Jan-Feb 2007

February 2007

Hi everyone and welcome to the first Newsletter for 2007! Hope you all enjoyed a great festive season. We've had a lovely summer break and are ready for lots of unicycling talk so if you’ve got news, pictures, stories or information to contribute to the AUS Newsletter, send them to the Editor at aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au

Upcoming Events

Alternative Cycling Festival – 31st March - 1st April 2007, Cranbourne, Victoria

AUS members have been officially invited to take part in the 2007 Alternative Cycling Festival and Australian Human-Powered Vehicle Association (OzHPV) Challenge, at Casey Fields, Cranbourne, Victoria.
On the Sunday, 1st April, the AUS has been offered the chance to set up an information/display stand and perform unicycle demos and offer trial rides,. If you are interested in attending as an AUS member, and helping out with this activity, please contact the AUS secretary (aus_secretary [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au) and we will organise a group. Free Darwin '05 T-shirts for all those who help out!

All unicyclists are welcome, so you can still attend the festival, even if you don't want to take part in the AUS activities.

Nov-Dec 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the November/December 2006 edition of the AUS Newsletter!

Due to the holiday season (and moving house), this will be the last newsletter for 2006. We're sure there will be plenty of unicycling taking place over the Christmas/New Year period, so if you've got news, pictures, stories or information to contribute to the AUS Newsletter, better send them to the AUS Newsletter Editor at: aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] com [dot] au ( aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au) otherwise Santa won't be bringing you that new KH saddle...


Events

Call for unicyclists to perform at the Woodford Folk Festival

When - 27th December 2006 - 1st January 2007

Where - Located just outside the town of Woodford, about an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane.

Who - We are looking to put together a team of unicyclists who want to come along and have fun promoting our sport at the biggest and most progressive folk festival in Australia. Freestyle and trials displays, games (hockey, sumo, jousting etc), slalom and obstacle courses, muni demos and group rides have all featured in previous years. We need talented riders to help in all of these categories and if you have some other skills, such as juggling, you can throw them in as well.

October 2006

AUS Membership Renewals Special Offer

Sign up or renew your AUS membership now and save 20%!

AUS membership runs from 1st July to 30th June each year. If you haven't attended an AUS or affiliate event since 1st July, you probably haven't renewed your AUS membership yet for 2006/2007.

Membership renewal is still only $20 for the whole year, which is a 20% discount on the new members price, but this discounted price is normally only available for renewals completed within 3 months of the end of the previous membership (i.e. for renewals before 30th September).

The AUS has extended the offer of membership at the renewal price to anyone who has previously been an AUS member (in any year) until the end of October 2006.
Hurry to take advantage of this special price - only one week left! Details on membership renewals, pricing and the application form are on the AUS website

The AUS is a non-profit organisation - membership fees go towards the public liability insurance which allows us to support official events, and also to help support the Uninats (Sydney 2007!), which could cost several thousand dollars in up-front booking fees!

Upcoming events

Gravity Weekend

Last Chance Reminder! - Gravity Weekend - Victoria - Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd October 2006

Falls Creek Car Park, Victoria - 9.30am

Sep 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the September 2006 edition of the AUS Newsletter! If you've got news, pictures, stories or information to contribute to the AUS Newsletter, send them on to to the AUS Newsletter Editor at: aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au Also contact the editor if you need to update your registered email address or wish to be added to the newsletter mailing list.


Upcoming events

Brisbane Unicycling Weekend - Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October 2006

Alfred and Lucinda Best Park, Payne Rd, The Gap, Brisbane

Saturday 12pm till 5pm, then Sunday morning finals 9am till 12pm, finishing with a free lunch BBQ.

As this is this weekend, this is your last-chance reminder to get yourself along to this fun event!

Organised by Gary Land at unicycles.com.au - contact info [at] unicycles [dot] com [dot] au or see http://www.unicycles.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=172 for more details.

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.

Around the Bay in a Day - Melbourne Sunday 15th October 2006

This is one of the largest get-togethers for cyclists in Australia.

Enter as a team or individual for any or all of the four events:

  • The Legend 250km
  • ATB Challenge 210km (4 route options)
  • The Classic 100km
  • The Great Melbourne Bay Ride 42km

Some keen unicyclists are training and planning on joining the two wheelers again! For more details about the ride see http://www.bv.com.au/great-rides/

To get in touch with other unicyclists, contact Max Pfiefer at: max_pfeifer [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] au

Roz Beste's photos of last years ride can can be seen at http://www.hkcrystal.com/photos/2005/RoundTheBay.htm

Gravity Weekend - Victoria Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd October 2006

Falls Creek Car Park, 9.30am

A reminder to all riders about the Gravity Weekend in the Victorian Alps (Australia!).

The weekend will be mostly downhill on a mix of terrain. The Saturday ride will start at Mt McKay at Falls Creek down to Mt Beauty, via unicycle/ car or a combination of both. The Sunday ride will be downhill from Trappers Gap area under Mt Bogong. Total distance covered over the two days could be up to 50 km!

For discussion about the rides, accommodation and other information please visit http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?p=606621

For emerging details, visit www.municycle.com.au

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.


Riders Seeking Other Unicyclists

  • Laura, 16, from Bowral, NSW, has been riding for nearly 2 years, and is seeking riders of all ages in the Southern Highlands to start riding with.

Contact Laura by sending your contact details via the newsletter editor – aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] com [dot] au

The AUS receives regular requests from riders seeking other riders in their area. We don't give out personal information about our members, but we are always happy to place advertisements in the newsletter. To advertise for other riders or to publish information about yourself or your group, contact the editor!


AUS Membership Renewals

Sign up or renew your AUS membership now and save 20%!

AUS membership runs from 1st July to 30th June each year. If you haven't attended an AUS or affiliate event since 1st July, you probably haven't renewed your AUS membership yet for 2006/2007.

Membership renewal is only $20 for the whole year, which is a 20% discount on the new members price, but this discounted price is normally only available for renewals completed within 3 months of the end of the previous membership (i.e. for renewals before 30th September).

The AUS is pleased to announce it has extended the offer of membership at the renewal price to anyone who has previously been an AUS member (in any year) until the end of October 2006!

Details on membership renewals, pricing and the application form are on the AUS website – see http://www.unicycling.org.aumembership

Aug 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the August 2006 edition of the AUS newsletter!

Upcoming Events

Unicycling weekend - Brisbane competition

Alfred and Lucinda Best Park, Payne Rd, The Gap, Brisbane - 30th Sept - 1st Oct 2006

Saturday 12pm till 5pm, then Sunday morning finals 9am till 12pm, finishing with a free lunch BBQ

Events will include:

  • Unicycle Hockey
  • Basketball half court
  • Race around GAP
  • Kids BMX heats and finals
  • Man Made Trials

$1500.00 prizes!

Cost $25.00 per person or $20 per team of five for hockey and basketball

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.

Contact info [at] unicycles [dot] com [dot] au (them by email) for more information, or see unicycles.com.au


Woodford Festival - call for unicycling organisers

The Woodford Folk Festival is a massive music and arts event that takes place between 27 December and 2 January each year. It is held outside the small rural town of Woodford, about an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane.

