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Old 2010-06-28, 06:49 PM   #1
unigoat
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July 17-18 are Critical Dates-

For expanding distance uni racing.

This is another reminder that July 17-18 we're hosting a stage race here in Butler, PA. www.butlerstagerace.blogspot.com is the site for most of the details with unicycle specific info showing up at www.butlerwobble.blogspot.com.

Unicycle racing isn't that common on this coast. We have a very unique opportunity here to have some fun and show bicyclists and unicyclists aren't just about a circus sideshow- NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

Personally, I can't juggle and haven't found the time to learn. It's cool if people are into that, but the range of what unicyclists can do is rapidly expanding. I just watched a 26" street video on unicyclist.com. Amazing. I probably won't ever be able to ride like that, but that doesn't stop me from building some uni trials stuff at the local skatepark (right now about 15 pallets and some 2x4s screwed together) because I'm hoping someone around here is going to get into unicycling and will need support. I'm personally not big into freestyle, but we have gym time throughout the winter that a few of you have made it out to. I'll try both disciplines, but they're not entirely my cup of coffee (I'm not that much of a tea drinker). The point is: all of unicycling needs our support.

Check out the sites. We've been given a TREMENDOUS opportunity here to engage the cycling public and the general public. Unfortunately, I honestly don't think people understand the potential. The response I've had from emails and unicyclist.com posts I've received has been lackluster at best. We essentially get the same elite amateur courses the bicyclists get for next to nothing. It costs THOUSANDS of dollars to put on this event and we're getting in for almost free.

Why would we be invited in the first place? A large uni showing looks good for the event. It is critical that we have a LARGE turnout on the 17th. There are 2 options for the weekend. One is for (essentially) 36ers and Schlumpfs to do all 3 races. The reasons we have to limit are the Time Trial and the Road Race. We are able to use these courses, but they come at a price. We only get enough time to get about 30 unis on the TT with the last rider getting 45min to complete the 6.5 mile mostly flat course. We have to essentially be done before the bikes (which can be going 30mph) have to worry about us being a bit in the way. The road race is a logistical nightmare integrating with the bikes. We get 3 hours at the maximum on the course. I rode 3 laps in 2:00:56 a few weeks ago so it shouldn't be a problem, but we have to plan for everything.

Option 2 is the Crit only. This event is for EVERYONE who can ride a uni. We'll be on a downtown closed course with a pile of non-unicyclists who are out to see the race. This race should be a ton of fun. Honestly, it's as much about the public exposure as it is the ride itself. Anyone who gets this email should at least consider this. We're charging a whopping $5 entry fee (we need to contribute some money towards the event). We'll even have some prizes.

We're just under 3 weeks away and I've only got about a dozen riders who have committed to the race. If you have a 36er (or possibly a 29er) and think you could do a 10k in 45ish minutes we would like to have you here. An option to consider might be to sign up for the 3 race series and then only do the first day's 2 races and skip the second day. In the grand scheme of racing, a $30 entry fee for 2 races is REALLY cheap. Ideally I'd like to have a full field for the 2 days, but I may have to realistically accept the fact that people don't want to race on a difficult open road course. If you do decide on doing both days, there are options for 1,2,or 3 laps. I haven't seen much interest in the 1-lap option yet, but it will be there in case it's needed.

I'm finalizing prizes and swag with some sponsors and I'll get those details once the boxes arrive. In the interest of keeping entry fees low, I didn't put a lot of our entry money towards just the top people winning lots of money. I'm going as deep as I can and sharing the wealth.

If you're NOT going to U Games, you need to be here on July 17th (and hopefully the 18th). We need a strong showing in the number of unicyclists for the first year of this soon to be annual event or we may not have this opportunity next year.

Please email me if you will be coming or you have further questions that www.butlerwobble.blogspot.com or www.butlercountystagerace.blogspot.com don't answer.

I can't stress enough how generous the promoters have been to include unicycles in this event. We need to return on their investment.

Oh yeah, you'll need to be a USA member to participate. You can join at registration (it's only $20, but it gets us insurance coverage and you get a whole lot more!). Also: Helmets and gloves (or wristguards) are necessary. Kneepads are highly encouraged.

Ride on,

Last edited by unigoat; 2010-06-28 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 2010-07-01, 01:28 PM   #2
unigoat
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bump again.

The lack of response to this opportunity is a bit disheartening to say the least.

Once again, I realize many will be at U Games- that's awesome. Many people aren't going, however.

