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Old 2015-12-08, 04:28 AM   #1
Vertigo
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Unicon 18

Registration for Unicon 18 is open. Early registration ends December 15th.

I'm surprised this hasn't come up. I see people have signed up but no talk about it here. Anyone going?

Any tips on riding in the Marathon?
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Old 2015-12-08, 04:53 AM   #2
tholub
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Any tips on riding in the Marathon?
My tip: Don't.
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Old 2015-12-08, 01:24 PM   #3
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My tip: Don't.
If everyone took your advice, the marathon would be a very boring race indeed. On second thought, I think everyone should take your advice, then I'll win it by default.

Piece_Maker: Unicon 18 Marathon winner

Where is Unicon this year?
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Old 2015-12-08, 01:53 PM   #4
Vertigo
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My tip: Don't.
Ok, thanks for that tip.
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Old 2015-12-08, 02:02 PM   #5
Vertigo
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Where is Unicon this year?
Donostia / San Sebastián Spain

To be honest I don't understand why I would be given advice not to enter the event.

My longest road ride is 20 miles. I'm sure I can ride 26+.
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Old 2015-12-08, 03:38 PM   #6
tholub
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Donostia / San Sebastián Spain

To be honest I don't understand why I would be given advice not to enter the event.

My longest road ride is 20 miles. I'm sure I can ride 26+.
Because it's a big, boring, painful slog. The field spreads out immediately, so after the first 10 minutes you'll never see anyone you're racing with again. And if you're not fast, you'll be suffering out there for four hours or more.

Do the 10K. Go play hockey. There are plenty of fun events.
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Old 2015-12-08, 06:46 PM   #7
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Because it's a big, boring, painful slog. The field spreads out immediately, so after the first 10 minutes you'll never see anyone you're racing with again. And if you're not fast, you'll be suffering out there for four hours or more.

Do the 10K. Go play hockey. There are plenty of fun events.
Come on, it's not THAT bad and plan says it takes place on the last day when all the other fun competitions are over so it's the last challenge.
It can also be fun just riding on and on and on singing, watching the landscape and having a really great feeling crossing the finish line.
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Old 2015-12-08, 07:01 PM   #8
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And this year it will be most probably not 42km, so we'll maybe have more like road bike race
http://unicon18.com/ for the ones that don't have the webpage yet
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Old 2015-12-08, 10:50 PM   #9
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Gosh, Tom, did you run out of laxative or something? What a downer, dude!

I partially agree with him though. The Marathon race at Unicon 16 was a painful slog for me, but that was mostly because I had ridden 300meters of downhill in each of the previous two days, without a brake. That'll do it. On the other hand, I get to say I participated in the race, and finished. Which I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do at about 3/4 of the way through.

Tom "Totally Doable" Holub, who organized Team Totally Doable for Ride the Lobster (team came in 6th place I think!), doesn't like Road riding. I think he "endured" it for the duration of RTL training and the actual event, but that was it and then he went back to Muni, but long road rides on bikes. And he didn't just endure, he helped organize a bunch of group training events and a practice race or two in which many members of other teams participated. So much props to Tom for all of that.

So he basically thinks riding long distances on a unicycle is silly because it's a less efficient vehicle for that. I have been resisting going in that same direction with Road riding, especially in my new neighborhood that's all hills. It's low gear all the time in there, and no coasting down!

Anyway, if I may interpret what Tom is trying to say, it's that Unicon races are very competitive, with less and less to offer to entry level riders. There will still be riders of various levels, but the fast ones keep getting faster and faster, and the median racers continue to get better over the years. This doesn't mean you won't necessarily enjoy the race, but if you haven't trained for it you probably won't find it fun.

What I hope to see more of at this and future Unicons is the non-competitive recreational rides. As Road rides they can be tours. For example, at Unicon XV in New Zealand, we combined a partial tour of the Marathon course with a visit to the Weta Workshop (store), of director Peter Jackson's movie company. That was a great, fun-paced ride. And one of my favorite Muni rides of all time, at a place called the Top of Europe in Switzerland, at Unicon XIII. Sometimes those rides suffer because they require guides with local knowledge, who are often too busy running the higher-priority stuff, namely the competition events.

So, if you're expecting a fun, fast-paced group ride, you probably won't enjoy the Marathon race so much. But if you want to test yourself against the other riders of your age group (or everybody), it's a rare event that's worth training for.
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Old 2015-12-09, 01:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the clarification Tom and John.

When I took up riding I wasn't sure were it would lead but it turns out that hitting the road and putting in miles is what I enjoy the most so far. It's so easy to step out my front door and go. If I want to do a muni ride I have to get in the car and drive about an hour. Most days that doesn't appeal to me. The marathon could become a slog but besides the 10k, it's one of the few events that I think I can do and might enjoy.

I agree that it would be fun to ride with others and like the idea of a non-competitive ride. I don't see one on the schedule though. My husband came up with a good idea. How about a "vuelta de pinxtos"? It would be a ride around town touring pinxto bars.

By the way, I noticed that the Clásica de San Sebastián will take place on July 30th. It should be interesting to have the biggest gathering of unicyclist happening during one of the biggest Spanish bike races. That's the same day as the 10k!

John do you take more than one unicycle to Unicon?
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Old 2015-12-09, 06:05 AM   #11
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Recreational rides are normally not in the schedule. They are treated more like workshops and may be in workshop schedule. In Italy there was a daily muni ride, but that was organized by volunteers as far as i know so it's all up to us now. If you have some ideas mark yourself as volunteer in the registration form and post the idea in fb unicon 18 suggestions group or wait until some workshops info is published.
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Old 2015-12-09, 05:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info vookash. I'm probably one of the last people on earth that doesn't have a FB account.

I'll see if I can dig up info about potential rides. I'd volunteer to lead but don't know the area. I do however have a Spanish speaking spouse that might be able help out.
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Old 2015-12-09, 11:27 PM   #13
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But if you want to test yourself against the other riders of your age group (or everybody), it's a rare event that's worth training for.
I defer to johnfoss, since I've certainly never done any such rides myself, but I suggest that to test yourself against yourself is also a worthy motivation.

(Seems like a not bad definition of unicycling in general, at least to me...)
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Old 2015-12-10, 01:09 AM   #14
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I agree that it would be fun to ride with others and like the idea of a non-competitive ride. I don't see one on the schedule though. My husband came up with a good idea. How about a "vuelta de pinxtos"? It would be a ride around town touring pinxto bars.
I would totally do this! Not really planning to go to San Sebastián but that sounds fantastic. Marathons are fine, but Phidippides might not have fallen dead as soon as he delivered his news if he had stopped for a bite and a sip now and then along the way.

Saying this as one who's never been to any: Shouldn't Unicons and NAUCC events regularly include grown-up activities like this? Not everything has to be for the kids.
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Old 2015-12-10, 10:24 AM   #15
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Thanks for the info vookash. I'm probably one of the last people on earth that doesn't have a FB account.

I'll see if I can dig up info about potential rides. I'd volunteer to lead but don't know the area. I do however have a Spanish speaking spouse that might be able help out.
Hi Vertigo

I think the unicyclist forum that spanish people use might be the following:

http://foro.monociclos.com/

You could get some good feedback about possible rides etc and any other questions you might have about the area.
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