Unicon 18

Registration for Unicon 18 is open. Early registration ends December 15th.

I’m surprised this hasn’t come up. I see people have signed up but no talk about it here. Anyone going?

Any tips on riding in the Marathon?

My tip: Don’t.

If everyone took your advice, the marathon would be a very boring race indeed. On second thought, I think everyone should take your advice, then I’ll win it by default.

Piece_Maker: Unicon 18 Marathon winner :sunglasses:

Where is Unicon this year?

Ok, thanks for that tip.

Donostia / San Sebastián Spain

To be honest I don’t understand why I would be given advice not to enter the event. :thinking:

My longest road ride is 20 miles. I’m sure I can ride 26+.

Because it’s a big, boring, painful slog. The field spreads out immediately, so after the first 10 minutes you’ll never see anyone you’re racing with again. And if you’re not fast, you’ll be suffering out there for four hours or more.

Do the 10K. Go play hockey. There are plenty of fun events.

Come on, it’s not THAT bad and plan says it takes place on the last day when all the other fun competitions are over so it’s the last challenge.
It can also be fun just riding on and on and on singing, watching the landscape and having a really great feeling crossing the finish line. :slight_smile:

And this year it will be most probably not 42km, so we’ll maybe have more like road bike race :slight_smile:
http://unicon18.com/ for the ones that don’t have the webpage yet

Gosh, Tom, did you run out of laxative or something? What a downer, dude!

I partially agree with him though. The Marathon race at Unicon 16 was a painful slog for me, but that was mostly because I had ridden 300meters of downhill in each of the previous two days, without a brake. That’ll do it. On the other hand, I get to say I participated in the race, and finished. Which I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do at about 3/4 of the way through.

Tom “Totally Doable” Holub, who organized Team Totally Doable for Ride the Lobster (team came in 6th place I think!), doesn’t like Road riding. I think he “endured” it for the duration of RTL training and the actual event, but that was it and then he went back to Muni, but long road rides on bikes. And he didn’t just endure, he helped organize a bunch of group training events and a practice race or two in which many members of other teams participated. So much props to Tom for all of that.

So he basically thinks riding long distances on a unicycle is silly because it’s a less efficient vehicle for that. I have been resisting going in that same direction with Road riding, especially in my new neighborhood that’s all hills. It’s low gear all the time in there, and no coasting down! :frowning:

Anyway, if I may interpret what Tom is trying to say, it’s that Unicon races are very competitive, with less and less to offer to entry level riders. There will still be riders of various levels, but the fast ones keep getting faster and faster, and the median racers continue to get better over the years. This doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily enjoy the race, but if you haven’t trained for it you probably won’t find it fun.

What I hope to see more of at this and future Unicons is the non-competitive recreational rides. As Road rides they can be tours. For example, at Unicon XV in New Zealand, we combined a partial tour of the Marathon course with a visit to the Weta Workshop (store), of director Peter Jackson’s movie company. That was a great, fun-paced ride. And one of my favorite Muni rides of all time, at a place called the Top of Europe in Switzerland, at Unicon XIII. Sometimes those rides suffer because they require guides with local knowledge, who are often too busy running the higher-priority stuff, namely the competition events.

So, if you’re expecting a fun, fast-paced group ride, you probably won’t enjoy the Marathon race so much. But if you want to test yourself against the other riders of your age group (or everybody), it’s a rare event that’s worth training for.

Thanks for the clarification Tom and John.

When I took up riding I wasn’t sure were it would lead but it turns out that hitting the road and putting in miles is what I enjoy the most so far. It’s so easy to step out my front door and go. If I want to do a muni ride I have to get in the car and drive about an hour. Most days that doesn’t appeal to me. The marathon could become a slog but besides the 10k, it’s one of the few events that I think I can do and might enjoy.

I agree that it would be fun to ride with others and like the idea of a non-competitive ride. I don’t see one on the schedule though. My husband came up with a good idea. How about a “vuelta de pinxtos”? It would be a ride around town touring pinxto bars.

By the way, I noticed that the Clásica de San Sebastián will take place on July 30th. It should be interesting to have the biggest gathering of unicyclist happening during one of the biggest Spanish bike races. That’s the same day as the 10k!

John do you take more than one unicycle to Unicon?

Recreational rides are normally not in the schedule. They are treated more like workshops and may be in workshop schedule. In Italy there was a daily muni ride, but that was organized by volunteers as far as i know so it’s all up to us now. If you have some ideas mark yourself as volunteer in the registration form and post the idea in fb unicon 18 suggestions group or wait until some workshops info is published.

