Upcoming Wobble Sightings

Friday Nights at The Wheel Mill: 7-10pm. Discounted admission for families and unicyclists! It's for beginning to expert riders. Want to learn? There are extra unis there that you can borrow for free!

Note: For the Spring and Summer we'll still be going to The Wheel Mill some Fridays, but not all of them. We will resume our indoor sessions at the Butler YMCA around Daylight Saving Time in the Fall.

The short version: Now that the weather's a bit nicer, you'll find us outside!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unicon 17 and Other Conventions

The 6 of us who attended Unicon 17 will remember the trip for years to come.  Beyond amazing is an apt description of the experience.  If you want to see some of the pics, go here. If you want first hand accounts, just ask Connor, Danielle, Dave, Isaac, Lisa, or Steve.  We'll be glad to tell you as few or as many stories as you want.

If you just found out about the Butler Wobble, you may not know we hosted the North American Unicycling Convention and Championships (NAUCC) in 2013.  A big reason we did was to encourage people to experience a unicycling convention.  We had around 300 people participate.  Among those were Benoit and Hugo, the two primary organizers of Unicon 17.  Long before we met them in person we could tell that Unicon was going to be phenomenal.  After getting to know them between the start of NAUCC 2013 and the end of Unicon 17 we found them not only to be tremendous organizers, but fantastic people as well.

At Unicon we not only competed, traded T-shirts, made new friends, and had way more than our share of poutine, we also left the Butler Wobble mark.  We got disc golf discs with our logo on them to a few friends from around the world and got Butler Wobble buttons onto 5 of the 7 continents in the world (we're still missing Africa and Antarctica).  We also brought Unicycle Cyclocross to the party.

We didn't invent cyclocross.  It's been in the biking world for quite a long time.  We probably weren't the first to have unicycles in a cyclocross race either (I've heard it's a big part of keeping Portland weird).  What we did do is take our experience from helping with the local Month of Mud series and debuted Unicycle CX at a major unicycle convention with NAUCC 2013. (Thanks Matt Tinkey!)  It went over so well, we did it again at NAUCC 2014.

By the time we got to Unicon we knew CX was fun. From our experience we also knew that unicyclists have a way of being extremely athletic, and ridiculously fun at the same time.  See for yourself:

And that was just one of about 30 events.  On the competitions side, world records were broken in the 10k and Marathon (yep, 26.2 miles in 1:19:07), as well as the High Jump (137cm or 53.9in).  The beauty of Unicon though is that while records were being broken, many people were racing for personal bests (or firsts, as in Gigi's first Marathon) and having fun doing it.

Competitions were great, but the convention aspect was at least as equally as awesome.  Old friends were seen again.  International friendships were made.  Everybody got enough High 5s to have sore hands by the end of the 2 weeks.

Unicycling is full of fantatstic people.  When 1100+ of them get together, it's bound to be an amazing experience.

Short story- if you've never checked out a major unicycling convention, you need to.  Mark your calendar now for NAUCC 2015.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It Must Be Summer

The short message: GO RIDE!

If you can't ride a uni yet, there's opportunity to learn.  We've been a bit busy, but that doesn't mean we don't join up with the THICK Bikes crew when they have Uni Nights every other Monday.  Rumor has it that Unicycle Hockey is starting to gain some traction.  Don't be left out.  If you can't ride, we'll teach you how to.  As always, unis are available to borrow for free at these sessions.

As far as where else we're at, that involves hanging out with our friends from far out of town.  Dave just made the trip to Minnesota for NAUCC 2014.  If you're wondering about those results, hang on a bit, they'll be published to the site soon.  Several of us are headed for Unicon 17 in just a few short weeks.  If you're missing the uni conventions this summer, that's a bummer.  To say they're an incredible experience is an understatement.  Ask any of us who have been to one about the experience, and then cut us off when you've heard enough raving about how awesome it was.

If you missed the uni party this summer, don't beat yourself up over it too much though, next summer already is looking good.  NAUCC 2015 is already well in the works.  At this point the site does say "Under Construction", but keep checking it.  It's going to start the last week of July and it's going to be in Madison, WI.

The inside scoop: YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS IT!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Wheel Mill

In April of 2013, Pittsburgh officially got it's own indoor bike park.  Well, Pittsburgh actually got a lot more than that.  From the start, The Wheel Mill not only welcomed mountain and BMX bikes

 but unicycles and even Striders for the wee ones too.

It's been a home for all things cycling since.  From being a stop during other local cycling events, to being a birthday party venue (wear a helmet)

 to just plain being the place with the coolest pump track on the planet.

It boils down to this: The Wheel Mill has been ALL about cycling since its inception.  Now it's time cycling is all about The Wheel Mill.

Summertime in Western PA is not the time we think of heading indoors for a ride.  The weather's (FINALLY) nice.  There are other things to do.

However, it IS Western PA and Winter will inevitably return.  We speak from experience when we say that in spite of the craziest winter we've seen in a long time, we kept riding and smiling.  Sure, sometimes we went outside, but more often than not we gathered indoors for an evening of fun.  That fun didn't involve board games either.  It involved riding.  Lots, and lots and lots.  And our skills improved tremendously.

When the trails finally dried out this spring we found ourselves cleaning lines we didn't even think of before.

We owe all of that to the The Wheel Mill.

As we roll through Summer, times get a bit tough financially for bike parks.  We need to support them.  If everybody who went over the Winter takes a few trips over the Summer, the good times will continue as the leaves turn and the snow begins to fly.  We don't really want to think like that now, but it's time to look down the trail a bit.

Spending a few bucks (Check out the Summer Rates) on admission over the next few months will help insure Pittsburgh has a place for us to ride now, but a place for the next generation of riders to ride as well.

