It was in England I got into all terrain unicycling purely by incident.
I was renting a place in the Lickey Hills, near Birmingham. It was 1991. Lickey
Hills is a small mountain riddled with bike and walking tracks, quite coarse.
To catch a bus to Birmingham I had to be at the bottom of the hills, living
right in the middle at the top I thought would cause a problem if I was running
late for the bus timetable, until one day I WAS running very late and out of
panic, grabbed the uni on the way out the door, mounted, and like a bat out of
hell went out of control until I reached the bottom. I caught the bus ok, but
spent a 15 minute ride with my whole body pumping adrenaline! wot a rush!! This
I HAD to do again!
>From then I used to go for regular haunts all over the Hills as fast as I
could without loosing control, of course there was the time I gracefully landed
in a goarsebush! then the stream! and there was the ditch… which was nearly
fatal to parts of my body…
out of control, pumped up to the max (fellow umxee’s will know this feeling), I
was doing this rad trail on a very mild decline (almost flat), when I spotted
two mountain bikers sitting on the edge of the trail, looking over the edge,
(maybe comtemplating whether to go or not?). I aimed between them and shot
straight over the edge not knowing quite what to expect (It’s here I strongly
recommend examining a stunt route before trying it!). Boy was I in trouble! this
hill would have been almost 1:1 and about 40 feet to the bottom!! All the way
down I was trying to maintain control but could not put enough pressure on the
pedals to slow down! I was doing the most maximum obtainable speed (not by
choice! I was in serious trouble!!) until I got to the bottom! …then it got
worse!.. this is where my recommendation to check trails comes in… at the
bottom of this rather steep hill was a ditch, yes THE ditch! unfortunately about
two feet deep and wide enough to fit a uni wheel in just nice and snug! Out of
shear panic, I pedalled back as hard as I could with my eyes buldging out of my
head in horror (trying to look like I had it under control to maintain face in
front of the mountain bikers was the last thing on my mind now!) My foot felt
like it slipped of the pedal (a few have felt this), the crank twisted right
around and into my spokes (fatal to three), then… I hit the ditch… HARD!
With an incredibly sore stomach, I bravely collected myself, “thumbs up” to the
mountain bikers and limped off up the other track with uni over my shoulder.
Ouch! it REALLY hurt, I remember it like it was yesterday!
It WAS a cheapish taiwanese uni, I had riden for about two years, I temporarily
fixed it with a pipe wrench but the crank was so soft afterwards it kept bending
and not replacing the spokes made to wheel go a funny shape!
I since have purchased a SEMCYCLE and am not so much into the UMX, but UNIGRID.
Ross Mackintosh firstname.lastname@example.org Vivid Images Ltd Editor ‘UniNews’ Hamilton,
New Zealand Founding President ‘Unicycling New Zealand’
*********************************** THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Making a footpath...If, when removing soil to make a path of stepping stones, you are vexed by buried rocks, move your path a few feet; somebody else had the same idea fifty or a hundred years before you!! (James McConkey, writer) ***********************************