Re: Unicon 2006- info online



B

bbraf

Guest
GizmoDuck wrote:
> ...And the IAAF is for athletics- unicycling is more efficient that
> running- you can go farther and hence distances can be longer by
> comparison.




I think the IAAF definitions for sprint, midde- and long-distance may
well be used for unicycling too, because with the currently given
limitations to unicycle racing, the runners are actually faster or in a
comparable speed to unicycling.

100m (<10s vs. 13s)
800m (<1:45 vs. 2:03)
10'000m (~26:00 vs. ~28:00)

If we change the wheels to Cokers for the longer distances, the times
are slightly in favour of the unicyclists. With the currently given
racing uni 24', the times are slightly in favour of the runners.

--
Franz


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J

joemarshall

Guest
GizmoDuck wrote:
>
> However, I think what Joe (and me also) was getting at earlier was that
> the MUNI events at Unicons have not kept up with what people are doing
> in the real world. If you took Japan Unicon 12 as an example, the XC
> was only a 10min race.




That was what I was getting at ,about the Japan thing, pretty much
everyone I've met moaned about the muni there.

Incidentally, it might not be possible depending on the place you're
running the course, but most XC races I've ridden in have been based
around multiple laps, for example the Gorrick XC races
<http://www.gorrick.com> are based around 2 to 5 laps of the course
(depending on category, 4 is the standard 'sport' category), which is
about 5 miles per lap (about half an hour lap time for most riders).
Now obviously something that long would be way harder to organise than
a 10 minute race, but if laps are a possibility on the course, 5 laps
could make a 10 minute race into a 50 minute one relatively easily.
Laps are cool in other ways, as you can get better at riding the trail
during the race, and learn from mistakes you've made on previous laps.

I'd agree that more distance races might not be the thing (much as a
muni marathon would be a fantastic event, I accept there aren't likely
to be many competitors!), but I would also agree with Ken that 10
minutes is a bit of a short ride on a muni, where you're much more
comparable to a bike than to a runner.

I think however, there may be a bit of a culture divide here, between
people who came into muni from the freestyle /track / circus skills end
of unicycling and see it as being like athletics and those who got into
it from bicycling and see it as being like that.

Joe


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B

bbraf

Guest
If I sum up the requirements, then we have got by now:



- Downhill is about 20% to 30%, uphill is about 20% to 40% of the
whole race. There should be a considerable amount of singletrail
- The XC race should last a total of 30 to 60 minutes
- The course should be based on multiple laps, each of about 10
minutes in length



*Is that about ok, or can you add to the list?
*
P.S. The requirements towards the marathon are not closed either. Doing
the marathon in several laps on field pathes and singletrail would make
it easier to organize as well. It's much handier from a organizing
point of view, if we can avoid to use public roads due to the need for
governmental authorisations for such a races (also from a cost point of
view).

--
Franz


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nickjb

Guest
There was an orienteering event at Unicon when it came to the UK. The
course was really well set-up. Basically it was a few hours long and
it wasn't (theoretically) possible to get to every checkpoint so you
could ride as far, or as little, as you wanted to get as many
checkpoint as you could. The chap that won must have ridden quite a
few miles. It was a brilliant event.

Just to add my two cents to the Muni discussion. A few people have
mentioned the races not matching the sort of riding people actually do.
I've always seen Muni as a non competitive activity and I'm sure there
will be plenty of non-competitive rides at Unicon.

Nick


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J

johnfoss

Guest
bbraf wrote:
> If you really look at the programme, you will see that it is all there.
> We do our best to make everyone happy, at least a bit. By doing so, I
> learnt these month, you end up having everyone complaining ...



The larger your task, and the more people it involves, the more chance
you have of people complaining. No matter what you do. It is basically
not possible to please everybody, and this is a good thing to get used
to early, before it causes you too much stress. Just remember it's
*your* convention. The IUF provides the structure, but does not "own"
it. Outside of what's required by the rules, the local organizers have
final say over what events are held, what events are added, and what
events are not possible due to time, cost, manpower, etc. Then your
guests (the attendees) can decide whether they want to come or not.

