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May 16,   2015 Roslyn Rush

Roslyn Rush Start

Saturday, May 16, 2015 Joe Myers of was at Round 3 of the Fat Tire Revolution - Rosyln Rush at Roslyn, Washington organized by ViciousCycle. Joe again rode his Kris Holm KH24 unicycle outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150mm Moment cranks, and a Magura hydraulic rim brake on the approximately 7 mile course.

With good weather predicted, Joe and Lana arrived early enough on Friday afternoon for Joe to pre-ride the entire course.

Roslyn Rock Pinnacle

The course had a new start which helped disperse the congestion at the first short steep pitch and spread out most of the riders as they started the climb up the sandstone rocks, over to the #8 Mine rail incline trail up the

Crystal Creek

Roslyn Rush Finish 2

Beezley Burn Podium


April 25,   2015 Beacon and Legs

2015 Beacon and Legs - Unicycle, Joe Myers Start Line traveled to Spokane, WA for Round 2 of the Fat Tire Revolution - Beacon and Legs, Saturday, April 25, 2015 organized by ViciousCycle. Joe Myers would ride a Kris Holm KH24 outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150 cranks, and Magura hydraulic rim brakes on the approximately 7 mile course at Camp Sekani, Spokane, WA.

The weatherman was predicting cooler weather with rain. Jake Maedke had the course well marked and prepared. With the long drive completed Joe was wondering what tricks Jake and his crew had prepared for them to negotiate. Joe likes to pre-ride the course. This allows him to decide a plan of action for the ride. Where to shift. Which parts to let go and carry lots of speed. Which bumps to be cautious on. But circumstances lead Joe to decided to go for it with out a pre-ride. Only a short warm-up.

The weatherman was right, the day started out cold (just above freezing) and remained cool all day. Occasional showers would dampen both the course and the riders. It was plenty warm while riding but a heavy coat was usually needed to stay warm while just sitting around watching the action.

2015 Beacon and Legs - Unicycle, Joe Myers

Jake starts each Category by groups of riders leaving at one minute intervals. Joe's age group leaves with the first wave. With a good start Joe managed to get through the first initial climb and the first few turns on the tails of his start group. Soon the following groups of riders were upon him and most of them passed without much trouble. As he started up through the second climb and its series of turns it became increasingly apparent that many of the remaining riders catching up were not as skilled on their bikes as the earlier fast mountain bikers. Eventually his efforts to encourage some to pass on his left went unheeded and he finally felt compelled to stop and let a couple by.

Usually the field of riders soon spreads out and Joe ends up riding the rest of the event alone. But so far this year's events have been different. With more starters than in previous years Joe finds himself encountering some mountain bikers who seem to have trouble maintaining much speed on the climbs. These riders put Joe playing games of the "steady tortoise" among a few "hare" routine, needing to watch his back on the declines and wondering how to pass wobbling mountain bikers on the climbs.

Some don't seem to like being passed by an old guy on a unicycle. Better to stop and retie ones shoes than have to admit to being outright passed.

It can be amazing how when the old guy on the unicycle breaks out of the trees into the open and heads into a series of switch backs he suddenly finds those ahead of him gaining renewed zeal to get over the top and into the protection of some fast swoopy descents again.

2015 Beacon and Legs - Unicycle, Joe Myers

Even though Joe could taste the bacon as he worked his way over Beacon Hill and through turn after turn on the descent the anticipation went unfulfilled this year. He wasn't all that disappointed. Joe never can decide what to do with the bacon. The taste is always great as it over powers a dry dusty mouth. But Joe always worries that cold, greasy bacon in a queasy stomach might not lead to pleasant times ahead. No need to wonder. Either the bacon was missing this year or Joe on his unicycle just could not find any up for grabs. A dry mouth quenched with shot of water attempting to washing down the remaining aftertaste of the last energy gel carried Joe to the finish.

Knowing at least one rider was still behind him, Joe continued to wonder why he wasn't being passed on the long descent from the towers. Soon Jake's campsite and the finish line started to play peek-a-boo through the trees. Joe continued on carefully working through the last few downhill turns.

As Jake Maedke announced the arrival of the lone unicyclist Joe raced to the finish in front of a cheering crowd for a time of 1:24:48.9 Good enough for seventh place out of seven finishers in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over. But Joe didn't fret over coming in last. First, with a time of 1:24:48.9 Joe was a full 8 minutes faster than last year. Second, with a total of 40 Cat 3 finishers Joe was 35th. And third, Joe only needed one wheel.

2015 Beacon and Legs - Unicycle, Joe Myers Finish

As Joe waited around after his finish he wondered what happened to the remaining "hare" riders. It had been a few miles since he had seen any Cat 3 riders behind him. Only a few pre-ride Cat 1 cyclist had passed him since the top of the first summit. He had watched one Cat 3 mountain biker still working his way up toward the towers on Beacon Hill as he summited. Were they piled up on the rocks somewhere? Did they DNF? No need to worry. Eventually five other two wheeled mountain bikers found their way home.

As one of only three Cat 3 Men 45 and Over entraints who completed both the 2015 Beezley Burn and the 2015 Beacon and Legs, Joe jumped to third place in the Fat Tire Revolution Cat 3 Men 45 and Over series standings.

In summary Joe Myers had a good ride at the 2015 Beacon and Legs. No noteworthy unplanned dismounts (UPD). The legs held out on the climbs so Joe might have a total of 1/2 mile or less off the wheel. He exercised some restraint on most of the course. Joe prefers to enjoy the ride, hold to a "steady tortoise" pace, and mitigate risk. Then wait around for those "hare" while they find their way to the finish.

In the Pro/Open Male Kevin Bradford-Parish (KBP) took home the first place money. The kids race had a few exciting moments to watch. Rain sent most of us scrambling for shelter in the draw. But Joe took home a water bottle and a nice pair of socks. Thanks go out to Kevin Krause and crew who helped teamUnicycle out with their dead battery issues.

Next up is the Roslyn Rush on May 16th. Maybe we'll see you there.

March 28,   2015 Beezley Burn

2015 Beezley Burn Cat 3 Start

Joe Myers of traveled to Ephrata, WA for Round 1 of the Fat Tire Revolution Beezley Burn. The ViciousCycle event was Saturday, March 28, 2015. Joe, the only unicyclist, rode a Kris Holm KH24 with a Schlumpf geared hub using Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150 cranks and a Magura hydraulic rim brake. .

This was the 10th anniversary of the Beezley Burn. A 7.3 mile course with about 770 feet of climbing was laid out as a throw back to 2005. Riders started and ended at Lions Park, Ephrata, WA. Lots of rough, rocky terrain and short rocky climbs dominated the Beezley Burn. The Cat 3 entrants did one lap.

2015 Beezley Burn Cat 3 Start

Arriving on Friday evening March 27 allowed Joe to pre-ride about 6 miles of the course before dark. Yes! He found plenty of rocks, short rocky climbs, and lots of single track (with rocks). Joe quickly realize the 2015 Beezley Burn would rock!

Joe's age division starts with the first group to go. These two wheeled mountain bikers in the first wave gradually pulled away from Joe as he contended with the wind on the canal road. A few of those in the following starts passed Joe on the canal road. But most of them gradually caught up and passed on the single track. The narrow rocky terrain was usually not conducive for Joe to hop beside the trail or ride off the trail to let them pass. So he frequently pulled up and stopped to let them go. Three stragglers stuck it out, rotating with Joe, each contending for the rearguard position.

Nearing the 2015 Beezley Burn Finish

Most of the course was rideable for Joe on a mountain unicycle (muni). Joe finds it easier and faster to dismount and walk up short steep climbs and longer climbs. Especially if the climbs are rocky or technical. A few times on these climbs he found himself catching up behind a two wheeled mountain biker. He could walk up hill faster than some of the slower riders could pedal. If he managed to get past one or more mountain bikers soon they might pass him again when going down hill. Then Joe might again catchup on one of the following inclines and climbs.