Over the past few years Rockley Boothroyd and Wayne van Wijk have organised a group of AUS unicyclists to give trials and muni demonstrations as part of the street theatre program.

The festival provides the unicyclists a camping spot, a season ticket and a bit of money that covers the cost of running the event, printing t-shirts (uniforms), etc.

This year Wayne and Rockley are unavailable to organise the event but Wayne has kindly offered to provide advice to any new organisers. Ideally the organiser would be an adult AUS member, with good organisation and communication skills and someone who does not mind camping.

If anybody is interested in organising a team for this year's festival, please contact Wayne ASAP for more details and to be put in touch with the Street Theatre manager of Woodford.

Wayne van Wijk - Email: wayne [at] jester [dot] com [dot] au - Mobile: 0417 949 117


More Victorian Muni...

21st/22nd October - Falls Creek/Mt Beauty area, Victoria

Mal Bird is planning another Muni Weekend in the Falls Creek/Mt. Beauty area in Victoria at the end of October. More details to come, but keep an eye on the events page on Mal's website - http://www.municycle.com.au/muniunievents.aspx or call Mal on 0408487559 for more details.

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.


The SINZ unicycle tour of New Zealand, 2007

Here's your chance to cross the Tasman and see the beautiful sights of New Zealand.

New Zealand Unicycling are organising a Unicycle Tour through the South Island in Jan/Feb 2007.

It's a 900km, 17 day, fully supported Unitour through some of the most spectacular parts of New Zealand. All the details of the tour are available on the website: http://www.sinzuni.org

If you are interested in joining this tour there are 12 places available. Registrations have opened so sign on quickly!

Ken Looi

SINZUNI organiser


Recent Events

Report from UNICON XIII

Huge congratulations to the Australian participants at UNICON XIII! By all accounts it was a heap of fun. Australian team photos of UNICON XIII are viewable at: Julian's photo web-site and more can be seen at the Unicon XIII home page.

(Thanks Julian! - Ed)


Australia fielded a strong team, with most people achieving personal best results and several significant Australian records being set.The Australian team led the opening street parade at the start of UNICON XIII. The team consisted of:
  • Ashley Curtis - Sydney
  • Dale Newberry - Canberra
  • David Buchanan - Canberra
  • Errol Zanos - Darwin
  • Julian Orbach- Sydney
  • Matt Price - Sydney
  • Nic Vevers - Canberra
  • Rod Lambert - Canberra
  • Tom Lambert ? Canberra,

and family and friends, who were great supporters.

The new Australian records set at UNICON XIII are:

  • Ashley Curtis, 400m Open Male 1.08.29 minutes (previously held by Simon Wells at 1.09.57 minutes from UNINATS 2003). Overall 13th place in the 19-29 year olds competition.
  • Ashley Curtis, 800m Open Male 2.27.84 minutes (previously held by Simon Wells at 2.30.75 minutes from UNINATS 2003). Overall 10th place in the 19-29 competition.
  • Tom Lambert, 10m Slow Backward, Open Male, 22.08 seconds (previously held by Simon Wells at 17.44 seconds from UNINATS 2003). Overall 4th place in the 15-18 competition.
  • Rod Lambert, 100m Senior Male 21.46 seconds (previously held by Rod Lambert at 22.9 seconds at UNINATS 2005). Overall 27th place in the 40+ competition.

Other meritorious Australian rides include 10km events, which cannot strictly be compared from one meeting to another. Although some of these could be technically described as Australian records, we probably need a different terminology to describe these achievements:

  • David Buchanan, 10km Senior Male 43.54.81 minutes (previously held by David Buchanan at 50.14 minutes from UNINATS 2005). Overall 20th place in the 40+ competition.
  • Ashley Curtis, 10km Open Male, 33.45.40 minutes (previously held by Joel Penson at 33.45.96 minutes at UNICON 12 Tokyo). Overall 6th place in the 19-29 competition.

Errol Zanos also achieved some good times on the track in the 0-12 competition. Notably, his 100m time (20.08 seconds), his 400m time (1.21.99 minutes) and his 800m time (2.50.44) were all faster than the best results which could be achieved by the Australian 40+ competitors. (40+ results were 21.46 seconds, 1.33.62 minutes and 3.07.53 minutes respectively). Errol still has two more years as a junior competitor in Australia but he had better watch out because the 40+ are now going flat out to beat these young whipper-snappers!

The best Australian performances against tough competition included:

  • Ashley coming 6th in the 10km in the U30 age group.
  • Nic coming 6th in the Street Freestyle. This is a relatively new event and obviously Nic is up there with the best of them.
  • Nic achieving a 9th place result in the expert trials competition.

Congratulations to the Australian Unicycle Hockey team for their efforts in achieving Australia's best ever result in a UNICON hockey competition. Australia played in the top division against stiff competition, including very strong Swiss, German, Japanese, Danish and USA teams. Australia played four games, resulting in one win (5 to 2 against USA), one forfeit and two losses. The Australian "player of the series" was Ashley, with great speed and stick and ball skills.

Australian Hockey Team at UNICON XIII

Unicycle basketball resulted in one win and one narrow loss for the Australian team. Nic was the highest goal scorer (and in the Team Captain's assessment, the best on the ground), who helped Australia to win one of our matches.

We're already looking forward to UNICON Denmark 2008!! Two years to recruit and train. Don't forget Sydney Uninats 2007. Bring it on!

Rod Lambert & Ashley Curtis -- Australian Team Captain & Australian Unicycle Hockey Captain


Open Day at Canberra Airport

The open day at Canberra Airport, to celebrate the opening of runway extensions on Sunday 9th July 2006, included a criterion for bicycles, which started at about 0800 on the main runway.

Well, a unicyclist turned up, didn't they! The main report can be accessed here

Unfortunately the unicyclist couldn't keep up with the bikes, so no cycling prizes were won, but he did get a raffle draw on the entry number and won a Virgin return flight to any scheduled destination in Australia.

By Rod Lambert

(Congratulations Rod! - Ed.)


Articles

Tribute to Reg Bolton

As we sadly reported in the amended July AUS Newsletter, Dr Reg Bolton tragically passed away on 14 July this year.

Reg had been an active unicycle enthusiast since the early 1970s. As many of you will know he was a founder of the New Circus movement and wrote the manual "Circus in a Suitcase" (1983). He set up over 30 Community Circus Groups and taught circus skills at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for seventeen years. He entertained audiences in theatres, festivals and circuses around the world, but much of his life and passion was spent teaching children and young people circus skills.

You can read more about his wonderful life and work at: http://www.regbolton.org/

In a respectful nod to Reg's last contribution to the AUS Newsletter (July issue), I have chosen to include here two responses to his article: 'The Great Pedal Enigma', which we received before we heard the terrible news - AUS Newsletter Editor.

Reg,

I wonder if you've had a sensible explanation for the left and right pedal problem yet?

It is true that pedals will undo if you mix up the left and right cranks. The explanation for it is NOT that friction in the pedal bearings causes the pedal to come undone. As you correctly point out, bearing friction would tend to undo a pedal. The cause of the problem is referred to as precession and you can look up this term on the web to get explanations of how it works.

