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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out at Joaquin Miller Park and caught part of the North American Unicycling Championships and Convention, also known as "U Games" yesterday. It is the largest gathering of the year of unicycle enthusiasts in North America. We're heading back out Wednesday for the downhill events and $2 Hill climb. For anyone who's (tried to) cleared $2 Hill or negotiated the rock drop on Chaparral, you'll be amazed at the technical skill of the unicyclists riding the park. We came across one guy (from Australia) practicing on $2 Hill - he cleared it after a couple tries.

Events start at 9:00 on Wednesday in the main Meadow and last until around noon. It's free and open to the public so come on out if you have some free time.

MUni Downhill - Timed downhill race on Cinderella Trail
MUni Technical Course - Untimed race, with riders going in small groups down Chaparral (starting at the intersection with Sequoia Bayview Trail)
MUni "Two Dollar Hill" Challenge - This is an untimed race, with riders going one at a time. Each rider gets three attempts to climb $2 hill without falling or touching anything.




 

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I'm there Wednesday to Course Marshall

This is wheeled competition in Joaquin Miller. How the cycling community handles this is critical for our future events in local parks.

Come out, lend a hand or show your support.:thumbsup:
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
This is wheeled competition in Joaquin Miller. How the cycling community handles this is critical for our future events in local parks.
its the young kids on downhill bikes nearly running over everyone on lower palos, and chap/cindy.. especially cindy at the lower exit. ive seen it happen a million times, ive had hikers tell me about it, its them. thats why people dont like bikes in jmp. theres nothing the cycling community can or cant do, its these dumb kids.
 

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I won't argue about misbehavior as a huge effect

You're preaching to the choir. I train High School racers and a big part of that is cultivating good trail sharing behaviors so I am particularly active at that nexus. Don't get me started on misbehaving adults!;)

However the main effect here is one of holding a wheeled racing event in JMP. That is a remarkable thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Having a big group of cyclists using the park in a responsible manner is a good thing. There was a group of folks who certainly spoke out against having a bike "race" in the park, with all the typical crap about why bikes don't belong. Yes it's important to show that cyclists can use the park and our impacts from the event are just like any other group - nil. I think the City should be thrilled to show a group of riders from throughout North America that Oakland is indeed a cool place. Guaranteed JMP & U-Games is not the typical picture most people have about Oakland.
 

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you have not lived....

sputnik said:
I've never been a fan of the circus.
...until you have watched someone race a unicycle. Truly an amazing set of skills required for this.
 

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sparkyJ said:
...until you have watched someone race a unicycle. Truly an amazing set of skills required for this.
Nah, I've lived and I haven't seen unicycles racing. I've seen many munis being ridden though.

They hold no appeal/fascination for me. It's so dissimilar from real mountain biking that it has no appeal for me.
 

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I don't know much about Unicycling

But I do know a great deal about racing and want to bring that to the event and support these athletes and the public.
 

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Thanks for posting this, oparks. It was a great outing for my kids - they really enjoyed it.
 

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Right on queue

In 5... 4... 3... 2 .. 1...

sputnik said:
Hey porky you're wrong, once again.

Your whining about discussions that bother is still amusing though.
Woulda been fun to see, tho. I saw a MUni team at 24hoa in Monterey back a few years ago in singlespeed class. Those guys looked like death at 2 am going up the grind out.

Hats off to those mufuggers.
 

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I went to help but wasn't sure what they could do.

Often helping happens when an athlete overreaches or exceeds bounds they do not know they have. Yet these athletes, from as far away as France, come to share in the joy of riding in their own style. 5 members of the BTCEB were on hand to help. Mat, Jay and I went to manage Chaparral, the Technical Downhill untimed test.

I took the job of directing the cyclists who were about to do Chaparral. My first bunch was about 7 teens. I know great kids when I see them so I was right at home; introduce, present authority, instruct, direct, and send them off in pairs for safety. Parents lingered with a mix of nervousness and confidence. I was in my element. They were great.

At first many went on to Cinderella for the Timed Downhill to get their chops first. Later as riders approached Chaparral they asked about it I recommended they do Cinderella first if they were unsure. Later I saw them walking up Chaparral to take it's measure and then doing the down when I cleared them. It was a good place for me to be as I have been at many starting lines and have a sense of what each person needs at that time.

Success was all relative as some were definitely at their limits but achieved the down with a few dabs and came back all smiles. Some riders were clearly very highly skilled. Mat was in the most central portion just above the big rock area and had to dodge a flying Uni. Jay did the lower portion and when I passed him on the way down on my cheater (two-wheeler) he expressed his amazement at their skills. I saw only one owie, a forearm scrape on Cinderella, but it was cleaned and allowed to dry/scab.

The event I managed was a test of skill. There was absolutely no talking smak or BS about these folk. They were there for each other. Yet they expressed all the same nervous chatter, mutual encouragement, sharing of resources/course knowledge, and banter I have become accustomed to in the best competitive racing. There was also that same euphoria after finishing a tough event and that sense of having shared something fine.

I fielded dozens of inquiries and comments from the trail users and they seemed charmed with the idea of unicycles on the trails. We saw only one kid on a dually with armor and a full-face helmet and he seemed a bit of a noob and oddly out of place. I had only one negative interaction with a walker and his dog as he ascended Chaparral. I made a little joke as he came up," I'll bet you didn't expect to see unicycles on the trail today! Ha-ha." He simply grumbled and when I went to pet his dog he told me not to. He seemed oddly out of place today, too.

The organizers should be pleased with this event. They brought a nice community from all over the place and had a fine time. It was great to share this place with them and they went out of their way to thank us for the support as it freed up organizers to ride with their buds.

Yet for me there was a side-effect. There is a cadre of cyclists who beat a path to Chaparral for their DH jones, some as a part of their tour of JMP but some as their only purpose. It is only about 400 yards long yet riders come from all over to use it. It seems a bit desperate and a sad indication of how little access such riders have to trails like this. Just sayin'
:cool:

I wish I had better images but I was busy doing other things. The man in the purple T is Tom, the Director of mountain unicycles (MUni.)
 

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$2 hill is NOTHIN, I seen these crazy mofo's going down some nasty rock waterfalls at rockville, not the rock garden, but the steep waterfall at the bottom of the rock garden, among other stuff through there.
 
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