Unicyclist, Bicyclists, & Runners can Coexist

Over the holiday weekend I had the pleasure of riding my 36" Nimbus (disc brake) Impulse alongside 7,000 bicyclists in the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike, Bike & Paddle event. The longest option (there were several “opt-out turn around to finish early” spots) was only 15 miles so it was no marathon. I finished in a little under one hour and thirty minutes averaging just above ten mph.

The professional bicyclists are positioned to go off first followed by us recreational folk, then the kids, with the walkers last. The traffic was unbearable for the first couple miles. Having trouble going slow (dual hole cranks set to short hole) I took to the sidewalks and passed a ton of people. It thinned out even more after the first water break (I had my CamelBak) and that is when I found my spin.:smiley:

In mile six, just as the pros having made the turn were flying down the left lane, I had my only UPD of the day. A hole in the road hidden in the shade line sent me flying head first and left me sprawled out in the middle of Central (in front of Chruchill Downs) Ave. How embarrassing!:o This was only my second full speed (way faster than I can run) UPD ever. KH Pulse glove ripped (again where I’ve sewn it twice) but did it’s job as did the POC elbow pads, the 661 knee shin guards, and the Giro helmet (bent my “take a look” mirror). I got a nasty bruise on my left hip. A couple people asked if I was OK to which I replied “It’s like when you are water skiing and hit a log how shockingly :astonished: fast things can go horribly wrong”.

Made it to the turn in about the middle of the pack and they were out of water (next time I’ll skip the interviews and start toward the front) so I had a chance to catch my breath standing in line for the fountain. Packing 3 liters of mostly ice was a good idea. It was 94 degrees and very humid. Refreshed and rested I mounted up for the ride home. Saw every kind of human propelled vehicle (blew past a lady in full period dress pushing a Penny Farthing up one of the few hills. gave a ring on the old bell) known to man and heard every “quote of the day (for non-riders)” along the way.

Commuter/Road/Distance is my primary discipline (until the kids are old enough to MUni) but it’s a truly lonely existence.:frowning: I had to put some super long cranks on to “run” with my wife then shorten them up to “ride” with the guys over at the Louisvile Bicycle Club. I guess I’m just now coming to the realization that, even after I get my new KH36 with a Schlumpf hub, given a long enough downhill, some punk ass kid that smokes two packs day and rides a beat up Huffy can catch up and pass me. :angry:

At any rate, these mid-range, slower paced, family oriented events are a perfect fit for my little niche of your wonderful sport. I guess this old introvert really is an exhibitionist (not that kind) that does not mind (I would not say enjoys because I’m in it for the fitness) the attention that a ratio of 1 unicyclist to 6,999 bicyclists brings. This was by far the most fun I have had on a unicycle since I was picking up college girls on it. Why I took a 25 year respite, I will never know. :thinking:

LouisvilleHikeBikePaddle2011.pdf (468 KB)

Nice write up there. I really love to hear the stories of people and their unicycles.

Great post David. I got the flavor for the event and your participation in it. It sounds like it was fun. You will remember this one for a long time.

Great work in the heat.


Great post. Nice to see someone who can write every now and then. :wink:

Another Hike, B*ke, and Paddle in the books. Today I got to ride a mile along side Jerry Abramson (former Mayor of Louisville, current Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky) and thanked him for all he’s done for cycling in our fair city. Good 16 mile ride. All that $ spent on a geared hub is paying off. I was able to average just above 10mph overall. Loving my 36" unicycle!