Posted by: Jack | August 3, 2008


Unplanned dismount is a term used commonly among unicyclists. Among those who reference it often enough it has warranted the acronym of UPD. It exists because typically one does not really fall from a unicycle. Rather, a common UPD is the result of the rider getting ahead of themself or being sent off balance by unexpected terrain features and, due to relatively low speeds, one is generally able to walk, or in some cases run, away from the imminent crash of the unicycle. Thus, the occurrence appears as little more than a dismount, though unplanned as the name would suggest.

But then there are the rare cases. Like that when you’re pushing for your top speed on a 36″ wheel. Trying not to let yourself be too distracted, you glance at the GPS on your wrist to see that your passing 18 mph and you think to yourself that you’ve probably exceeded the pace at which you could hope to hit the ground running. You decide to explain this thought to the riders on either side who are also striving to max out. But just as the words come out, the Bastard on your right — clad in little more than purple spandex and probably too many electronics — has suddenly abandoned his wheel as well as his vertical orientation and after more airtime than is typically experienced by unicyclists, slides twenty feet along the asphalt using only bare knees and elbows as cushions.

So went Zeke’s magnificent UPD at mile 37 of our 50 along the Springwater Corridor Trail. As an ultra-marathoner who is familiar with fighting through pain, he was unimpeded by his numerous wounds and within minutes we were back up and rolling. All things considered, the ride was everything I had hoped for. And, enjoying the glory that is my recently upgraded cycling shorts, exceeding my previous longest-distance by 19 miles has left me with nothing worse than tired legs. According to the GPS, I maxed out at 18.5 mph (right before the big dive) which I have to assume is also a personal best.

And so begins the training for STP 2009…



  1. I love the photos you put up on here. Always a pleasure to visit.

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