As a quick and dirty explanation, it is due to the oscillating motion of the pedal spindle in the threads. To see the effect, hold a pencil in your loosely closed fist, put the palm of your hand over the protruding end (the blunt end!) and move the pencil in clockwise rotating motion. You'll see that the pencil will rotate in your fist in the opposite direction.

This is actually quite a serious issue. Let's say that you're touring on a Coker traveling down hill at 30 km/h and lose a pedal. The chances of breaking a leg are very high indeed.

Cheers

John Cooper

Reg

Riding along does indeed tighten your pedals. Although the right hand pedal turns in anti-clockwise direction, the force on the axle due to the turning pedal is in the OPPOSITE direction. This seems counter intuitive until you take apart a pedal and see how it is constructed. Pedals are constructed using bearings. The bearing has an outside and inside part with little ball bearings in between them. The pedal is connected to the outside part and the axle to the inside part. As the pedals rotate anti-clockwise the outside part of the bearing rotates with it, causing the ball bearings to turn anti-clockwise which then applies a rotation force in the clockwise direction to the inside part, connected to the axle.

A good diagram of what is happening can be found here.

A nice experiment you can try to see what's going on is as follows:

  • Place a piece of paper on a smooth table.
  • Place a roll of masking tape on the paper so that it can roll (any other cylinder with a bit of grip will work)
  • Press down on the roll of tape with your hand and then try to roll the tape by moving your hand.

You should notice the paper starts moving in the OPPOSITE direction.

Peter from Unicycle.com


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

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.

Jun 2006

AUS Newsletter - June 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the June edition of the AUS newsletter!


Upcoming Events

Waverley Family Bike Fair 2006

Bondi Park, Bondi, NSW 25 June, 9am – 2pm

The AUS has been asked to invite unicycling members to the Waverley Family Bike Fair, at Bondi Beach. Sydney Unicycle Hockey Team will be there, and all other unicyclists are welcome!

What’s on?
Meet at Bondi Park for a leisurely 2.5km ride around the streets of Bondi Beach. “Bike Buddies” will escort the ride between 9am and 12 noon, leaving every half-hour. Children 12 years and under must be accompanied by a riding parent/guardian.

  • Unicycle Hockey Demonstration game
  • Bike safety checks available.
  • Expert bike maintenance and cycling advice.
  • Cycling products and stalls.
  • Bicycle hire available.
  • Cycling circuit for the little kiddies.
  • Prizes for the best decorated helmet on the day

More information at http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/council/enviro/family_bike_fair.asp

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


Call for donations - Equipment for Cambodia

Wayne Van Wijk - Unicycle Round Up

A few years ago, generous AUS members donated a multitude of unicycle parts and other equipment for a circus project that I was doing in the slums of Bangkok, Thailand. When I assembled the parts I was able to donate 5 complete unicycles, 12 clubs and a box of diabolos to the kids.

A few years have passed and I am now planning a trip to Cambodia this September. The purpose of the trip is to run a 2 week intensive circus and performance skills workshop for students of the Cambodian Royal School of Circus. I visited these guys last year and gave a one day workshop. They have very little funding and are desperate for equipment and trainers.

If you have any circus equipment that you no longer need please consider donating it to the school in Cambodia. I am hoping to bring them unicycles, jigsaw mats (acromats), juggling clubs and diablos.

If you can help please contact me on wayne [at] jester [dot] com [dot] au

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Wayne van Wijk


News from WA

Reg Bolton in Perth is keen to hear from other unicyclists, especially in Western Australia. If you know of unicyclists in WA, please ask them to get in touch with the AUS or directly with Reg. Reg writes:

Hi fellow eccentrics and dreamers, I’m Reg Bolton, long-time rider and enthusiast. There are lots of stories to tell but for now, just a short introduction.

I bought my first unicycle in 1973, in New York, a 24” Schwinn. Although I can’t claim to have ridden from the USA to England, I certainly learned to ride it on the North Atlantic Ocean. I was working as an entertainer on the cruise liner, QE2, and at night, I would rock up and down the rolling corridors, struggling with luxuriant carpets, gales and drunken passengers.

Soon after that I got to know Dave Mariner (the real DM) making some suggestions for the design of his unicycles. I’m no engineer (as Dave is) but I knew there had to be something more comfortable than the vinyl covered T-bar that he called a saddle.

I had a 28” DM which I lent to a friend called Brian Davis, who for years featured with the longest unicycle ride, in the Guinness book of records. He rode from John O’Groats to Lands End (the length of Great Britain) in seventeen days. At the time, apparently, Wally Watts was riding his unicycle around the world!

I was at Unicon in New York in 1984, where I was a guest judge. That’s where I first met John Foss, Jean-Paul Jenack, Jack Halpern and many other poet/philosophers of the one-wheel persuasion.

I wasn’t seriously aware of the Muni and Extreme Uni tendencies until I was in Edinburgh at the British Juggling Convention in the early nineties. Naturally I was thrilled with this new development, as it moved us away from the world of funny clowns, and also avoided the dire pitfall espoused by the International Unicycle Federation of making unicycling an Olympic Sport. (Roll over synchronised swimming, here’s something even sillier!)

Today I live in Perth with about 17 unicycles, in spite of periodic garage sales. I still have a 42” wheeler made by Tom Miller in Kokomo, Indiana. It’s really too big for my short legs, and I’m trying to come to terms with my 36” cruiser, while still introducing dozens of new riders each year, either through the Suitcase Circus schools programmes, or The Circus Shop, which is my front room full of unicycles, juggling gear, fire toys, stilts, books, dvd’s etc. Please visit www.circusshop.net


Municycle 2006 - News from Chiltern

Here's a brief summary of what Mal Bird writes about this years Chiltern Muni ride:

Fifteen unicyclist of different ages and abilities descended on the small historic town of Chiltern in NE Victoria for the second MuniUni Weekend on the 20th and 21st May. Chiltern is surrounded by the 21,000 ha Chiltern/Mt Pilot National Park and within the park there are 100s of kilometers of tracks ranging from graded roads to difficult single tracks and from flat to steep country.

The riders who turned up were talented, keen and enthusiastic and I appreciated them for making the effort and making a great weekend happen. I am keen to organise the 2007 MuniUni!

You can read the full story with all the pictures at: http://www.municycle.com.au/muniuni06.aspx


Uninats 2007 Update

The organisers of UniNats 2007 in Sydney are getting busy! The date is (nearly) confirmed as 29th September - 1st October 2007, so pencil it in your diary!
If you have queries, ideas, items to offer as prizes, offers of venues or want to volunteer support, contact any one of the AUS committee members.

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]

May 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the first edition of the AUS newsletter for 2006!

Upcoming Events

MUni Weekend - Chiltern 2006

Saturday 20th May and Sunday 21st May

Yes – it's on again! Get down to Chiltern/Mt Pilot National Park, Victoria for two amazing days of muni, forest rides, trials, cross-country and more.

The event, organised by Mal Bird, is open to all levels of riders. Lake Anderson, the Magenta Mine, Pipeline Track, Donchi Hill and Bullant Track should provide enough challenge and variety to suit all tastes.