It turned out that only in the last 300 yards Joe was passed by the last of the stragglers and assumed he would be the last Cat 3 finisher. It would be almost two hours later before the real champion of the Cat 3 rearguard would cross the finish line.

2015 Beezley Burn Finish Line

Joe only had two noteworthy unplanned dismounts (UPD). Both in front of audiences. Joe had started out the event riding light (only one water bottle). Planning to grab some water at the Autism Awareness Monument if the water was turned on. After diverting off the trail to the drinking fountain Joe was talking to the course marshal as he remounted to ride away. As he went through some deep gravel the wheel stopped dead in a soft spot. Dan, the course marshal, asked if face plants happen often.

Nearing the 2015 Beezley Burn Finish

The other UPD was caught on film and video from multiple angles as Joe approached the finish line. The last section is down a single track, onto park grass, through some loose pea gravel, and back onto grass with slight incline changes as one approaches the finish line. Joe shifted up for the grass, shifted down for the pea gravel, and back into high for the last section of grass. Just as Joe looks for the finish line the grade changes and he realizes he was pedaling full out with nothing left in his legs to counter the forward imbalance this new slight incline calls for. Its odd what goes through your mind when you know for three or four seconds that your going to UPD at a speed faster than you can run in front of a crowd. Remounted he rides the remaining 100 feet to finish for a time of 1:29:42.0

2015 Beezley Burn Finish Line

The Pro/Open and Cat 1 who make three laps can be fun to watch. On the first two laps the lead three came around together. But Kevin Bradford-Parish (KBP) held it together where it counted. We usually enjoy watching when Kevin Bradford-Parish has to earn the podium and top payout.

Sometimes its fun to watch the Pro/Open Cat 1 feed and water station. Some of the teams and riders have it all planned out. Others work through it alone. A male dog decided he needed to add to the electrolyte needs of the racers. Never trust your water bottles to just anyone or no one.

The free kids race was fun to watch. At the Bar-B-Cue Paul, Kevin, Lana, and crew feed everyone in the park . When the awards and prizes came around Joe scored more socks, a water bottle, and gloves after Karen decided bar grips wouldn't do a unicyclist much good.

March 15,   2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata unicycle start

Joe Myers riding for arrived at the 2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata on a unicycle. Joe had entered the long distance cycling event intended for experienced two wheel cyclist put on by ViciousCycle again for his third year running. This event, limited to 200 pre-registered entries, had sold out in just a few hours of regular registration. While not a race - this Pacific Northwest "spring classic" event is timed to provide some recognition to the finishers. Just managing to finish becomes the reward for any unicyclist at such events and timing just gives them an idea how to compare other attempts and finishes as the unicyclist usually are the last finishers.

The course is designed to give the riders glimpses into remote out of the way parts of Eastern Washington in a manner consistent with the celebrated tradition of Italian cycling's Gran Fondo culture. Would Joe on his unicycle managed to cross the finish after the approximately 80 miles course with about 5000 ft of climbing and 30 miles on gravel? All of the route's gravel roads had recently been graded. Most of the washboard bumps had been smoothed out. But the dirt and gravel surfaces were still loose awaiting a good rain to harden the dirt and gravel surfaces. The weather forecast was for cooler temperatures accompanied with rain and wind. As Joe and Lana pondered how much the loose gravel, rain, wind, and cold might effect the ride, Lana was directed to keep the team car near enough to be of assistance if or when problems should occur.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle Norton Canyon

To allow time to complete the ride prior to the timing cut-off, Jake Maedke allows unicyclist to start earlier than the other two wheeled cyclist. Starting in the dark of night at 6:05 AM in cold, rain, and windy conditions would add to the day's difficulties. The ride out of town and the first climb, Norton Canyon, were completed prior to daylight with Lana Myers following in the team car attempting to add the vehicle's headlight to his cap lamps.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle on Baird Springs Road

Joe suprised both of them when he completed a "clean" ride up Norton Canyon and was more than ten miles into the ride before his first dismount. In previous years Joe would make two or three dismounts on the rough and steep sections of Norton Canyon fighting "dead pedal" balance issues. Not this year!

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle on Baird Springs Road

The next twenty miles went by fast with few issues. We meet our first and second car of the day during these wet foggy miles. A coal train was noisily scrapping around the tight bend above the tunnel as Joe passed through. Here Joe made his second dismount of the day for a short break to get some feeling back in his cold, numb feet.

The first UPD came while trying a hopping turn-a-round so they could get some better pictures of Joe riding through the cherry blossoms just before Trinidad. Unexpectedly one foot came unclipped from the clipless pedals on the up portion of a hop. Next thing Joe knew he had smacked a knee into the wet pavement. As you might notice from the pictures and video clips a good amount of rain was coming down. At Trinidad the route takes a turn into an impassable section for the team car. So Joe and Lana split in different routes for a couple of miles. Joe on the 36 also fights some issues in the soft deep sands of this old abandoned highway and ends up walking a couple times.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle on Baird Springs Road

There are only a few words to describe the next few miles along SR 28. Wet! Cold! COLD & WET! Pedalling harder on the descents trying to generate heat means enduring additional tire spray. Amazingly enough on this busy two lane hi way Joe again had no one trying to share his lane for his third year running on the long bridge with no shoulders over Douglas Creek.

At 41 miles Joe's stop at the midpoint aid station was a mixed bag of delights and issues. The lead cyclist are 20 minutes out! Joe stops to drain his boots and wring the water out of his socks and gloves. If he stops to long hypothermia would soon set in. With it raining and blowing would there be any benefit from a change in clothing? The next miles are a series of steady climbs. If he adds to his layering will he overheat. Just gab a bite to eat and pedal on at an effort level which will help him stay warm seemed the best choice.

This year Joe held off the lead cyclist on two wheels until stopping at 48 miles to put on dry socks. He had been fighting numb feet all day. Its hard to tell the difference if your feet are numb from poor circulation or from cold or both. Joe knows from experience that long term pain will result if the feet go numb from lack of circulation. And despite working extra hard against the head wind in high gear on a gradual incline Joe just couldn't seem to build any heat back into his body. Will dry socks help? Maybe more food along the way might have helped? But who wants to eat when the weather is as it was.

Back to being caught by the lead two wheelers. Many of the other riders in events will offer a word of encouragement or amazement as they ride past him. But every year the lead group of elite pro and semi pro cyclist pass Joe without a word. Not a noise other than the wheels spinning and the chains clicking. This is the farthest Joe has ever held them off. Standing in the wet dirt at the open trunk of the team car in bear feet in a steady rain, trying to get his feet dry, into new socks, and back into wet boots Joe watches as they pass. This year as they are about to pass out of hearing range Joe and Lana listens again for the silence. Then both of them hear it. Yes, Lana, with her superlative hearing, clearly hears one cyclist from the elite lead group say "That guys one tough son-of-a-bitch..."

Only a few miles further and Joe pulled into Palisades school and dismounts in uncontrollable shivering. The heat of the team car does't seem to do any good. Watching as other cyclist ride past, Joe and Lana decide something has to change. Inside the team car with the heat turned up to 90 degree F Joe is stripped naked, thoroughly dried, covered in blankets, warmed, feed, put into a fresh change of riding gear, some additional dry layers added, remounted on his unicycle and sent on up Moses Coulee toward Billingsley Ranch and the Three Devils grade.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle on Palisades Road

It had been Joe's goal to be up the Three Devils before being caught by the two wheelers. Not today. By now a couple hundred narrow bicycle tires had cut through much of the wet gravel road prior to Joe's passage. All these narrow bicycle tires had broken the gravel road into a couple of inches of loose gravel and mud. Not an enjoyable combination for a unicyclist with tired and cramping legs. The steep loose gravel on the Three Devils climb again dropped Joe to his feet along with many of the other riders as they climbed the two steepest sections.

