel is weaker this way, but I don’t think Glenn does any offroad riding (yet, if I have anything to do with it!) He says it holds air fine and it certainly looked great.

I will work on getting some photos from him.

—Nathan