Still not convinced that The Wheel Mill is totally awesome?  LOOK HERE.

And, if you want to give unicycling a try, there are several there that you can try for free with your paid admission!  If you need a few tips, find us here or meet up with us in person- most likely at The Wheel Mill.

We'll continue to hang out there throughout the Summer (when we're not at unicycling conventions!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May Days

Thanks Liz Wilson for the photo!
It's been a bit since you've seen some news here.  Rest assured, that's NOT because we've been inactive.  Quite the contrary, we've been too busy riding to keep the virtual end of things up to date.

The picture above is from the 6 Hours of Brady's Run race on May 10th.  We're all smiling because this was before it went all down.  Yes, we had a unicycle class with 8 total entries.  It was definitely a FANTASTIC experience.  Not only because we had a great group of riders- including Liz and James from out of state, but because the organizers do an amazing job of putting on an event that welcomes all levels of riders.  6 Hours is a long time to ride a unicycle, but it's much easier when you're sharing the experience with other cycling brothers and sisters- even if they have 2x as many wheels.

The weekend immediately after Brady's Run we went to Dirt Rag's Dirt Fest.  We've been there in some form every year the event's been at Raystown Lake, and the last 3 we've been been holding uni demos and muni group rides.  When we're really feeling adventurous, we even make a video:

A 5 minute video isn't very good at capturing the whole experience.  As with Brady's Run, we'll be back next year.

We plan on heading to The Wheel Mill this Friday for Family and Unicycle Night.  For the Summer, we're splitting out time between there and the Friday Night Rides here in Butler.

May is almost over.  June's got the Fat Tire Challenge (the FIRST Western PA race to have a uni class!), NAUCC and a few other surprises.  July ends with Unicon and August starts with it.

We'll be riding.  You should too.

If you can't ride an uni yet but would love to learn, you can try to catch up with us over the next few months, but a better option might be to check out Unicycling Mondays at THICK Bikes in Pittsburgh.  We'll probably be there for a few too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Changing Seasons

Tomorrow, April 19, is our last indoor day at the YMCA for the season.  We'll be back in the fall, but until then our indoor riding will mostly consist of visiting The Wheel Mill for Friday Night Family and Uni Nights.  Speaking of those, with the nice weather on its way we won't be there every Friday night.  If you're hoping to catch us, it would be best to contact us via email (put our name first (at)gmail.com- you can figure it out) or via our facebook page.

One last definite YMCA appearance is for Healthy Kids Day on Friday the 25th from 3:30-6pm.  It's always been a good time, and we expect nothing less this year.

Indoor season coming to a close in no way means we won't be riding.  Actually, we'll probably be riding more.  It's just that most rides will be outside on trails and roads.  There will be some group rides for sure, but we won't be bringing loaners for the most part (unless you ask nicely).

There's always and exception of course.  Dirt Fest is in a few weeks.  We'll be there with some loaners for a learner session and a group ride to follow.

If you're really disappointed we won't be indoors at the Y, don't worry.  It's outdoor season.  We'll be back to indoor riding around Daylight Saving Time in the fall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April- Here's the Skinny

No joke: this Friday- April 4th, is the Wheel Mill Uni Skinny Contest (part deux).  Showtime is 8:30 pm and entry is FREE with your paid park admission (it's Family and Uni Night so there's a discount from regular price too!)

There will be multiple categories.  Last time G-Form generously sponsored the event with pads for the male and female winners!

If you're not interested in The Wheel Mill riding, then don't forget we're at the YMCA in Butler on Saturdays- for a few more weeks.  We plan to end the winter indoor season on April 19th.  We'll resume Y time in the Fall.

Until then there's a growing list of fun on one to check out.  Expect to see some more group rides- and general tomfoolery.  We've also got events on the calendar- 6 Hours of Brady's Run, Dirt Rag's Dirt Fest, the Fat Tire Challenge, NAUCC 2014 (in MN), and UNICON 17 in Montreal!

Don't miss out!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Marching On

What's wrong with this picture?

Hopefully we're heading out of Winter soon.  Very soon.  If you're not looking forward to it being over, you might want to see a doctor.

With Spring come a few changes to the routine.  We'll be heading back outside a whole lot more.  That means our YMCA indoor time will taper off (typically in April) and we'll hopefully have more group rides outside.  Until then, it's business as usual- Friday Nights we're at The Wheel Mill, and Saturday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:30 we'll be in the gym. 

Thanks to the many new riders who joined us and learned to ride this Winter.  It's our hope you'll continue to ride unicycles throughout the snow-less months and join us for some other rides.

If you've enjoyed unicycling with us at the Butler YMCA, please consider giving back.  The YMCA has been gracious to keep unicycling absolutely FREE to those in the community.  In appreciation, as the unicyclists, we'd like to give back.  The YMCA is a wonderful organization that gives on so many levels.  One significant way they take care of the community is through the Strong Kids Campaign.  It provides scholarships for those who can't afford YMCA services.  They do a much better job of describing what they do so Read all about it here.

If you choose to contribute, please note on your donation with "I'm with the Uni Club" on the form or in the comments.  We have been challenged to see if we can raise $1000 as a team of unicyclists.  That's a big challenge, but totally doable.

As always, we as the Butler Wobble not ask you for money.  We also do not receive any financial compensation from the YMCA for unicycling.  They help us out with giving us a space to practice and that's been the essential element needed for unicycling to grow in our area.  All of the funds given during the Strong Kids Campaign go directly to the YMCA.  All we ask that if you choose to contribute, please note your affiliation so they can see how we do appreciate the YMCA's role in our community.