Monday, July 30, 2012

Victor Post Fat Tire Festival Article

A co-worker of mine brought in a newspaper clipping from the Victor Post about last week's Fat Tire Festival.  I found the same article online and took a screenshot for safe keeping:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 Fat Tire Festival

Today was a big race for me.  I raced Sport class at the Fat Tire Festival at Dryer Rd park.

As the only unicyclist, you could say I'm in a class of my own, but I was in Sport because I wanted to do three laps.
That's about 10.5 miles on a pretty tough course, especially for muni.

It was pretty much as I expected.  Doing three practice runs (#1, #2, #3) over the past six weeks and last year's race was good preparation.  Still I had the usual doubts and fatigue I've come to expect during a ride like this.

Also as expected, I had to step off many times when I heard mountain bikers approaching from behind.  It works out fine but does slow me down.

According to my GPS I finished in 2 hours 13 minutes.  As I anticipated from my test runs and last year's race results, I finished with just a handful of expert riders still on the course finishing their five laps.

The crowd and announcer cheered a lot for me when I was in the start/finish area of the field.  Obviously I stand out.  A lot of people were impressed.  Who knows, maybe I made an impression and we'll end up with some more local riders.

Since there was no muni class and I was in Sport, I didn't place.  But when I was cleaning up my stuff to leave, I was given another pint glass to add to my collection.  Awesome!

Fat Tire Festival - 2012-07-21

Thanks to the Town of Victor, the Victor Parks and Rec, GROC, and all the sponsors that made this an awesome event!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Fat Tire Weeknight Series Race #6

This evening I rode at the final race of the Fat Tire Weeknight Series.

Nothing particularly exciting occurred, but it was a good ride.  I got some good "Go uni-guy!" comments, and another kid saying "You're an inspiration!".  :-)

My chest has been feeling uncomfortable off and on for about the past four days.  It feels like when I have a chest cold or have been working in a dusty area.  If it's not an irritation in my lungs it might just be a muscle strain of some kind.  It's hard to know, but I don't think it affected my race.

Fat Tire Weeknight Series Race #6 - 2012-07-18

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 Fat Tire Weeknight Series Race #5

Weeks ago I rode the Fat Tire Weeknight Series Race #1.  I skipped the next three.  I was sick for #2, thought it was too hot for #3, and was too sore for #4.

This evening I rode race #5.

I used my high gear quite a bit more than usual, though my average speed was about the same as last race.  This may have been because the course was slightly modified and I had a somewhat significant UPD.

There used to be a relatively steep rooty downhill that has been replaced with a freshly cut winding trail, probably for safety concerns.  Unfortunately this new trail is not yet well formed and is a battle of humps and bumps.  It added a bit of distance to the course and was also significantly slower than the previous trail.

On a smooth section I had a UPD at a high speed.  I stepped off hard and did a tuck and roll.  My left hamstring must have extended hard because it cramped up and was unusable for a few minutes. I sat on the side of the trail until I could ride.  I got a little dirty and have a few abrasions but nothing bad.  I think a mountain biker was fairly close behind me and probably got a good chuckle.

It seemed like there were more riders to me.  I must have dismounted to let riders past like 100 times.  It's kind of crazy and breaks up my riding, but that's the deal.

Fat Tire Weeknight Series Race #5 - 2012-07-11

Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012 Fat Tire Festival Test Run #3

This morning I did yet another three lap test run of the Fat Tire Festival course.

There was a youth lacrosse group practicing in the field, so I couldn't incorporate the start/finish section of the course into my ride.  I rode a few loops in the parking lot as an alternative, but since the field is actually a bumpy minefield on a unicycle, it hardly compares.  Still, the majority of the difficulty comes from the hill climbing, which I did.
I've probably written this up before, but I don't feel like doing anything else, so here's a rundown of the trails in the course:

Sport Field - The race starts in a sports field.  For me this sucks because even though it's level, it's riddled with bumps hidden by grass.  I'm in a constant state of adjusting my balance and that wears me down.  I wonder if it looks like I can hardly ride and that's where the spectators are.  After the field is a just a bit of a climb up to the tree line.

Kasha - This is where the race enters the woods.  It's a series of switchbacks that climb up to the top of the park.  None of it is crazy steep on its own, but all together it requires a significant energy output. By the end I'm spent.

Upper Field - Then the course crosses the field.  Unlike the sports field, this field has something of a trail, but it's worn probably only six inches wide and riddled with rocks and tufts of grass.  Much of it also shaped into a trench which can be a fight for a single somewhat snaking unicycle wheel.  I actually find riding just to the side of this in the mowed grass to be more efficient.  The trail loops around one side up the field before entering the woods again.

Tree Beard - This is a pretty cool trail.  Most of it is smooth and rolling.

VB - This is a switchback heading down.  None of it is particularly steep.

Epping Forest - Technically there's a small section of connecting trail between VB and Epping Forest, but it's just a short tame section.  EF is pretty long and has a series of hill climbs and descents.  It's a good workout but totally doable.  It ends with a long medium grade climb that leaves me winded, which sucks because what's next is harder.

Chutes and Ladders -  As it's name suggests, this one has it's ups and downs.  Basically the medium grade climb from EF continues, followed by a descent.  The next climb would be totally doable if it weren't for a section of log corduroy in the middle.  Although it's relatively level and probably three feet long, the approach requires a significant hop up onto it from a upward slope.  By that time I'm spent and my efforts are weak.  Today I got close, but still ended up walking about 20 feet.  Then it's down only to encounter the next climb.  This one is significant in grade but not too long.  I usually make it with a significant effort.  Then it's down again only to encounter a longer and even steeper climb.  I'm not sure I've ever made this one.  It's tough but doable if I were not so spent.  I've been getting pretty close but there's a short rooty section that's been getting me.  Finally it's down again and over a log stack.

SSW - This one has some twists and turn and a few mini climbs but nothing too bad.

Elevator - The first part of Elevator is a short climb.  I find myself taking a breather here for the big climb.  This climb is very significant and leaves my quads pulsing with fire.  It's steep, somewhat rooty and sandy, but I'm happy to say I made this climb on all three laps today.  It ends with another short climb back out to the upper field.

Upper Field - This is fairly similar to the previous section of the upper trail in terms of its surface.  But about two-thirds of this I use my high gear and get some good speed.

Gully Down -  For the most part this is a descent and heads back down to the parking lot.  Nothing too crazy here.  The race course may incorporate some part of Kaleidoscope, but either way it's about the same as the ending of Gully Down.

Sport Field - Finally it's back into the sport field to the finish of a lap.

Cycle Computer: 11.6 miles
I finished about 5 minutes faster than my previous test runs, but that's probably just because I didn't ride the field.  I suspect my actual race time will only be slower because I'll have to step off or pull over to let a hundred mountain bikers pass.

Muni at Dryer Road Park - 2012-07-08

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Whiting and Webster Ride

I rode at Whiting and Webster Park this morning.  Nothing too exciting, just wanted to keep the wheel in motion.

I did successfully climb the Whiting yellow hill on my third run through.  I rode the opposite way through Webster.  It's funny how different everything looks going the other way.

I rode a bit longer than usual.
Cycle computer: 16.5 miles

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-07-01