Muni Race 2 in Poland and Czech Republic

The beginning of every road trip looks about the same: Lots of unicycles for just a few people on the back of my little green van. This time, it took us to Rychlebské Stezky, Czech Republic where we unloaded our gear in an old summer bike camp.

Since it was October and the temperatures accordingly, it was a good idea to wear a down jacket for breakfast and warm your fingers with lots of hot tea.

Photo by Scott Wilton

The convention was a rather small one, with not more than about 20 competitors. But amongst those were some of the world’s best XC and Downhill unicyclists. Here’s a photo of the infamous Jakub Rulf and me during a practise run.

Photo by Scott Wilton

There were two competitions: The Cross Country race atRychlebské Stezky with a long and intense uphill, following an hour-long technical downhill. There are no photos of me competing, because we were all racing. I got in first of the women, with Patricia Wilton making second place. During this race, both of the boys who had travelled with me, broke their bones on the same spot in the beginning of the track: Ben Soja hurt his hip during an unlucky fall and Scott Wilton broke his thumb in the beginning. Which didn’t stop him from finishing the race.

The next day, all of the riders travelled to Czarna Góra, Poland for the downhill comp, while Ben had fun at the Czech hospital nearby. Scott became Patricia’s and my personal photographer and ran down the track next to us. I have to talk him into doing that again. (Hi Scott.)

Photo by Lukasz Chornikowski

Photo above by Lukasz Chornikowski

Photo by Scott Wilton

 

It was close, but Patricia showed me why it makes sense to put on short cranks and pedal like crazy that day. She got in first, I followed close behind.

Photo by Scott Wilton

The Cross Country champs with their awards: Me, Scott Wilton (US), Patricia Wilton (US), Jakub Rulf (CZ) and Martin Charrier (F).

Photo by Lukasz Chornikowski

And the whole family (photographed by Miśka Hendrys):

Photo by Miśka Hendrys

Thank you for a great convention, Maksym!
Photos by Scott Wilton

Unicon 17 – World Champs

To someone who has never attended Unicon, it must seem a bit outlandish to hear people talk about and praise this event. Even I find it overdone sometimes. Until one second later all those memories, stories and beautiful moments come to my head and I find myself saying “I wish it was always Unicon.”

Unicons, short for Unicycling World Championships and Convention, are like the Olympics, Christmas and summer camp happening all at once. They are held every two years in a different country somewhere in the world. This year Unicon 17 was held in Montéal, Canada. It was my eighth Unicon and it’ll be a while before I grow tired of them. If ever. It was also the first time I was in charge of directing an event, together with Benoit, one of the Unicon hosts, I organized the muni competitions at Mont Tremblant and helped with communications. In between, I was able to squeeze in some enough time to be goofy with my brother Felix, meet old and new friends from all over the world, watch world class riding and exciting competitions, explore Montréal by unicycle, take part in the naked bike ride, eat Poutine, convince people to take photos in bib shorts and search for ways to climb the roof (which doesn’t exist, of course).

Oh, and I did compete as well. Here are my results:
Uphill: 1st Place Age Group
Cyclocross Unlimited: 2nd Place Age Group, 4th over all
Cross Country Elite: 3rd Place Age Group, 5th over all
Downhill Advanced (Qualification): 4th Age Group
Downhill Elite (Finals): 8th over all

Now that we are all back in the real world on our parts of the world, all that’s left are a handful of magical moments in my head and on camera, a set of medals and that one phrase: “See you in two!”

 

Max Schulze during Trials Finals Scott Wilton & Martin Charrier during the 10k race Eli Brill during Flatland Finals

Downhill Advanced / Qualifications - Photo by Tom Tony Trevor

Sam Lancaster, me and Ryan Kremsater after the Cross Country Elite race Bibs

Trials Prelims

Street Finals

Lorenz Pöham, me, Scott Wilton, Max Schulze and Beau Hoover

Chihiro Suzuki and Sayaka Kan during Expert Pairs Freestyle

Group Freestyle

Natsumi & Me

Kris Holm Factory Team - Photo by Danielle Ross