Meet a Team Rider: Scott Wilton
Scott is one of the newest members of the KH Factory Team. Having set two world records in road racing at last year’s world champs, he is currently living in Norway, travelling to European uni meetups as often as possible. Read on to find out what Scott has been up to and what he is doing for the unicycling community behind the scenes.
Hi Scott! How was your riding season this year?
So far this year I've already had some awesome unicycling adventures. In February, just after finishing up classes at university during my study abroad program in Berlin, I traveled to South Tyrol, Italy (near where Unicon 16 was). I led a two-day freestyle workshop in the village of Naturns and then went riding with the team in Villanders (where three of the Muni World Champions live and train).
In early March, with team member Lutz Eichholz and IUF President Olaf Schlote, I traveled to the Basque Country in Spain where Unicon 18 will be held in San Sebastian in 2016. We checked out all of the venues and rode the Downhill courses. We also held a press conference with local, regional, and national media. All signs say that this could be the best and biggest Unicon yet!
Late March, I went to the famous Moab Muni Weekend, and although this year it was an unofficial event, over 50 people showed up. It was my first time riding the trails out there and it is terrain that you can't find anywhere else in the world. I was sad that I didn't get to ride with the whole KH team crew like last year, but at least I got to ride with Max Schulze!
For the whole month of April, I traveled to Nepal and India with my sister, Patricia, and my geared KH26. For the first two weeks, we participated in the Adventure Unicyclist’s unicycle tour on the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas in Nepal. Everything in the Himalayas is simply on another scale. At one point during the tour, we were at 4.000m elevation (13,100 ft) which in the Alps or Rockies would signify that you are on the top of a mountain. Instead, we were in the valley and there were several peaks around us that were over twice as tall, like Annapurna I at 8.091 m (26,545 ft) tall. I was also very fortunate to see the wonderful landscapes, cities, villages, and people just a few weeks before the devastating earthquake struck. Patricia and I traveled for the second half of April in Northern and Central India.
The month of May was highlighted by the new KH 2015 gear. I got my new 36 from Kris and I also upgraded my 26 with the new frame and hub. It involved several wheel builds to put everything together.
The majority of my summer was focused on organizing and training for the 2015 North American Unicycling Convention and Championships (NAUCC) in my home town of Madison, Wisconsin where I was one of the main directors. Along with working at a climbing gym, organizing NAUCC was a full time job. I was the director of all competitions at the event, which involved everything from finding muni trails to making sure we had the right barriers for hockey. In the end we had over 250 unicyclists come to Madison and the event was totally successful. I’m thankful to all of the people that volunteered to help and made the event possible.
Along with organizing the events, I was also competing. I am now the 2015 North American Champion in Overall Road Racing, Mountain Unicycling, and Track Racing. I completed the 10k in under 20 minutes and the marathon in under an hour and a half. The muni was the hardest as I had to compete against teammate Max Schulze and awesome rider Jakob Flansberry. Max won Downhill, Jakob won Cross Country, and I won Uphill. Since I got second in XC and Max got third, I won the overall. It was so much fun to compete with these guys at NAUCC and I’m always impressed by their sportsmanship.
The morning following NAUCC, my sister and I left for the Open European Championships (UNIOEC) in Mondoví, Italy where she was the Freestyle directory and I was the Muni Director. I had a lot of fun seeing many of my friends from Europe from last year. The courses were excellent and it was cool seeing some of the muni world champions show their skills. In Uphill I got an unofficial fourth place (as director, I didn’t actually compete). For Downhill Extreme, I made the finals and was happy with my performance there on a really good track. I also got fourth place in X-Style, a Freestyle Trick competition. (There’s a video of my run here.) Unfortunately I did not get a chance to compete in the Road Racing competitions due to baggage mix-up with the flights.
Following UNIOEC, I traveled for two weeks in southern Switzerland riding muni and participating in the week-long RI.UNI.TI6, one of the best muni conventions in Europe. In August, I moved to Lofoten, Norway, north of the arctic circle, where I am enrolled in a mountaineering school. Along with amazing climbing experiences, I am learning many important rescue and mountain skills that I will certainly apply to future remote muni adventures. I have also been practicing my photo skills quite a bit here.
What have you been up to in the past?
Last year was a huge year of unicycling for me. My biggest accomplishments were at the World Championships at Unicon 17 in Montreal, Canada. I set two new world records and was the winner of the 10 Kilometer and Marathon races. I also placed second overall in the new Cyclocross race and fourth overall in the Uphill Mountain Unicycling race.
Because I was living in Germany, I had the opportunity to travel around a lot and naturally I had my unicycle with me. I completed a week-long, self-supported 36er unicycle tour along the west Norwegian coastline, I competed in a cross country muni marathon race on the Czech-Polish border, I attended and competed in the Open German Muni Championships, I rode from Vienna, Austria across the border to Bratislava, Slovakia in a day, and I unicycled in at least eleven European countries in 2014.
Fun fact about you?
I'm the vice president and Unicon Correspondent for the International Unicycling Federation which means that developing the sport is very important to me.
How do you feel about having made the KH Factory Team?
I'm extremely honored to be part of the KH Factory Team. I have always felt that the riders on the team really embody what our sport is all about. It's not just about being a world-class rider, it's about spirit and attitude. Kris' dedication to the sport and his attention to detail on his products is something I'm proud to represent. I'm already good friends with a few of the team members and am excited to get to know everyone better.
Anything else you’d like the world to know?
I just got a new camera and I'm really looking forward to taking lots of nice unicycling photos and making awesome videos!
Thanks Scott, we're excited to see you race again next year.
Photos: Scott riding in Nepal, Scott in Moab, UT, what Scott takes to a convention, Scott practising for his marathon, Scott at NAUCC with Max Schulze and Jakob Flansberry and Scott in the middle of some wild muni riders at RI.UNI.TI6 in Italy.