Wow, where to start…
Ryan, thanks for starting this thread – I thought it would be a good idea to get an “Official Toque Comments Thread” going.
I had an amazing time, to say the least. Got there Saturday morning around 10 and people were riding a bit, doing some trials and otherwise. I toured the show and then got my gear on, figuring I should start practicing for the trials comp (which took place Sunday morning). Generally messed aournd, took part in Kris’ trials workshop which was for those of you who’ve seen them, somewhat similar to the videos on Jeff Lutkus’ site of another workshop he did – some similar content and whatnot. He covered hopping, still-standing, pedal grabbing… I forget what else – help me out folks. Spent the remainder of the afternoon practicing with some new-found techniques and generally riding myself into the ground (literally, on a number of occasions – thank you Roach).
Wandered/rode (with a 30lb. backpack :)) around downtown Toronto for an hour, trying to find a subway station (eventually got to King and University), but that’s another story all of its own.
Sunday morning came far too early and I greeted my friend (whose house I stayed at) with a, “what? I have to stand… and walk? Impossible!..” Got back to the Exhibition Centre around 10. Walked about. Stretched. Helped set of the trials problems. Started the trials at 12:20 and went until 2.
General highlights of the trials comp: Ryan finished everything (from level U0 up to one level U8 problem, involving hopping down a 6-foot A-frame – only pictures would do it justice) in about half an hour. That said Kris and Ben (Plotkin-Swing) finished everything soon after, so there was a 3-way tie for first in the Expert category. They had a still-stand contest to decide that one, which Kris won (I believe Ben came second and Ryan third). I had an amazing time and really noticed a lot of improvement in my riding, particularily with hopping and pedal grabbing. Anyone who has access to wood and some nails, I’d suggest building some obstacles on which to practice – it’ll do wonders. That and set goals and constantly be beating yourself; I think competition is a great motivator (if you have a friend to ride with, then you can push each other to excel).
Post trials there were the UMX (dirt track racing) finals (the bulk of the races took place Saturday afternoon, most of which I missed due to my presence in a long lunch line). The finals I also missed, but for other distractions, though unfortunately not entirely sure what they were. Then people came back and played around on the trials setup, attempting and doing some incredible stuff (the most interesting was a little friendly competition between Kris and the other experts (all who are younger than my 20 years… blast! why could I not have started earlier?! :)), all of whose names I cannot remember, so I won’t attempt a list. Then things slowed down, we had our medal rounds and everyone went home happy and sore (an assumption, but I can’t see how those two things were to be avoided).
As for videos, there were some guys taping on Sunday – Jeff or Carl, might you comment on if there’s going to be footage available? Jeff and others were also taking pictures, some of which I can only assume will be scanned and posted in due time.
I know I left things out, but that only gives more material for other people.
Hurrah for my first unicycle convention/competition/gathering. 'Twas a good time… thanks all.