The event kicks off on Saturday morning at 10.00am at Lake Anderson.

Cost is $15 ($10 for early birds).

For all the details of the event, conditions of entry and registration, go to: Municycle.com.au

This is an AUS members event.

Eastern Creek - CycleOps 12 Hour Cycling Classic

Saturday 20th May (8am-8pm) - Barbara Pinning

Next Saturday the organisers of the 12 hour Eastern Creek CycleOps 12 hour bike race will allow a team of unicyclists in for free entry. You will need to pay $15 for a licence, but you don't need to pay the normal $80/pp registration fee.
For details of the event, see the CycleOps website, but to gain free entry you must register by contacting Barbara Pinning (details below) ASAP.

Last year, Barbara's son did one lap of about 4.5km in the dark in about 30 minutes (with lights on the uni!). Both he and her daughter will be doing at least one lap each this year.

Contact Barbara on: Phone 02 4751 3874 Mobile: 0417 600 128 Email: barbara6p [at] hotmail [dot] com

You will need to supply: Full name, Address, Telephone no., Date of Birth & Emergency Contact details. Helmets required!

Unicycle Poker!

Friday 2nd June

Ashley Curtis is running a one night poker tournament as a fundraiser to help get him to Unicon XIII.

The night is Friday 2nd June in a function room at the Revesby Workers Club in Sydney. The game is no-limit hold-em playing for prizes donated for the event. Prizes include a standard 20-inch unicycle, One Wheel Addiction, Universe2, and Defect DVDs and a KH-style unicycle saddle, all donated by Gary Land from unicycles.com.au plus skateboards decks, sports memorabilia and more.

Tournament entry is $35 which includes playing chips and food. He is also running a quilt raffle that will be drawn at the event. If interested in coming along let Ashley know on 0414 321 150 or e-mail chickenloaf_au [at] yahoo [dot] com (Ashley). If anyone may be able to donate a prize for the event, that would be great.

RSVP is the 26th May - just need to know for catering numbers. Should be a good night!

NZUni Weekend

An NZUni Weekend (New Zealand!) is planned for 20th-23rd October – more details to follow in the next few months....

Do you have an upcoming ride or event?

Let the AUS newsletter editor know and we can publicise it in the newsletter and on the AUS website, and can also put people in contact with you.

Call for WA unicyclists and rides!

Do you know of any Western Australian unicyclists and/or rides? The famous reg [at] circusshop [dot] net (Reg Bolton) and the AUS are very interested in hearing about riders and rides in WA.


Unicon XIII

Congratulations to young Errol from Darwin, who is going to Unicon XIII, with the assistance of a $500 grant from the Department of the Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government.

As of this week, Errol will be practicing at the NT Athletics track (site of UniNats 2005 track and field events) to get some racing practice. Errol will be accompanied by his mother Nena, who says:

"We're all starting to feel a bit excited now! We'll be at NTA track this Wed from 3.30 - 4.30 pm (unless anything unforseen happens). Even if nobody turns up this week it'll be good for Errol to get the feel of racing on a 'real' track again."

Other AUS members are also attending Unicon XIII, including David Buchanan, Ashley Curtis, Rod and Tom Lambert, Dale Newbery, Julian Orbach and Nic Vevers. If you are also planning to attend Unicon and would like to be put in contact with the rest of the Australian participants, please contact the aus_secretary [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au (AUS secretary).

The 13th Unicycle World Championships will take place 23 July – 2 August in Langenthaal and Berne, in Switzerland. For more information about Unicon XIII, visit the official web site.


Touring Laos....

January/Febuary 2006, By David Buchanan & John Cooper (Laos Unicycle Tour veterans)

John had just finished the Great Victorian Bike Ride (6,000+ riders and 1 unicyclist) and was almost fit enough, while I had only just had my Coker for three months and really needed more training for those mountains (one was 18 km to the top).

We flew to and then north to Chiang Rai. Here we met the other riders, like Barry and Nick Clearwater from and went for dinner. We saw our first elephant which was walking down the street taking tourists for a ride. Here we crossed the border into Laos and then took a lazy two day boat trip down the Mekong river to the ancient capital of Luang Prabang which is a World Heritage site. We had a 60km day ride to some falls for a swim and saw a tiger too.

Coming back there was a huge hill where John hit 29kph and I hit 35 kph on the downhill – scary at that speed!

After another rest day, it was off on the serious part of the ride with 95 km and 107 km days. Those of us who had Cokers for three months found the going a bit hard, especially on the hills until we improved our style. We had a couple of bikes for the long down hills and it was wonderful to speed down the hills. Our nights were spent in backpacker style accommodation and our food was mainly fried rice and fir (noodle soup) but sometimes we had some meat dishes too.

The serious unicyclists were on their geared Schlumpfs (their maker Florian Schlumpf was riding with us too) and spent a lot of time changing cranks to have the right cranks for the terrain. (I stuck with 152s the whole way).

The ride into was exciting as the traffic made room for us to ride through and we finished under the beautiful Victory Arch, which is like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. We farewelled all our friends that night and we’ll hope to see them at Unicon in July.

The Lao people thought we were amazing and wanted to cheer us along all through the villages. Certainly it is a poor country but improving. The ride was a part charity ride and we raised over $4,500 for Oxfam to help with their work in Laos. The website is well worth a look: Laos Uni Tour Web Site.

We can recommend Jason, our adventure leader, and Grasshopper Adventures. Check out his other cycle adventures through Laos.

What a wonderful experience to ride through the mountains and then down onto the plain into Vientiane. We have wonderful memories of the people we rode with and the people we met. It is certainly one of those experiences we will cherish forever.

Recent Events

Extreme unicylists head to head in Sydney

April 2006

Five days of extreme unicycling trials in Sydney during April saw plenty of handrails, ledge grinding, 360 unispins, outflips and trick combos.

For all the cool pics and highlights see the photo page.

Round the Bay in a Day....

October 2005 - By Roz Beste

On 16 Oct 2005, Max Pfeifer (14), Iain McCoy (18) and Roz Beste (a lot older than the other two) took on the 100km Century part of the Round the Bay In A Day. On a perfect weather day more than 10,000 other riders registered for the event.

Starting from Sorrento at 7.15am, and experiencing only minor technical difficulties with one of the unicycle cranks, we managed to complete the ride in 10 hours 45 minutes.

The real star (or the most mad, depending on your perspective) of the day was George Carra, who decided to ride the full 210km Round the Bay' route. Going in the opposite direction to us, he passed us near Dromana around 9am. By that stage he had already had a fall.
While George was delayed at the ferry and didn't actually finish - he managed an amazing 130km to Geelong station in about 12 hours!

Unicycles weren't the only unusual “bikes”. There were a few recumbent bikes, including some with aerodynamic shells making them look like cycling torpedoes, 2 guys on scooters (with a front 24" wheel and a smaller rear wheel pushing themselves along with one foot on the foot plate and one on the ground. Don't laugh - apparently they beat us! And some amazing people on hand-cycles - a kind of wheelchair bike where you pedal with your hands - they beat us too!

