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Old 2013-12-30, 06:09 PM   #1
Shmolagin
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Kris Holm's Book - Thoughts and Discussion Thread

I received Kris Holm's book The Essential Guide to Mountain and Trials Unicycling for christmas. I really want to hear what others have to say about it and I'd also like to write a bit about my own opinion. I think it's about time to get a new thread for discussion of it since the old ones were rather cluttered.

I've spent the past hour or so writing this and entering this book into the goodreads.com database. Kris, if you're reading this, please tell me what day and month this book was officially published. I gathered that the year was 2012 but that's it. I'd like to know so I can add the information to the goodreads.com database of books. I added the book without that information but I'd still like it if I could go back and add it. I'm hoping that adding it there will let readers know about it so that more people read it.

I'm really happy with the physical quality of this book. From the pictures of it on UDC I expected it to be a mass market paperback printed as cheaply as possible. It is actually a great quality book. It is paperback but it's a very tough paperback that is awesome. I'm not to worried about it falling apart as the pages are thick. The pages are also gloss.

The pictures are unreal! The pages are gloss and filled with cool pictures. I think that there is more space devoted to pictures than words which is a major plus since it's so hard to find good pictures of our sport. The back says that it has over 250 photos which is of course awesome. And I'm not alone in my opinion here, the first page of the book quotes John Foss saying "It's worth the price for the pictures alone." Huge thanks to Kris for hunting down the pictures and compiling them. Also big thanks to anyone who took a picture that made it into Kris's book.

Unfortunately the instructional content was a little disappointing but honestly it was about what could have been expected. Overall I think Kris did a great job of describing muni techniques. I was hoping for a little more info on trials but there wasn't anything major that was left out. There was one sentence that didn't really make sense to me but that's not bad considering how much writing there was in it.
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Old 2013-12-30, 06:10 PM   #2
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Oh and if anyone is interested this is the entry for the book on goodreads that I created.
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Old 2013-12-31, 12:29 AM   #3
Lloyd Braun
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I thought it was superb. The pictures are awesome. The writing is insightful with a good mix of narration and instruction. Very inspiring book.
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Old 2013-12-31, 01:42 AM   #4
Dane M
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I didn't know he made one! Out of stock on UDC of course
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Old 2013-12-31, 02:24 AM   #5
Shmolagin
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I didn't know he made one! Out of stock on UDC of course
Check here. Or buy the ebook. (I wouldn't though, you wouldn't get the printed pictures.)
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Old 2013-12-31, 02:29 AM   #6
Dane M
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Thanks! Yeah I don't like ebooks.
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Old 2013-12-31, 04:09 AM   #7
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I like Kris's advice about still stands. They presented as a fundamental skill that is useful for all types of riding. The more I practice them the more I agree with this.

I sort of had to learn them because I broke my finger and still stands were all I could do for a few weeks. It turned out to be good for my muni riding. My mounts are completely solid now. I can pretty much jump on and go in a straight line without any flailing or extra hops. It's also useful to be able to stall for a few seconds during technical sections, and I think I have a better feeling for where my weight is over the wheel.
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Old 2013-12-31, 05:35 AM   #8
Shmolagin
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I like Kris's advice about still stands. They presented as a fundamental skill that is useful for all types of riding. The more I practice them the more I agree with this.
I agree. I still stink at still stands but even the few seconds that I've learned to do have helped a whole lot. IMO being able to balance indefinitely without moving the wheel is the embodiment of unicycle skill.
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Old 2013-12-31, 06:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Shmolagin View Post
There was one sentence that didn't really make sense to me but that's not bad considering how much writing there was in it.
Now I'm curious. What's the sentence? Maybe we could have a discussion and our various impressions of what Kris meant?

Yes I love the pictures in the book, but the text as well. It's definitely the most beautiful book on unicycling that there is, and the most relevant one for a very long time.
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Old 2013-12-31, 04:10 PM   #10
Shmolagin
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Now I'm curious. What's the sentence? Maybe we could have a discussion and our various impressions of what Kris meant?
I'll look for it again, I can't remember where it was. Of course it's entirely possible that I was reading it wrong and I won't even be able to find it again.
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Old 2013-12-31, 05:45 PM   #11
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This book helped me learn to hop over things. It has simple advice, but simple is often overlooked. Thanks again Kris. The sport owes you a lot.
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Old 2014-01-01, 06:35 PM   #12
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Great book, nice pictures and good quality. Only downside is the "Printed in China" on the back, but I guess it's getting difficult to print small series with decent quality within a reasonable budget.

It's helped me a lot on small trails, especially when Kris talks about where to look to be stable, yet not fall on the first tree root that gets under your wheel!
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Old 2014-01-01, 09:52 PM   #13
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Hey - thanks for starting this thread. Great idea & thanks for the kind remarks!
I'm glad you thought the book was high quality. One of the benefits of choosing to self-publish was retaining control on every aspect of book design, including the type and weight of paper and binding. Plus cutting out the publisher meant I could get the quality I wanted without it costing too much.

Some specs:
Publication date: April 2012 (e-book April 2013)
Trimmed size: 7.5 in. wide x 9.25 in. tall
Page count: 174 + Cover
Cover Inks: 4C Process + 1 PMS Color + Gloss Laminate
Cover Stock: 300 gsm coated 1-side art paper, FSC certified
Text Inks: 4C Process
Text Stock: 128 gsm coated 2-side art paper, FSC certified
Finish: Perfect Binding with PUR Glue

I chose to print in China (Hong Kong) because the print run could easily be sent to Taiwan to combine with unicycle shipments. Plus Hong Kong is famous for book printing.
North America is almost out of stock now but Europe still has lots of copies.
In North America, UDC Canada still has copies and so does the Vancouver outlet of Mountain Equipment Co-op (perhaps Toronto as well).

I chose to write a book (as opposed to a video) because muni and trials involve taking a relatively small set of techniques and applying them to infinitely variable terrain, where much of the skill is in your head (e.g. how to read the terrain). That's something really best described in a book, with photos of riders of all abilities around the world, and more detailed descriptions than you could do in a video.

Plus I wanted a definitive, physical answer to the common question, "what is muni or trials" - something anyone could relate to. The e-book is convenient (and let me fix a few typos) but for this reason I'll try to keep the physical book in print as long as I can.

So... keep this discussion thread going - I'd love to see how readers are applying some of the techniques I described. Any feedback would be great, too.

Kris
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Old 2014-01-01, 10:31 PM   #14
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Correction on the binding for any book design geeks out there: it was Limpbound, section sewn, cover drawn on & cut flush.
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Old 2014-01-01, 10:43 PM   #15
Shmolagin
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Hey - thanks for starting this thread. Great idea & thanks for the kind remarks!
Your welcome, and thanks for replying.
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I wanted a definitive, physical answer to the common question, "what is muni or trials" - something anyone could relate to.
I though that was one of the coolest things about this book, like you said finally there's something that people can really understand. It's too bad that it isn't circulated very much, I imagine we'd get tons more recruits if people saw this book in library's and bookstores.
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