Re: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti ng?

On Thu, Jun 13, 2002 at 11:33:25AM -0700, John Foss wrote:
>
> > Two riders of equal ability on a 28" vs. a 29", who do
> > you think will win?
>
> Assuming two truly equal riders, clearly the rider on the 29". But what is
> your point? Everybody knows bigger wheels are faster. My question is how big
> should that wheel be, for the practicalities of racing (on an athletics
> track)?

My point was in response to Ken Fuchs’ suggestion that “everyone will copy
whoever has the fastest cycle one year,” which suggests a technological
escalation that really won’t add anything interesting to the competition.

> > Technological advancement has destroyed tennis and is in the
> > process of destroying golf.
>
> Destroyed how? They still look about the same to me. In other words, in what
> way has technology been “bad?”

Men’s tennis is now dominated by enormous serves which were impossible on
traditional rackets; the game is not nearly as interesting as it used to
be. It’s even worse for Wimbledon and other grass courts.

Pro golf is already having to redesign its courses to account for the
fact that, with current technology, people can hit the ball far longer
than PGA regulations say a ball should be able to be hit, and
certainly longer than anyone could hit the ball when the courses were
designed.

That’s not to say that Tiger Woods wouldn’t be a great golfer with
a set of clubs from circa 1975. But you can’t compare his accomplishments
with previous greats, specifically because of the technology. And the
course design issue isn’t going to go away.

(To take a scarier example, college baseball pitchers often get
severely injured by balls off alumnium bats. Pro baseball has, so
far, correctly avoided this particular “advance”).

> > We shouldn’t be Luddites and deny all advances, but
> > neither should we expect everyone to buy a uni.5 just because
> > they want to compete in speed races.
>
> So you recommend …?

I recommend keeping the 24" race around, for backwards comparisons as well
as so everyone doesn’t have to run out and buy the Big Bertha unicycle to
be able to compete. A larger-wheel race should probably start with a
fairly strict definition of an acceptable unicycle. An “unlimited class”
is probably not that interesting.
-Tom

Re: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti ng?

Tom Holub <doosh@inl.org>

>My point was in response to Ken Fuchs’ suggestion that “everyone will copy
>whoever has the fastest cycle one year,” which suggests a technological
>escalation that really won’t add anything interesting to the competition.

Others (myself included) will disagree. Improvements in the unicycle
itself will be very interesting to many people and can only make the
competition itself more interesting.

This technological escalation will only occur in the transition period
from the old 24" racing standard to the new 28" racing standard.

Once the new 28" racing standard is established, the 28" racing unicycle
will be quite well defined and there will probably be only trivial or
possibly minor changes from year to year there after. The new racing
standard will provide a true level playing field for the athletes
without forcing them to use obsolete technology.

Sincerely,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com>