Many thanks go to:

  • Jane Pfeifer (Max's mum) who organised a place for us to stay in Mount Martha the night before the race, and gave us a ride to the start and home from the finish;
  • Amy Pfeifer (Max's sister) who, together with Jane, gave us lots of support and cheering at various places along the route;
  • Guy from www.unicycle.com who lent a new 36" unicycle to Max for the training and race; and
  • Barry Clearwater who lent his 36" unicycle to Iain for the race.

Visit the photo tour of the ride.

Warrandyte Festival 2006

Roz Beste and other unicylists also attended the Warrandyte Festival in Victoria. See Roz's photos from the parade


AUS Committee & Uninats 2007

We have a new AUS committee. See the main AUS website for details and contacts.

Planning for UniNats 2007 in Sydney is also underway. If you have queries, ideas, items to offer as prizes, offers of venues or want to volunteer support, contact any one of the AUS committee members.

If you've got news, pics, stories or info to contribute to the AUS newsletter, send them on to:

AUS Newsletter Editor
aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au

Ph: (02) 9550 2970

2005 Results

These are the results of the 2005 Australian UniNats.

100m

PlacingNameResult
(seconds)
100m : Junior (Under-12) Male
1 Owen Carr 23.62
2 Errol Zanos 24.15
3 Jack Rau 25.4
4 Corin Teague 25.6
PlacingNameResult
100m : Junior (over-12) Male

Aug 2004

Newsletter Highlights

Contents

Unicon XII results, by Karen Martin-Stone and David Buchanan.

The Australian team that attended Unicon XII in Tokyo from July 23rd – August 3rd produced amazing results (and had a great time as well!). Our medal tally at the end was a whopping 23 medals (10 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze). Everyone competed to the best of their ability, and did us proud. By the end of the 10 days, the whole crowd was joining in chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!”
The Japanese Unicycling Association did an outstanding job of organizing such a huge event. There were almost 1500 people attending, and although some events did run over time, all events were catered for. The competition facilities were excellent and transport very easy. We stayed in the National Olympic Memorial Youth Centre, and used a lot of the facilities built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

I would like to make special mention of our medal-winners. Congratulations to:

  • Sebastian Hogan: 1 silver, 2 bronze;
  • Debbie Hyder: 9 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze;
  • Kon Kudo: 1 gold;
  • Phoebe Martin: 1 bronze;
  • Dale Newbery: 1 silver; and
  • Simon Wells: 2 silver.

Also, while attending Unicon, Karen Martin-Stone was elected vice-president of the International Unicycling Federation. It reflects the growth of the sport in our country and our recognition internationally, that we are now represented on this committee.
Pictures from Unicon will be uploaded to our website as soon as I get a chance. Meanwhile:

Debbie Hyder stealing the ball from the Swiss Power Team in the basketball

  • Debbie Hyder stealing the ball from the Swiss Power Team in the basketball;

Roger Davies  explaining one of the sections in the amazing trials course

  • Roger Davies explaining one of the sections in the amazing trials course;

The finish of the expert 100m final – very close!

  • The finish of the expert 100m final – very close!

Bachelor of Circus Arts auditions, by Bianca Faber

RIDE INTO THE CAREER OF A LIFETIME!

Audition for the Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is Australia's only professional training centre for contemporary circus arts, and they're currently looking for new talent for the full-time degree program. Based at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, the course offers intensive one-on-one tuition with world class trainers and a chance to develop awe-inspiring circus and performance skills.

If you'd like to turn your hobby into a career, contact NICA today. Visit NICA's web-site or call (03) 9214 6975.

Kooralbyn 12 Hour Muni Ride, by Rockley Boothroyd, Andrew Carter and Wayne van Wijk:

The 12 hour Mountain Bike Challenge at Kooralbyn Resort, Beaudesert was a great success and probably the most gruelling unicycling many of us had done. With a great sponsorship deal from Gary Land of Unicycles.com.au we were able to field 3 teams of mountain unicyclists to race around the 7 km circuit.

We set up our unicycles.com.au "corporate tent" at the trackside and our superbly rowdy supporters cheered every unicyclist, rousing our flagging energy reserves as we approached the finish line. I think we really gave the mountain bikers something to think about and they were universally supportive of our efforts. The race announcer was raving about our efforts all day.

The track was not very technical as such but the combination of long climbs, flattened grass (with hidden pot-holes!) and bull dust made for some challenging riding. The night riding was not as good as I had hoped, our helmet mounted lights were bright enough but were hopeless at casting shadows on the bulldust track and most of us fell many times , the sight of our bleeding bruised disgruntled bodies persuaded the rest of the guys to stop!

The results:

  • First:- Unicycles.com.au Team A (Rockley Boothroyd, James Boothroyd and Andrew Carter) 14 laps.
  • Second:- Unicycles.com.au Team B (Chris Finn,Gabe Holmik, Wayne van Wijk) 13 laps
  • Third:- Unicycles.com.au Team C (Torin Stewart, Mark Syme, Adrian Wharton and Mark Wharton) 9 laps.
  • Fastest Laps: 33 minutes by Andrew Carter closely followed by our only Junior, James Boothroyd, with 36 minutes.
  • Furthest travelled, Gabe Holmik all the way from Armidale.

The organisers of the race very generously gave us our own category and every rider received an engraved clock as a prize. They were very keen to see us race again. Many of us easily rode our unicycles further that day than we had ever ridden in one day before (and this was offroad!) consequently we were all pretty stuffed the next day (I did hop back on my MUni the next morning just to see what it would feel like - my legs screamed and my posterior felt like I was sitting on a boil. Well what do you expect after 35km of muni?).

There are a few photos from the 12hr (which was a heap of fun!) available online.

Once again a big thankyou to our sponsor, unicycles.com.au

Blue Mountains unicycling group, by Alison Wheeler:

The 'Blunicyclists' (unicyclists of the Blue Mountains) are emerging. We had a great start to our muni events last summer, when we took on the Wonderland track & the Charles Darwin trail. More outings will be held this summer. Visitors welcome! Our budding unicycle hockey team are training hard and will soon be ready to compete. Any offers for a friendly meet?

Blunicylists

Cheers,

Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)

May 2005

Newsletter Highlights

Contents

Crossing China on One Wheel, by Roz Beste

Having decided to uproot myself from my home of the last eight years in Hong Kong and emigrate down under, I thought I deserved a bit of a holiday. I thought about chilling out on a beach and a few other kinds of conventional vacations but they didn't really enthuse me - I prefer holidays where I can get fit, hang out with some interesting people and do something different. And so it was that I came up with the idea of unicycling across China. That seemed to fit the bill much better. I speak a bit of Mandarin and I'd done a similar trip before (on 2 wheels) and I wanted to improve my unicycling so this would be the perfect way to do that. I thought six weeks sounded like a good time to be away so I studied my diary and came up with some dates.

Being less organised than most people I only made this decision 4 months in advance so I had a bit of work cut out to arrange everything. The most difficult being finding some willing souls to accompany me on this journey. I told everyone I knew about it and advertised in various newsgroups and was somewhat surprised that I wasn't overwhelmed by people who wanted to come along. Hey, if I'd have seen this advertised I would have wanted to go... But I guess not everyone is like me (which is probably a good thing, in perspective). And of course reality always bites - money, time... fear of the unknown and all those other excuses people have (OK, they don't usually admit the last one but I'm sure it's in there too.)

