Rolandisimo and I are riding the Whiteface Foliage Climb, Sept 13th. it’s a paved road to the top of Whiteface Mtn, with 3500 ft of climbing in 8 miles. It’s a beautiful ride in the high peaks region of the Adirondack mountains in northern NY state, with fall colors as a bonus.
We’d love to have some more unicyclists. Come beat Roland’s record time of 1:14:59!
Roland and I rode this race today. I rode a KH29Guni/150s and he rode a KH36 Guni/165s. My “no-training” regimen and Roland’s usual train-his-butt-off regimen led to expected results. I rode a 1:20:37 (my 2nd best of 5 times here) but he rode about ten minutes faster, breaking his own record by almost 5 minutes. Another good side, neither of us had a UPD or even a PD.
It was about 60F (15C) and sunny at the bottom. The top, 3500+ ft (1070 m) higher, was maybe 40F (5C), enveloped in cloud, blowing hard, and raining. We were both lucky enough to have our families waiting at the top. My 12 yr old daughter, Monya, walked down and met me about a 1/4 mile from the top, and ran the whole rest of the way with me. I was hammered, barely staying mounted in the headwind, and her enthusiastic cheering got me over the line.
The race allows riders to ride down, as well, and Roland and I did so, for the first time (we’ve both done the climb before but always took an auto down). It was strange riding 8 miles constant, paved downhill. In high gear we were both constantly braking (otherwise it was very hard to control the higher gear). I used my brake a hundred times more than all the times in the past combined, and I got much more comfortable with the guni/brake combo.
However, due to the unrelenting length of the ride, by the bottom I was barely getting any brake power. Checking at the end, I found this was because the brake pads had worn down so much that I was squeezing the brake-handle right down to the handlebar and the pads were just barely rubbing the rim.
Whiteface is a nasty race. Steveyo and I have done this race before so we more or less knew what we were in for. 8mi, 3500ft vert. No flat parts to take a break on. It was hard. Again. The last 1/2 mile was particularly hard as it was extra-steep, foggy and misty, with a very strong headwind. I was barely able to stay up through the finish.
Before the race I couldn’t decide if I should do the climb on a 29er or 36er (165 cranks). I went with the 36er guni, in part because I wanted to ride down the hill geared up. In hind site, I think a 29er is better for this race (for me). Most of my riding was <7mph, which just isn’t efficient with a 36er. I’m pysched to break the record, but am sure it can be broke again by someone on a 29er.
The Downhill was fun, like Steve said, good practice with the brake on a downhill.
Congrats guys! You’ve got me inspired to attempt tackling some of our local “mountains” on my unicycle. We’ve got some relatively short and steep ones i.e. I live near the end of the Appalachian chain. Nothing like what you guys have, but still challenging enough to be fun to attempt.
I’m in Lowell - on the other side of the state unfortunately. Since my location has only shown “Massachusetts” I’ve gotten quite a few meetup invitations from other unicyclists who thought I might be close to them, which just goes to show how cool the people in this community are.