USA (Unicycling Society of America) has be a tremendous help with getting us legal for the event. If you're not a member you and live in North America- you definitely need to join!
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Old 2010-07-01, 02:58 PM   #3
unigoat
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*blush*

Now I feel a bit stupid. The first address for the race should be www.butlercountystagerace.blogspot.com . The first link forgot "county". PEBKAC error.

Sorry about that. Poor editing.
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Old 2010-07-01, 08:39 PM   #4
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I'd love to join, but Im in the UK so no chance, good luck with it, worth posting on IJDB about it you may get some interest there, also look for some uni clubs near by and send emails out to them, perhaps get some more interest that way
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Old 2010-07-09, 07:58 PM   #5
unigoat
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We're at about a week away!

Preride info is up. Some of the prizes are here with more on the way.

If you're not at U Games you should be here. This will be an event not to miss!
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Old 2010-07-13, 04:38 PM   #6
unigoat
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Time to bump this one more time.

I'm not sure if many people have an idea what it costs to put on an event like this. I know I wasn't fully aware the bill is well over $10,000. I know the bike logistics are a major expense, but so are porta johns, the road closure permits, the police, the ambulance services, etc.

After last night's organizational meeting we talked about how unique a completely closed to traffic course is for bicycles and unis. That's what both races Sat. are all about.

Sunday's road race probably has the toughest hill a uni class has seen. It's climbable, but challenging to say the least. It's there to show the public what can be done.

Seeing these threads go with almost no response is a bit disheartening. I thought that there was more interest in seeing road racing expand it's boundaries.

I like to read the 100 mile ride threads. I like to see what charity rides people do. Almost always they're a chance for unicyclists to tell other unicyclists what they're doing. They also make the local paper and people garner attention. You do get a nice "Wow" and some accolades. As a person who's done 15 or more MTB races on my uni I can attest to loving the challenge. I guess I've tired of being "the guy on the unicycle". I'd rather be "one of those guys on a unicycle."

Here's our chance.

2 years ago at Ride the Lobster time I had the only 36er in the area, now we have 6. It's happened because locals have moved from the "Wow" to "I can do that".

Come join us this weekend. We're going to race, but we're going to have a great time too.
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Old 2010-07-16, 03:09 AM   #7
rolandisimo
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I'm in.
I'll roll in Friday 8-9pm, see you then or Sat Am.
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Old 2010-07-16, 04:18 AM   #8
EoinC
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Hi, Dave.

I'm not in the States, but I hope that you do end up with a sizeable Uni entry on the days.

Cheers,
Eoin
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Old 2010-07-21, 05:15 PM   #9
muni_guy
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Butler County Stage Race Event Writeup

What a great event! Hats off to Dave, Lisa & all the local riders who helped to make this event happen. A big thanks to the bike race event organizers who gave the ok to allow unicycles to participate. Lots of great prizes from the sponsors ... Unicycle.com, Speedgoat Bikes & Pro Bikes.

Here's a little writeup from me about the event:

The whole family (Sara, my wife. Linnéa, our 2 year old daughter and Torbin, our 6 month old son) made the weekend trip to Butler, PA for the event. It was an epic drive with the kids, including a very lengthy US border wait. We left Richmond Hill, Ontario at 9am and arrived in Butler around 6pm (unfortunately, I missed the pre-rides planned for Friday afternoon, which I was hoping to take part in).

After checking into the hotel and having dinner, we headed into town to the race headquarters to check-in for the event. There we met Lisa, Dave's wife, and picked up my race kit. The unicyclists were all up the street at a local pizza place, so Sara, myself and the kids popped in to say hello before heading back to the hotel to put the kids to bed and get some sleep ourselves.

Saturday morning came quick. It was sunny and hot (30+C). The first race of the 3 stage event was the 10.75km Time Trial on closed roads. We went off every 30 seconds. I was 3rd last with Roland and Dave in the slots behind me. I knew Roland would be passing me early on since he was riding the only geared 36'er of the bunch. Sure enough he caught me within the first few kilometres. There was a fun section of brick pave that wasn't in the best shape and there was a bit more uphill than I was expecting, including an uphill finish, but nothing steep. Unfortunately, I UPD'd in the last kilometre after hitting an unexpected bump at 27km/h and picked up some road rash on the knee, hip, back and elbow.