I did eventually manage to find people to come along for every section of the trip -A total of nine people joined me at different times for anything from 1 day to 3 weeks, on either bicycles or unicycles (The unicyclists were Jeff Tremblay (Hong Kong), Martin Turner (Hong Kong) and Roger Davies (UK)). This made it seem like lots of different holidays which fitted in with the change of weather and scenery as I made my way across the country from East to West.

The trip was excellent fun and the logistics of so many people coming to meet me at different times worked surprisingly well considering the potential for difficulties- you gotta luv mobile phones and the internet. The most challenging parts of the trip were (in no particular order)

  • lack of contour maps (or actually very accurate maps of any sort). Roads are being built very fast in this booming country and even buying the latest maps doesn't seem to guarantee that they will be very realistic. I had about 5 different brands of maps and used to consult all of them to get a consensus on the likely route. We could travel 80+ km in a day if the route was flat but if it was mountainous - 30-40km might be all we could do so it would have been good to be able to plan better. Asking the locals didn't really help as they always thought we were crazy to be cycling that kind of distance when the bus was so cheap and would point us to the bus station (being mostly peasant farmers, they don't really understand the concept of recreational sports such as cycling or hiking) and give us conflicting information about the gradients of the roads (I think they must have always slept through the journey, if they had done it at all!)

  • lack of tourist information. We were staying in hotels, not camping. It was difficult to know which towns would have accomodation. We found that any town of a certain size would have something (which may be very basic). However, our only method of knowing the size of towns was the font size on the maps and there was not always a good differentiation between a hamlet of a few houses (if you could find it at all) or a town of 10,000 people. So there were one or 2 occasions when we got it wrong. However, buses would nearly always take us and the unicycles (and/or bikes) so we could easily get to the next town if necessary, even if we didn't have the strength/motivation to cycle any further that day. (And in addition, buses can be flagged down anywhere - no need to wait for a 'bus stop' or town)

  • luggage transport. On the first part of the trip, I was the only unicyclist and I had at least one person on a bicycle with me who carried my luggage which worked very well. But later more unicyclists joined me and we no longer had the bicycle backups. We tried various types of systems including taxis, buses and private mini-buses. But sometimes had to resort to getting on a bus at the end of the day and picking up the luggage ourselves. Or staying in a town for a few days and cycling out in different directions from it and/or doubling back.

The most memorable of the trip:

  • On our first day, in a fairly crowded area near a bus station, someone spotted me unicycling and ran to side of the road and with a big smile put his hand out 'high-five' style for me to slap as I came past. Other people seeing him do this, decided to do the same - so I cycled all along that road high-fiving people as I came past.

  • About half way through the trip we had a security issue where Zoe who was riding a bicycle got ahead of us, was pushed off her bike and her money, camera and passport stolen. I usually think of China as being an extremely safe place so this incident really affected my confidence for a while and was certainly a more sobering part of the journey. It also led to adventures at the police station and learning about bureaucracy in China. (The official franking machine at the police station was broken so they couldn't stamp the robbery report and initially suggested that we would have to wait around for a week until it was fixed. Jeff offered to buy them a new machine - but in the end a way was found...)

  • Being persuaded by an English teacher in a small rural town to come in and talk to some of his students...and then on arriving at the school, discovering we were actually giving a speech to 250 students! (They asked us questions like "Can you tell us about farming in your country"... "Er... actually, no..." - We tried to stick to subjects we knew more about like unicycling)

  • The stunning scenery. China's countryside has some incredible scenery that is not promoted as a tourist attraction and therefore most tourists never see. I'm sure their tourist industry will wake up to the fact soon but until then you can experience it without any other camera-toting tourists getting in your way.

Cycling is a fantastic way to see China and unicycling guarantees smiles from everyone you pass. If you ever get the opportunity to do some long distance cycling in Asia - do it!! I highly recommend it.

Roz Beste

If you'd like to read more about Roz's trip, see her blog.

Report on the Chiltern Muniuni Weekend – by Mal Bird

There was a roll up of 7 unicyclists plus me.

Normally in Chiltern at this time of the year it is extremely hot and dry. As luck would have it, a Victorian cold change came through during Friday night and Saturday morning. The rain and freezing wind caught us by surprise and took a bit of fun out of the morning.

The hastily built trials course proved a hit with the trial riders and some of the more mature riders cruised around a bit with the occasional swapping and lending of various types of unicycles.

At 12:30, the local Policeman turned up to escort us down the main street and luckily the weather cleared up enough for the ride. I had some problems with organizing the street ride and publicity, so when it finally happened it took any one at the main street at the time by total surprise.

After lunch, we headed to the Magenta Mine site. Magenta is an old disused goldmine in some beautiful country. We did a 3k warm up with the first hill a bit of a challenge going up. Young Tom cruised up next to me chatting all the way. He made it to the top easily and I didn’t. I think (correct me if I am wrong) James also made it on the first attempt.

After the warm up I drove everyone up to Pipeline track with full intentions of going down the easer side to the South. Everyone looked down the steepest side down to the North and decided to go that way instead. Previously I have never been game to try that side by myself; peer pressure does wonders. Tom sped down enjoying the challenge. The rest us stopped one way or another but all made it down somehow including 13 YO Matt Clark who had never ridden off a basketball court before. Tom was the first ever to join the unofficial “Pipeline Masters”

After a rest and some messing about at Magenta Mine, Pipleline North was on every riders mind. We all walked, tried to ride and somehow got back to the top of Pipleline to give it another go. Tom actually stepped off this time but James Ross of Albury became the second ever Pipeline master. We then rode back to Magenta on a great challenging single track.

That evening a few of us went to the local to debrief and watched all Kris Holm and Alex Tom Videos on the big screen. At first the other customers found the extreme action amusing but definitely outside their schema. Finally they all went home and left the unicyclists to watch the last video “Into the Thunder Dragon” without interruption.

James’ car broke down on the way back to Albury late Saturday night after the video session, so James and Mark did not get back Sunday.

On Sunday we went to Donchii Hill Track which is a reasonably maintained track (locals Call it Donkey Hill) to tackle Bull Ant Track which runs across Donchii Track. Bull Ant Track is a relatively un-maintained minor track with lots of washaways. The first ride went West with a reasonably technical downhill section then some steep to gentle tracks back up hill. To add to the rides complexity, Tom managed to find old gold diggings, fallen trees and all sorts of natural trials obstacles on the way. I also felt humbled when Matt out accelerated me going up one of my favorite steep hills. I was on my Roger Davis CK with all the good gear including a Michelin Hot S tire and had ridden the hill lots of times. Matt was on his first Juggleart unicycle and his first weekend in the bush. I think he could have a big future.

We had another short but steep down and up Bull Ant to the east (we all ended up walking up that section of Bull Ant) to finish the day.

It was a great weekend. My aim was to share my terrain and for all of us to share skills, challenges and unicycle stories. I hope and also think the aim was achieved by the participants.

Thanks to the riders who turned up to support the weekend.

