photo MMF2004 by John Foss

 

April 1st, it’s coming fast, make plans soon.

Site updated as of 2/23 for 2005!!!

Many apologies for this somewhat late website update.  This year was a tough year to figure out.  Basically, the Moab MUni Fest has grown beyond the threshold of pain for the BLM.  Congratulations to all of you who have made that happen.  On the down side, we must now pay a registration fee to cover the required event insurance and daily usage fees.  To the credit of the BLM, they have a difficult job and face pressures from every conceivable direction.  Being substantial public BLM land users, it makes sense that we do our part to operate our event responsibly.  Changes relative to the camping situation were, by all accounts, also necessary.  The BLM has been very helpful in this regard and has solved the camping space problem.  Please read carefully to see ALL the changes and how they will affect you if you are planning to attend this year.

 

What:  The 6th Annual Moab MUni Fest, short for Moab Mountain Unicycling Festival

Why:  Why not?  Its fun.  Your friends will be there.  If you have no friends, come make some.

When:  April 1-3, 2005

How:  Anyway you can, just be there. 

Where:  Goldbar Group Campsite 14 miles West of Moab in South-Eastern Utah

Who:  YOU!!!  You are invited and will be welcome.

Cost:  Registration fee is based on the number of days you will be attending and other options you may choose.

 

Step 1:  Dust off your Mountain Unicycle, get one, or make one.

Step 2:  Practice staying upright

Step 3:  Plan to be there

 

Organizer:  Rolf Thompson

Email:   zadig@engineer.com

 

Read what people have said about last year’s event: 2004 Results.  Professional Videos of the MMF04 event have now been posted in Photo/Video area under the 2004 5th Annual photo link.

 

What is the Moab MUni Fest (an historical treatise)?  Moab—located in Southeastern Utah—is the location of the famous Slickrock trail, a well known bicycling Mecca attracting some 150,000 riders annually.  The BLM opened and dedicated the Moab Slickrock Bike Trail on July 22, 1969; two days after the first walk on the moon.   I started riding it annually at the end of March (spring break) about 17 years ago.  In 1999, I got the weird idea of taking my old cottered-crank unicycle along—just for fun.  Well, I got hooked on unicycling there.  I haven’t ridden my bike since at Slickrock and have, like many others, transitioned into more serious equipment better suited to the rugged terrain of Slickrock and rough terrain unicycling in general.  The first Moab MUni Fest was held the following year (2000) when I put the word out on the internet to see if anyone wanted to come along and ride.  I had Joe, Judy, and Jared Stoltzfus along with Rouff—their photogenic K9 friend—come down from Idaho to join in.  Of passing interest might be the rapid growth of the event in the last few years.  The attendance since inception is as follows:

 

                   2000 – 5 Riders, ~ 10 total with Friends/Family

                   2001 – 10 Riders, ~15 total with Friends/Family

                   2002 – 8 Riders, ~ 13 total with Friends/Family

                   2003 – 68 Riders, ~ 95 total with Friends/Family

                   2004 – 130 Riders (a national record), ~180 total with Friends/Family

                   2005 – expect 100+ Riders

 

“MUni” is short for Mountain Unicycling.  The word “Muni” is a trademark of Pashley Cycles a British company.  I believe John Foss was the first to capitalize the “U” making it “MUni”, which is the form I favor.  I learned a lot about mountain unicycling equipment from Joe Stoltzfus that first year at Moab.  The main thing was that many if not most people were making their own unicycles.  What little was commercially available was very pricey.  Luckily, the last few years have seen great progress made in available equipment for the sport of mountain unicycling.  This is due to a number of pioneering individuals who have pursued perfection in mountain unicycles and have worked with frame builders and suppliers to make them available to others.  Also, a great deal of credit—at least here in the USA—belongs to people like John and Amy Drummond, owners of www.unicycle.com, who have supported the sport like no others.  They can provide parts or complete MUnicycles for just about any budget.  Their most recent offering, the Yuni, is in my opinion a good value for the money and is a very adequate entry level machine.  In 1997, Brett Bymaster posted a treatise on the Internet covering many of the salient aspects of mountain unicycling.  I highly recommend it for newbies (click this Brett’s MUni Website Link to get there, thanks Brett!).