Some will come and still complain. Most don't realize they are doing
it, but take up too much of your time anyway. You need to know when to
tell them to get over themselves and leave you alone. Especially be on
the lookout for non-objective parents and coaches. They can cause the
worst trouble of all. Remember the officials have the power to eject
people from events, and the organizers can eject them from the venue if
necessary.


joemarshall wrote:
> I do still think it's weird to only have downhill and not have a cross
> country muni race, which is really the 'gold standard' for competitive
> muni riding. The XC downhill, it says 'rideable on a street unicycle',
> which presumably means one with a slick tyre...



Please remember the "requirements" for MUni events at a Unicon are
zero. Nothing. Though the market for this area of riding has grown
rapidly, the competition end has not kept up. Why? You can start by
counting the number of competition events, then muliplying it by the
number of age groups to be used. Then don't forget to double that to
account for male and female. The numbers are pretty staggering. So
adding *anything* is usually hard for organizers.

MUni started as an add-on (at Unicon IV, 1988), and has been considered
one ever since. I believe this needs to change. But when we talk about
it here, we need to remember this is a MUni/Trials/Street-biased
newsgroup, and the track and artistic areas are under-represented here.
There are a lot of those people out there, and they train really hard.

However, I believe we need to re-think the relative importance of some
of our events compared with their interest level around the world. And
this varies greatly by country. In Japan, track racing used to be the
main event, and it's still the largest one, but Freestyle is also huge.
Some countries (most notably the more recent additions) don't do these
at all and have swiftly growing communities of offroad riders.

Race length:
There is a growing number of long distance riders who would like the
chance to show their power, while (until this year) the IUF still
called 10k a "marathon." On a 24" uni it kind of is, but we have bigger
wheels now. When you're riding a 29" or 36", longer distances make more
sense. I love the addition of a full marathon, and look forward to the
chance to try one (if I have a big enough wheel). Intermediate
distances are possible as well, but if held on roads, these events are
very complicated (and can be expensive) to set up.

Longer offroad events would be nice as well, for some riders. So far
this is a minority of riders but their numbers will continue to grow.

Everybody please remember that a XC MUni race is *not* like a typical
MUni ride for fun. There are many factors to consider, depending on who
will be in the race. At Unicon you have to consider many things:
- Some riders will be very experienced and have the best equipment
- Some riders will be trying it for the first time, possibly on 24"
street unis
- New riders and new countries should be encouraged to try, so they can
take this experience back home and possibly build up MUni there
- Riders of all skill levels will be pushing themselves to the limit,
which means lots of dismounts
- There will probalby be a lot of riders, which limits the amount of
narrow singletrack you can use. Singletrack that's great for a nice
ride can be impossible for passing in an actual race--I speak from
experience.
- Because many of your riders may be inexperienced, and due to large
numbers of riders, the course can't bee too technical because this can
cause bottlenecks, injuries, and people being forced to ride on
impossible lines through crowded technical sections.
- Long or steep uphills slow the pack down a lot, and tempt many riders
to get off and run, making it less of a unicycle race. There is a limit
to how much of a course can be monitored by live officials, and it's
usually nice to keep the pace from being too slow.

Ultimately, we will have different events for different levels of
rider. We're not there yet. When we do this, we'll have to have a way
to decide who can enter which ones as well.

2004 MUni events in Japan:
The organizers of Unicon 12 had very little MUni experience, and spent
many months trying to nail down a location that could hold our numbers,
and provide space (and permission) to do all the stuff we wanted to do.
They almost had to cancel. Most Japanese unicyclists aren't interested
in MUni. They are either indoor Freestylers or track racers. Most still
aren't interested. Maybe this is due to lack of trails, or trails that
are too far away from population centers. I don't know. Notice also
that at Unicon 12 there were very few Japanese competitors on the
MUni/Trials day. Most Japanese riders treated Unicon as one or two
weekend events (the traditional Japanese events) and many ignored the
midweek stuff. Of course it was Japanese rider Kobayashi, a track
racer, who won all the MUni races though. :)

So riders have to decide if a unicycle convention contains the
ingredients that work for them. Remember, competition events are only
the surface layer. There is meeting the people, the whole social scene
after hours, workshops, meetings, and tons of informal or
non-competitive riding. That's the real "substance" of a good unicycle
convention. At NAUCC last summer in the flatness of Ohio, we even had a
few non-scheduled Coker rides and Trials tours of Bowling Green. I
*can't wait* to ride some Swiss MUni trails with international groups
of unicyclists, and not in races.


