UX- As I Saw It- Racing

Once again, racing proved to be a great attraction. Whether horse racing or
traditional racing on foot, humanity has always found it very exciting.
Unicycling garners all the enthusiasm of those races, with the added risk of
falling because you exceeded your limits.

At UX, racing was a long, time-consuming activity. There are many events and
many categories that result in many tired officials and complicated schedules. I
have mixed feelings about that.

We have received many complaints that so many categories, and so many
competitors from the same country in the same race, detracts from a World

But we must remember that the reason why there were so many Chinese and Japanese
in the races is because they did a better job of training. They dominated most
of the racing events because they are faster. Some of those competitors came to
UX mainly to race. So, I will take the easy way out and not take a position now.

Maybe that is the price of success. Everyone likes to compete internationally at
UNICONs. So, I am not yet taking sides on whether or not we should limit racing.
The IUF may consider it in the future.

There were many great races. The times were impressive taking into consideration
that it was a slow track. Professional track people were in charge of running
the races. They had some good equipment to measure time. John Foss was the Chief
Referee. Traditional track persons usually have problems with the start of the
races. John did a good job of explaining it to them. They did a good job.

Most complains were in the special races. We really must run that ourselves.

There were some problems at the finish line. The track people had suggested that
we use some side numbers so that the computer could better identify the riders.
It was not done, resulting in several claims. John set up a claims mechanism.
Results were posted. That in itself was quite a job. The Results List covered
just about all the walls of the lobby. Then John gave a deadline to file claims.
He investigated and awarded the claims that were filed.

We must congratulate John Foss and the track people. For the first time (I
believe) ever, all the events were actually run, and were actually finished on
time, allowing everybody to attend the anticipated Tiananmen Square activity.

We should gain experience from every UNICON event. We must realize that
something may work today, but we can still find a better way tomorrow. In this
spirit, my suggestions for UNICON XI is that we can use experienced track
people, but we must improve our communication with them prior to the event.

We must also make team leaders responsible for their competitors being ready
when and where they are supposed to be. Announcements are only an added
courtesy that we should keep doing, but it cannot transfer the responsibility
from the team leader and/or competitor to the announcer. After all, we all know
that 12 comes after 10. And 14 follows, etc. The team leader must realize that
mispronunciation of names will occur.

Remember that you can see pictures at the web, including
www.unicycling.com/ofoto/ www.javier.unicyclist.com

I hope that you all get a chance to attend UXI to be held in July or August,
2002 at North Bend, Washington, USA, in the Seattle area.

Alberto Ruiz

Alberto Ruiz