After a respite of pavement riders come to the finial few miles of gravel. As this turns onto Sheep Canyon Rd the route climbs into a narrow gravel road on mud to ride through. Even the event vehicles and other traffic compete with the cyclist for the center of the narrow road. Anyone venturing onto the edge of the road immediately started cutting deep ruts while the wheel(s) throw big globs of mud.

The final UPD came at the top of Sheep Canyon Rd. after it turns to pavement. The rain had subsided to mist and drizzle. Wanting to be done with this ride and fighting the clock Joe decided to try shifting into high gear and ride the brake on this long steep down grade. Not a good idea. With Lana watching in the mirror and a pickup following Joe shifts as the grade quickly goes from 5% to something like 7% and then goes for the brake to save his knees. A mud caked wheel with mud impacted rim brake are not a good combination. Immediately the brake grabs, Joe lets off the brake. The wheel loves its new found freedom and leaves Joe behind to slide down the pavement in front of the pickup.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle on Sheep Canyon Road

After chasing down the wheel and remounting the remainder of the decent and last few miles to the finish were less eventful and Joe crosses the finish 150th completing the approximately 80 miles with a total time of 9:26:12. Not a fast time. But another finish. With the help of Lana Myers and the team car this day did not become a DNF.

2015 Gran Fondo Ephrata Unicycle Finish

The rest of the day's disappointment seemed to continue into the evening. The post ride meal would have been great. But the vegetarian lasagna had run out. Lana can't have the regular lasagna and Joe can't have cheese. So D K's Drive In feed All day long had been looking forward to a good soak in the hot tub at Best Western Rama Inn. When arrived at the motel the hot tub and pool had been closed and drained. So sad faces went and stood in the handicap shower. No hot soaking of cold bones and bodies.

Timing can be everything. Both the day before and the day after were wonderful sunny warm days.

Joe rode a Kris Holm KH36 with a Schlumpf geared hub and Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150 cranks and Magura hydraulic rim brake. Over 60 miles of the route in high gear.


February 28,   2015 Echo Red 2 Red XC

2015 Echo Red 2 Red Start at 9:55 AM

Echo is a great small eastern Oregon historic community. For the fourth year in a row was represented by Joe Myers from Bellingham, WA at the 2015 Echo Red 2 Red XC. He again was the only unicycle entry in this fun late winter ride.

Joe's goal again was to do the middle length 24 mile Cat 3 course. On each of the previous years Joe had found the timing cut off forced a change of plans and a switch to the short course, approximately 15 miles. In 2015 Joe's plan was to get clearance to start early enough to have sufficient time to allow him to complete the 24 mile middle length course. With approval from the promotors and Across the Line Timing Joe set out at 9:55 AM - one hour and five minutes prior to the first group start.

Usually Joe fights being in the middle of two wheeled entries who are faster than he is and continually yields to them by stopping and letting them pass as uninhibited as possible. This doesn't allow for Joe to enjoy a smooth flowing ride through much of the course. The bluffs overlooking the Umatilla River are one of those sections of trail where Joe always ended up stopping and walking through a lot of the narrow trail while the strings of bicyclist ride by. This year Joe's early start put him the first and lone rider through this section. He was able to free ride the entire narrow bluff trails from the fence crossing through to the first water stop/aid station. The Elite/Cat 1 riders didn't catch and pass him until he reached the vineyard road where being passed was not an issue until he entering the A-Trail single track section.

For most of the remaining ride through A-Trail, Shayne's Trail, and through S-Trail Joe was regularly being passed. Many times Joe managed to stay mounted while yielding the trail or hop aside while some of the riders went by. But a number of times the congestion was sufficient to inhibit Joe from make much progress until back on the finish of A-Trail. He did manage to pass one of the slower trail weary mountain bikers on the S-Trail. Oddly enough Joe did dump it in a spectacular UPD about 100 yards later when the wheel stopped dead in a soft hole. But he was off and riding away before the weary mountain biker managed to catch him. He's not sure what happened to that rider having never seen him again.

2015 Echo Red 2 Red Finish at 3:06 PM

The ride through the final section of the A-Trail went by smoothly and soon Joe was on the road heading into the wind returning to Echo for the finish. At 3:06 PM, the 24 mile middle course of the 2015 Echo Red 2 Red XC became history with a total time of 5:11. Joe was riding a Kris Holm KH24 outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150mm Moment cranks, with Magura hydraulic rim brake.

It had been a good days ride. The weather had cooperated. The amount and choice of clothing and body protection had worked out well. Joe had raised the seat height and increased the tire pressure prior to starting out. These adjustment proved to work well. He had managed to utilized the water stations as needed and had not been overburdened with extra weight. One thing he might have benefited from was taking time to eat a little more food along the trail. All in all it was a good day for a good ride on great trails.

During the awards ceremony and raffle Lana won a Honey Stinger giant size coffee mug full of Gorge Delights: Just Fruit Bars. Then Joe got drawn for a bottle of Sno Road Wine.

Thank you to Shayne & Stephanie Myers of Echo Bike and Board, 253 S Main Street, Pendleton, OR 97801 (541) 376-8500, Lloyd and Lois Piercy of Sno Road Winery, Across the Line Timing, the Echo Hills Trail Builders, all the sponsors, people of Echo, and the volunteers who all contribute toward doing a great job putting this event together.

June 7,   2014 Bike and Brews

Bike And Brews Start

Round 4 of the Fat Tire Revolution - Bike and Brews at Leavenworth, Washington organized by ViciousCycle was Saturday, June 7, 2014. Joe Myers of rode his Kris Holm KH24 outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150mm Moment cranks, and a Magura hydraulic rim brake on the approximately 8.6 mile course with 1700' vertical gain in the Cat 3 Men 45 plus 9:00 AM start.

On the remainder of the course Joe gave over the trail as he encountered the occasional pre-riding mountain biker as he worked his way to the finish for a time of 1:46:08.2 which was good enough to put Joe on the podium with a second place finish in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over.

Joe Myers, with two third place finishes, a second place finish and the only rider to complete the first four events, Beezley Burn, Beacon and Legs, Roslyn Rush, and Bike and Brews, maintained first place in the Fat Tire Revolution Overall standing in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over.

May 17,   2014 Roslyn Rush

Roslyn Rush Start was represented Saturday, May 17, 2014 by Joe Myers at Round 3 of the Fat Tire Revolution - Rosyln Rush at Roslyn, Washington organized by ViciousCycle. Joe again rode his Kris Holm KH24 outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150mm Moment cranks, and a Magura hydraulic rim brake on the approximately 7 mile course.

With good weather predicted, Joe and Lana arrived early enough on Friday afternoon for Joe to pre-ride the entire course.

Roslyn Rock Pinnacle

After weaving through the potholes and a tree maze the course went up the usual short steep climb heading along the start used two years ago. Then just as the old first major climb would start Jake adjusting the trail markers to hang a left up over 100 yards of pavement on N. E Street before turning hard right climbing up some sandstone slabs, circling around the back of a couple of sandstone cliffs, under some overhanging balanced rocks and up around the left side of a very amazing sandstone pinnacle with a big rock stacked on top.

Soon the new section of trail joined up with the previous course. This new section proved to be both more physically and technically challenging while showing off some of Roslyn's amazing natural features.

