My Short But Sweet 2003 NAUCC Experience.

Jodie, Emily and I arrived at the Super 8 that most of us out of towners were staying at around 1:00am Thursday morning. A little late due to a storm in Atlanta that kept us grounded for about 2 hours. One hour of that was on the tarmac.

Got up about 7am and headed to Denny’s for breakfast. Then off to my first experience at NAUCC. When we got there we headed straight to the registration table. Got signed in and got our goodie bags with our shirts, schedules etc… If you have seen the shirt designed by Gilby you already know how great it looks. If you haven’t it is Black with white lettering except the very the last line which is inverted blue lettering(the letters are black outlined with a blue glow) In the center prominently displayed is a unicycle that looks like a constellation. The great thing is, it Glows in the Dark! I didn’t realize this until last night.

Went over to Unicycle.coms table and promptly spent $100 in stuff I just had to have, best part is they were giving a 10% discount to those attending the event. They have all that stuff sitting there just taunting you, and I was glad to help get rid of it. I was also able to get some great temporary tattoos of Harper proudly modeling his wifes black one piece swimsuit that were on their table as a give away.

Then I went in to watch some of the freestyle competition, and spent some time in the open gym. I can’t believe the talent of most everyone there. I saw four year olds that were much better than me. The transition from walking to riding was so seamless and smooth it just blew my mind. The host club had a lot of incredible unicyclists, but they were not the only ones by a long shot. I went out with friends that live in the Minneapolis area that evening. Bill Gilbertson did his Artistic Freestyle routine to the Talking Heads “Burning Down The House” It turns out that his garage burned to the ground the night before, and all of his unicycles were destroyed. He did his routine on a borrowed unicycle. I think he did really well considering he was on a borrowed unicycle, and was displaced from his home due to smoke damage through out the house. Incidentally my wifes Aunt and Uncle live in Minn/St Paul area as well and we had originally planned on going to dinner with them that night, for scheduling reasons put them off until Sunday. They went out w/o us and when they returned home there whole house had burned to the ground. They lost their 2 dogs, and everything else they owned. They seem to be handling the house part OK, but are really having a hard time dealing with the loss of the dogs.

Friday I had planned on going on the Muni ride, but after searching around Thursday most of the people I had met the day before or new from this forum were not planning on heading back out after a really tough muni ride Thursday. I also started second guessing my ability to ride with all these much better riders. In addition to that I was out late the night before and just needed a little extra sleep since I only got about 6 the night before. Again that night we went over to some other friends house for diner after watching a lot of great unicycling all day. We returned with our friends for the public show at around 8pm. It was a good show with a variety of performers. There were a couple of unicyclists, the Spintacular Basketball Show with Bill Creier and family, which included unicycling, two local yoyo pros from the College of the Easily Amused, and the last performers were Jugglers that did a cup routine that was very entertaining. THey were doing another show in town that started the next day so we were fortunate to see them first.

Saturday, I skipped the parade because I thought only clubs could be in it. I wasn’t that excited about standing around watching. Later I find out I could have been in it after all. I went ot Como Park, my favorite park, and went to the Zoo. The best part is it is one of the only free Zoos in the country. Atlanta’s Zoo is like $15. Anyway we did that went to lunch then brought our friends(same from Thursday night) to the convention to see the trails event. We went in separate cars and my daughter and I got to the trials event before it started and sought out a nice shady area to watch. It just happened to be about nap-time and my daughter found a wonderful lady’s lap to lay in and sleep. This happened to be Mrs. Gilbertson Bill’s wife, and if I am correct Gilby’s mom. She was just the sweetest and sat there with my daughter for about 20 minutes. She then offered up a Umbroller type stroller she had in her trunk. I think she walked halfway across the campus to get it out of her trunk. The lady is an Angel, really stinks about their house. SHe lent me the stroller the entire day, and would have let me keep it until Tuesday if I would have been there long enough. Gilby if you read this tell your mom I said thanks again. She was really great. Anyway back to the trails… It was incredible. I saw the testosterone driven young bucks doing things that boggle the mind, I later saw them sleeping on a park bench icing their injuries. I also saw some guys older than me that inspired me to do greater things. Harper is a Madman. After a very chaotic trails event(I say that because there were like 10 stations going on all at once, and you were trying to watch them all. For the competitors I think it was fairly smooth.) our friends and I headed to the gym to practice. My wife can now ride about 20 feet w/o help do to a lot of helpful people. I also got a friend to try it out and he will soon be buying a Uni. I signed up for the Orienteering course. I am excellent at map reading and new even though I wasn’t fast, I could do well since I wouldn’t get lost. I had a couple of kids ask if they could be my teammates. Turned out to be a great team they were 10 & 12 and very quick. I am older and can’t get lost. We got all the stations and were back 7 minutes early. I had a blast. I can’t compete much due to lack of skill, but still had a great time. I also ran into NikiFrog just before the event started. I was wondering if I would see her since she mentioned that her and her mom were coming. We then went out to eat, back to the hotel and swam/hug out in the hot tub for a couple hours. The hardcore were still at the gym playing Uni hockey and Uni basketball. I am not quite ready for that myself.

