2014 Asheville MUni Round-Up: September 12 – 14, 2014

The 8th annual Asheville, NC mountain unicycle gathering

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2011 Asheville MUni Fest

We had a big crowd last year for the fifth annual Asheville MUni gathering in October, 2011. Looking forward to seeing the crowd again this year in September.


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Flashback 2008: The Southeast MUni Fest

Here’s a photo from the top of Kitsuma at the first Asheville mountain unicycle gathering in 2008, then known as the Southeast Muni Fest. It was organized and hosted by Adam Masters.

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New MUni shoes to fill?

I’m not very particular about the shoes I wear on trail, but I’m wondering if the Brewer (made for river/water sports) from Astral will be a good match for the mountain unicycle. I’ve slipped on a pair and really liked them. They are super light and have Five Ten rubber soles. They’re designed to drain and dry relatively quickly. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on a pair soon and give them a try.

These shoes are designed by Asheville based company Astral.  They’ve been tops in the whitewater paddling PFD market and have just slipped into the shoe market. See their press release below:

Astral Announces Entry into Footwear Market with the Brewer

For 10 years, Astral has pushed the design of technical whitewater PFDs to new standards. Today, Astral announces their debut into the outdoor footwear market with a single model named “the Brewer”.

From its creative and engineering enclaves in Asheville, Saigon, and Bali; Astral collaborated with former Salomon line manager Reglan Brewer to create a shoe that uses minimalist upper construction, zero- drop injected midsole, and Five Ten’s famous STEALTH® rubber for unmatched traction on rocks.

According to owner Philip Curry, Astral’s intention with footwear is to “offer the market an authentic and unique footwear solution to life around water and rocks. As lifetime kayakers, we have always wanted to develop shoes that work exceptionally well in extreme places, while also being great for work and just walking around”.

The Brewer starts shipping to Astral’s key specialty outdoor shops on July 26th. Astral is also showing 3 additional models at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City from August 2-5th.

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87-year-old fledgling unicyclist

Over the last several years I’ve helped a number of folks get started on a unicycle through Second Gear, the outdoor shop I co-own in Asheville. I offer a few tips for anyone who purchases a unicycle. My lesson with my latest pupil this morning, 87 year old Charlie, was by the far the most interesting.

Charlie’s hoping to wow the crowd in a talent show he participates in annually. If we can get him riding, he’s a shoe in for the blue ribbon. As you can imagine Charlie’s a character with an interesting background. Here’s what he told me: he’s from Drexel, NC, a small factory town about 60 miles east of Asheville. After serving as a Navy pilot in WW II, he went to dental school and practiced in the area until he retired in the 1970s, though it looks like he’s kept himself busy ever since.