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July 2006


By Rochelle - Posted on 26 July 2006

Current & Upcoming Events

UNICON XIII - on now!

Yes UNICON XIII is on right now! This year 880 riders are expected to be attending the world unicycle competition, which is held in Langenthal, Switzerland. Competition includes the usual races (100m, 400m, 800m, 1 foot, wheel walking, obstacles, relays, 10km and marathon), artistics, Unicycle Hockey, Unicycle Basketball, off road / Downhill-Races, Trials, High Jump and Long jump

The Australian team will also compete in unicycle hockey and basketball as well as mountain unicycling (known as Muni).

There are 17 Australians attending and it will be the first time that Australia will be able to field its own hockey and basketball teams - in past years some help was required from other participants.

The ACT team includes six members of the ACT Unicycle Riders? Society: David Buchanan, Lorinda Buchanan, Rod Lambert, Tom Lambert, Dale Newbury and Nic Vevers.

The competition has attracted riders from 24 nations and runs until 2 August.

Rod Lambert, President of the ACT Unicycle Riders' Society (and oldest in the team) has congratulated all riders on their training and focus:

We're all looking forward to competition at this elite level. Training has been steady but some of us don't know whether we will last the 42km for the marathon on the last day. The heat, fatigue or age might get us first but our determination is there? said old Rod.

Ed. - thanks to Rod Lambert for this article. For more information and live news from UNICON XIII seehttp://www.uniconnews.com/ (except if you're a Linux user, as the site requires a version of Flash not available on this operating system - boo!)

Reminder: Unicycling Weekend - Brisbane Competition

Park Payne Road, The Gap, Brisbane - 30th Sept - 1st Oct 2006

Saturday 12pm till 5pm, then Sunday morning Finals 9am till 12pm - The event will finish with a free lunch BBQ.

Events include: Unicycle hockey, Basket ball half court, Race around GAP, Kids BMX heats and finals, Man-made trials. Events categories include unicyclists with less than 12 months riding experience!Venue: Payne Rd, The Gap, Brisbane - $1500.00 prizes!

Cost $25.00 per person, or $20 for a team of 5 for hockey and basket ball

Contact: Alfred and Lucinda Best - info [at] unicycles [dot] com [dot] au - More information at: http://unicycles.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=172


News & Recent Events

Circus Gear for Cambodia - Notice

Wayne van Wijk has unfortunately had to postpone his trip to Cambodia to assist with a local circus school (as reported in the last newsletter), and so is not currently collecting circus gear. Please hang on to it for now!

Unicycles.com.au has a new home!

Gary Land reports that unicycles.com.au has a new address and a full range of unicycles at Cycle Scene:

Cycle Scene
Unit 4 21-27 Bunker Rd
Victoria Point QLD 4165
07 3207 0599
0417 300 393
http://www.unicycles.com.au

Big thanks to Gary & Unicycles.com.au, who offer a 15% discount to all AUS members!

Unicycle Hockey on the Radio!

By Cris

Sydney Unicycle Hockey were recently interviewed for the "Bike Love" radio program on Sydney Radio 2SER. See the Bike Love website at http://bikelove.blogspot.com or listen to the MP3 at http://bikelove.blinddog.org/210706BikeLove.mp3 - Surprisingly, we don't all sound completely mad (or maybe we do)!

Bondi Bike Fair - Unicycle Hockey Demonstration

25 June 2006 - By Rochelle

On 25 June the Sydney Unicycle Hockey team were found cruising glamorous Bondi, far from their traditional haunt in the inner west. At the invitation of Waverley Council the lads put on a demonstration hockey game for the Bondi Bike Fair. Amid the more traditional selection of bicycle races and games, the unicycle hockey match was a head turner.

Kids, adults, cyclists and cafe cruisers alike stopped to watch the Uninats 2005 champion team take hockey to a new level.

With two teams of five a side, demonstration game or not, the competition was fierce. The conditions proved challenging ? a slippery, uneven playing surface and more than the occasional pedestrian on the field were new experiences. But the players blocked, passed and shot for goal with fierce intention, to the groans and cheers of the crowd.

