STOMP Muni Fest coming to OMSP

PELHAM – Mountain unicyclists from across the nation are set to gather at Oak Mountain State Park from Oct. 6-8 at the fifth annual Southern Trails of Oak Mountain Park Muni Fest.

According to event organizer and Magic City Muni Club co-founder Wendell Rotenberry, unicyclists will spend the weekend riding and camping out near the park’s south trailhead.

“Basically, unicyclists from all over the southeast get together and ride,” Rotenberry said. “There are not many people who mountain unicycle, so to come to this event, you have to travel.”

According to Rotenberry, about 30 unicyclists from seven different states participated. Rotenberry said he and Magic City Muni Club co-founder Geoff Wymer were inspired to start STOMP Muni Fest after attending a similar event in North Carolina years ago.

“We had gone to an event called the Asheville Muni Fest and we had a blast,” Rotenberry said. “We thought we needed to try this too.”

While the Asheville Muni Fest is no longer annually held, Rotenberry said STOMP Muni Fest provides a place for southeastern unicyclists to meet.

“It’s grown every year,” Rotenberry said. “With Asheville no longer having things, we’ve picked up some people.”

Rotenberry said he and Wymer chose Oak Mountain State Park for the event’s location due to the high quality of its trails.

“The trails are unicycle-friendly and very well-maintained,” Rotenberry said. “They’re smooth trails where you don’t have to get off of your unicycle a lot. With steep or rough trails, you’ll end up having to walk most of the time.”

According to Rotenberry, mountain unicycling is unlike regular unicycling, and is its own unique hobby.

“A regular unicycle would fall apart on the trail,” Rotenberry said. “With mountain unicycles, the fork is wider to support a fatter tire, like those on mountain bikes. The mountain unicycle is built to withstand the bumps.”

Rotenberry said there are many upsides to mountain unicycling, as opposed to mountain biking.

“A lot of people have asked me the question, ‘What’s the big advantage of a unicycle?’” Rotenberry said. “You get two times the workout, they pack better in a car, they’re unique in that not everyone can do this. You’ll also spend around $1,000 for a mountain bike, but you can spend about $700 for a good unicycle.”

Rotenberry also thanked OMSP for housing the event.

“Oak Mountain has been great to support us and let us have the event there,” Rotenberry said.

For more information about the 2017 STOMP Muni Fest, visit Stompmunifest.blogspot.com.

“It’s very unique,” Rotenberry said. “We get a lot of stares, and some people don’t even believe that you can ride a unicycle on a trail.”