 

Why?   “Fest” is short for Festival, and that’s what the Moab MUni Fest is all about.  It’s a time to break the winter cabin fever and get out to the pleasant March/April climes of Moab; to ride and socialize with other MUni riders in the scenic wonderland of what has come to be known as “Gods Country,” the redrock landscape of Southern Utah.  It’s a place to test and expand your riding limits, hone your skills, and learn new techniques from other riders.  The entire Slickrock area is red sandstone rock, which means you’ll have traction to climb and descend angles you never thought possible.  The landscape IS a trials course.  For non-trials riders it’s just as much fun figuring out how to avoid the obstacles.  In either case there’s plenty to keep you entertained.  It’s a great place to make and renew friendships within the com-MUni-ty of riders.  Check out the pics in some of these Moab Area Photo Galleries:

 

*       Moab Desert Adventures

*       Castle Rock Collaboration

*       Moab Aerial Photo Gallery

*       Moab Valley Photos

*       Slickrock Trail Photo Gallery

When is the Moab MUni Fest?  This year, 2005, it will be Friday April 1st  through Sunday, April 3rd.  The reason for the later-than-usual dates is that our event was displaced by the Moab Jeep Safari week.  Safari week is always the week leading up to and including Easter Sunday.  This year, with Easter Sunday on March 27th, Jeep Safari was pushed ahead and will run from March 19th through March 27th.  The week before that is the Moab ½ Marathon, another major conflict.  Hopefully, the extra weeks delay this year will help the weather warm up a bit in Moab. 

 

Schedule:  I will drive down Thursday evening with a group and set up the Host Check-in campsite.  We have the Goldbar Group Campsite B reserved for us and any early-birds who wish to join us on Thursday night.   This site can accommodate up to 30 people.  On Friday and Saturday nights we add Goldbar Group Campsites C and D which can accommodate an additional 90 and 30 more people respectively.  That’s room for a total of 150 people.  There is plenty of flat space for tents.  Should be a party.  I have included a map, photos, and other information about the Goldbar campsite in the Where section below.   We’ll post a “MOAB MUNI FEST” sign at the Goldbar Group Campsite Entry and an “MMF05 HOSTS” sign by Groupsite B.  The city of Moab is a twenty minute drive from the Goldbar Group Campsite.  

 

Please plan to come to our campsite and “check-in” to receive your information packet with definitive event info, maps, and optional T-shirt(s) (if pre-ordered, no guarantees otherwise).  We will also have check-in capability at the restaurant Friday night.

 

There will be no official challenge events this year.  Rather, we will have suggested daily trail rides in the Moab area.  We would encourage the natural competition that occurs whenever a group of riders get together.

 

Suggested Daily Schedule of Rides (click this Printable Moab Area Topo Map to see a topo map with GPS breadcrumb highlighting of each of the trails mentioned below):

 

*       Friday – April 1st:  People will be arriving at random times throughout the day and evening so this day’s rides will be rather ad-hoc.  Suggestions will be the Slickrock Practice loop, Fins N’ Things, or just riding around town.  Times will be as per agreement of those available and interested in participating.  I am also going to suggest a “Ride of Fools” (being April Fools day) for advanced riders or those who just want to come along to see if the others really are advanced riders or not.  We will meet at 1:30 pm at the Moab Rim Trailhead (parking is by the Colorado river, opposite side of the river from Goldbar campsite).  The trail, as an out an back would be 10 miles.  The plan is to do as much as we can and still get back for dinner.  The first mile rises nearly 1000’.  Its basically a hike with the unicycle on your shoulder going up but like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride on the way down.  The visuals are incredible with the river below and up top you’ll have a great view of the Moab valley. Since this is being done as an out and back it is possible to go whatever distance you like and turn around at any time.  Also, those who are a bit late but want to meet up with us can be sure to catch us—if only on our way back down.  For more info click this Moab Rim Trail link, choose Moab-Area then Moab Rim Trail.