Roslyn Rush Finish 2

Nothing unexpected happened on the Saturday morning start and early climbs. Joe managed to occasionally pass riders as he made his way up the steep sections. Eventually with a couple of youths behind him be was left with two adult challengers. On the remaining climbs a clydesdale gradually fell further behind as the climbing demanded more and more of him. A women rider would pass Joe on the flat and downhill sections and fall behind on the steeper climbs. When Joe reached the highest point of the ride the women was only a short distance behind as he waited for her to catch up and start the long fast downhill mile that would follow. Somewhere near the middle of this downhill in the hard steep twisting turns Joe pulled up and let the clydesdale by.

Beezley Burn Podium

On the remainder of the course Joe gave over the trail as he encountered the occasional pre-riding mountain biker as he worked his way to the finish for a time of 1:46:08.2 which was good enough to put Joe on the podium with a second place finish in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over.

Joe Myers, with two third place finishes, a second place finish and the only rider to complete the first three events, Beezley Burn, Beacon and Legs, and Roslyn Rush, maintained first place in the Fat Tire Revolution Overall standing in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over.

Sunday afternoon Joe led the way back up to the pinnacles above Roslyn's east side for Lana to enjoy. Here is some video they have shared.


If you're in Roslyn and needing to refuel, Jennifer at the Mountain Mermaid, 102 E Pennsylvania Avenue, will make you up a hearty sandwich, some delicious desserts, and some good espresso.

April 26,   2014 Beacon and Legs

Beacon and Legs Start

Joe Myers of traveled to Spokane, WA for Round 2 of the Fat Tire Revolution - Beacon and Legs, Saturday, April 26, 2014 organized by ViciousCycle. Joe would ride a Kris Holm KH24 outfitted with a Schlumpf geared hub, Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150 cranks, and Magura hydraulic rim brakes on the approximately 7 mile course at Camp Sekani, Spokane, WA. Jake Maedke promised the course would feature lots of fast, FUN, smooth, swoopy singletrack.

The weatherman was predicting good weather. Jake Maedke had the course well marked and prepared. The motel Joe and Lana had booked to stay three nights had upgraded them to a nice suite with a double size jetted jacuzzi bathtub, black light, and ceiling with glowing stars for the price of their original standard room. The long drive was completed and Joe was wondering what tricks Jake and his crew had prepared for them to negotiate on the revised finish of the Beacon and Legs.

Beacon and Legs Finish

Arrived early enough on Friday afternoon to pre-ride part of the course, Joe enjoyed dialing in the start and finish sections. After having two great rides up the start and one good ride through the rough new finish Joe thought he was set for Saturday morning knowing where to shift and run in high gear and which climbs and rough sections to drop back down into low.

But a few early mishaps in the start line-up proved to be the trend of some of what was to come in the first half mile of the Saturday start. Following the start climb a missed shift at the top the swoopy single track downhill let most of the Cat 3 entrants soon pass ahead of Joe. As the second climb started to pitch up steeper, a father and son combination riding together managed to stay just ahead of Joe as they played cat and mouse. When the climbs steepened Joe would almost catch them and then the grade would let up and away they would spring away teasing Joe to try harder to catch and pass them.

Beacon and Legs Finish 2

As Joe continued to chase the father and son team up the climbs. When they broke out of the trees on the final switch back climbs to the towers on Beacon hill all three manage to pass a slower Cat 3 Clydesdale rider. Topping out and heading down the steep rocky descents Joe powered along looking back regularly watching for when to allow the lone Clydesdale follower to pass by. Working down the mountain as fast as possible Joe managed to hold the chaser well behind him out of sight. When Joe came to the traditional Beacon and Legs "bacon" feeding station about a half mile prior to the finish he managed to grab a piece of bacon on the fly and oh did it taste good as he chewed the crisp bacon, only having had water and energy gel for the past hour of riding.

Beezley Burn Podium

Soon after Joe finished his bacon the lone Clydesdale caught up following for awhile until Joe picked a spot to hop off trail and let him pass. A quarter mile latter Jake's campsite and the finish line started to play peek-a-boo through the trees. Joe continued on working through the last few swoopy downhill switchbacks and raced off for the finish for a time of 1:33:09.3 which was good enough to put Joe on the podium with a third place finish in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over.

Joe Myers, with two third place finishes and the only rider to complete both the 2014 Beezley Burn and the 2014 Beacon and Legs, jumped to first place in the Fat Tire Revolution series in the Cat 3 Men 45 and Over overall standings.

April 13,   2014 Gran Fondo Goldendale

Joe Myers riding in the 2014 Gran Fondo Goldendale

Joe and Lana Myers arrived at the 2014 Gran Fondo Goldendale a day early to pre-drive the route. Joe riding for had pre-paid the entry fee for the long distance cycling event intended for experienced two wheel cyclist put on by ViciousCycle back in January. Gran Fondo's while not a race are timed to provide some recognition to the finishers. Joe was just hoping to finish knowing if he could endure he would be the slowest finisher by a couple of hours. The 2014 Gran Fondo Goldendale would provides the riders with many vista as they tour around the beautiful rolling terrain, just on the edge of dry land wheat and big mountains, in Klickitat county Washington.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

The course route is just short of 90 miles with 6300 feet of climbing (a little over 90 miles if riding back to the start line). The riders had to contend with approximately 25 miles of gravel roads. The route description warned of a few section like Eshelman Rd and Rattlesnake Rd which would challenge the riders to bigger rock and rougher roads. The pre-drive of the route left Joe wondering why he had signed on for this new set of "Jake Roads". Lana asked a couple of times how Jake manages to find these roads. As Joe and Lana ate dinner at the Windy Ridge Saloon while waiting for early check in Joe began thinking he had about a 30% chance of finishing. Lana reminded Joe that the event discription clearly warned "This ride is HARD and is intended for experienced cyclists" and "This ride is long, remote, and cruel. Come prepared!".


2014 Gran Fondo Finish

For a unicyclist to complete the course prior to the finish line closing and the sweep vehicles catching up requires starting prior to the actual event. So early Sunday morning as the moon set we cruised by the McDonald's drive-thru to find it not yet open as we made our way to the start line. Riding away from the start at 5:30 AM a full two and a half hours prior to the rest of the event participants Joe rode away in the dark headed to the Pine Forest Rd Climb with Lana insisting on providing sag support. Her head lamps helped define the roadway and assisted Joe in finding the potholes on Pothole Rd.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

The sun rise found us working our way past the 12 mile mark. The sand traps at Dooley Rd were soon behind us. The water station at mile 24 wouldn't be set up and ready for more than an hour after we left Centerville. The first walked section was the rough, steep climb back up Rattlesnake Rd to the ridge where Joe scared up a small coyote pup who ran off a half mile before stopping to look back. As Joe started the long down hill grade into Lyle he eventually pre-set his brake to relieve the stress on his legs. Shortly after Joe and Lana stopped at the Lyle aid station the lead cyclist caught up. Leaving them to water up and feed Joe made three miles prior to the first cyclist passing him. Joe rode through his first charlie horse prior to mile 60. The climb out of the Klickitat river valley on Horseshoe Bend Rd passed the last "water stop - aid station" at 72 miles. Crossing the second bridge the grade increased, the pavement turned to loose gravel, and Joe dismounted and walked most of the next mile or two. After climbing out of the valley on Horseshoe Bend Rd Joe and the other cyclist headed into the wind for the last fifteen miles of the rolling terrain.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

The distance, long down hill into Lyle, and many climbs and descents had taken their toll on Joe by now. Small balls of angry muscle above and below the backside of the knee began to cramp up on each new descent and required additional care to continue. Each hill also required careful application of power to the pedals or the quads and calfs also would cramp.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

Gradually as we conquered the top of each new roller the town of Goldendale became more distinct. Eventually as the edge of town neared with dry water bottle in hand Joe called for Lana to hand off a full one so he could keep hydrated. De-hydration complicates the muscle cramping issues a spent athlete fights to deal with. In Lana's rush to provide, she stops, blocking the right lane of the road way, gets out and hands off the full bottle to Joe riding the center line as an truck goes by in the opposing lane. As Joe reaches to grab the bottle he puts his left arm out to offset the imbalance of the bottle grab and strikes another cyclist passes Joe on his left between him and the truck going the other way. Seems strange to be in such tight quarters after nearly 90 miles of open lonely road. Oddly the remaining route to the finish was open pavement with no other challengers elbowing for the available space to sprint for the line.