--
johnfoss

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
"jfoss" at "unicycling.com" -- www.unicycling.com

"Read the rules!" -- 'IUF Rulebook'
(http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/rulebook/) -- 'USA Rulebook'
(http://www.unicycling.org/usa/competition/)
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G

GizmoDuck

Guest
johnfoss wrote:
>
> MUni started as an add-on (at Unicon IV, 1988), and has been considered
> one ever since. I believe this needs to change. But when we talk about
> it here, we need to remember this is a MUni/Trials/Street-biased
> newsgroup, and the track and artistic areas are under-represented here.
> There are a lot of those people out there, and they train really hard.
>




Equally many MUNI riders train hard for Unicon also. And MUNI/trials
is the fastest growing segment of unicycling. To be just an add on
does not reflect the growth in the sport since 1988.


johnfoss wrote:
>
> However, I believe we need to re-think the relative importance of some
> of our events compared with their interest level around the world. And
> this varies greatly by country. In Japan, track racing used to be the
> main event, and it's still the largest one, but Freestyle is also huge.
> Some countries (most notably the more recent additions) don't do these
> at all and have swiftly growing communities of offroad riders.
>




And that's exactly why we are advocating for longer MUNI events :D . I
don't know anyone in NZL who do freestyle competively. We'd like to
see the MUni races catered to people who actually do ride MUNI, rather
than something freestyle riders can try for the first time at UNICON.
It would be like MUNI riders asking for the freestyle to be run on dirt
so that we can be competitive at MUNI freestyle.


johnfoss wrote:
>
> Race length:
> There is a growing number of long distance riders who would like the
> chance to show their power, while (until this year) the IUF still
> called 10k a "marathon."
>




A running marathon takes just over 2hrs to complete by the top runners.
A 10km "marathon" takes just over 30min to complete by the top
unicyclist on a 24"/125mm cranks. It's not about power (that's for the
sprint events), it's about endurance ;)


johnfoss wrote:
>
> On a 24" uni it kind of is, but we have bigger wheels now. When you're
> riding a 29" or 36", longer distances make more sense. I love the
> addition of a full marathon, and look forward to the chance to try one
> (if I have a big enough wheel). Intermediate distances are possible as
> well, but if held on roads, these events are very complicated (and can
> be expensive) to set up.
>




We weren't advocating for more events, just the existing MUNI to be
lenghthned to reflect what regular MUNI riders do.

I do take Franz's point about 24" unicycles being comparable to
athletics though. I guess I was thinking more of unlimited events.


johnfoss wrote:
>
> Longer offroad events would be nice as well, for some riders. So far
> this is a minority of riders but their numbers will continue to grow.
>




That's sounding like we're asking for super endurance 50km+ off-road
events. We weren't. I think a 30-45min race would be fun and much
more reflective of MUNI. Most people do at least 30min when they go
riding their MUNI, so it should be achievable for most MUNI riders, not
just a minority. I have yet to see someone jump on their MUNI for a
10min off-road ride. You won't get anywhere :) .


johnfoss wrote:
>
> Everybody please remember that a XC MUni race is *not* like a typical
> MUni ride for fun. There are many factors to consider, depending on who
> will be in the race. At Unicon you have to consider many things:
> - Some riders will be very experienced and have the best equipment
> - Some riders will be trying it for the first time, possibly on 24"
> street unis
> - New riders and new countries should be encouraged to try, so they can
> take this experience back home and possibly build up MUni there
> - Riders of all skill levels will be pushing themselves to the limit,
> which means lots of dismounts
> - There will probalby be a lot of riders, which limits the amount of
> narrow singletrack you can use. Singletrack that's great for a nice
> ride can be impossible for passing in an actual race--I speak from
> experience.
> - Because many of your riders may be inexperienced, and due to large
> numbers of riders, the course can't bee too technical because this can
> cause bottlenecks, injuries, and people being forced to ride on
> impossible lines through crowded technical sections.
> - Long or steep uphills slow the pack down a lot, and tempt many riders
> to get off and run, making it less of a unicycle race. There is a limit
> to how much of a course can be monitored by live officials, and it's
> usually nice to keep the pace from being too slow.
>




I've been in mountainbike races where several hundred riders start at
the same time. MTB races tend to have a wide start before narrowing
down to singletrack. The top guys and gals are always at the front
before they hit the narrow bits anyway, so that kind of takes care of
itself.

