Ride the Lobster - Only a Year Later

Hey all RTL riders!

I don’t know if you’ve been continually asked the question, but around here it’s been popular: “So are you doing that unicycle race (people can’t remember the name) this summer?”

I’m not sure what most people have been up to, but a year after the event I finally posted my weak attempt at a race recap. Steve’s was just so amazing I don’t know if this deserves to see the light of day, but if you want to check out the unabridged Surly Speed Goat perspective, warts and all, surf on over to http://www.surlyspeedgoat.wordpress.com . It’s a blog so you’ll have to scroll down to hit the beginning.

Post RTL, I’ve been hitting up somewhat local MTB races on the uni. Our terrain is rough. East coast rocks, mud, steep ups and downs always make for fun. The latest one was a 14.5 mi rocky, muddy race with just over 2000 ft of climbing (and descending) after 2 days of rain. Throw in a torn Stout sidewall a bit over 1/2 way through the race to add to the drama.

Also, we got a unicycle club started here at the local YMCA. Now unicycling is at least 700% more popular around here than it was a year ago.

I guess this sounds like a “brag” thread, but I was just wondering:

What’s up with all of you RTL riders a year after the fact?

I wasn’t at RTL last year, but I’m definitely in for the next one (if there is one). Anybody have any word on that? I remember there was some discussion of tentatively holding RTL every other year. So until 2010…

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. RTL was the first time my dad, brother and I really got to ride together. Our dad lives in AZ and we’re both on the East Coast, so it was this event that brought us together as a family and as a team. I have great memories of RTL and met a lot of awesome people. We’ve actually made it our goal to get together for some sort of epic family ride every year. It’s hard to follow up something as massive as RTL was, but that race layed the foundation for a pretty cool family tradition. Plans for this year’s Team Unicycle Max ride are just starting to take shape, so we’re all very excited.

As for another RTL, I’m not holding my breath. I think it did a lot for our sport and was a catalyst for some new equipment options and improvements, but it was a massive undertaking for the people involved. If there is another race like that, I don’t think it will be in Nova Scotia again, which would make the Lobster part just sound silly if it were anywhere else. I would do anything to ride another criterium like that again. That was a blast. Maybe every 4 years like the olympics? Do we need to form a committee and have cities place bids to decide who gets to host the next one? haha.

Anyway, it was a great experience. I’ve been riding a lot more since then and have participated in more unicycling events like the LBI Unithon. It did a lot for our sport and whether you participated or not, I think you can appreciate the effect it has had.

I am not a realy RTL rider but atleast, I was there watching you from our car, riding the lobster :).
For me it was a great experince and I dont want to miss the memories I have from this great event. If there would be something like this again in a few years I would consider competeting.


29er MUni at a relatively casual pace. No more long stretches of pavement.

I wansn’t at RTL, but it was the single most thing that made me want a 36er, it looks so fun! And it has bought about loads of new 36 parts to choose from when I can eventually afford it :smiley:

Feeding and housing over 100 riders for a week across an entire province is no small task. I believe it took 2 years to organize the race, and the fact that it went so smoothly and was a such a success is a testament to the amazing work that was put into it by Connie, Ed, that tall skinny guy, and a bunch of other people. Really, the riders had the easy part. All we had to do was ride. :smiley:

First of all, complete agreement with BoojiBoy. The organisers went through an awful lot to put this on, and without their commitment and dedication we wouldn’t be talking about it here today.

I think like a lot of riders in Nova Scotia, I didn’t ride my racing uni for a while after RTL. I half-heartedly tried a few long runs (10-20 miles), but without the focus of an upcoming race, I didn’t have the motivation.

The good news was, however, that I rediscovered the rest of my unicycle collection. I have ridden a LOT more muni, and started playing unicycle hockey again[1] and have fallen in love with my 24" Blizzard uni for just bombing around. I’ve even got in to a bit of freestyle and two-wheeled unicycle riding.

In the past 2-3 months I’ve begun to ride my Triton-Schlumpf again, and am beginning to get back in to road racing. I’ve clocked up 100 miles a week twice in the last month. This may sound like a lot to some people, but 100 miles a week was pretty common in the build up to RTL.

Would I do it all again? Well, I would love to, but in all honesty, probably not. The winning teams were serious athletes that were fitter than I can ever hope to be, and have set the bar very high for the next one. In order to be competitive next time, I would have to start training 5 years ago!

I appreciate that the video documentories that were filmed take more than 10 minutes to put together, however, after a year now, I would have hoped that Carisas and the guys at Mentor would have got things sorted out by now.


[1] This was probably more geographic than just RTL related though

I’m pissed I missed out on the first one and am eagerly awaiting the next multi-day, all uni race. I’ve thought about organizing one down A1A, but Florida’s terrain is kinda blah. And uber hot.