Friday night dinner is open.  Some folks like to go to the Moab Brewery which has great food and spirits.  There are many very fine restaurants in Moab.  There will be a substantial group of us going to the Szechuan at 6:30 pm.  The Szechuan has a large banquet room and an overflow in the basement—which was well attended last year—and they put on a great banquet spread for us each year.  Cost for our group is $13.00 for adults (12 yrs and older) and $6.50 for the kids.  There address is 105 So. Main Street.  Friday night is a great time to sync up with each other and get in to the spirit of the event.

*       Saturday - April 2nd:  Main Riding Day.  The plan is to carpool and meet at the Slickrock trailhead at around 9:00 a.m. to do an exhibition ride on the Practice Loop.  It won’t be a race but rather an opportunity to ride slower and take the time to hit those trial obstacles that line the trail.  Newer riders should be encouraged to follow along and put their own skill to the test.  I would also like to take time to hit the spur off the practice loop that goes to a major canyon overlook, it’s a short but awesome diversion.  The area down the spur has some awesome trials terrain that begs for attention. I am calling this ride an exhibition ride since I am hoping to get all the riders there and give the newer riders a chance to mingle and see what the better riders are doing.  I am also hopeful they can teach and discuss techniques with the newer riders and give pointers. It will be a sort of skills development ride and hopefully have an inspirational component to it.  When we get to the main loop turn-off, better riders will want to continue on and complete the entire 11 mile Slickrock Main Loop.  Its pretty ambitious so if you plan to do it, start getting in some long rides now.  For more info click this Slickrock link, choose Moab-Area then Slickrock Trail.

Those not planning to do the entire Slickrock loop are encouraged to complete the practice loop, do lunch and return to do some riding on Fin N’ Things, more practice loop, or sporting around at the group campsite.

The main Awards Dinner will be held Saturday night at 6:30pm.  We’ll once again meet at the Bar-M Chuckwagon which is just a short 7 miles north out of Moab on US-191 or 13 miles from the Goldbar group campsite.  A prize give-a-way will also be held.  All prizes are donated to the event.  We are very grateful for the generosity of those who are planning to contribute to this year’s schwag and would like to recognize them here:

     - Rolf and Janeen Thompson (your hosts)
     - Tom Blackwood
     - George Barnes,
GB4 Manufacturing
     - Andy Cotter
     - Amy & John Drummond, unicycle.com
     - John Foss www.unicycling.com
     - Guy Hansen

     - Kris Holm, KHU
     - Nathan Hoover
     - Steve Howard
Steve Howard’s Unicycle Projects
     - Tom Miller and
Kokopelli Bike and Board (30 W. Main, Cortez, Co 970-565-4408)
     - Poison Spider Bike shop, http://www.poisonspiderbicycles.com/, (497 North Main Street Moab, Utah, 435-259-7882)
     - Joe & Judy Stoltzfus
     - Paco Warabi
     - Your Name here, let me know if you would like to contribute
à my email.

Click this
Printable Bar-M Chuckwagon Dinner and Program Link for details of the Saturday Night dinner program.

*       Sunday, April 3rd:  The planned ride is Amassa Back.  We’ll plan to leave the Goldbar campsites around 8:30 am and arrive at the trailhead in time for a 9:30 departure from the Amassa Back trailhead parking.  Last year was a shorter loop ride on Amassa back.  Still an option.  The true Amassa Back trail follows a long spine of plateau that becomes bounded on both sides by a bowknot bend in the river.  It totals 10 miles on the out-and-back and has a vertical gain of over 1000 ft.  It is remote and not so oft traveled up top.  Since it is an out-and-back ride, it is possible to turn around at anytime and just return to the car.  For more info click this Amassa back link, choose Moab-Area then Amassa Back Trail.

A splinter group may wish to do the Porcupine Rim Trail.  This trail is 16 miles long and requires some very understanding support personnel due to the long car shuttle required (45 minutes one way).  The trail climbs 1000 ft over the first 3 miles, too gentle to walk but steep enough to burn the thighs to the point you must walk at times.  The last 11 miles drop a thrilling 2,700 ft. and make for an incredible ride with amazing vistas.  For more info click this
Porcupine Rim link, choose Moab-Area then Porcupine Rim.