I agree that new countries should be encouraged to try, but why not try
during the 'convention' part of UNICON, rather than in competition?


johnfoss wrote:
>
> 2004 MUni events in Japan:
> The organizers of Unicon 12 had very little MUni experience, and spent
> many months trying to nail down a location that could hold our numbers,
> and provide space (and permission) to do all the stuff we wanted to do.
> They almost had to cancel. Most Japanese unicyclists aren't interested
> in MUni. They are either indoor Freestylers or track racers. Most still
> aren't interested. Maybe this is due to lack of trails, or trails that
> are too far away from population centers. I don't know. Notice also
> that at Unicon 12 there were very few Japanese competitors on the
> MUni/Trials day.
>




I'm glad they did have MUNI, and like you said, and it was good of them
to hold events they weren't interested in.


johnfoss wrote:
>
> Of course it was Japanese rider Kobayashi, a track racer, who won all
> the MUni races though. :)
>




Yes, it was. And he probably would still have won if the race was
30-60min long, but we would have had 30-60min to really tough it out
;). Much more fun that way. I think he sprinted past me not far from
the finish shortly before Roger Davies did.


johnfoss wrote:
>
> So riders have to decide if a unicycle convention contains the
> ingredients that work for them. Remember, competition events are only
> the surface layer. There is meeting the people, the whole social scene
> after hours, workshops, meetings, and tons of informal or
> non-competitive riding. That's the real "substance" of a good unicycle
> convention.




Absolutely, I'd go to UNICON just for that. But I was referring to the
competition side of things, not the convention and social aspects. So
regardless of how things are run, it's going to be a great event :) .

Ken


--
GizmoDuck

'www.adventureunicyclist.com' (http://www.adventureunicyclist.com/)
'Laos Unicycle Tour' (http://www.laosunitour.org)
'New Zealand Unicycle Federation' (http://www.unicycle.org.nz)

"It's not a unicycle ride if it's less than 30km." - note to self
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G

GizmoDuck

Guest
nickjb wrote:
>
> Just to add my two cents to the Muni discussion. A few people have
> mentioned the races not matching the sort of riding people actually do.
> I've always seen Muni as a non competitive activity and I'm sure there
> will be plenty of non-competitive rides at Unicon.
>
> Nick




Yes, but we are specifically talking about the competition MUNI. There
are also plenty of non-competitive freestyle going on at UNICON.


--
GizmoDuck

'www.adventureunicyclist.com' (http://www.adventureunicyclist.com/)
'Laos Unicycle Tour' (http://www.laosunitour.org)
'New Zealand Unicycle Federation' (http://www.unicycle.org.nz)

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G

GizmoDuck

Guest
bbraf wrote:
> I think the IAAF definitions for sprint, midde- and long-distance may
> well be used for unicycling too, because with the currently given
> limitations to unicycle racing, the runners are actually faster or in a
> comparable speed to unicycling.
>
> 100m (<10s vs. 13s)
> 800m (<1:45 vs. 2:03)
> 10'000m (~26:00 vs. ~28:00)
>
> If we change the wheels to Cokers for the longer distances, the times
> are slightly in favour of the unicyclists. With the currently given
> racing uni 24', the times are slightly in favour of the runners.
>
> --
> Franz




Yes you're right :)
I guess I was thinking more of the unlimited categories


--
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'Laos Unicycle Tour' (http://www.laosunitour.org)
'New Zealand Unicycle Federation' (http://www.unicycle.org.nz)

"It's not a unicycle ride if it's less than 30km." - note to self
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A

anso

Guest
GizmoDuck,
you said exactly what I wanted to say :
A Muni competition is for people who are able to compete (like a
freestyle competition is for unicyclists who are abble to compete and
their number might be limited). For the other ones, lots of Muni rides
will be organized.

During Mountan bike races, singletracks are not a problem, even if the
participants are numerous and not so good riders. The one I've been to
was like that.

I'm not that much a Muni rider (I only have something like 10 Muni
rides a year), but it always lasts, at least, 2 hours.


