Tour de Guad

Tour #5 of the Tour de Guad went down yesterday, Cinco de Mayo.  This was my first time participating and the first time a unicycle has joined the shenanigans.  So what is the tour?  In the Tour de Guad, the city’s top cyclists gather and take over the streets.  We make our way around town, stopping at the 4 Guadalara Mexican Restaurants in Charlottesville.  At each Guadalara, we snack on tortilla chips and replenish fluids.

We took off for the first stop around 1:00 and I soon fell behind on the first downhill.  When I’d pass a pedestrian, I’d point to the group ahead yelling, “damn kids stole my wheel!” and then sprint after them.  I had two pretty intense wipeouts on this first segment.  The first fall happened as I made a sharp turn onto a footbridge.  I hit a patch of mud and the wheel disappeared right out from under me.  I rolled around on the bridge for a bit after that one (as in rolling around on the ground, not on the unicycle).  The second fall came as I approached the restaurant.  In reaction to the cheering crowd, I began to raise my arms in celebration a little too early, and flew off the front of the uni.  I don’t think I’ve ever splattered myself on the sidewalk like that before.  Thank goodness for body armor.

The second segment scared me with a few busier roads, so I hopped in the sag vehicle and cheered the riders on through town.  I was back on the uni for the final two segments, and even led the pack for the first mile or so out of the second Guad.  After some chips, energy gels and ice water at the third Guad, we prepared for the home stretch.  A boiling sky unleashed itself as we crowded under the small overhanging roof, but we eventually braved the weather and headed to the final stop, downtown.  After a soggy celebration full of margaritas (and some fountain swimming), some of us went over to cheer on our 8 wheeled friends’ roller derby match.  Go Derby Dames!

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