The BLM has cleared us for either of the trails.  The Porcupine Rim trail would require an earlier start if just to deal with the shuttling situation.  That is my only complaint with that option.  I am up for either but hope we can make it a consensus ride and stay together as a group. 

 

Suggested Trail Games:

 

*       MUni Lemmings – A pack of riders, hopefully of near equal ability, start out riding with an arbitrary leader.  Everyone follows the leader like good little lemmings.  If you fall you go to the back of the line.  Obviously, the goal is to get to the front and stay there as long as possible.  This is actually a blast and can be played while riding a trail without greatly slowing anyone down.  It really helps keep the group packed together.  Quit when everyone is dead tired.

*       Spontaneous Trials – A section along the trail is designated where a challenging line is suggested.  We will have ribbon and tape available for this purpose.  We would especially like to do some of these Saturday Morning on the group ride of the practice loop.  Anyone can suggest a line and challenge the other riders.

*       MUni Style 4 Horses (great for around the camp)similar to 4 Horses in basket ball but you take turns trying to do things on a unicycle that you don’t think the other competitors will be able to do.  Each person must state the “trick” they are attempting before they do it.  If they succeed with a new “trick” on their turn the “pressure” is on the next in line to complete the same “trick.”  If that person succeeds, they pass the “pressure” on to the next person and so on, till it gets back to the originator of the trick.  The originator is then free to try another, different trick (this is different from 4-horses in basketball).  If anyone under the “pressure” of having to do a trick fails their first attempt, they lose one of their horses and the “pressure” is off.  The next person in line is free to attempt a different trick.  The goal is to keep the “pressure” on the next guy and to be the last one to still have horses.  When a person is down to their last horse—they are, out of sympathy—allowed two attempts to complete the trick.  Try this game, its loads of fun.

*       MUni Tag – obvious

*       Indian Tag (contributed by David Rowell) – Everyone rides in a line.  The leader steers the line.  The last rider must ride to the front, passing the others, and take the lead.  The others give encouragement and slow if necessary to allow the last rider to get to the front.  Once in front, the new “last rider” starts working toward the front.  This continues till everyone is tired.  Great for keeping the group tightly packed.

*       Contribute your own ideas.

 

 

How do I join in? 

 

To participate in this year’s event you must register and pay the applicable registration fees.  The BLM now requires the Moab MUni Fest to carry event insurance.  They also require daily use fees of $4 per rider.  The daily use fees will cover entrance to the Sandflats (Slickrock area) see instructions down below.  I recognize that while some riders plan to participate all three days, others may only come for one day.  Some may choose to camp with the group, which will cost an additional $2 per person per night.  T-shirts are another option.  These are all factors that affect the total registration fee.  This greatly complicates the registration form but, I believe, is more fair to each participant.  Also, at this point (3/27/05), there is no point sending in a registration since we won’t get it in time.  Just print it out, fill it out, and bring it with you to Moab and we’ll register you at that time.  An email with your plans would be appreciated but emails after Wednesday 3/30/05 will not be received in time.  In that case, again, just show up.

 

If you plan to attend, please:

 

*       Print out the à Registration Form (.html) or Registration Form (.pdf).  Adobe Reader software is required to print the .pdf file.  If

your machine does not have it loaded on you can down load it here:    Hopefully, the fee calculation portion of the registration form is not too confusing.  If you have questions about it, please click this Registration Fee Calculation Examples.

*       Fill the form out, one form per rider-participant.  Non-Rider attendees must be included in the fee calculations for camping and T-shirts—if applicable.  Also, please indicate your intentions relative to dinners offered Friday and Saturday nights.

