Sun Valley Idaho Mountain Unicycle Weekend

Thanks to everyone who made it to the weekend this year. Judy and I had a
great time hosting the event, and Judy did more than her share of the work
involved. Everyone who came was good company and fun to be around and I
didn’t hear much complaining other than what came from my own mouth about
the constant posing for photos.

Many people helped in the kitchen and with other chores and we are
grateful. I understand Jody’s pies were excellent even though I do not eat
sugar and so did not get to taste them. Others contributed to the shuttles
that were necessary for the rides and we thank them also. Jeff Sloan was
unable to attend, but did the website. John Foss was a good MC for the
awards, posted information at his website, and provided much needed
advice. Chris Reeder, Jared and Judy Stoltzfus, and Jeff Sloan helped me
explore trails.

The Saturday shuttle was a bit confusing and perhaps I was unable to
explain it properly. Despite all that, we did get everyone to the
trailhead and back home again.

Sun Peak may have been a little to tough as a warm up ride and I regret
starting the event with it. No one opted for the easy rides because we
didn’t have a leader because Jared was sick. If I had it to do over I
would attempt to provide a better warm up ride for those who spent the
previous day in the car. Even so, Sun Peak remains my favorite downhill.

The reactions to Chocolate Gulch, Oregon Gulch, Easley, and Titus Lake
were all positive and I am glad to hear that everyone enjoyed themselves.
It was fun to watch people riding the trails that I know and love. The
typical reaction to Titus Lake was, “You call this a lake?” I guess
people were disappointed by the size of the thing. Of course it was
chosen for the trail and not the lake. Besides “Titus Lake” looks a lot
better on the map than “Titus Puddle”. The kids, myself included, had a
good time skipping stones across the water. Marc Williams was adept at
this activity.

Some of the trials obstacles were difficult. Nobody rode an eleven inch
wide plank with a series of logs and blocks srewed to the top of it. Thad
Arnold, Rolf Thompson, and John Childs rode the “Diving Board of Death”
which was a six foot beam that came out of the hill and climbed to a 31
inch drop. Julie Young, Sierra Young, John Foss, and Thad Arnold rode the
“Little Snake”, a long and twisty 5 1/2 inch curb. All the people who
managed to beat the little snake should be commended for their

Other advise to future hosts would be to use a two tiered registration fee
to encourage people to register early. That is to say that the
registration fee would increase after a certain date. This might allow you
to better forecast the number of people coming and help with the planning.
Many people came at the last minute and we were glad to see them, but it
would have been easier to plan if we had a better idea of how many. Many
people canceled at the last minute and we missed them.

If you did cancel and want to come for a consolation weekend you will be
welcome, although I doubt I will be rebuilding the trials course. It is
probably too late to do it this year but next year might work. Snow and
hunting season are fast upon us. I would like to do the event over in two
or three years anyway, have it in July, and center it at Easley

Idaho Joe

It was indeed a fun muni weekend.

About the Sun Peak ride. The hike up was a brutal welcoming to Idaho,
but it was a ride that needed to be done. The fact that Joe can ride
this downhill with no dismounts is amazing. The trail is narrow and
twisty with sagebrush waiting to punish you if you wander off the trail.
Sections of the trail are also loose with minimal traction. This
downhill requires precision turning and constant control to keep from
skidding out on the loose stuff. The narrow switchbacks and turns
require you to make sharp turns from whatever pedal position you happen
to be in when you get to the turn. It’s a skill building ride that
punishes you when you make a mistake.

The Chocolate Gulch, Oregon Gulch, Titus Lake, and the final bushwhacking
ride down through the sagebrush were all fun. It’s a beautiful area of
Idaho around where we were riding.

And I don’t know why that stunt got named the “Diving Board of Death”.
There was nothing deadly about it. A little intimidation, but no death. If
there was death involved I would not have ridden it. Maybe “The Plank of
Intimidation” would have been a better name.

Thanks to Joe and Judy (or should that be Judy and Joe?) for a great
extended weekend.


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