The finish line and scoring was set up about a mile earlier than we had anticipated allowing for a time of 10:36:01.4 Riding on past the finish back to the start was quickly accomplished, a little cleaning up, and we joined the last of the finishers as the Goldendale Grange fed us a great post ride spaghetti meal.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

Later during post ride discussions Joe revealed his earlier doubts of ability to finish. Lana declared that "IF" she was a betting person she would have with no hesitancy put plenty down on Joe finishing. Sure glad some one has confidence in!

Joe rode a Kris Holm KH36 with a Schlumpf geared hub and Shimano XT PD-780 SPD pedals on 150 cranks and Magura hydraulic rim brake. We are guessing about 50 of the miles were in high gear.

March 29,   2014 Beezley Burn

Beezley Burn Start

Joe Myers of traveled to Ephrata, WA for Round 1 of the Fat Tire Revolution Beezley Burn Saturday, March 29, 2014 put on by ViciousCycle. Joe rode a Kris Holm KH24 with a Schlumpf geared hub on the 8 mile course at Lions Park, Ephrata, WA with lots of rough, rocky terrain and short punchy climbs.

The morning found Joe still fighting the remnants the "flu". With the motel and entry fees all prepaid He thought he might as well try working his way around the course and see if he could finish. Joe started in high gear for the section of level gravel canal road and soon learned just how much power his legs would be willing to give. For the rest of the course his legs would soon give out if the single track was uphill and rough or rocky. Joe guesses he walked about half of the course this year.

Beezley Burn Finish

After the top of the first real climb all of the other Cat 3 mountain bikers quickly pulled away from Joe and left him to his own fun. Surprisingly the mad rush of the lead Cat 2 mountain bikers didn't catch the lone unicyclist until Joe was on the "Burn Trail". The "Burn Trail" is mostly down hill but rocky and challenging for Joe on a good day. He carefully watched for and allow all of the Cat 2 riders free and clear passage stopping clear of the trail as each group or individual would begin to catch him. No use making them upset when his personal time to finish was clearly not going to make much difference.

Beezley Burn Finish 2

Just short of reaching the point where the trail turns north above the canal Joe found another short section to mount an ride out for a nice distance. Mounting at the top of the short, steep and rocky descent he missed stabbing the right cleat in the sod pedal before starting to bounce about in the boulders. Just short of the bottom riding one legged wasn't proceeding to well and Joe went for a nasty UPD (unplanned dismount). He unclipped the left leg, tucked and rolled out of the mess with little to no problems. Dusting off with only a bruise or two he remounted and proceeded onward toward the north canal crossing and back to a finish for a time of 2:25:02.9

Beezley Burn Podium

The free kids race is always fun to watch, especially when Jake, Karen, and crew are feeding everyone with a Bar-B-Cue. When the awards came around to the "Cat 3 Male 45 and Over" with only three finishers a podium spot was open for the slowest rider of the day.

Two days later Lana is still helping nurse Joe back to health and get him over his "flu". We suppose riding and walking a unicycle eight miles up and down a mountain bike race course may not be the preferred manor of seeking recovery.

March 16,   2014 Gran Fondo Ephrata

2014 Gran Fondo Ephrata unicycle start

Joe and Roy arrived at the 2014 Gran Fondo Ephrata on unicycles. The two riders had entered the long distance cycling event intended for experienced two wheel cyclist put on by ViciousCycle again. This event is limited to 200 pre-registered entries. While not a race - it is timed to provide some recognition to the finishers. Managing to finish becomes the reward for unicyclist at such events and timing just gives them an idea how to compare other attempts and finishes as the unicyclist usually are the last finishers. The course is designed to give the riders glimpses into some of the remote out of the way parts of Eastern Washington in a manner consistent with the celebrated tradition of Italian cycling's Gran Fondo culture. The two unicyclist completed the approximately 80 miles with a time of under 8:37 (an hour and twenty minutes faster than 2013). The course has about 5000 ft of climbing and 30 miles is on gravel.

2014 Gran Fondo Finish

To allow time to complete the ride prior to the timing cut-off, Jake Maedke started the unicyclist earlier than the other cyclist. Starting in the dark at 6:43 AM in light winds from the South at 10-15 mph. The sunrise caught them ending the first climb, Norton Canyon. This year they held off the lead cyclist on two wheels until stopping at the mid-point aid station at 41 miles into the ride. Palisades soon was behind them and the Three Devils climb dropped both riders to their feet along with many of the other riders they climbed with. By now a couple hundred narrow bicycle tires had cut through the dry gravel road prior to their passage and broke the washboard road to a couple of inches of loose gravel. The wind increased through out the ride and the finial few exposed miles of the route headed into the 25-30 mph wind. Roy placed 199 and Joe crossed the finish in 200th place out of a field of 200 finishers slightly over one hour longer total time then the last bicyclist and over four and a half hours after the lead riders.

Jake Maedke's 2013 preview video provides a brief look at the ride conditions and effort involved in completing the Gran Fondo Ephrata on two wheels and RAKSAX's ride video show Joe and Roy making it to the finish each on 36" Schlumpf unicycles in 2013.

March 1,   2014 Echo Red 2 Red XC

Joe and Lana Myers of traveled to Echo, Oregon for the 2014 Echo Red 2 Red XC. The weather forecasters had been scaring away the faint of heart from pre-registering. Predictions were for event start time temperatures in the low 20s and snowing, then cooling down through out the ride with finish temps in the mid to upper teens. Pre-registration numbers were about 45O. This year the weather was leaving a lot of big questions on most of the riders minds. Should we do this ride, how much to wear, how to stay warm, what to do?

Joe had registered for the Cat 3 Men 40+ with a 11:45 start time. Pervious years Joe had fought the three hour cutoff time require to be beyond the short course to be allowed to progress onto the middle course. Should Joe start with an earlier group to allow more time? How will the other riders tolerate a unicyclist in the middle of them? Would the trail sweeps catch him again this year?

As the end of the 11:00 AM Elite, Cat 1, and Singlespeed Men rode out of town with the temperature at 26 degree F and the NE wind blowing at 10 mph Joe joined the end of the line and rode out of town riding a Kris Holm KH24 with 24 inch Schlumpf geared wheel. The pack was full of nervous energy and as Joe had expected they soon were far ahead. His hope was to get as far along as possible between each pack of riders and allow them to get past the lone unicyclist without forcing them to leave the single track as they went by. Riders of the Echo Red 2 Red are warned about passing other riders off trail makes them susceptible to puncture weeds flats and the last thing an intruding unicyclist wants is to ride past an angry two wheel cyclist repairing a flat tire shortly after passing same unicycle.

Once into the hollows of the ravines and occasionally sheltered from the wind the sun came out and it became apparent that Joe had dress too warm. Stopping and peeling down to a short sleeve jersey, changing out of winter gloves into summer gloves, and removing the winter liner from the helmet Joe noticed that the 2nd pack of riders was soon going to overtake him while he ponder if he should have brought along some sunscreen.

As the slower groups of riders from one pack started to blend in with the faster riders of the following start group soon the two wheeled riders were regularly spaced out in front and behind Joe. By the time he reached the river cliffs the majority had long before passed. Continuing on toward the river trail only a few of the slowest riders remained near. The ride out of the river bottoms up through the sheep pastures and through the vineyards is a long hard climb on washboard gravel which Joe managed to climb without stopping. Back in the ravine bottom land at the trailhead aid station Joe decided to head for the finish without venturing into the middle section. Putting back on his sweat soaked light jacket Joe headed up the last steep washboard gravel climb for the return to Echo. After reaching the top Joe turned into the NE chiller and headed for the town finish.