*       SIGN the release of responsibility at the bottom of the form

*       Total the fees and include a check or money order in the amount of the total.  Please don’t send cash.  Make the check out to the MMF ORG. (short for Moab MUni Fest Organization) and mail to:

MMF ORG
2274 E. 11580 So.
Sandy, Utah 84092

*       Please Register Early.  You will notice that there is a $4 dollar discount per rider if your registrations are post-marked by Sunday, March 13th.  I really need the heads up by then to take care of BLM obligations, get T-shirts ordered, and to give the restaurants a head count.  Late registrations (after March 13th) are accepted but will cost a little more and may make it difficult to guarantee getting a T-shirt.  Late registration can also take place at our host campsite and on Friday evening at the Szechuan restaurant.

*       Please send me an email letting me know you’ve mailed your registration. à my email.  This will give me a couple of days jump on updating the attendees list that will be posted on this website and help with the planning.

 

Some things to consider:  Moab’s elevation is 4000 ft. above sea level.  If you are coming directly from sea level you may experience a mild altitude sickness.  Shortness of breath and slight dizziness during exertion are common symptoms.  Scale your ambitions accordingly.  John Foss has likened every Slickrock mile to 1.5 miles on other mountain terrain trail rides.  Having completed the main loop at Slickrock in ideal cool weather, he told me it’s the most completely worn-out he has ever felt after any single ride.  It took us about 6+ hours.  Water-wise we each took full Camelbacks (120 oz.) plus additional water bottles.  We all ran out just as we were getting back to the car.  During another year which was hotter, a group of us set out on the main loop and went about 4 miles before turning around.  We ran out of water on the way back.  I was pretty sick from dehydration but another rider spent the next 3 hours near the toilet wishing he were dead.  Last year Ed Hansen rescued me on the Amassa Back trail by producing and giving me a full water bottle when I ran out.  I now claim him as a blood relative.  I guess what I am saying is that if you come you should gauge your activity level to your ability and the weather conditions,  and make sure you have plenty of water (you can not have too much water with you), and bring energy food snacks to keep your energy levels up on the trail.  The average MUni Fest temperatures are in the 60s during the day and drop into the 30s or 40s at night.  So far over the years, knock-on-wood, I have not experienced any significant rain during my springtime forays to Moab; still anything—including snow—is possible.  You’ll want to keep an eye on the weather as the Festival approaches (click this Moab Weather Link for current Moab weather).

 

You should be a proficient unicyclist and you should have a MUni-ized unicycle.  In general, a good mountain unicycle will have a fat tire 2.3” to 3.0” with mountain-bike-type tread.  The wheel should be strong with hardened cranks.  Typical wheel diameters are 24 or 26 inches.  Trials unicycles may have a 20 inch or less wheel diameter.   The seat should have a handle in the front for hopping and—for some—a brake comes in handy.

 

You’ll have to work out a plan to get to Moab.  For some this will be a drive, for others an airline flight and a car rental out of the Salt Lake City or Grand Junction, Colorado airport will be necessary.  The drive from Salt Lake City, Utah to Moab is about 5 hours.  Moab is about two hours drive from Grand Junction, Colorado.  If you are planning to fly in, there is a chance we can help match you up with others to split the cost of a rental vehicle.

 

As always in this sport, helmets and protective gear are strongly recommended.  This is especially important at Slickrock.  If you fall, it WILL be a hard landing—ON ROCK!  Additional info and recommendations for biking—or in our case unicycling—in red rock country have been posted and can be found here:

 

*       BLM Cycling and Trail Info Link (Important recommendations for cycling in Southern Utah, Please check out)

*       Dream Ride  (Excellent ECO and Biking Info)

*       Utah Mountain Biking (choose and click “Moab Area,”  Moab area bike trail descriptions)

*       Trail Monkey.com great maps and trail guides for the Moab area, also virtual tours

 

Where is the Moab MUni Fest?

 

Obviously, the Moab MUni Fest is held in Moab, Utah.  The main Saturday ride is on the Slickrock trail 10 minutes drive east out of Moab (click this Moab Map to see the general road layout in Moab).  I have provided a list of Moab area links here:

 

*       Moab-Utah.com (Top Notch Moab area Information Site)

*       DiscoverMoab.com (Moab Area Travel Council site)

*       World Web Travel Guide

*       iMoab a Moab area open Directory

*       National Geographic’s Moab, Links covering everything, including a time zone difference calculator

 

Driving directions from the Salt Lake City airport are as follows:

 

1.      Take I-80 East bound and after a few miles Merge onto I-15 South toward Las Vegas/Cheyenne.

2.      Continue South on I-15 about 50 miles then merge onto US-6 East via exit number 261 toward US-89 East to Price/Manti.