Mal

UniNats ’05 update

Planning for UniNats ’05 is well under way. The Australian Unicycle Society has been awarded a grant of special assistance from the NT Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr. John Ah Kit. This $3,000 grant has ensured we are well placed to provide excellent facilities over the 4 day event.

UniNats ’05 will have something for everyone, including track and field, freestyle, basketball, hockey, trials, muni, distance (5km, 10km and half marathon) as well as workshops and social events. World Open-X champion, Julien Monney, has committed to providing two workshops at UniNats ’05 – one on mounts, and another on using your unicycle in public performance. Julien is a successful circus school instructor in Geneva, Switzerland, and I am sure he will pass on many useful tips to beginner and accomplished riders in Darwin.

Darwin is currently experiencing a beautiful start to our dry season – expect excellent sunny weather of 30 degrees during the day, down to 18 – 20 overnight. Darwin is a surprisingly vibrant city, with excellent nightlife, shops, galleries, markets and restaurants all within coo-ee of some of the world’s most renowned national parks.

Championship Trophies: As something new this time around, we will be operating a points system at UniNats ’05. Points will be awarded for participating in an event, finishing an event and achieving a placing of 1st, 2nd or 3rd. The person with the most points in each category at the end of the 4 days will be presented with the Australian Champion Unicyclist trophy for that category (e.g. Australian Champion Junior Male Unicyclist 2005). Obviously, the more events you enter, the more chance you have of increasing your points.

Sponsors: We have been very fortunate to secure some excellent sponsors for UniNats ’05, which will help keep the costs down for competitors. In addition to the $3,000 grant from the NT Government, we have received sponsorship from:

  • NT Athletics (in kind, discounts on venue hire, assistance with grant application),
  • Melaleuca On Mitchell backpacker lodge (in kind, significant discounts on competitor accommodation),
  • AW Bell continues their support of UniNats with provision of over 300 medals,
  • Kidz Fun Biz (countless hours and dollars worth of in kind assistance),
  • Café Uno – located almost opposite MOM - have come on board as one of our newest sponsors, offering 10% off all breakfasts, lunches and dinners for UniNats ’05 registrants (upon presentation of registration pass),
  • Cold Rock Café are also offering discounts on ice-cream purchases, and
  • In Depth Archaeology & Heritage Conservation has provided many hours of in kind support in the organisation of UniNats ’05.

We hope to bring more sponsors on board to make this a great event for all participants.

Official Dinner: The official dinner will be held on the Saturday night, and it will not be your average garden variety dinner! We will be having cocktail food (plenty of variety and plenty of food) and a party atmosphere. Unicycles are welcome, and we encourage unicycle sumo wrestling and other one-wheeled games.

We hope to see you all at UniNats ’05 in July!

Hidden Vale Cycle Epic

The Hidden Vale Cycle Epic will be held in Qld in September. One of New Zealand’s best unicyclists, Ken Looi, will be traveling over for the event. He will compete in the unicycle category with local talent such as Andrew Carter and Rockley Boothroyd.

Cheers,

Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)

Jul 2004

Newsletter Highlights

New Websites

Unicycle Victoria has a new website. Please check it out and leave your details on the database if you wish. Julian Laffey has done a great job of setting up this site.

Alex Toms has created a new website for extreme unicycling in Australia. If you’d like to be featured on this site, e-mail Alex with your details.

Andrew Carter has also been assisting in the creation of a new site, which is a great resource for people wanting to learn more about unicycling. If you have any tips to add to the site, please do!

State and Territory News

Queensland

Thanks to Mark Wharton, Andrew Carter and Rockley Boothroyd for supplying news.

It’s all happening in Queensland! A new group has formed in Toowoomba – more news next newsletter. In Brisbane, we now have a unicycle category for the bike trials competitions that Andrew Carter and some others (Nathan Watson mainly) have been competing in.

Andrew Carter was also recently involved in a big trials demo with 3 bike guys at the Brisbane Powerhouse. There were heaps of people watching and it was projected onto a big screen.

Three unicycle teams are gearing up for the upcoming 12hr Mountain Bike Race at Kooralbyn Valley on 31 July. Rockley Boothroyd has been busy organising everything for these 12 riders. Good luck with the night ride, guys! I look forward to including a report in the next newsletter.

Northern Territory

Unicycling has been fairly quiet in the Top End, even though the weather has been perfect for riding. Members of the UniANT committee have been busy working on the constitution, and are looking into submitting applications for current funding rounds. We are hoping to develop some resources for our club and put on a few small events that include our members that are remote from Darwin.

Debbie Hyder, the current president of UniANT, has been on a trip around the world as a result of being awarded a Churchill’s Fellowship to study unicycling overseas. She has so far been involved in events in the USA, UK, Germany and Hong Kong, and yesterday arrived in Tokyo for Unicon. I look forward to including as many of her stories as possible in the next edition.

Other states:

Please send me your news! We’d love to hear from you…

Unicon team

Australia has 17 riders and support people attending Unicon in Tokyo, which starts on Friday. Most of the team are there already – I think I’ll be the last to get there! Our team uniforms have been organised by Toni Hogan – many thanks! – and most riders have bought extra shirts for swapping while we’re there. Any leftovers will be advertised through our website / newsletter after our return.

Many thanks go to the Canberra politician who supplied our national flag, which we will display at the opening ceremony. I will name him / her in the next issue.

Wayne Van Wijk, AUS President, has sent his best wishes to the Australian team, and on behalf of the rest of the AUS, I would like to wish everyone competing the best of luck. I’m sure we’ll do our best in true Aussie style.

The next edition of this newsletter will feature a full wrap-up of the event. Keep your eyes peeled!

Cheers,

Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)

Jan 2004

Newsletter Highlights, January 2004

Happy new year and holiday greetings to all of our members. I hope everyone managed to relax over the break. There have been a few things happening on one wheel – I hope you’ve had a chance to join in.

The Woodford Folk Festival

December 27, 2003 to January 2, 2004

Every year thousands of festival goers set up camp for a week and brave the extreme heat, humidity and subsequent thunder storms that are always on offer at Queensland's Woodford Folk Festival. The rewards are plenty with performances of music, theatre, dance and circus acts from around the world. For the second year running the Australian Unicycle Society were invited to 'perform' a variety of unicycle skills as part of the street theatre program.

Each morning the group of 16 unicyclists rode in procession through the festival site, stopping regularly for downhill riding, trails obstacles and general one wheel fun.

The injuries were bound to happen during the afternoon trials demonstrations. Tony Melton, who travelled from New Zealand to join the team, dislocated his finger after a huge jump from a 160 cm high platform. Andrew Carter (Brisbane) made a nasty pedal-induced gash in his leg and also managed to bend his hub and cranks. Nathan Watson (a.k.a. Gecko) turned up with a broken rib, joined in all the riding and went home with a broken rib and a broken crank arm.

Wayne (AUS President) would like to thank all the riders who made this a fantastic event, especially those who travelled interstate.

Preparations for the Weekend of Australian Muni (WAM):

Andrew Carter and team in Brisbane are busily preparing for the Weekend of Australian Muni (WAM), to be held at easter time in Brisbane. Accommodation is being looked into, and some really fab t-shirts are being planned (including a fitted style for women). A website will be up and running in the near future with all the WAM details, and we will keep members informed.