Sunday, my last day I hitched a ride to the Mississippi River for the 10K ride. I thought it would be easy, it runs along the river so it is probably all flat… wrong! I was on my KH24 with 170’s and a Fireball. I think about the only people I beat were 3 little girls riding 16 inch unis.:o Actually I wasn’t that bad, but not much better. I really wanted to compete since I had to leave around 12pm and wouldn’t get to participate in any other events.

We’ll that pretty much concludes my first NAUCC. I had a great time, and as my wife and daughter get to were they can ride I expect future conventions to be even more rewarding. I hope next years will be someplace that I can go. Maybe Memphis can volunteer to host it! Then I could drive. Who knows, maybe Atlanta will have a club and be able to host one in a few years! Oh yea I forgot to mention I met another rider from Atlanta and exchanged #'s. We plan on getting together to ride soon. I can’t wait. Well actually maybe I will wait to heal from todays 10k then I will be ready.:smiley:

Oh yea few more things, I am terrible at names. I met several people there and all were really nice. For those that were there and met me, I am Chad. Description… Flat top with closely trimmed graying beard. I am about 5’8" and had the KH24 with the fireball. It also had the Bedford flames added to it.

I also have to say that Bedford’s Flames were the big hit of the 2003 NAUCC. It was getting rare to see a uni w/o them. Darren(took me a moment to recall) was charging $3 each and installing them for free! How can you pass that up? I actually had them installed twice. First we tried covering up the Kris Holm sig, then I spent another $3 to remove and replace them. Darren cut them off at the bottom to fit on an angle above the KH sig and they look great. Darren took a photo, so if you have a KH maybe he will post what it looks like online later. I love the way it turned out. Now if I can raise my skill level to the level of my equipment!

Sounds like a great trip Chad. Sure would like to have been there. I agree, Memphis or Atlanta would be great hosts for next year. --chirokid–

Bugman: Thanks for investing the time in such a great and detailed write-up. For folks like me that could not make the trip this year but wish to live vicariously through the experiences of others, your prose was just what was needed.

You are correct Harper is a Madman. He was actually planning on entering the trials competition on his 6’ giraffe, but I told him that would be gauche, and I took the giraffe away from him until he returns from Minnesota.

Dang I wish I could be there. Ping: to any Washington residents that made the trip…I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a Size XL Gilby tee-shirt purchased today… :sunglasses:

Be sure to say which Gilby creation you want since Gilby was hocking his wears at a table. He had about 5 different shirts. I would assume you want the newest one from the convention(the one that glows). He also had t-shirts, Mountain Uni and many more… If only I had unlimited funds.:smiley: There was also a guy selling Toronto Unicyclist shirts, and Bedford who has some really sharp looking shirts as well.

I would think you could wear nothing but a different Uni shirt every day of the week if you were so inclined.:smiley:

PS When you do spell check, tomblackwood comes up as misspelled. It gives tumbleweed as the first choice as a correct spelling. Just a little trivia.

That is too funny… Tumbleweed!!! Hahahaha. Tumbleweed!! :smiley: I love trivia. :smiley: --chirokid–

I keep remembering things. The preview for Universe 2 was played at the public show. All I can say is WOW. It is simply amazing. Also there was a (cirque de sole)?sp type performer that did foot juggling that was pretty amazing also. She would lay on her back and spin tables, barrels, poles etc…

Re: My Short But Sweet 2003 NAUCC Experience.

It’s good to hear that you had a good time!

I was wondering how many people knoew it glowed in the dark. I figured that many will only notice it once they get back to their hotel room the first time they wear it. Here’s the logo as it appears on the shirt:

I printed out your post for her to read. :slight_smile:

That’s all I got and is all I wear. :slight_smile:

This year I had the Do the MUNI,, and Unicycling Planet t-shirts for sale. I did not have room in my car on Wednesday to bring the ET shirts to the convention so they got damaged in the fire (along with the left-overs from last year of the never2tired and unicycling languages T-shirts).

Tom, if nobody brings one home for you, let me know and I can mail one out.

If you have any left over shirts, mainly the ones, I’d like to grab a few. Unfortunately I only have this shirt in red, grey, and blue. I ned more… more more more…