I finished 3rd with a time of 26:25.
Here's the GPS data from my Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/40722686

Saturday afternoon, brought the Criterium in downtown Butler. The course was 11 laps of a T shaped course with a 180 at the bottom of a slight downhill and 6 90 degree turns with 2 sections of brick pave, bordering on cobbles thrown in for good measures. We started as a rolling mass start. Roland took the lead with myself chasing him. I got a little overzealous chasing him on the first lap that I came off running in the second section of pave after taking the wrong line through the bumps. Luckily everyone behind me was able to steer clear of my careening unicycle and I didn't take anyone else out. When I got started again I was now at the back of the pack and had to start picking my way to the front. After a few laps I was again behind Roland trying to chase him down to no avail.

I finished in 2nd with a time of 17:42.
Here's the GPS data from my Garmin (it's not completely accurate due to the auto-lapping/pausing and I started it early): http://connect.garmin.com/activity/40971208


Sunday was the big day, the 40km road race stage, 3 laps of a 13+km course with a nasty climb (6+%) ...



It was tricky getting out the door in time with the kids for the early morning start. I didn't get a proper breakfast or warm-up in before this stage, so my only goal was to try for a sub 2 hour time.

Roland led the early part of the race, with me chasing him and Dave right behind me. "The Hill" was not too bad on the first lap, but I was dreading it for the next two. By the 2nd lap Dave had pulled ahead of me and I was right behind him until "The Hill" where he pulled away from me. I couldn't help but think that I should have done more hill training back home. By the third lap I had lost sight of Dave. I caught up to Roland on "The Hill". He was hurting bad with leg cramps. We rode together briefly with him pulling ahead on a few of the downhills, but with a few more uphills to go he wasn't having fun.

Dave rocked the road course in 1:51:55!

I finished 2nd with a time of 1:57:42.
Here's the GPS data from my Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/40971205

Dave has posted the unicycle results on the Butler Wobble site:
Saturday Event Results (TT & Criterium)
Sunday & Overall Event Results (Road Race)

I also found some pictures other people took of the event:
Fred Jordan Photos: Time Trial Criterium Road Race
Isaac's Photos

All in all a fantastic unique unicycle event that looks like it will happen annually. I'll definitely be planning to make it out again next year.

Carl
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Old 2010-07-21, 07:33 PM   #10
tholub
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Good job putting this event together, Dan! I think connecting with bike events is definitely the way to grow the sport; with all the obsession with fixies and single speeds, we should be able to find some more nuts like Chuck willing to make the jump over to one wheel. And we'll get better spectator exposure in an event like this than in a unicycle-specific race; even our downtown SF criterium at U Games failed to draw the crowds it deserved. Promotion is hard, but people are definitely impressed when they see what we can do.

Congrats!
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Old 2010-07-22, 02:22 AM   #11
unigoat
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A HUGE thanks to all the unicyclists who made the trip. This year's Butler County Stage Race was awesome and we've already started the talks about how to make next year even better.

We're looking at the same weekend in July - the 16th and 17th, 2011.

One of the coolest things about the event was the crossover to the cycling public and the general public. The most interested people were the USA Cycling officials! They were incredibly gracious in timing us and giving us all the respect that the bicyclists got.

One thing that was noted by Ed, the main event promoter, was that the unicyclists were a fantastic group of people to work with.

Our hope is that crossover events will become more prevalent in the near future. It would be great to have to choose which event to do on a given weekend!
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Old 2010-07-24, 01:43 AM   #12
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Kudos to Dave for getting the uni division in these races. It was a lot of fun, and did have quite a lot of spectators, with the big bike race going and all. Not only local spectators, but, of course, the bikers.

Carl's writeup is a good summary. The guni was in fine form on the crit and time trial. I had one fall with an accidental downshift in the TT but was able to run it out and hop right back on. The Crit was nice redemption after my big fall in the RTL crit lost me so much time. However, now I need new redemption for the 24mi road race, I cramped up so badly on the last lap I couldn't even stand up. I guess I miss judged the wear and tear of the previous day, plus the hot sun of Sunday morning - next time I'm carrying electrolytes! Dave and Carl rode a great road race tho, nice work powering up that hill with the short cranks.
ro
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Old 2010-07-24, 02:40 AM   #13
EoinC
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Originally Posted by muni_guy View Post
What a great event!...
Thanks for the great write-up, Carl. It sounds like an excellent event, and the photo links show a good turnout. Well done.

Cheers,
Eoin
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Old 2010-07-24, 06:50 AM   #14
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If there is nothing wrong with my hip, I'll be attending for sure.
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Old 2010-07-24, 12:05 PM   #15
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Great write-up, Carl, and congrats to all concerned.

I'll make a more concerted effort to get there next year.
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