And I want to *thank* Franz (bbraf) again for all the work, he and the
other organizers, are doing.
As involved in The French Federation and the French Cup organization, I
know how hard it is to satisfy everybody, and even when you know it is
not possible, you want to try.
Do not take the comments in this thread as an attack, people like
GizmoDuck want to explain what does interest them and why. So if you
can organize it that way, they will have much more fun but if you
can't, they will have fun anyway!


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B

bbraf

Guest
John,

thanks for your detailed and, as always, very sound article!


johnfoss wrote:
>
> - Riders of all skill levels will be pushing themselves to the limit,
> which means lots of dismounts
> - There will probalby be a lot of riders, which limits the amount of
> narrow singletrack you can use. Singletrack that's great for a nice
> ride can be impossible for passing in an actual race--I speak from
> experience.
> - Because many of your riders may be inexperienced, and due to large
> numbers of riders, the course can't bee too technical because this can
> cause bottlenecks, injuries, and people being forced to ride on
> impossible lines through crowded technical sections.
> - Long or steep uphills slow the pack down a lot, and tempt many riders
> to get off and run, making it less of a unicycle race. There is a limit
> to how much of a course can be monitored by live officials, and it's
> usually nice to keep the pace from being too slow.
>




So I change the requirements to:


- Downhill is about 20% to 30%, uphill is about 20% to 40% of the
whole race. Avoid steep up or downhill sections whenever possible
(most people should be able to ride)
- Restrict the amount of singletrail and highly technical sections to
avoid bottlenecks (no passing possible).
- The XC race should last a total of 30 to 60 minutes
- The course could be based on multiple laps, but not more than two,
so that the faster riders don't have to pass all of the slower riders
over and over again.
- Have a wide long start area for the mass start




johnfoss wrote:
>
> So riders have to decide if a unicycle convention contains the
> ingredients that work for them. Remember, competition events are only
> the surface layer. There is meeting the people, the whole social scene
> after hours, workshops, meetings, and tons of informal or
> non-competitive riding. That's the real "substance" of a good unicycle
> convention. At NAUCC last summer in the flatness of Ohio, we even had a
> few non-scheduled Coker rides and Trials tours of Bowling Green. I
> *can't wait* to ride some Swiss MUni trails with international groups
> of unicyclists, and not in races.




I look forward to that too!

Franz


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J

joemarshall

Guest
One thing that's just popped into my head is that for people who do
track racing, they can only get their buzz at competitive events. So
maybe it does make sense in some way that there's tons of track events
and hardly any muni events.. To be honest I don't know any muni riders
who train hard for events, all the fast muni riders I know are just
accidentally fit because they ride a lot.

Although given what John F said about different countries doing
different types of riding, it seems odd that there are 'required'
events, surely a very small number of countries dominate the field in
those events, particularly the track events (at a guess I'd say
Japan,Switzerland, Germany would be way ahead?)

Although I guess without that requirement, any UK unicon would be a bit
different from the others, at the British Unicycle Convention last
year, there were no races, there was hockey (which most people
entered), trials (which loads of people entered) and freestyle (which
about 4 people entered). As for riding styles here, pretty much
everyone who comes to BUC plays hockey, a very small number do
competitive freestyle, a few more people do freestyle just for fun,
loads of people do trials (and quite a few competed) and most people
have a muni, but very few race them ever.

On the subject of singletrack, races I've ridden in have always limited
it a bit, with regular fire-road / doubletrack sections put in to make
passing easier. Making the judgement about passing on singletrack is
always part of the fun though, sometimes you can hit a bad line to pass
a slower rider, but you're always going to risk a crash, losing you
time. At the front of a race, there tends to be some strategy with
singletrack, for example, if you think you can drop someone in a sprint
but can't out power them in the long term, it's worth sprinting in
front of them into the singletrack and then riding slightly below full
power until the final sprint.

At the start, races often have a long wide section like you said, to
let faster people get past. One thing I've seen a couple of times is to
make this section a bit uphill, so that it's faster to ride it, but so
that slower riders will spread out a bit and not be in the way by the
first singletrack. For this to work, you have to make it clear in the
rules or race introduction that walking riders should get out of the
way of riding riders.