After about 15 miles and 03:07:07 Scott and the gang from Across the Line Timing clocked Joe through the finish line as one of the 291 finishers. Damp, standing out in the wind, putting things away, stripping down to bear skin to put dry clothes on Joe and the other riders soon noticed the mid-twenties temperatures. Lunch in a crowded indoor hall was provided for the pre-registered riders and most noted that meal was great for cold hungry cyclist.

Thanks go out to Gorge Delights who awarded Joe a pair of Just Fruit socks and a case of Just Fruit for a finishing prize to the unicyclist! It's great to be given a prize you enjoy and appreciate. Some time soon see what Pure Fruit Energy can do for you.

Tell us where else can you enjoy an awards ceremony paying out over $4000 in prize money inside a winery tasting room, thanks to Sno Road Winey, draft beer, available thanks to Ninkasi Brewing Company, and a distillery is offering special release vodka. Among the swag On-One Bikes and Niner Bikes gave away frames, KŁat Racks gave away two racks (One of which Lana won!).

Oct 26,   2013 Woolley Cross

Men's C start with Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Mark Miller of Bellingham Unicycling applied a little peer pressure on Bungeejoe of with a hint that the Woolley Cross was on Saturday, October 26, 2013 and looked to be a great time and place for unicycle cross. Thankfully it doesn't take much of a push to have Lanaboos nudging Bungeejoe to get riding. Although having been sick all week the pair arose to the call and meet up with Mark for a few laps around the approximately 2 mile course.

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Mark was setup for speed with a Kris Holm KH29 with 29 inch Schlumpf geared wheel and disc brake. Bungeejoe was riding a Kris Holm KH29 modified to run a 26 inch geared wheel with Magura rim brake. The two discussed while waiting for the Woolley to start the merits of each other setup. A Kris Holm KH29 doesn't have sufficient head room in the frame to run a 29 X 3.0 tire. Bungeejoe currently prefers the extra floatation of the 3.0 tire, sacrificing the advantage of the larger diameter of a narrower 29 inch tire for the floatation of 3.0 width tire gives. And discussed the frame clearance that the 26 x 3.0 tire and wheel provide when things get muddy. When the mud starts to build up on the tire with the little or no frame clearance that the 29 inch tire has the partying stops while the rider fights the mud jam.



But with no recent rain and mostly clear skies mud was not an issue at the Woolley.

Mark and the Men's C started in the first wave. Bungeejoe was in the next wave of riders 30 seconds later with the Super Men 50+ included in the mix. The course had a mix of rough trimmed grass with some gravel. It had a good run-up that we assume most if not all riders dismounted for. A couple of barriers added to the mix. One challenging little climb Bungeejoe managed to clean on his practice ride and on both laps with no one around to notice. On the last lap at a rough transition from grass to an old concrete slab Bungeejoe went down for a short summersault before continuing on. Bungeejoe says it's nice to not go into a swirl of vertigo today after summersaulting. The other ridable short steep had a pair of spectators watching. The first time Bungeejoe stalled about six feet short of the crown in the bumps. On his second lap while in the bumps at the crown his left foot unclipped on the uplift and Bungeejoe ended up throwing his left foot up above his waist highstepping off the unicycle, remounted and continued on. Hoping to be in time for a third lap Bungeejoe found them flagging him in for the finish.



Mark had a good ride and finished his third lap about four minutes later.

They officially counted Mark as fourth place in the Men's C with three laps at 42:34.00 riding for Bellingham Unicycling. Bungeejoe riding for officially counted as 13th in Super Men 50+ with two laps in 38:39.00

The pair of unicyclist compared rides over a cup or two of thermos coffee. The skills park toys were checked out and smoothly conquered by Mark before departing. Then Mark rounded up his two wheeled companions and headed off to go join a Galbraith trails work party.

Bungeejoe and Lanaboos headed off to find some espresso, restock the groceries, and both be sick again.

Ridge Rendezvous   Oct 12, 2013

SammiesRoyBoy arranged a rendezvoused with Bungeejoe Saturday afternoon to ride unicycles together. Bungeejoe picked the Galbraith Mountain's Ridge Trail for a muni (mountain unicycle) ride thinking a quick run up to the kiosk at Checkpoint Kilo and back would be just about right for using up the limited time available.

Bungeejoe selected a Kris Holm KH29 with a 26 Schlumpf geared wheel and SPD clipless pedals out of the toy box to ride. He next put some flat pinned pedals on a Kris Holm KH24 for SammiesRoyBoy, lowered the seat, and off they rode to the trailhead. With much delight Bungeejoe enjoyed lazily drifting along on the 26 inch wheel in high gear while watching SammiesRoyBoy spinning crazy fast circles on the non-geared 24.

It had been a nice warm dry day with great weather. The trail condition were nice. Leaf litter was minimal and the Ridge as usual was not muddy and the two had a great time. At "the ledge" Bungeejoe discussed the need for this section to be conquered but neither put it to the test. A quick stop at Checkpoint Kilo and back down the Ridge they went. The fast pace SammiesRoyBoy set made it evident a near record time back down to the trailhead would soon be accomplished. We traded the lead a few times but never really stopped longer than to edge the other on smiling at the current slow poke or smoothly riding by the one that was quickly remounting after a upd.

It is always nice to have someone to share the trail with and nudge us on to ride when we should be doing some other task in the chore jar that the wives are waiting to get done. Thankfully, SammiesRoyBoy pulled Bungeejoe out of the summer dirt dig hole he had planned to be working on. Bungeejoe's dirt dig now is becoming the summer/fall[/winter] dig-out. Thanks go to SammiesRoyBoy for a nice afternoon mountain unicycle ride.


September 14, 2013

Bungeejoe and Crashcason

Crashcason was scheduled to be in Bellingham, WA for Saturday, September 14, 2013 so tried to put together a group muni (mountain unicycle) ride to coincide with his visit. Ride timing was hard to setup so Bungeejoe and Crashcason did not find any one else to ride with on Saturday.

The two unicyclist arrived at the empty Ridge Trail parking lot and wondered if they had missed some notice or message, they have never found the trails so empty and vacant on other rides. But up the Ridge they went. They continued on through Cedar Dust and over to El Pollo. They cut through Family Fun Center and down and out Bob's Trail and Little Karma. That left the ride back to the car at the bottom of Ridge Trail.

Crashcason on the Semcycle 43

It was unusual to encounter so few people. Only one jogger, one dog walker and dog, and five mountain bikers while riding the trails of North Galby for three hours. The weather was okay but not a great day for pictures, so neither stopped for any pictures.

Still with some time to spare Crashcason and Bungeejoe played in the street for a little while with some of the toys to be found in the garage. The Semcycle 43 was no problem for Crashcason. Quickly he had freemounting down solid. The 50 inch ordinary bike (penny farthing) can be a monster when it comes to dismounts. Finding the mounting/dismounting peg, which seems out of place for new riders, with out looking can prove awkward at first. And monster it proved to be.

But a smiling Crashcason departed without any bad crashes, wondering what other toys still lurked in the garage.

Stevens Pass Bike Park   July 12, 2013

Lana's Crash

holding helmet after crash

Joe and Lana Myers of traveled to Stevens Pass, WA for a fun packed day at Stevens Pass Bike Park riding up the chair lift and down the trails. Joe took a Kris Holm 24" mountain unicycle and Lana had her full suspension Norco Phena mountain bike as they rode up the mountain on the Hogsback chair lift for the first run.

