The fourth annual Unithon was fun, and this time there were more riders
than in the three previous rides put together, about 26.
A bunch of Unatics were there:
Thom Holmes (on bike)
The last four have agreed to change their names to David, which is Hebrew
for “Where’s the other wheel?”
I drove brother John to Long Beach Island from my home in Brooklyn. Having
been warned about horrendous traffic that never materialized, we left on
the early side. Not to be outdone was David Kaplan, who left so early he
arrived before I’d stepped into my car. John and I made great time until,
leaving a rest stop, we drove 25 miles back on the wrong side of the
highway, heading back towards New York. We got to the starting area at
10:50 and were ready to ride by 11am, 40 minutes after the others had left.
Within a few minutes, we passed a guy named Tim who was riding his 20"
giraffe. He’s the same guy who got a ticket for unicycling unlawfully.
He’d started late because he totally misunderstood the organizer about
when and where to meet. This doomed his chance of finishing. He was picked
up at about the 15 mile mark and charged with holding up the party at the
The next rider we passed was a cop who had helped with the ride last year.
This year she decided to do it herself, but she was too-little prepared
(and riding a 24" uni), and I don’t know how far she got. I believe she
gave herself a police escort, tho.
John has just recovered from his foot injury, so he was not riding as fast
as he possibly can. We rode together till we saw the first break area.
There were still some riders there, but we’d decided to ride without
breaks, so we kept going. A few miles later, I spotted a Port-a-Potty.
John rode on so that I could have the challenge of catching up with him.
By the time I did, he’d just met up with Anne. At that point, about 20
minutes into the ride, I chose to continue racing the clock.
The ride starts out on a beachy bike path, but then there are about 5
miles where you have to ride next to parked cars with a 4-lane highway
(max speed, 35mph) to your left. It’s a bit scary; I slowed down a little.
Finally, the town dies away and a bike path reemerges for the last 5 miles
or so. It must have been at this point that I hit my max speed, 18.4mph.
When I could look at the speedo, I clocked myself going 16mph for long
The ride is close to 19 miles long. I completed it in 79 minutes of riding
(82 minutes all togehther if you include the pee break and another planned
dismount at mile 15 to relieve some numbness). No UPDs this year (last
year there was one at 15mph on the last straight carless area – I ran out
My average speed for the first 3 miles was 13.5. My overall average was
14.5. My last 5 miles were done in under 20 minutes, the longest I have
ever ridden while averaging over 15mph. I should note that the entire ride
is flat – you’re riding along the water, so there are no hills.
John arrived 10 minutes after I did. Then a few others trickled in, but
most riders took a bit longer. The first person to arrive on 6" cranks was
our own Anne Benkovitz, who would have made slightly better time had her
boyfriend not fallen asleep at the wheels of his bike! They got tangled up
when he drifted into her, resulting in a small boo-boo for her and a big
one for him. I believe Anne arrived before 1pm, having averaged about
12mph, a great achievement, especially for someone new to Cokers.
The party at the Club was fun afterwards. It’s a wonderful event. Thanks
to Roe, Kev, and Bridget for pulling it off again!
Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01