Ok, in my 39th year on the planet, I am starting to think that maybe I need to change my focus. I have spent a bunch of money on trials parts and nifty gadgets for my trials uni and I do love doing trials but the risk and pain involved is staring to take it’s toll. I learned to ride 30 years ago with a bunch of BMX freaks and riding the monkey trails with them on my uni was loads of fun, so my question is, Is the risk reward ratio better switching to Muni and distance riding or am I better to just keeping killing myself for a thrill.
Tell me what you ride and how much you enjoy it.
The onza I barely ride anymore, I just don’t have the focus for unicycling to keep hacking at the same jump, with the risk of a bad bail each time, until I land it. Trials also seems to involve hanging around in dingey parts of town, it’s never taken me anywhere amazing.
The Kh i love to ride, there’s not much good muni where I live but when I get the chance on some good terrain it’s great. I am able to push to the limits of my ability far more so than with the trials. Also i love the fact the muni gets me up in to the mountains, I’ve been on several muni holidays with my mates to wales, I can’t really imagine going the same distance to ride trials.
The coker is by far my most frequently used ride because I can ride it from my house (and I have no other form of transport half the year). I ride mostly off the road (not off-road, that’s different). I love the speed and flow, and being able to cover serious distance.
The two are not mutually exclusive. They are different but related sports - as different or as similar as badminton and squash, or chess and draughts.
As someone in your age group, I find long periods practising a skill or a move in one palce a bit pointless. If I were to keep practising the same thing time after time on the spot, it would be one of my musical instruments, or some dance moves.
The unicycle is a vehicle. It can take you to places you wouldn’t otherwise visit, and you can see things you wouldn’t otherwise see. I prefer the variety of getting out, seeing places, and seeing people. My rides involve stamina and and adventure rather than risk and short bursts of excitement. But that’s me.
I think a lot of the influence on people’s chosen riding style is where they live.
I learnt on a 20" freestyle-type unicycle, but I now only really ride that at the occasional indoor unimeet, and sometimes if I’m playing around trying to learn a new mount or something (which I very rarely do and really ought to do more often).
My most-used unicycle is a Nimbus 26x3" muni with 150s, which is perfect for the sometimes-quite-rocky-but-not-too-extreme cross-country trails round here. It’s almost impossible not to ride xc living where I am - there are two nice trails going from where I live in the general direction of where I work, so it’s perfect for commuting (about 9 miles each way).
I’ve also got a coker (well, it’s actually mostly Qu-Ax) that I also use for lighter xc - I’m not really into road unicycling, I prefer a bike for that.
I’m also in your age group, and I ride mostly muni, although I have a Summit trials and a KH29, too. I have a riding buddy (GaryWPope on these fora) and we try to ride local trails a couple times a week, but often take a day or two a month to practice trials-ish skills (hopping up stairs and rocks, learning to do drops and pedal grabs, etc.). We mostly see the skill-building as ways of making ourselves better able to navigate the very rocky trails around here, but it’s also a lot of fun, too.
I’ll echo the sentiments about muni getting you out into beautiful areas; I’m lucky to have a city park of 3,600+ acres with probably 40 or more miles of singletrack just 5 minutes from my house (to say nothing of the incredible riding within 2-3 hours of here: SF Bay area, Tahoe, Lake Shasta, Downieville; lucky me!). If I didn’t muni, I would spend far less time in that amazing place. So I’d encourage you to find a riding buddy (if you don’t have some already) and give muni a try. It’s a blast.
When I was living in London, riding hoppy stuff was cool, cos you could do it round the centre of town, and go to loads of fun places. Outside London though, I’ve never bothered. I love the way the muni gets me places too.
Like last week, I was riding a dry dusty trail, in the Australian countryside, lovely views, nice weather, in a really remote feeling area, where even the public roads were dirt tracks, when suddenly 3 kangaroos jumped over the fence and bounced into the woods. You just don’t get that kind of random experience hopping around in cities.
Both man, even us young guns get beat up alot, but personaly I ballance it out between the two. Last weekend I hurt my foot pretty badly doing some late night street riding, so today I rode my coker to and from work.
The other thing to think about too is that you will probably always get hurt, just you are more likely to get hurt doing what you do the most. I ride trials or street the most so I hurt myself the most doing that. Now I do still hurt myself doing distance (actualy I can’t think of an example where I hurt myself doing muni strangely) I actualy hurt myself today when my pedal desided it didn’t like being attached to the crank at about 18 kph, fortunatly I wasn’t going too fast or it would have been even worse. I also tend to do alot of downtown coker riding, similar to the New York rider (sorry I forget your name) and I nearly got crushed inbetween a bus and a taxi today, if I had been a mm in any other direction I probably wouldn’t be typing this right now infact, but I will save that for another time.
So long story short, do both, they will both hurt.