Running is a difficult one. I don't think you could make a race that
couldn't be run faster than ridden on a muni by a good runner, even if
they were carrying a muni. I've seen fell runners running on trails
mountain bikes use and they get significantly faster times than bikes
over anything you couldn't ride a coker on. I think you just have to
trust people and assume most riders won't be fell runners and will try
and ride as much as possible. Rules about dismounts are going to be a
bad idea, because you need to allow for people jumping off to the side
and walking round obstacles that they're not happy to ride, rather than
encouraging people to ride way outside their limits, and conversely you
want to encourage people to push themselves a bit, pushing yourself
means UPDs, so you don't want to penalise people for falling. Ignoring
any fell runners though, I'd guess unless you're talking super-steep or
very technical uphill, most riders in contention for a placing will
still be faster on a uni than running on almost any rideable terrain,
and the hassle involved in getting off and remounting will overcome the
temptation to run sections.

Joe


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B

bbraf

Guest
joemarshall wrote:
> Although given what John F said about different countries doing
> different types of riding, it seems odd that there are 'required'
> events, surely a very small number of countries dominate the field in
> those events, particularly the track events (at a guess I'd say
> Japan,Switzerland, Germany would be way ahead?)



What is 'required' and how things have to be run is defined largely by
the -IUF Rulebook-. The IUF Rulebook Commitee is a online community
with unicyclists from all over the world who setup the rues for
unicycling. The 2006 Rulebook will probably appear sometime at the
beginning of 2006. This is the rulebook that we will be using for the
UNICON XIII. If you want to know more, see
http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/committee/rulebook/2005/. BTW, there are
also british members in that commitee

The track events are dominated by the countries you mentioned. Although
there are very good riders from other countries too, including the USA
and Great Britain (Roger Davies 10km Unlimited, for example)!


joemarshall wrote:
> Although I guess without that requirement, any UK unicon would be a bit
> different from the others, at the British Unicycle Convention last
> year, there were no races, there was hockey (which most people
> entered), trials (which loads of people entered) and freestyle (which
> about 4 people entered).




Unicycling Hockey will be great in Switzerland! Hockey is the main
interest of next to all swiss unicyclists, followed by track racing and
basketball. There are people who do trials, muni and freestyle, but
these are no major movements in Switzerland, yet.


joemarshall wrote:
> ... One thing I've seen a couple of times is to make this section a bit
> uphill, so that it's faster to ride it, but so that slower riders will
> spread out a bit and not be in the way by the first singletrack. For
> this to work, you have to make it clear in the rules or race
> introduction that walking riders should get out of the way of riding
> riders.




This is a good hint. I include this in the requirements as well:



- Downhill is about 20% to 30%, uphill is about 20% to 40% of the
whole race. Avoid steep up or downhill sections whenever possible
(most people should be able to ride)
- Restrict the amount of singletrail and highly technical sections to
avoid bottlenecks (no passing possible).
- The XC race should last a total of 30 to 60 minutes
- The course could be based on multiple laps, but not more than two,
so that the faster riders don't have to pass all of the slower riders
over and over again.
- Have a wide long start area for the mass start. Try to make this
starting section of the race uphill to spread out the field a bit
more before the path narrows down.




--
Regards,
Franz


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bbraf
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S

sarah.miller

Guest
joemarshall wrote:
>
> Although given what John F said about different countries doing
> different types of riding, it seems odd that there are 'required'
> events, surely a very small number of countries dominate the field in
> those events, particularly the track events (at a guess I'd say
> Japan,Switzerland, Germany would be way ahead?)
>




Which is exactly WHY there are "required event groups" rather than
required events. To create a more rounded event unicon should include
at least one event from each group . With out such a requirement a
unicon could consist soley of track races, or just of freestyle
events. Now it should include something, even if only one event, for
every one. The groups were created to give organisers choice not
complusion, if organisers can't get insurance to run a trials comp,
they dont have to, but they should run at least one event from the
muni competition group ( orienteering, XC, up-hill, DH or trials).

Unicon 2006 will be the 1st to run with this requirement in the
rulebook, so our swiss hosts are breaking new ground , more is
expected of them by the rules than at any unicon before.

Sarah Miller
Member of IUF rule book 2006 commitee and UK rider.


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sarah.miller

South West Unicycle Meet
www.uk.unicyclist.com/swum.html
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