NT happenings:

Things got a bit quiet in the Top End over Christmas, but are getting back on track now. After a few weeks’ break we have resumed our weekly rides, and have done some pleasant rides along the foreshore. This week’s ride was in the Jingili Water Gardens, and included riding an overpass over a 6-lane road in rush hour – a major challenge for the beginners, and quite a spectacle for commuters. Next week we are heading out to the Darwin rural area for a change.

Two of our riders recently performed at the arrival of the first transcontinental train to reach Darwin. These young girls did a marvellous job in extremely hot and crowded conditions, handing out balloons to children for three hours. This was an excellent promotion of unicycling, as the event was attended by 15,000 people and attracted worldwide media.

VICTURS situation unsteady:

Geoff Robinson has kindly been looking into the viability of continuing operation of the Victorian Unicycle Riders Society (VICTURS). VICTURS has not been fulfilling its obligations as an incorporated association and is running at a loss. The AUS committee is looking at options for VICTURS. Any riders from Victoria keen to see VICTURS resurrected are urged to contact Karen Martin-Stone. If a solution cannot be found, VICTURS will have to fold.

Unicon XII:

IMPORTANT: Any riders (or non-riders) intending to attend Unicon XII in Tokyo in July are urged to contact the AUS secretary, Karen Martin-Stone as soon as possible. The Japanese Unicycling Association is sending out hard copy information packs, and Karen will be redistributing these when they arrive. We currently have 12 riders and 2 non-riders confirmed (3 are not members of AUS), and we have 5 possible extras attending. Registrations open soon, and more information can be found at the Unicon 12 web-site.

Although it is expensive at $3,500 - $4,500 per person, it should prove to be a fantastic experience. It is also significantly less expensive than attending the last Unicon. I hope as many AUS members as possible take up the opportunity.

If you have anything else you would like to see in this newsletter, please contact me. Thanks to those who have contributed information to this edition. The next edition will come out at the end of March. In the meantime, I will keep you updated with important information as it crosses my desk.

Cheers,

Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)

Dec 2003

Newsletter Highlights

Welcome to the November AUS newsletter – sorry it’s actually December! There has been a lot happening on one wheel around Australia in the last month, some of which will be detailed here. If you have anything you would like included in the December / January issue, please contact me. I am particularly looking for updates on what is happening in your state / territory, and any articles / pictures you’d like distributed.

State / Territory Updates:

ACT:

Members of ACTURS have all breathed a big sigh of relief and kicked back into a slower pace of life since UniNats. They have been involved in a suburban street parade, and Tom Lambert has been rehearsing for a Christmas pantomime that features a unicycle segment.

Qld:

In Queensland, Wayne Van Wijk has busily been planning for the team attending the Woodford Folk Festival. A team of 20 riders from Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand will be demonstrating Muni, Trials and other riding skills. I look forward to hearing how the festival turns out!

Victoria:

It was recently discovered that VICTURS had become quite inactive, and efforts are being made to revive this society. Many thanks go to Hakan Yaman for facilitating this, all the way from Africa. VICTURS had a mailing list of approximately 50 people, who appear to have been left in the dark over unicycling matters for a fair while. Here’s hoping they get back on deck…

NT:

Lots has been happening in the NT! UniANT are going through the process of incorporation, which will enable us to affiliate with AUS and obtain grants and other funding. We have also begun group rides, which happen every week. Every 4th ride is a muni, and we are looking at introducing a fortnightly team sport / jam session at a fantastic recreation park that is nearing completion.

We have discovered two full teams of unicycle hockey players in Katherine, 300km south of Darwin. These riders have been operating in the wilderness for some time, and are very grateful to now have contact with the wider unicycling community. We look forward to meeting up for a game after Christmas.

Arts Katherine have applied for funding to make a film, and UniANT are working collaboratively with them to plan a unicycling DVD / video. Watch this space! More news in coming editions…

Debbie Hyder, of Kidz Fun Biz, is beginning adult unicycling classes in January, offering discounts to UniANT members. We are at the tail end of a big publicity campaign that has seen us getting coverage on NT radio, newspapers and TV. We have managed to reach a very wide audience, and hope to see a big boom in unicycling in the NT as a result.

UniNats ’03

Photos of UniNats ’03 by TRIK Photography are now available online and are for sale. I would encourage you to check them out.

We are hoping to create a series of photos pages on the AUS website, so if you have some great shots that you would like included, please contact the aus_webmaster [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au (AUS Webmaster).

UniNats ’05:

Planning for UniNats ’05 is steadily coming along. I attended two volunteers’ workshops recently on developing funds and resources, and marketing. As a result of these fantastic workshops, we now have a comprehensive plan for obtaining the required funds and resources for UniNats ’05, and a skeletal plan for marketing. We have also developed a draft program for UniNats ’05, which is available at www.unicycling.org.au . I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. We have changed the dates to 1-4 July, to take advantage of a public holiday on July 1. We hope to make this a spectacular spectator event.

IUF Matters

Andrew Carter, Simon Wells and myself have been participating in the IUF Rulebook Committee discussions. This rule review process should be finalised before Christmas, so if you’d like to check it out, please do. Some proposals have already been passed, and others are at the voting or discussion stages.

The ones that would probably most interest our members are:

  • a new category of wheel (700c), which is being introduced in two events at Unicon XII, and there are hopes it will become a new standard wheel at future Unicons; and
  • discussions about the size of the freestyle boundary.

If you would like further information on these, please visit the IUF Committee Web Site

AUS Admin Matters:

After the recent rash of national publicity following UniNats ’03 and Samuel Johnson’s ride from Sydney to Melbourne, we have had 6 public enquiries from SA, WA and ACT. This is very encouraging! I am hoping to increase our profile in SA and WA especially, as we are short on riders and contact people from these states.

I have taken over the running of the AUS website. Many thanks go to Chris Vevers for all of his hard work on the site over the last few years, and to Debbie Hyder for teaching me the ropes. I am very keen to make this site an exciting, evolving resource for unicyclists nationwide. I will be attending a web design course in first semester next year, with the hopes of creating a secure site, where members can register for UniNats ’05 by credit card, with links through to sponsors sites for services such as airfares, car hire and accommodation. I hope to have this organised by July ’04, so when we go to Tokyo we can present a package to the international unicycling community. This will involve a lot of planning for UniNats ’05 in the next 6 months. If you have any ideas or requests, please let me know!

Unicon XII:

If you are planning or hoping to go to Unicon XII, please let me know. This will assist me in my lobbying beforehand. I am lobbying to have my airfare covered in return for promoting Darwin (and am confident of success, as the NT has recently allocated big $$$ for promotion of the Top End internationally). I would like to be able to show the strength of unicycling in Australia, and possibly obtain more benefits for the AUS team. Keep me posted, and I’ll keep you posted!

The AUS is here as a service to our members, so if there is anything else you would like to see, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would love to hear about individual and group achievements for inclusion in the newsletter.

Keep having fun!

Cheers,

Karen Martin-Stone
Secretary, Australian Unicycle Society (AUS)
President, Unicycling Association of the NT (UniANT)