We participated in our first Moonlight Ramble this year. Its a 10 to 20 mile bicycle (and now unicycle) ride through downtown St. Louis starting at midnight. The original date for the ride was while we were on vacation but due to weather concerns, it was postponed. It got postponed twice more due to political unrest and rioting for the Jason Stockley verdict. Eventually the event happened though Sonora was on a Girl Scout camp out and could not join us.
In order to be ready for the Moonlight Ramble, we had to decorate the two bikes and one unicycle for the trip. I prepared early purchasing 1,000 glow sticks online. We only used about 10% of them, but it had the desired effect!
Once we got to the ride, we walked around to find a nice place to start. I received a lot of looks for pushing around a giant unicycle. We ended up finding Dave from our volleyball team and hung out with him and his family.
Once the ride started, it became clear to me that I would have to wait to the end. With a group of around 10,000 people, it started and stopped a lot in a short period. This made it difficult to mount and dismount and I decided to go to the side and wait for the crowd to pass. That meant that Danelle and Corvin went ahead without me.
Within a half mile of the start, I stopped to help somebody pump up their tire (good thing I carry a pump). I eventually got into a rhythm as the crowd thinned out. I would pass most people going up a hill and be passed by the same people as they coasted back down the hill. It was a hard long ride, but fun to be out and see so many people smile!
Here is a video I took in the middle of the ride on the unicycle followed by Corvin and I finishing the ride.
I would like to say that we stayed for the after party, but Corvin and Danelle had already taken naps earlier in the evening and we were all beat!
After two days at a conference, I was ready for a break. So I planned for one accordingly. The DevUp conference was conveniently located in St. Charles MO, not far from the Katy Trail. Some will argue that its too rough for a unicycle, but I find the chat and hard packed dirt trails perfect for a smooth ride. Combine that with it not being too busy with users and its a perfect destination. I had it in my mind that I would ride after the second day of the conference, so I packed accordingly. With the conference winding down on the second day, I ran out of sessions that piqued my interest. Shortly after lunch, I headed out to the trail. With a bag full of food and water, I set off to see how far I dared ride. It ended up that I went from the St. Charles boathouse all the way to I-64 bridge and back. A route of almost exactly 25 miles.
I won’t lie to you and say it was easy, but its the next step towards farther riding. I would like to be able to ride 40 miles or more in a single day and I think I’m getting closer. Having music playing with a high tempo certainly helped. I know I was riding well because I had my first every mile where I averaged 10 mph and it was towards the end of the ride! And some photos 🙂
Like any good fool, I often volunteer myself for work that I don’t have to do. In this case, my brother Hiatt was talking about his house needing to be painted. I suggested that he schedule it for Labor Day weekend so we had an extra day. He of course obliged and I was not going to paint for my holiday weekend. Anything for family and friends! Danelle and Corvin couldn’t make it due to Corvin’s soccer schedule (and we could have used her help!).
Of course if you’re getting help from me, I’m going to do things my way within reason. Here are some photos of the events.
We had a fun and hard weekend and got most of the house painted.
Another good unicycling month even including the family.
I also caught the awards ceremony for the MR340, cheering on my friends!
It wouldn’t be a little adventure with some adversity. On my ride home, the throttle cable on the motorcycle broke on the highway. It was a bit of a close call coasting to a safe place to pull over, but I had some help from a fellow traveler. Almost 2 hours later, I made it home.
Hiatt and Kris came in for a baseball game and good fun was had all around.