3.      Continue 151.5 miles and take the US-191 exit, exit number 180 toward Moab (FYI, at mile 130 of the 151.5 mile leg on US-89 it merges with I-70 at exit number 158 and the two highways are the same for the next 21.5 miles).

4.      Turn right on US-191—exit 180—and drive 25 miles south to the right-hand junction of  US-191 and Highway-279.  At this point you can continue on fours more miles on US-191 and get to Moab city center, if you need gas or are staying at a motel, or you can turn right on to highway 279 and drive 10 miles to the Goldbar Group Campsite where the group camping and check-in will be.

 

As mentioned above, we have a Group campsite reserved at Goldbar that can accommodate up to 150 people.  Click this Printable Goldbar Group Campsite Info link for detailed information I have put together.   I highly recommend the experience but it may not be for everyone.  If you don’t wish to camp with the rest of the group, other camping sites in the Moab area are available and can be found here.  Those who wish to stay at a motel will find it very convenient to do so.   The Best Western Canyon Lands Inn has offered a discount over their regular $109 rate of $89 to Moab MUni Fest attendees.  To get the discount, mention that you are with the Moab Mountain Unicycling Event.  Here is a link to their website, talk to Trish if issues arise.  There are many other motel options and prices available.   I have included a few links here to help you zero in on the right situation for you:

 

*       Moab-Utah.com

*       Utah.com

*       Discover Moab.com

*       Moab Lodging

 

Getting to Saturday’s Slickrock trail rides proceed as follows:

1.      Start from Moab city center (if you are starting from Goldbar head 10 miles back (up river) on highway 279 to US-191, turn right and drive approx 4 miles to Moab city center.

2.      While driving on US-191 through Moab turn right (East) at 300 S. and continue East to 400 E (roads “Ts” here left or right).

3.      Turn right (South) and go about a ½ block then turn left (East again) at Dave’s Corner Market onto Mill Creek Drive.

4.      Proceed approximately 2.1 miles straight on through where this road turns into Sand Flats Road near the Southwest corner of the cemetery.

5.      You should now be in the hills at the Sand Flats Recreation Area entrance booth (DO NOT PAY at the booth, see below).

6.      From the entrance booth to the Slickrock trailhead parking it is another ½ mile or so. 

 

I don’t know what the entrance fees to the Slickrock area (Sandflats Recreation area) are for 2005 and you won’t need to know either.  Your MMF05 registration fees cover entrance to the Sandflats Recreation area.   When you arrive at the entrance booth, tell them you are with the Mountain Unicycling Event and give them that big warm smile that only unicyclists seem to have.  They will see you are a true believer and let you through.  To avoid double charges please DO NOT PAY at the booth.

 

There are bathrooms available at the Slickrock trailhead but no running water.  Plan to bring your own water. 

 

Moab area restaurant Links:

 

*       Discover Moab.com

*       Moab.com

 

Who should consider coming to the Moab MUni Fest?

 

You should.  If you have read the provided information above and it sounds like something you would enjoy, you are welcome and encouraged to come.  The festival is not intended to be super tightly organized but rather a break from the norm and a chance to play and show off your riding skills.  You may even learn a trick or two and, without a doubt, meet some interesting people in the process.  If you are wondering who is coming this year, click this 2005 Planned Attendees List.  The list includes both those whose registration forms I have received as well as those who have sent me email that they are coming.   If your name is on the list in error, please let me know.  Thanks to all of you who will be participating this year.  If you have any suggestions for this site, please let me know à my email.

 

Thanks,

 

Rolf  (MUni Dad)

Return to Home

 

Page updated 2/23/05

All web content copyright 2000-2005 by Rolf Thompson, except for the stuff I stole.