I’ve been over a year since I learned to unicycle and nearly a year since I started municycling. Since you probably haven’t heard the term, muni—short for mountain unicycle—means riding a unicycle off-road. I typically ride at one of the local mountain bike trails with my brother and maybe a friend. I’ve progressed from a good quality 24 inch gym-and-pavement (‘freestyle’) type unicycle to a high quality 29 inch muni. I’m getting closer to being able to ride the entire trail, but still need more practice before I can complete the entire loop without any unplanned dismounts (UPDs). A UPD is the unicycle equivalent of tripping and landing on your feet without really falling. A UPD means you are off the unicycle unintentionally, but didn’t actually crash. If you are hurt it is a crash, not an UPD. When learning to do something new on a unicycle, many UPDs are inevitable. In the last few rides, I’ve noticed something new:
Between moving to larger wheels and lots of extra practice, we are riding the trails at a higher average speed than last summer. This means fewer UPDs, but also more impressive looking UPDs. Last summer just about every little root threw me off the unicycle. I’d fall off, but would be able to reach behind me and catch my unicycle before it hit ground. The past few rides I’ve noticed that I am less likely to catch my muni. Instead of just landing on my feet, I frequently end up jogging down the trail, while my unicycle bounces along behind me. And it’s not just me: my brother has also had some spectacular UPDs. So far, the farthest we have seen a unicycle fly was last Saturday when we were exploring a new trail and his unicycle took off down a steep hill and made it quite a way down the trail before stopping.
I guess we’ll just have to ride fast enough to keep up with the flying unicycles…
I know that there are some other riders in town, and I’m trying to get regular group rides going. If you want to ride with us, check out the Fort Wayne Unicyclists group on the Unicyclist Community.