When I turned off Strava four minutes after starting down Rock Crusher (trail map) we had only made it 0.2 mile. Lana crashed and I found her at the spot you see if you stop this video made by some one else riding Rock Crusher (video) at 34 seconds.

When I got to her she was a mess, unconscious, not breathing, and bleeding bad. No one saw what happened. In retrospect, Lana thinks she may have been looking back to see where and how far behind her I was when she went over a little bump in the trail. She doesn't even remember starting the ride.

Lana's face

They hauled her off the mountain, put her in an ambulance to cross the hi-way (still don't have any bills for this ride), then airlifted her ($24,300 with no insurance, $800 with our insurance) to the Seattle's Harbor View Hospital put her in another ambulance to ride across the street ($1400 with no insurance, $128 with our insurance) to the Trauma Center. After fourteen hours in the Trauma Center ($13,500 with no insurance, $300 with our insurance) they released her to go home with "no broken bones", no clothes, 30 or 40 stitches, in a paper gown, and a prescription for pain medication needing filled at 2:00 AM on Saturday morning with a 100 mile drive home in a car with an empty fuel tank.

July 29, 2013, 17 days later we found out she has 4 compression fractured vertebra.

September 3, 2013, fifty-three days after her crash, the orthopedic specialist told us her neck has a C6 spinous process fracture and that her pain will not subside for a couple more months.

September 5, 2013 she finally got to see her the neurologist and we found she has a year or more of recovery period to wait through.

We are still waiting for her face to heal up enough for the plastic surgeon to be able to fix her left eye so it will close on it's own.

We now need to find out why normal vision has not returned to her left eye.

Lana only remembers the ride up the chair lift and waiting to start down Rock Crusher. She remembers a few isolated instances. Like hearing rotor blades once (probably as the helicopter landed), once of them cutting off her clothes, another time they where restraining her hands as she tried to cover herself up, them putting in one stitch outside of where they had used any pain block or novocaine, throwing up in the middle of being stitched together. Her next memories jump to almost a week after the crash. Most of our plans are on hold for awhile. We are working through this one day at a time. She is still using a walker for assistance.

helmet after crash

No, the bike seems to be in really good shape and everything seems to be operationally okay. Yes, her helmet stayed on her head and is cracked and broken. Yes, she had on 661 knee and shin protection, several layers of clothing, and a winter coat on (the temperature was only 53F). The trail was not muddy or dusty. No trees or obstacles were involved. Yes, the fun had stopped for awhile. Lana says, "Yes, mountain biking is still in my future." She plans on getting a full face helmet first. "Has this changed our lives?" you might ask. Yes!

Lana in September

We are very thankful for the large outpouring of help and assistance from people we never expected and at times we never expected. We have depended on other and it was great when they pulled us through. A few times we learned not to depend on any one else for the road was ours alone to walk.

A BIG thank you to every one who has offered, helped, supported, and or prayed for us.
Joe and Lana Myers

Beacon & Legs

May 4, 2013

Beacon & Legs

Joe Myers of traveled to Spokane, WA for Round 3 of the Fat Tire Revolution Beacon & Legs. Arriving on Friday with time for a pre-ride of the 7 mile course at Camp Sekani Park, Spokane, WA on the Kris Holm geared 26. The course had lots of fast, smooth, swoopy single track and 1000 feet of elevation gain per lap without any really long killer climbs. It was an enjoyable blend of fast flow with tech here and there.

On Friday's pre-ride Joe broke the unicycle's BodyFloat seat post's lower pin at about 3.4 miles. This caused the seat height to drop and the seat angle to tilt forward. The remainder of the course was completed walking the remaining climbs and technical portions. A switch was made to the non-geared Kris Holm 24" unicycle. This would save a lot of parts switching and might make more of the course climbs rideable although having no high gear for the faster sections of downhill riding.

Beacon & Legs

Arriving early for Saturday's start allowed some additional prep time. We parked near a brave young Caleb Mulford willing to try out and ride the Kris Holm 24" clipless prior to the race. He later went on to win the Cat 3 Male 15 to 18. The Cat 3 start went well and before long all but two of the Cat 3 two wheelers were will ahead of At about four miles was passed again becoming next to last with the final mostly downhill portion ahead. Expecting to be overtaken any time by the 7 year old two wheeled rider behind, Joe continued on to the finish line with a clean juggling finish at 1:35:30.9!

We ran into a law school classmate of George Peck at the Beacon & Legs. He shared some of the history of George prior to and after George learned to unicycle.

Thanks goes out to Jake Maedke and ViciousCycle for tolerating riding in another one of his events.

Taylor Avenue Dock Meetup

May 13, 2013

Taylor Avenue Dock Meetup

A virtual call went out to area unicyclist and friends to meetup Wednesday evening at the Taylor Avenue Dock near Fairhaven. Around 6:00 PM one wheeled cyclist started to appear. By 8:15 PM with the sun setting in the west nearly all the unicycles had left. About 14 different riders had participated and shared the nice warm spring night. Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, and Seattle all were represented.

Mark & Ellie

The four talented youths from the Fire Wheel Unicycle Club drew much of the attention of both the spectators who passed by and the rest of the meetup participants. Mark and Ellie drew a few oohs and aahs each time they would hand in hand mount and ride away as a married couple expecting a son in three months. Larry's LaRue also held the attention of the fat tire crowd.

Thanks to all who showed up and also to those who brought the young ones. It seems that every one enjoyed the meetup and hopefully all are looking forward to another outing next month some time.

Mt Baker Ride

April 12, 2013

riding up Mt Baker Hwy

In preparation of's upcoming Crowsnest ride in May, Joe Myers and Roy Knaack set out for a training ride up the Mt. Baker Highway from Glacier to the end of the plowed road above the upper lodge. This time of year the road is closed above the Heather Meadows Lodge at about 22.5 miles from Glacier. It's a little more than 4400 feet of total climbing on the ride. This was to be a confidence building ride for Roy so he could gauge how effective his training routine was at preparing him to cross major mountain passes on a 36 inch unicycle. (Roy has only been unicycling for 8 months.)

The weather man promised a nice morning and an 80% chance of a rainy afternoon. The rain and wind were to appear sometime around 1:00 PM. We did manage a few quick views of most of Mount Baker on our ride to Glacier. Mounting up and riding away from Glacier (900 feet elevation) at 10:20 AM in light winds at 45 degrees made for near perfect climbing conditions.

The miles rolled by with some good chatter and banter breaking the quiet between intermittent skier and snowboard traffic going by. Lana in our team car kept a close watch over our progress us as we peddled along. Soon we had cleanly crested "Powerhouse Hill". The miles of fallen sentinels revealed by the melting snows showed the havoc winter had wrought on the highway crews efforts to keep the road open during the storms of winter. The DOT sheds and Silver Fir campground alerted us to the start of the "Final Climb". "Final Climb" fails to describe the ascent left before us.

As we climbed all morning I had wanted to challenge Roy about why we had decided to pack the "extra" weight of geared hubs and brakes but waited until a mile or so above Silver Firs to tease Roy and asked if he thought it was time to shift gears up into high for awhile.

Another mile or so later light rain started to fall and the temperature started to noticeably drop. About a mile later all the rain had turned to snow. About a mile later the snow started to stick in spots. By the time we made White Salmon Day Area at 3500 feet the snow was starting to add up on top of a layer of slush. The picture here of us passing the Firs at Reflection Lake shows winter had returned to the mountains again.

riding up Mt Baker Hwy

On the final push to the Heather Meadows Lodge we turned right straight into a blizzard. The wind and snow was out to cut us off and send us fleeing in defeat. The closeness of the planned finish edged us on. With less than a mile to go the snow on top of frozen slush was becoming real slippery and a bit dangerous to climb. The cuts in the snow banks made by the rotary plows was funneling the wind straight into our faces. At a quarter mile to go the head wind stalled us dead in our tracks. Only a moment of still stand and both of us were dismounted and scrambling up the hill to a place to get mounted again at the next turn which will give us a little relief from the wind.