Thanks for the info vookash. I’m probably one of the last people on earth that doesn’t have a FB account.

I’ll see if I can dig up info about potential rides. I’d volunteer to lead but don’t know the area. I do however have a Spanish speaking spouse that might be able help out.

I defer to johnfoss, since I’ve certainly never done any such rides myself, but I suggest that to test yourself against yourself is also a worthy motivation.

(Seems like a not bad definition of unicycling in general, at least to me…)

I would totally do this! Not really planning to go to San Sebastián but that sounds fantastic. Marathons are fine, but Phidippides might not have fallen dead as soon as he delivered his news if he had stopped for a bite and a sip now and then along the way.

Saying this as one who’s never been to any: Shouldn’t Unicons and NAUCC events regularly include grown-up activities like this? Not everything has to be for the kids.

Hi Vertigo

I think the unicyclist forum that spanish people use might be the following:

You could get some good feedback about possible rides etc and any other questions you might have about the area.

For the fly-to ones, it’s usually two. With today’s flying restrictions it’s hard to bring any more and still have luggage for a long trip. Which two depends on the activities I’m focused on. Actually for Unicon 17 I squeezed in my three favorites (see photo). In the past I brought a 29" for Muni and the 700c races (and cruising around) but my 24" is better for difficult courses, and a little smaller. Those three unis in the photo, and all that other stuff, fit into the big rolling zipper bags I get at the local flea market.

I have rarely flown with a 36". If I were more competitive in those Road races I would find a way, but just bringing one of those is quite a burden for flight + rental car-type trips. Even though I have a bag big enough to fit two of them! But what I have done, at several NAUCC and Unicon events, is find people willing to let me ride theirs. In 2006 I was the first person to race a geared 36" in a Marathon race (but it wasn’t mine, I wasn’t very used to it, and I wasn’t very fast). :slight_smile:

I tried to go on one of those, but ended up at Plose with no tour. I would definitely be interested in helping organize fun rides (dirt, Road and urban) for this Unicon, but it’s hard for us non-locals. They will need our help though, because I don’t think there’s a local uni club there at all. I believe this event was sold to us by a group that want our convention business, and made a (very) good offer for a hosting situation.

While the main organizers often can’t spare any bodies during the convention, if we can get advance help on planning rides, we might be able to organize some without need of taking up the time of people who are busy with convention and competition details.

That’s kind of what training is. The more you prepare for the events you plan to enter, the better you will be able to do your best possible performance.

True. He did his first marathon without any training for that distance. :slight_smile:

Absolutely. Though at the same time, today’s competition events, such as the Road races, are very much not kids’ events. The athleticism is at an extremely high level! But yes, the convention aspect has always taken a back seat, because the competitions are “have to” priorities, while fun rides are “nice to have” things. As are workshops.

There is no local group but there is a bunch of riders in the Basque country that could definitely help to plan it beforehand. I will try to contact them for this.

Large Eddie, I’m sure it’s for both kids and kids-at-heart. Generally speaking, I think older unicycle riders are much more in touch with their inner child than most people. I think older kids might also be able to join a “vuelta de pinxto”. People of all ages in Spain stay up late and hang out in the town squares, at least that’s been my experience on past trips to Spain.

John, thanks for the photo of you’re traveling unicycles. I love the red seat. You’ve got a good point about bringing a 36er. It seems like a hassle if you know you’re not in contention to win. Hats off on doing it on a geared 36er. I’m thinking two unicycles will be enough for me. Maybe one will be my starter unicycle that I might not mind leaving behind.

Also thanks Vookash and Moslki on the info.

Gosh, it’s over seven months away.

Just be aware, that the structure of the event is all around the competitions, and it tends to be difficult to get people to do non-competitive fun stuff, because one guy wants to go do the 100m, and someone else wants to watch trials, and the other person has group freestyle practice. If you want to do something fun like a pinxto/vino crawl, you should get it on the schedule and get at least a few people on board before the event.

Yes to what Tom said. Unicon keeps getting more and more like a mini-Olympics, with lots of overlap between events. Back in the day, everything was one at a time, and most people participated in most of the disciplines (but there were less of them!).

I hope they will open up a “Workshop” schedule where people can post events, so then attempts can be made to structure it all so it can be most inclusive, or be at the right venue, etc. That would be nice.