MUni Weekend report:
The 2000 California/Nevada Mountain Unicycle Weekend was a big success! Our
biggest, baddest MUni Weekend yet, the fifth annual, was held at Lake Tahoe,
with riding in both California and Nevada.
There were just under 50 participating riders this year. A little less than last
year, but this year we definitely had the most riding, and most challenging
trails to choose from.
Friday we started with an experts-only ride of 'Mr. Toads Wild Ride. We met at
Frank’s Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, and about 20 people ate a hearty, yummy
breakfast. Scot Cooper, John Hooten, and John and Casey Drummond all arrived
just in time to ride with us to the trail.
About 19 riders set off on the over-10 mile ride, with climbing from 7100’ to
8900’. A few riders were smart, and parked further up the road for a shorter
ride up. Mr. Toad’s has a spectacular 2400’ or so of downhill, with lots and
lots of technical sections riding over rocks and through narrow gaps. Many
riders (including me) did better that day than they ever had. 8 year old Beau
Hoover did the whole ride!
A few miles from the end of the trail, we a little freaked out to see a
unicyclist coming at us from the opposite direction. It was Jack Hughes, who had
arrived from Washington too late to join us at the start. His parents parked at
the end and he rode in (and about 1000’ uphill) to find us.
Friday night we grouped up at the main MUni Weekend cabin (two other Vacation
Station cabins were rented by riders). Riders went out to dinner, and my
group enjoyed a sushi and Japanese food feast at a nearby restaurant. What a
day! We continued to register people at the cabin, and watched videos until
Saturday we were at the Northstar ski resort. Two competitions were held, in the
typical informal fashion of MUni Weekend, and rides down the mountain.
The first competition was not planned. It was perhaps the first “real” motocross
race in unicycling, being held on a tiny BMX track found by Joe Stoltzfus the
previous day. So let’s call it the Northstar UMX race. It was not a full-fledged
BMX track, just a couple of loops of trail with 2’ high whoop-de-dos. We
established a course through it, and a start/finish line.
Riders were timed going through it, and were allowed to dismount. Based on the
demographic of our group, we had three divisions; Men, Boys, and Ladies. I can
publish the official results when I have the paperwork with me.
The Northstar UMX was held in lieu of an uphill race, as there was not a
convenient location to do one. Also, the BMX track was right next to the parking
lot, so it made sense to do it there while Jacquie and I ran around getting the
lunches and lift tickets set up.
Then we set off up the lifts. Everybody had a map, and we gave out advice on
which trails were recommended for various rider preferences. I rode with a group
down the Woods Technical course, where these technical pictures were taken in
'97: http://www.unicycling.com/muni/muni97/satam.htm Unfortunately Bruce Bundy
broke his axle jumping off a big rock, putting him on foot for the rest of the
day. I think I got a picture of him riding off the rock, about 1/8 second before
My group then headed over to a trail called Competition, which was narrow and
bumpy, and also a lot of fun.
Everybody joined up for lunch at the village; the lunches being provided as part
of the Northstar registration. After lunch, many riders headed up to ride from
the higher part of the mountain (up the main lift, then up the other operating
lift to a much higher area of the mountain.
Because we had been unable to set up a Trials competition at Northstar, a group
of riders wanted to do Trials and drove to a different location, near the Donner
Summit, to ride trials. This was a place where Bruce Bundy and David Poznanter
had competed in a Bike Trials competition once, on natural terrain so they knew
it would still be there.
Two of Northstar’s newest trails were off limits, as they were being used for
practice runs for a bike race to be held the following day. These trails looked
absolutely amazing from the lift as we passed above them, and I drooled to ride
them. Next time. A large group of riders headed off down a trail called
Flameout, as seen on the bottom half of this page:
http://www.unicycling.com/muni/muni97/satpm.htm. It’s a great trail, narrow,
rocky, difficult, and with some great views.
That brought us down in time for some people to take one last ride up the lift,
or others to recuperate, and prepare for the afternoon’s competition event, the
Adventureland Singletrack Race.
Adventureland is a little trail at the bottom of the mountain, which starts near
the lift and follows the edge of the woods for about 1/3 mile. For this race, we
timed riders going through this course, out the end (onto a dirt road) and
uphill a little ways to a spot where the starter could be in visual range of the
timer. Not as many riders competed in this one, because they were either tired
or they had gone to the Trials ride.
Jack Hughes’ parents, who had helped out with the UMX race in the morning, were
all set to help time this race when Casey Drummond came up and asked “How’s
Jack?” We hadn’t seen him yet. So Casey said “I think he broke his ankle.” So at
about the same time, Jack’s parents and I said “What??”
– To be continued in another long post…
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com
“In the walk of life sometimes you are a dog, and sometimes you are a hydrant.”