I thought it might be a good idea to have a single thread where unicyclists world wide can post information about and links to mountain *ike races they know about that are known to be accepting to unicyclists. This would be a nice resource for people to post a little “beta” about the venue in question if they’ve been there. Obviously one should always check with the respective race management to confirm they’re unicyclist policy as management does tend to change hands from time to time.
I’ll start with two I know of for sure:
Dirt, Sweat and Gears 12 Hour Fayetteville, Tennessee USA. ~10 mile hilly loop with mix of single and double track trail, estimated 1500 feet of climb (and like descent) per loop. I think the amount of climb may be off, probably no more than 1000. Solo division as well as many team options available.
http://www.dirtyspokes.com/index.php Winder, Georgia USA. ~12 mile loop. Only a few significant “hills”, mix of wide and narrow single track. Estimated ~500 feet of climb per loop. Solo and team options.
Hills Of Hell on Ft. Sill army base is mostly single track with double track that has been chewed on by tracked vehicles. Two wheelers get hobbled changing rear flats and especially repairing shredded chains. The event is early March each year so its the first harsh ride of the season for many riders. There’s lots of gully hopping so any bad timing in gear shifting really tests their chain’s integrity. I beat an eigth of the field because of their breakdowns.
All of the Team Bigfoot events have a unicycle category in them. They’re mostly in Northern California, but they co-sponsor some races that are farther to the north and south. If an event is on their webpage, but the link to the event itself is hosted by a different organization, you may have to contact the organizer to see if they’re uni-friendly. I’ve been in about ten of their events–some regular races, some endurance events–and it’s always been fun. The bikers treat those of us on munis with lots of respect.
FWIW, it seems like all of the mountain bike races feature a$$-kicking climbs. It’s kind of funny, really; on the endurance/multi-lap races, as I’m pushing my muni up some 12% grade fire road, the bikers–many ripping their way up on single-speeds–say such encouraging things. They’re working like dogs climbing these beasts of hills, and I’m just walking up it, but they’re complimenting me. It’s at those moments that I wish they could see a better representative of the sport than my sorry performance. Still, I have a lot of fun, and don’t seem to get in the bikers’ way too much, so it’s all good.
freeride-race: 20km and 2000 vertical meters downhill (also a very little uphill)
we’ve been ther last year (i didn’t loose, there were stilöl a few bikers behind me, mostly with defects )
we’ll go again!
24 hour mtb race (solo or team), it is a 7 km loop with a bit of up-and downhill.
we’ll be trhere this year for the first time, i talked to them and we are welcome! it looks like there will be one or two other uni-teams.
Great thread! I’ve only done a few mountain bike events but they’ve been really fun.
In the UK we have two 24hr events which definitley allow unicyclists. “Mountain Mayhem” and “Sleepless in the Saddle”, I won’t post links because URL adresses tend to change when the sponsor does but a quick google search should find them.
In 2007 I did an event organised by “Spam Biking” on Saisbury Plain which was great fun. Although looking at the entry form for a 12hr Race this year it states no unicycles:( would have been a fun one.
Other events i’ve done have been quite small scale and not really worth mentioning.
A couple more in the UK I know people have entered on unicycles are the Dyfi Enduro (about 50 miles I think, point to point xc) and the Strathpuffer in Scotland.
I entered the “Blazin Saddles” series of xc races near Exeter a few years ago, but they haven’t been run for the last couple of years. If they ever start up again, they were happy with unicycle entries.
24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is a 24 hour mountain bike race near Tucson, Arizona. I have been thinking about trying to get together a uni team for next february. I still need to contact the sponsors to see if they will allow unicycles, and I want to do some recon on the course. It is 16 miles of single and double track with 1200 feet of total elevation. Here is a link to the website:
Here’s three for Northern Californians and Southern Oregonians:
The Shasta Lemurian
April 25th 2009 at Whiskeytown lake (just West of Redding, California)
The short course (8 miles) is open to unicyclists. Last year there were 9 of them. Four miles of climbing dirt roads and 4 miles of single track descent, from what I hear. I haven’t ridden it yet. www.shastalemurian.org
The Ashland Spring Thaw
May 16th, 2009 in Ashland, Oregon.
I just got word from the organizer that I’d be allowed to enter. As far as I know, no unicyclist has attempted the race. Just as long as I make the cut offs they’ll let me finish. This course is 25 miles or so. 2,800’ climb in the first 4 to 6 miles. Then about 10 to 15 miles of gently rolling flats and then several miles of steep single track descents with lots of hairpin turns. All on dirt roads and single track. I think I’ll be hobbling for a couple days after this one. http://www.somba.org/springthaw/
The Mount Diablo Challenge
October 4th, 2009, Danville California
Last year there were three unicyclists. Tom Holub of Totally Doable won. 10.8 miles of something close to 3,000’ ascent. I think it’s all on pavement. I haven’t ridden the course yet. I’ll preride it sometime this summer. http://www.savemountdiablo.org/Bike%20Challenge/MountDiabloChallengeHome.htm
I can’t seem to register for this yet. I think the organizers are all on an extended vacation.
Those are the three that I’m planning on riding this year.
There is also Ride 542- The Mount Baker Hill Climb
4,300’ of ascent in 24.5 miles on Mt. Baker. Pavement.
This sounds like fun, but it’s a bit far for me, and along with a Mt. Shasta climb (ice axe crampons and telemarks but no unicycle) I think I’ve used up my allotment of “away-from-the-family” recreational time. http://www.norkarecreation.com/hcinfo.htm
The Karapoti Classic is a 50km mountainbike race in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, every March. It’s 30km North of Wellington (site of Unicon 15), so if anyone is staying around afterwards it’s a must do event. It’s also the longest running Muni race, with a Unicycle Category since 2003, and arguably the toughest race for the distance. Three massive hills, big rocks, mud, river crossings etc. Do a forum search on ‘Karapoti’
The Hidden Vale Epic is a 100km bike race in Queensland, Australia. It also has a Unicycle only category (being the Karapoti’s sister event). The course is not particularly technical, but conditions can be very tough…I did it in 40 degree heat and it was brutal. Another year it was so wet half the riders got stuck in the mud.
http://www.cyclechallenge.com/ is a 160km road race that is the biggest cycling event in New Zealand (and probably Australasia). About 12,000 cyclists take part, including unicyclists on multiple occasions. There is no specific unicycle category, but there is a unicycle record to that is listed on their website at 7hrs43min. If you are travelling through NZ in late November before Unicon, it’s another must do event. The course is beautiful, with rolling hills (about 1600m of climbing) around picturesque Lake Taupo.
In Schenectady NY there is a 6-hour endurance race coming up on June 7, 2009. It’s on a 3-4 mile loop, all singletrack, with skinnies, logs, stairs. Way fun. Usually 2-4 unicycles and a few dozen bikers.
There are several 2 hour events at the same venue:
2009-APR-26: Spring MTB Race (I posted this already in a different thread.)
The entire I-74 racing series is unicycle friendly, so anyone in the midwest is more than welcome to attend. I haven’t done the whole series, so I don’t know all of the courses well. They don’t have a uni category yet, but are willing to have one if enough attend. Link to PAMBA website.
I’m looking to put a team together for The Hardcore 24: Fingerlakes NY, Ontario County Park-Naples, NY, ~ 4hrs from Albany. The organizers welcomed unis. They said its about 8mi course with top bike times around 45min and a total of ~ 75 riders. This is similar to the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous race I’ve done the last 2 years in Canada. Its a good mix, not too technical, and not too many riders.