Report on the Issaquah Ride and Feed

I didn’t know exactly how to post this at first. That’s why it’s delayed. Tom Blackwood and his family hosted the Issaquah Ride and Feed day on Saturday 5 July. For those who made it to NAUCC and UNICON last year, Issaquah is a community located between Seattle and North Bend, Wa., where several of the events were held. As far as I know we have no photos of Saturday’s events. It was remarkable. Tom lives a few hundred yards from Yellow Lake around which there is a trail system. The trail around the lake itself is extremely flat, smooth, and easy to ride. There are a couple of places to turn out where there are very nice trail toys. There were a few children riding the trail (Sarah Dawson being the youngest at age seven) who could ride along which made it nice. Tom and his son, Miles, served as trail bosses to herd different groups who rode at different speeds to keep people from getting lost. The toys were difficult enough to make it really interesting and the kids could take a breather and watch. We did this ride before a late afternoon barbeque.

For the barbeque, Tom and his wife Marie prepared salmon, chicken wings, hot dogs, burgers, and a North Carolina style pulled pork that was incredible. They provided almost all of the drinks and some of the side dishes as well for the multitude of riders, spouses, and offspring. They let us use their hot tob. Marie took a group of kids to the swimming pool in their complex. Their backyard became a juggling arena with Tom and Bruce and Helen Dawson passing clubs in a three-way. Their front yard was littered with unicycles and various other toys. Steve DeKoekkoek placed the “STAIRS OF DEATH” out front on the street. There were cups, cans, bottles, and protective gear all over the place. Unicycles were passed back and forth and much noise was made. An injured Tom Jackson showed up with his family and he even did a little freestyle riding in his tender condition.

After the meal, Tom took four of us on another ride that was somewhat longer and more technical which strayed away from the lake somewhat. It had some steep and narrow sections with rooty areas and small logs blocking the trail on occassion. I fell probably a dozen times excluding any toy playing. Steve, Tom, and Jon also bowed several times to the superior trail. John Childs did not fall once on that ride. That’s probably one of many reasons that he IS J.C. and we are merely the disciples.

None of that is the remarkable part. The remarkable part is that Tom and his family generously hosted all of these people and some of them they had never even met before. Jon McClintock was new to everyone there. He just pulled into town recently. My friend Cole Peck had never met any of these folks and is a fairly unskilled rider but came and rode and chowed down and was welcome. There were a bunch of kids (John Childs and myself included) making a mess everywhere and by the time we came back from the second ride, Marie had cleaned most of it up and was still smiling.

Unicyclists continue to astound me. Thanks, Tom and family, for a wonderful and memorable day. Tom named this the “First Annual Issaquah Ride and Feed.” I wonder if “annual” is still part of the title.

Greg’s not lucky- he’s a ‘good person’ magnet. It will be aquard at NAUCC with all those people stuck to him. :slight_smile:


The ride and feed was actually ride, feed, play in the middle of the street on Stairs of Death, feed, sit in hot tub, feed, try not to get hit by flying juggling pins, graze through at least three courses of dinner, desert, ride, final hydration, drive home, and collapse.

What a great day.

Re: Report on the Issaquah Ride and Feed

Well, maybe there’s one photo. Here’s a group shot, although unfortunately not the full group, of either riders or feeders. This is just the folks that stuck around for the post-feeding “digestion special” ride.

R to L: Unibrier, John_Childs, JonM, tomblackwood, and Harper, who got to pose with the Runt Bike as a reward for being the slowest to get padded up.

ride n feed0016.jpg

Re: Re: Report on the Issaquah Ride and Feed

RUNT bike! You told me it was a STUNT bike and it made me look tough.

Tom’s neighbors also put up with this roudy bunch without complaint, at least while I was there.

They’re just cowed into submission whenever the “Heck’s Angels” are riding…

I finally pulled the one picture I took that day off the digicam: Harper jumping up on the “Poop Log”:


Looks like you all had a lot of fun! Could someone explain the “stairs of death” to me? I’m having a hard time visualizing. So Tom, any decision as to if you’re keeping the word, ‘annual’ in the name?

If only there were a camera fast enough to catch Harper’s moves without blurring.


You know those stands they use when they give out medals at awards ceremonies? You know, first, second and third, all at different levels?

Well, picture something similar, except with the steps all in a row, like:


If I remember correctly, the top step was in the 18-24" range. Each step was about 2 feet square. Steve could probably provide exact measurements.

-Jon “Wishes he took more pictures”

The Stairs of Death is a trials trainer/stage prop, it was supposed to be tongue in cheek although one of our you’ts took a good fall last Tuesday doing a crank grab to rubber.

They were introduced in This Thread

Here I am doing the crank grab to rubber at a show last July.

Dan H. dropped in for the grand finale, here is his first rolling hop to the top. Later he almost cleared the top, barely caught the wheel on the way down but did land it.

Hey, are you guys doing this again next year? I cant believe i missed this. I was out of town that weekend!!! I live right in the heart of the Quah. Would have loved to have joined you guys!

I’m pretty sure we’re never going to have a repeat of that ride. It just can’t be duplicated. And I’m pretty sure we’re never going to do a repeat of our ride last weekend along the Iron Horse Trail.

We have a little email list for the local Seattle area riders where we keep in touch and organize rides. Send me an email to my hotmail account and I can get you added to the list. Just don’t be surprised by hundreds of messages per week by Greg bragging about his latest conquests.


I do believe it was the first annual, so next year is looking good. Do you do much off-road riding around Issy, and if so where? We’re on the plateau, and my son and I woods ride around our house fairly often. You’d be welcome to join sometime, or we’ll come try whatever trails you ride. Here are some shots from the woods around our house.


I schooled John BIG time all over downtown and the waterfront doing trials stuff Sunday. When he tells you how I fell into a fountain 2 minutes into the ride, he’s lying. My feet just sweat alot. And when Chris LeFay and Lewis Beard tell you about me falling into a fountain in Jackson MS, they’re lying too. It’s a conspiracy. Fountains are always trying to swallow me.

Yeah, I noticed the discrepancy too. Don’t worry x, John and I have a pact to always disagree publically. Our only exception is on foam, and the best way to trim it.

I hope John is right because I was unable to do any of the riding part. The little time I did spend on a unicycle only made my back worse. That is one day I would love to not repeat. Tom’s neighbors probably paid John to publicly persuade a no repeat. They are likely getting tired of us by now.


Nothing quite like a good hot tob.

As I remember it, Chris pushed you into the fountain.

Anyway, the ride sounds fun. I wish I lived near ( < 60 minutes ) some other unicycle riders. I guess I’m over-due for a MUC trip, but they all have lives so it is hard to co-ordinate.