A couple sliding assisted mounts and I up and going again. Roy follows wondering out loud why. It turns to white out conditions again with the only definition coming from a fresh tire track I choose to follow. The snow is swirling off of the high banks onto us as the road swings back around into the wind. Only a few more cranks and we will be there. Not!

Again the wind stalls all forward motion and I step off looking around to see Roy already dismounted and chasing after me. We march on up the last 100 feet on foot with all the important parts already stiff from the 30 degrees temperature and blowing snow. We load the unicycles into the rack triumphant that we have accomplished the Heather Meadow Lodge and watch the skiers and snowboarders loading up on Chair #1 beside us at 4300 feet elevation.

Why do we do these things? Yeah, it always sounds a little stupid after it's accomplished. You may wonder why we didn't wait until the nice and more dependable weather of summer. Roy doesn't like riding in the heat. So our preferred time of year for our big adventures is in May before the sun gets it's full power. That forces us to get into shape long before the weather is nice or dependably nice anyway.

Also any adventure really worth repeating has to have more than just the normal challenges to overcome. Why else would we ride one wheel up hill for 21 of the 22.5 miles. A great adventure needs some element of possible failure. Doesn't an epic adventure needs the weather turning bad? Slipping and sliding up hill is bad enough for us. Freezing while we slide down hill just didn't seem like a good idea. So in the comfort of the team vehicle we warmed our cold fingers, melted the ice out of our cloths, and started to feel our toes ache again while considering the merits of our 3 hour 20 minute assault of the road to Mt Baker.

Gran Fondo Ephrata

March 10, 2013

Gran Fondo

Joe and Roy showed up at the Gran Fondo Ephrata on unicycles. With little preparation and no planing the two riders decided to enter the long distance cycling event put on by ViciousCycle. While not a race - it is timed to provide some recognition to the top finishers. The course is designed to give the riders glimpses into some of the remote out of the way parts of Eastern Washington in a manner consistent with the celebrated tradition of Italian cycling's Gran Fondo culture. The two unicyclist completed the approximately 80 miles with a time of 9:57:38. The course has about 5000 ft of climbing and more than half of the distance is on gravel.

Gran Fondo Aid Station

Jake Maedke's 2013 preview video provides a brief look at the ride conditions and effort involved in completing the Gran Fondo Ephrata on two wheels and RAKSAX's ride video show Joe and Roy making it to the finish each on 36" Schlumpf unicycles.

Echo Red 2 Red XC

March 2, 2013

The Echo Red 2 Red XC had one unicycle rider enter as a fun late winter ride. Echo is a great small eastern Oregon community. J Myers, set out to do the middle length Cat 3 course. But the timing cut off forced a change of plans and a switch to the short course, approximately 14.5 miles, which was completed with a time of 2:49:57.51.

A pleasant change for the 2013 event was reversing the direction from previous years racing, starting with the winery and river trails first. This reversal of directions also changed the directions of the climbing on the course. Some felt this contributed to a more challenging route.

For an odd turn of events, Joe planned to lower his seat once on the single track trails after starting on a high seat height for the fast paved and gravel road start . But after starting down the single track Joe realized he had forgotten to bring an allen wrench to adjust the seat post height. Struggling slightly over the bumps and dodging the water bottles that had bounced out of other riders bottle cages he spotted a tool set in the trail. Stopping to grab the brand new Park multitool some unfortunate racer had lost, he lowered his seat and proceeded on. Great to have some one else packing the tools on the ride for us.

Proceeding on toward the cliffs prior to the river ride the last of the two wheelers having passed by the trail sweeps catch Joe. Having never ridden this section but listened to the faint hearted worry over the exposer, Joe proved equal to riding on with patient sweeps in pursuit. After completing the river section and climbing back up to the vineyard Shayne pointed Joe on to the shorter Beginner course and a run to the finish line.

Shayne & Stephanie of Echo Bike and Board, 211 W Main, Echo, OR 97826 (541) 376-8500, the Echo Hills Trail Builders, people of Echo, and the volunteers do a great job putting this event together. Thanks Shayne & Stephanie.

Chiller Cross

Bellingham WA - January 12, 2013

Chiller Cross

The annual Cascade Cross - Chiller Cross had two unicycle riders this year! It was chilly! Surprisingly it was not wet. What? A winter day in Bellingham without rain? There was no snow this year either. The ground was frozen with very little mud. Some spots were icy! It was real fun to race 'cross in January on a unicycle.

Bellingham Unicycling rider Mark Miller and rider Joe Myers braved the 20 degree temperatures and started in the 10:00 AM Class C Chiller Cross start and enjoyed a fun early winter ride.

Chiller Cross Fly Over

Mark Miller provided a strong presents as he charged away from the Le Mans style start running to find his Nimbus 26 municycle with the other Men C riders. Funny the rest of the pack was full of men searching for more than one wheel.

Joe Myers followed Mark's start 30 seconds later in the Masters Men C (40+) running out to find his Kris Holm 24 Schlumpf geared mountain unicycle to ride.

Shortly after the start while in the first real set of corners the Womens B caught up with me zigging and zagging around me on all sides. One young rider dodged me to the left as I was riding along the right ribbon. She takes out the left tape and one of the course stakes on my left and over corrects to take out the right ribbon in front of me and crashes to the ground back in front of me.

I find it comical how we unicyclist frequently listen as the riders on two wheels like to blame the unicyclist for why they didn't win their race. They forget that every other rider out racing also had to find a way to pass us one wheelers also. I and some of the other unicycles consider the two wheelers as moving obsticles placed in our way to make the ride increasingly interesting. If you doubt me just climb a steep slope of frozen muddy, rocks, roots, and stairs in the middle a charge of young women wheedling 30 pound bikes.

The course marshals warned us of some bad ice on the long back stretch where water flowing over the track was freezing into sheet ice on a 5 or 6 percent down hill section. Strategies for this ice had been the talk of the start holding area. On the first lap when I got to this section I had decided to cruise through in high gear with no braking or backpeddling. It seemed like a good idea as I succeeded in crossing the first and longest stretch of ice. Mid-point in the second shorter ice patch I lost it and ended up on my butt and back sliding down the iced over crushed limestone path. I found myself laughing as I notice the unicycle is jacking a ride on me down the hill. A couple course marshals concerned for my safety cheered me on as I remounted and rode away.

On the last two laps I exercised a bit more caution and sifted to low gear as I came to the icy slope. Each time I slipped and skidded my way through the second patch but stayed upright on my wheel.

Eventually I succeeded in riding into the finish line as the youth race was preparing to start. They carefully parted the kids so I could ride through juggling three balls as I crossed over the frozen finish line and on through under the flyover. Mark was already there waiting with a big smile.

We were sure to bring some hot coffee in a thermos to drink while we waited for the start and after the finish. When the riders and wives tired of the post race cold a trip to the Mount Bakery provided some good hot food and espresso to warm our soul even though not our toes.

Unicyclist Shot

Bellingham, WA - January 10, 2013

In Bellingham, Washington during the evening unicycle commute home I got shot. Took a hit from a BB gun in the arse from a passenger in car on Lakeway Drive who had been demanding I juggle for them. The shooter escaped on foot after I blocked the car from leaving the scene and called 911. Police later rolled up in eight squad cars with tracking dogs. The dogs found where the BB rifle had been stashed during the escape. The shooter eluded the manhunt. The driver of the car was no longer enjoying his evening when I rode off toward home.

Lesson learned - when a car load of kids armed with a BB gun ask me to unicycle and juggle for them don't wait for the light to turn green! It's a tough neighborhood. Perform on command or risk your bloody arse!