After a full-on four quarters and several hours later, the two mighty teams tied for honours and, as expected, hockey was the winner on the day.

The Council has presented the team with a certificate of appreciation for their participation in the day's activities. The Waverley Bike Fair is looking to be an annual event, so look out for it next year.

Sydney Unicycle Hockey are usually found chasing a rubber ball between 10:30 am - 12:30 pm every Sunday morning at the Lillian Fowler Reserve, Angel Street in Newtown. All levels welcome.

Note that Sydney Hockey is suspended for the next week or two as many of the players are away at Unicon XIII!


Articles

Trials Unicycling

Nic Vevers and Dale Newberry

What is trials unicycling? While still an underground sport in Australia, overseas trials are big.

Trials involve a mixture of bike trials, skateboarding and BMX challenges. Escaping from the standard conventions of clown unicycling, the riders execute unbelievable stunts, including grinds, gaps, drops and tricks.
Trials or street unicycling is still very new. The first uni trials are reported to have been held in California in 1998 but in Australia they have only been around for about four years.

The competition side of trials is very similar to observed bike trials. It entails hopping over obstacles and being judged on how quickly and smoothly you do it. Competitors receive points for the more stages they complete.

More specifically, high jump and long jump focus on the basic elements of trials. How high you can jump and how long you can jump. It is exactly the same as the Olympic track events, only with a unicycle under you.
Nic Vevers and Dale Newberry will be representing Australia at UNICON XIII, and hope to place well in the trials. Their pet events are Unicycle
Trials, High Jump and Long Jump. Dale Newbery is ranked 4th and Nic Vevers is ranked 2nd in Australia for these events. They will be competing among some 200 riders in these disciplines.

It's not the first time they've been to UNICON. In Beijing 2000 Nic took home 2nd place in the freestyle event. Both Nic and Dale attended the Seattle, 2002 UNICON placing in the pair?s freestyle. More recently Dale participated in the Tokyo, 2004 UNICON placing in the trial top 10.

After the competition ends on 2 August, Nic and Dale plan to backpack around Europe with their unicycles, filming for their latest Project - Escape From The Circus (an action sports DVD), along the way.

Ed. - Good luck at UNICON guys!



The Great Pedal Enigma

By Reg Bolton

We all know that each pedal and each crank is labeled L and R. We all know that the right pedal screws in normally, i.e. clockwise, while the left pedal screws in anti-clockwise.

Why?

Any smart-arse will tell you why. "It is," he will explain patronisingly, "because this means that as you ride along, you are continually tightening the pedals, rather than loosening them."
Sounds feasible? Yes, except that it is exactly WRONG!

Try the spanner test. Put your slim line spanner in place around the pedal?s squared bolt, where it enters the crank. Now turn the wheel in the normal direction (forwards), and, I guarantee, the pedal will not tighten. It will loosen, and soon fall out. The same with the left.

It makes much more sense to turn the saddle around, and ride your uni "backwards".

I've tried to open this debate in with 'experts' in bike shops, but it is a heresy. It's like doubting God in the Vatican, like a vegan in a butchers shop. It's like questioning the value of sport for children (which I do, convincingly, in my next book!).

Please someone tell me if I'm wrong. Let's get this on the national agenda. Forget Iraq, oil prices and global warming. Here?s something much more important. Write to your parliamentarian. Rally in Canberra. Fight for the right to screw our pedals in how we like.

(Voice offstage: Shut up Reg, you're ranting again.)

Notice: The AUS has been informed that since submitting this article, Reg Bolton has tragically passed away. On behalf of all its members, the AUS wishes to convey its sincere condolences to Reg's family.

Reg was a long time, invaluable member of the New Circus community and his lively contributions will be sorely missed. You are invited to contribute to the tribute to Reg's life and work which has been set up at www.regbolton.org




AUS Newsletter Updates

If you've got news, pics, stories or info to contribute to the AUS Newsletter, send them on to to the AUS Newsletter Editor at: aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au