A handful of one-wheeled wonders descended on Squamish to participate in the first ever UniSquam event on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 16 and 17).
The two-day event saw a street workshop hosted by Republic Bikes on Saturday morning followed by the viewing of a unicycle film later that afternoon. On Sunday, the group hit the trails of Squamish for a mountain unicycling workshop.
According to event organizer Scott Kerr, the event was a huge success.
“I really think the weekend went amazingly well,” he said. “Our main goal was to gather all of the local unicyclists in one spot but it was cool to see all the kids interested in it as well.”
Friends Holden Jones and Cody Wolfe were two of the young enthusiasts who attended Saturday’s street workshop and they both were excited to learn more about the sport.
“It’s been so much fun,” Cody said. “Probably the coolest thing was learning how to absorb drops properly.”
“It’s been awesome,” Holden agreed. “The best part for me was getting to meet Kris Holm, he even signed my bike seat.”
Around 20 unicyclists were strutting their stuff in the parking lot of Republic Bikes and unicycling legend Kris Holm was leading the pack. Holm, who is considered a pioneer in the mountain unicycling community, was surprised by the positive response UniSquam received.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” he said. “Unicycling as a sport has been expanding and I’d heard about a few riders here in Squamish and it’s really impressive to see how good some of these riders are. Especially the kids, they’re the future of the sport and a lot of them from here are pretty good already.”
Holm said that he thinks the sport is growing because of its fun and convenience.
“I think parents are starting to realize that unicycling is reasonably inexpensive, easy to maintain and you can store it anywhere,” he said. “You can literally do it anywhere, the street, the mountain, almost anywhere.”
Holm, who travelled from Vancouver to participate in the event, also said that online communication and sites like YouTube have helped raise the awareness of the sport.
The event experienced some exceptional weather and Kerr said the ride on Sunday (Oct. 17) was “a stunner of a day”.
“I think the ride went really well,” he added. “We had a few more experts come in from Vancouver and they really liked the Squamish trails.”
Kerr added that many of the trails in North Vancouver are quite challenging and those who came to Squamish enjoyed the better selection of trails in town. The group rode for close to three hours and Kerr said everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The future of the UniSquam event is up in the air but Kerr said that it could potentially become an annual event.
“There’s definitely a lot of interest,” he said. “We kind of just wanted to do a one-time event to see how it went but a lot of people wanted us to come back and do it again. We’ll have to see.”
For more information on Kris Holm and unicycling in general, visit www.krisholm.com.