Unicyclists Wheel into Saline For North American Convention and Championships

The North American Unicycling Convention and Championships takes place at Saline Middle School this week.

Many of continent's most skilled unicyclists will be in Saline from Tuesday through Sunday for the North American Unicycling Convention and Championships.

Held at Saline Middle School, the event features more than 250 unicyclists competing in individual and group freestyle competitions, hockey and basektball tournaments, track racing, a 10K race and more.

"It's a great event. Every thing we do is free and open to the public," said Wendy Grzych, a member of Unicycling Society of America. 

The group held its North American championships at Saline Middle School in 2007.

"It was well received. On Saturday night, the bleachers in the gym were packed for our free public show," said Grzych.

The Saturday night show, which takes place at 7 p.m. expert routines by some of the top individuals and pairs in North America.

The event held every year by the Unicycling Society of America. It is being hosted this year by the Redford Township Unicycle Club.

The Redford Township Unicycle Club is the largest unicycle club in Michigan. The club has been peddling in the Saline Holiday Parade since 2007. For more information about the club, vist www.rtuc.org.

For a full schedule of the week's events, click here.

Here's a description of some of the events, as posted on the North American Unicycling Convention and Championships website.

Artistic Freestyle Events — This is like figure skating, but on a unicycle. Competitors compete in individual, pairs and group routines, which are set to music. Each routine is performed in front of a panel of judges, and are marked according to their artistic performance, skill difficulty, execution, and originality. Competitors do a variety of tricks including pirouettes, spins and glides just like figure skating.

Racing Events — These are events held on an athletics track on Standard Class unicycles (24” wheel, 125mm cranks). They are a test of who can pedal the fastest without falling off! As well as traditional athletics style races like 100m, 400m and 800m, there are unicycle specific races like one-foot, wheel-walk, and obstacle course.

Distance Events — These are unicycle road races over longer distances. For the criterium and 10k, there are two classes. In the Standard Class, all competitors have to ride the same sized unicycle (24″ wheel, 125mm cranks). In the Unlimited Class, riders can ride large wheeled unicycles, often equipped with gears, and reach speeds close to 30 mph (50kph). For the marathon (26.2 mi or 42.195km), the only class is the unlimited one.

Basketball and Hockey — Hockey and Basketball are the only team sports that are present at NAUCC. They are exactly like regular street hockey and basketball, but on only one wheel.

Street and Flatland — The newest and fastest growing segment in unicycling. Imagine doing skateboard style grinds, drops and flips, but on one wheel instead of four! The riders will amaze you with some of their skills and put the ‘extreme’ into unicycling.

Trials — This is similar to bicycle or motorcycle Trials. Competitors have to negotiate a series of obstacles without dabbing their foot on the ground. It is a test of balance and nerve as they hop and ride their way through structures that are up to six feet off the ground.

Muni — Just like mountain biking, but done on one wheel. Competitors ride unicycles equipped with mountain bike tires and wheels, and race in uphill, downhill, and cross-country. They can ride anywhere a regular bicycle can!



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