I haven’t rode my 29" with 100mms for the longest time. Rode them last weekend and it was terrible! I can’t even turn properly at all!

I don’t think I’ve done significant riding at all since RTL - the ride gave me such incredible stamina I went on to sign up and run a marathon, ruin my leg in the process and haven’t been able to ride distance since. That said though, my idea of ‘distance’ has changed significantly now to mean distances > 40km so.

I’d do another ride in a heartbeat but would first really need to not be incapacitated at the 20km mark.

I just reviewed some video that I had from the days leading up to the race and through day 2. It was very cool to re-live some of those great memories. I’m feeling some pressure now to edit down all the footage I have to share with the community. Most of my first tape was us trying to entertain ourselves on the 6 hr ferry to NS. I doubt it will make the cut. I havent checked youtube in a while for RTL videos, are there any good ones out there?

I haven’t ridden road unicycle since. It was super fun, but I came back itching to ride the muni.

It doesn’t help that I moved house to somewhere 16 miles from work, making commuting by bike more practical than uni due to time constraints, and also that I now live right near loads of muni riding, so it isn’t entirely RTL to blame, but I certainly got a bit bored of road uni during my training for RTL.


That’s why you plan it for February. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have only clocked about 600 miles of road unicycling since RTL. I am not bored with it, I am actually a lot more excited by it since RTL. The geared 36er really spices things up!

I am in the same mindset as Joe though in regards to commuting, I do not unicycle to work anymore. Ever since I picked up my touring bicycle, I have been bicycling to work and because of its practicality I end up riding in more often than when I was uni-commuting. I only live about 8 miles away, but commuting via bicycle is so much more relaxing in traffic.

For me post RTL…I am still excited about road unicycling, and would love to do another race. After using a touring bicycle though, I don’t think I will be planning a lot of self-supported unicycle trips anymore. It is a LOT nicer carrying your gear on your bike than on your back on a uni.

I wish I had even 300 miles of riding since the Lobster.

Ok, maybe I clock in at just over that amount, but not by much. For one thing, I had tendinites (is that the plural?), first in my left top ankle thingie, and then in my left elbow (which only emerged after the ankle tendinitis cleared up). That didn’t keep me from riding, but I took it easy. Later I developed some weird clunky left knee problem. Again, I could ride, but I took it a bit easy, and occ’ly it hurt.

Mainly, my commute changed, so riding wasn’t in the cards as much. I have recently started riding around the Central Park bike loop, where I trained a lot for the Lobster, and my times haven’t been attrocious. I can maintain 15 mph for the 6-mile loop.

I did manage to ride in a Century ride in September, completing 85 miles, but I haven’t ridden anywhere near as much as I’d like to. I’ll get back into that groove in September. And I’m looking forward to the 2009 century ride as well.

My follow-up to RTL

I got the urge to start riding distance again in the fall, so I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer - a two day, 260 km bike ride. The synchronicity couldn’t be ignored, it was scheduled for the one year anniversary of RTL.

So I trained quite a bit over the spring, even changed jobs just to have a longer commute (well, there were other reasons :wink:

I just finished it this past weekend. I sure got a lot more attention being the solo unicyclist amongst 1700 bicyclists, than one of 105! The experience from RTL paid off, my training was more focused, and I rode with no negative physical side effects. And it sure was fun to blow past bike riders on the long uphills. Most of the bikers couldn’t even believe it was possible to ride uphill, never mind faster then they could ride.

I would absolutely ride RTL 2.

On a slightly off-topic, has anyone else’s appetite increased twofold since the ride? I’ve been keeping at 5 meals a day since.

Dude, that was an great missive. I read and savored your whole writeup.

THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about. Muniing an MTB race is sooooo fun, partly for the riding, and partly for the huge ego boost from all the compliments and disbelief expressed by our two-wheeled friends.

Wow, great job. Simplerider is Morgan, right?

So true. By the end of RTL it felt like unicycling was usual instead of unusual. I find that the unusual-ness is a large part of my attraction to the sport.

I’ve probably rode at least 1300km since RTL. This includes commuting 10km each way to work last summer and riding around the Niagara Region when I started college. I tried the Greater Niagara Circle Trail, a 130km cycle path around Niagara, twice but failed due to mechanical difficulties and a fall. I ended up tearing a 4-inch hole in the right shoulder of my RTL jersey. :frowning:
I hope to be riding an 800km ride from Niagara Falls to Montreal soon, hopefully August. I just need to figure out whether or not I can get a support person to help me with equipment. I might just ride with a large backpack. But we’ll see what happens.

If there is another RTL in the future, I’d do it. Basically considering I did quite well (I think) for only learning to ride 10 months before the race.

James Spurling, North American Youth #97

Kinda resurrecting an old thread but I thought it would be better than making a new one. I was just wondering why this event was never repeated? It seems odd to me because of how many people still talk about it and the fact that it seemed like such a success.