This One Time, at Einradcamp…

One week of camping, riding, jumping into the lake and camp fires every night – sounds like a dream come true, right? Directly after our roadtrip in the Karwendel AlpsScott and I went to Rottenburg in the south of Germany to attend Einradcamp.

Freestyle, trials, flatland and street, all in one day, plus some bridge jumping and lots of time to hang out around the camping stove, make new friends, play UNO and organize cruel piggy back races  – it was hard to imagine that there was normal life to get back to afterwards.

Thank you Axel, for being the hero of this convention.

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Lots of bets were lost playing UNO the night before.

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Lots of them.

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My brother Felix and I both placed first during the first official German X-Style competition. Weehoo.

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Tales from the Karwendel Alps

Those first minutes of a roadtrip, when everything is finally packed, you’re spitting cherry seeds out of the window and wonder about the adventures you are going to have in the next couple of days.

When Benedikt Soja, Lutz Eichholz, Scott Wilton and I took off for our trip to the Karwendel Alps near Innsbruck, Austria this June, we had no idea. No idea, that the trails were going to be so perfect. No idea, that on the first day, we’d lose Ben’s precious muni on a steep slope in the forest. And no idea, that we’d have to call a helicopter to get Scott back down from the mountain. In the end, all turned out well and we consider ourselves very lucky, not only because we have such great road trip buddies, who can live in a tiny van peacefully even after days without a shower.

We focused on filming rather than taking photos this time, so here are some snap shots and a short video recap:

Check out Ben’s cool shirt.

Three fusion zeros checking out the view.

That moment when Scott turned into an angel at the peak.

Camera boy Lutz.

Continue reading Tales from the Karwendel Alps

A Camera, a Unicycle, and a Dress

Sometimes, things just effortlessly come together and turn into something great. When Hendrik from Ajata asked me if I had a great freestyle photo to show off the new Ajata Agravic Fork, I told him, “No, but I can take some.” So I caught up with Jascha Eidam, a Berlin-based photographer who had taken some great muni photos of Ben Soja and me last fall. Back then, we had made a rough plan of doing another photo shoot with that white dress.

A couple of days later, there we were, during the golden hour, in the middle of boys playing basketball and bicyclists passing through on their way home. Jascha had his flashlight and his camera, I had my dress and my unicycle. And in the end, everything perfectly worked out.

Thank you, Jascha. Thank you, Ajata.

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Photo: Jascha Eidam

Now who wants to do some arm-wrestling?

At Home In Israel

What is it that makes a place feel like home? When your bed is thousands of miles away, the air is full of unfamiliar sounds, everything feels and smells different and you haven’t spoken your mother tongue in days? It is possible. I just got back from a week-long trip to Israel, hardly knew any of the people I met before and never stayed at one place more than a night. But I did feel at home every second. Here’s how.

One day after my return from Moab in March, I received a message from Raffi Vitis, inviting me to come to the Israeli Unicycling Convention he was organizing. We had a quick talk on the phone, I checked my schedule and before I knew the flight was booked. Life is easy sometimes. A little more than a month later I walked through the gate at the Tel Aviv airport and found Raffi and Márk Fábián waiting for me. Márk is an amazing trials rider from Hungary and was the other foreign guest at the convention. I had briefly met each of them before at other conventions – long enough to know this week would be a fun one.

In the car, Raffi told us the plan for the week. The convention would start the next day and until then we could spend some time in Tel Aviv. After the convention, we would be staying with the families of some uni riders all over the country. Ten minutes later Raffi dropped us of in the middle of Tel Aviv where Danni and his son Eyal were waiting for us. They had only heard of our existence the night before and had agreed to host us for the night. Half an hour and a delicious falafel later Eyal introduced us to his city.

The next day, Márk and I explored the city on our own. We went to the sea, had lots of fresh fruit juice and were amazed by the flora we found all over the city.

Continue reading At Home In Israel

Three epic days in Moab

There is certain magic that lies upon the trails of Moab. You follow a path made of red soil, large rocks and loose rocks. You’re constantly concentrated, using the muscles of your legs, arms and back to fly over the without losing balance. With the flow, you start feeling the joy, you pedal faster and try something you’ve never done before, a higher drop or an incredibly technical and exposed section. You stay on the wheel. You ride on, stay focused, and keep your muscles tense. Until it happens: you weren’t focused for a millisecond, the pressure on your pedal was just a tiny bit too weak, you try keep the balance but it’s too late. Your legs need to run to keep up with the speed you are moving at. You slow down, you stop, you are trying to catch your breath. You turn around to pick up your uni, but the beauty surrounding you catches your eyes. And you pause. You look at the wide canyons, the red rocks, the towers and arches, the formations formed in a long passed chapter of this planet. You take a deep breath. You turn, grab your uni and hurry down the trail. 

Last weekend I had the chance to participate in Moab Munifest, a classic amongst the mountain unicycling conventions. It had been on my list for a while, so last month, during my incredibly fun stay at Tenerife, I decided to simply book a flight and do it. I teamed up with Benoit Gonneville Damme, a rider from Montreal (who also organizes Unicon 17, the next unicycle world championships this summer) to extend the weekend to a weeklong adventure and make it worth the long flight.

We met up in Denver and went riding in the smaller mountains of the region, which weren’t completely covered in snow. We did some fun rides, went to Mallory Cave and the Dinosaur Mountain outside of Boulder, went up the Northern Table Mountain of Golden and had excellent snow riding conditions on Bergen Park Trail outside of Evergreen. I had never seen mountains like these before, very high but yet delicately formed and constantly imagined cowboys on horses exploring these wild lands. In the evenings we returned to Denver, where we were staying with Anne and Marco, the most lovable hosts one can imagine. Marco just recently got into unicycling and spontaneously invited us to stay at their house when he heard we were coming to the area. Every night a delicious home cooked meal and warm conversations about culture and politics were waiting for us. We also made friends with their joyful son José, who is four years old and turns out to be a big fan of balloon animals and hats.

North Table Mountain, Golden. Photo by Benoit Gonneville Damme

Bergen Peak

José

On Thursday before the convention, Benoit and I met up with Max Schulze, who is also a member of the KH Factory Team, Jacob Spera and Jenni Rinker. With Max’ car packed to the roof with gear and camping equipment, we drove through the Rocky Mountains in the dark. When we arrived at Slickrock Campground in Moab later that night, we were happy none of our unicycles had fallen off the bike rack in the back, pitched our tents in the dark and soon crawled into our fluffy sleeping bags.

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When I awoke the next morning, I found the campground to be surrounded by huge red sandstone hills, which kept the valley in the shadow and the air cold and crisp. Continue reading Three epic days in Moab