1998 California Mountain
Unicycle Weekend

October 17 & 18, 1998, Auburn State Recreation Area and Sly Park
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    (Click on the little pictures to see the big ones!)

    The third MUni Weekend has ended, but it will always live on in our minds. For a third year in a row we spent one day at the American River Confluence in Auburn. We raced up what we call the Confluence Uphill Course, and rode the excellent scenic trails for both novice and expert. Lots of new faces again this year, including the amazing Kris Holm from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Unbelievably, Kris had never ridden with other unicyclists before. Instead, he'd been riding with some of the most outrageously skilled mountain bikers there are, as evidenced in the pictures below.

    Hi Mom, here we are under the big bridge again!
    More than 60 people gathered at the confluence for this years' rides. We tried a different spot for the picture, down at (and in) the river. But we kept the big Foresthill Bridge as our backdrop.
      Kris Holm gets vertical
    What was supposed to be our workshop time degenerated into an attempt by a dozen or so riders to follow Kris down this hill. He made it down several times. Nobody else did. However it was fun watching them try... What you can't see from this angle is the angle of the slope, approximately 60 degrees!
        Ted takes the track
    Ted Howe of Sacramento starting his run up the Confluence Uphill Course. The object is to ride up the hill the fastest, without dismounting. Jim Hahn of San Diego was the starter, while Chris Peck, Scott Arnold and others waited to take their turns.
        Bruce Bundy on the steep part
    The very last part of the race course is very steep; so steep that we didn't even use it the first year. It also changes year to year due to the forces of erosion, not to mention being flooded by high water during the winters. Bruce Bundy of Santa Cruz is making a maximum effort to get to the top the fastest!
        Experts on the Clementine Trail
    The first part of the ride for the experts is the Clementine trail, upstream along the American River North Fork toward Clementine Dam. The trail gets narrow and the terrain steep as riders pass under the big Foresthill Bridge, which is far above them. Riders not wishing to ride uphill 1000 feet got dropped off near the top.
        Christopher Peck leads the way
    At one of the highest points along the trail, Christopher Peck leads dad George Peck and others through a nasty eroded section of the trail. Like father like son.
        Culvert Trail
    The Clementine Loop, which the experts rode on Saturday morning, is actually made up of several smaller trails. The middle section is called the Culvert Trail, because it passes underneath Foresthill Road through this culvert, built specially for the trail. When riding in there from the bright sun, it's absolutely pitch black in there! Scott Arnold from Springfield, Oregon is feeling his way along toward the exit.
        Yup, another group shot
    Too many people to name assembled themselves along Old Foresthill Road where the Culvert Trail connects to the Confluence Trail. 1998 NUC host Jenni White, at left, was effectively done riding due to her massive blowout. She was able to take a shortcut by walking down the road, straight to the parking area.
      Watch out, cops with radar ahead...
    This speed limit sign must have fallen down from Old Foresthill Road, which the Confluence Trail parallels beneath. Trail users mounted it proudly here, where it makes a great juxtaposition with the narrow, rocky, and very technical trail it watches over. That's Geoffrey Faraghan posing in front of it, eagerly showing off the Telford.
        Slime disaster!
    Jenni White's tire was filled with Slime, or a similar puncture repairing substance. It's great for filling in pinhole punctures, but not this! This is what you call a massive blowout. Jenni wasn't too disappointed. She figured she was still on the same tire and tube she had used at the first MUni Weekend, back in 1996!
      Kris Holm tames the wall
    In '96, only George Peck could ride down this piece of the afternoon experts' Manzanita Trail. In '97, Brett Bymaster also did it. After tackling it himself, and then riding across the narrow wood plank immediately at the bottom, Kris was reported to say something like "What? Was there a steep part there?" George Peck, Julie Young, and Christopher Peck are back there helping us get an idea just how steep this place, featured on the '98 T-shirts, is.
        It's a long way down...
    This is the end of the Manzanita Trail, just before it joins the Stagecoach Trail, where all Saturday afternoon riders join up. This area experienced a fire earlier in the summer and the damage is clearly visible. As much as we like being rid of the nasty Star Thistle, now there's nothing to catch Kris Holm if he slips off the trail! Highway 49 is visible far below.
        A way cool group shot
    I like this one better because it's all riders, not just experts or novices. In the background you can see the Foresthill Bridge, and also the fact that we're much higher than at the beginning of the day. This is where the Manzanita Trail joins Stagecoach. From here it's a 2 mile or so downhill road to the finish!
        Stagecoach Trail
    It looks like this, as we all take off from our group shot. Some riders take their time and enjoy the ride, while others careen down with their pedals spinning wildly!
        More steep stuff
    Dan Heaton and Joseph Campbell watch as David Poznanter of Santa Cruz takes a shortcut on the Stagecoach Trail. You can see the trail coming down above him, which switchbacks more or less where I'm standing with the camera. He'll ride on anything. If you don't believe that, don't miss MUni Weekend '99 -- in Santa Cruz!
    Built thousands of years ago, but nobody knows why, the stones of Uni-henge make a fitting scene for our tired unicycle to ghostride through. Look close and you'll see there is nothing holding those unicycles up.

    Uni-henge people
    The creator of Uni-henge (he probably called it something else) was the guy in the center. He and his girlfriend had apparently spent hours stacking and balancing river rocks at the Confluence. This was the same place we did our big group photo that morning.

    Go on to Sunday's pictures

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