BMX/Pump Track

I’ve been riding almost a whole year and lately I’ve given these tracks another go, and I’ve been steadily improving. I just need to manage my energy better as this is really exhausting. When I first started I could barely do a couple of bumps. I haven’t seen many videos online of people doing this sort of thing so I didn’t think it was possible or practical. As you’re supposed to use a bike and pump it/yourself to gain momentum and pedal as little as possible.

Man, you were doing so good until you hit that bump.

Really though, you’ll be launching off some of those in no time.
Looks like another cross country rider!

I think it was a mixture of overconfidence and fatigue, I did it a few times last week and only made it to the 3rd set of bumps as I was exhausted and just dismounted. When I got to the last set I was pretty beat but I pushed on and must have leaned too far forward and not pedalled hard enough. I’m sure if I keep trying this I’ll be able to pull it off. There’s another circuit near and I can do a full lap on it but it’s much shorter.

Silver lining is I’m not too hurt just gravel rash on both my palms and right knee. I own gloves and leg armour but haven’t been wearing them lately as it’s summer here. The leg armour is just too hot to wear so I’m considering getting some smaller knee pads if I try to do this again.

I’ve ridden with KH armour for the last 4-5 years and just discovered Black Diamond’s Telekneesis kneepads.

They’re going to be way cooler in the summer and are a lot more comfy.

I have the KH armour myself as I thought they would be ideal as every muni video I’ve watched everyone wears them. Those Diamond ones look better might have to look for some here. It says they’re made for skiing hope they don’t get too warm. Just really need something that doesn’t cook my legs as the summer here is really ramping up.

How important is shin protection though? I’ve only ever hit my shins a couple of times and that was early when I was still learning to mount and ride. The pain from the pedal bite was enough to make me learn where not to put my other foot when mounting and it’s been a long time since I’ve hit my shins riding.

Well, there are knee/shin pads made by companies that have a whole team working on designing good pads, and there is a unicycle manufacturer that also makes some pads. I recommend trying out some MTB specific pads, they are good at staying in place and not bothering you. There is nothing about unicycling that seperates our needs from the needs of Mountainbikers. Every pad is going to be a bit warm in really hot summers though.

I personally don’t use shinpads for Muni, since I only occassionally hit my shins, and if I do, it’s not going to be a lasting injury. I can live with a few scratches and bruises.

Very cool track! That was some takedown…

More crash gear

I think on a course like that you have to gear up like the bmx’rs. You are not going as fast, of course, but head/shoulder/flipping motions are going to result. So, I’d suggest:
-helmet with chin guard
-bmx shoulder/back pads

Keep on

How important is shin protection though?

More important if you use pedals with metal traction pins, but the plastic pins can still make you bleed.

Don’t forget wrist braces!

The course isn’t that difficult it’s just using your energy more efficiently and knowing your limits. I went down because I was pushing myself to finish the course and I just ran out of steam. As for safety gear I just need knee pads and wrist guards and I’ll be fine, I’m not really going that fast on this course.

I don’t see shin protection useful unless you’re practising mounting your unicycle as I’ve only ever got pedal bite from learning to mount a unicycle. In saying that I got pedal bite today while I was practising static mounting my 29". I’m pleased to say I learnt how to static mount my 24" fairly consistently and a few times on my 29". Getting any mount to work on my 36" is another story…

Just do what you are doing on the 29" static mount, with a little more push and that comes from the ankle on the ground. The 36" is not much higher, but it is further to rotate from the standing to the riding position. I’ve not had trouble mounting the 36 with static mount as I make myself believe it’s just a bigger 29" :slight_smile: My problems start trying to move off, they are a heavy slow beast to get rolling.

Yeah I’m trying but the wheel is just so heavy I can’t move it, in saying that I only just managed to static mount the 29" a few times I’m far from mastering that technique even on the 24". My go to mount is rollback and I can do that easily up to 29" but when I roll the 36" back I can just barely roll it forward. I can get on the seat easily enough but getting it to move forward is extremely challenging.

I’m hoping learning static mount will make it easier to mount. My curb mounting isn’t 100% on the 36 either, it’s still easier then free mounting but I’m still failing it from time to time. I just got to keep practising but I hit it pretty hard today.

A rolling mount is really the most useful on a 36er. Even if the wheel stops when you get to the top it’s still helpful as you don’t need to jump very much at all.

Something which really helped my 36er mounting was practising riding away from stillstands on smaller wheels. It helped give me confidence to recover from that “stuck on top of the wheel” feeling, which used to make me panic. Those low speed, high torque situations always increase my personal sketch factor :(.

After four years of riding the 36er my mounting success rate is still only at about 80%, so take all of that with a grain of salt. I don’t really focus on mounting, though, I just like to get out and ride.

I would highly recommended grabbing the wheel. I haven’t ridden my 36" much, so I’m not very good at mounting it the “normal” way, but I’m close to 100% with a wheel grab.

I just start a normal static mount, and lean forward to hold the wheel in place while I put my second foot on the pedal.

Wheel grab is a little tricky with the handlebar in the way, I think my main problem is I’m still not comfortable riding it yet. I’ve had it for less then 2 weeks and according to Strava, I seem to be riding about the same speed as my 29". My 29" mounting didn’t get great until I’d been riding for a couple of months so maybe I just need more time.

Know how you feel mate, a bigger wheel but most of my Strava PR’s are still from riding the 29". That big and heavy 36" wheel does make cruising along OK, and long moderate hills are easier too, but as far as maintaining higher speeds, my 29" and me get along better. The weight of a 36 has a number of issues, but for me it’s just too much energy to maintain a higher speed. On level ground, I’m happy doing about 18 kph on the 36", about the same as the 29" with a higher cadence, but I tire more quickly on the 36". And around Sydney there are just too many hills to cruise around at 18 kph anyhow, so the 29" is much more practical.

Have you checked out the M7 cycleway? It’s a good place for long cruisy rides. Rolling hills, not too steep. 40km in length. There’s a secret tap about halfway along where you can refill your water.

There are also some picturesque cycle paths along the Georges River if you’re in the south west. I haven’t been there for a while but they make for nice 36er cruising.

Know it well, did Kings Langley to a bit past Elizabeth Drive yesterday on the 36", 60km return. Ride is on Strava if you use it. The hills on that route are just ideal unicycle hills. 4-6% grade that just go on and on. The 29 and the 36 can both hold a normal cruise pace up the hills. Sometimes get to pass a few bicycles along the way up, good fun.

I did that once on the 29" from Homebush to Sandringham, not sure I would try the 36", too tight in places and too many people, and there is that very low bridge as well. But as you say, very pretty.

Parramatta Cycleway, Parramatta Park and around Olympic Park are the best flat rides around. Lane Cove National Park is nice, I ride that a couple of times a week as it’s a good mix of cruising and hills. For hills, nothing beats West Head Rd. That was my pre MS Gong ride practice.

A really nice ride is around Narrabeen Lagoon and down to Dee Why. Flat all the way and very pretty, but again too many people to dodge on a big unicycle, well for me anyhow.

Maybe I’ll see you out there one time?

Wow that’s a lot of segments!

I don’t live in Sydney anymore, but if you’re ever in the New England area (I’m in Armidale) ping me and I can show you some good uni trails :).

I got it to close to 20K/s yesterday but it really had me puffing. Also managed to static mount the 36" yesterday and a few times this morning. Interestingly I rollback mount with right foot first and I now static mount with left foot first.