finding a rideable line

Greetings,

Are you good at examining the terrain and choosing the best ridable line?

Yesterday I was Muni-ing with my son, King-MUni-Man. We went to a trail that we used to ride last year- before’ the’ incident. It happened while my son was riding down the hill. Two moose and the two dogs chasing them came running out of the woods in front of and behind my son. It really was a VERY close call. I asked if he was okay and all he said in his stunned little voice was, “It felt like I was in Jumanji”. That was the last time we rode there until yesterday. That’s also when we named the trail, Jumanji.

Jumanji trail is a mostly hard packed, single track trail starting with a downhill section, then some wider flat riding (some wild grass) and finally a gravel path for nature walkers. The downhill section is lumpy and bumpy. We did the Jumanji run four times and my son who is only 6 made it all the way down each time without a UPD. I on the other hand (age 36) would always have a UPD. I thought, “What’s up with this? I’ve got a KH24 with a Gazz and he’s riding a little 16 inch wheel with a Durro knobby tire”. On the last run I let him go first and I followed his route. It was amazing. His riding line was totally different than what I was doing and I thought it looked more difficult, but after following his route I made it all the way to the bottom without a upd. His line was actually ‘easier’ to ride than mine! During the rest of our ride, I let him lead the way and I followed.

What I’ve learned from him is this: When MUni-ing you need to have a good eye for finding the most ridable line. It’s a skill, just like the riding itself. Being good at scoping out the terrain and choosing the most ridable line is just as important as your ability to ride. I had never really thought about it before. I always thought that being a good rider was all about balance and strength not being an expert at finding the best line. Sure, I try to choose a good ridable line but I didn’t realize what a skill it can be. Sometimes you can learn a lot from children. I guess that’s why my teacher calls himself, King Muni-Man.

Note: He did have one nasty little spill yesterday. When I went over to him on the ground, he was holding his injured shin, rocking back and forth chanting, “King Muni-Man fails… King MUni-Man fails…” It was very amusing and he was up and riding a minute or two later. :smiley:

Cheers,
Jason

How do little children fall off so much but not get hurt?? They just seem to bounce!

Finding a line takes a bit of practice and it can lead you to some things that u thought were really difficult but turn out easier. King-Muni-Man must have a good eye for them :slight_smile:

It is also easy to get “stuck” in your line. I ride the same trail often and have found my favorite line. (The trail is close to my house and only about 3 miles long, so I know it very well.) Some climbs/drops took many attempts with various lines chosen until it was mastered. When something changes, like someone cuts out a root on a hill and/or erosion significantly changes the trail, I am forced to find a new line. Recently, I started purposely forcing myself to take a different line than the one I normally do. It has changed my ride and allows more variety. I’ve found in most cases, my ability is capable of lines that originally it was not -or it seems that the easy line is only easy because I know it can be done. Follow anyone and you are convinced it’s possible. I rode a line down a very steep, rooted, erroded hill with some mtn bikers waiting at the bottom, and one yelled ‘I can’t believe it… and you even picked the worst line’. I told him that any line I pick is good, as long as it’s mine.

Finding the best rideable line is one of the most rewarding bits of MUni/Cokering.

I see a comparison here with rock climbing: a rock climber (in the traditional school of climbing) looks at a cliff and sees a number of routes. They might be ridges, gullies, cracks, or whatever, but there is a logical reason for choosing each route. The trick then becomes climbing the most difficult route you can manage.

Artificial routes, zigzagging across a cliff and stringing together a set of easy or difficult moves, are considered less satisfactory.

Apply this to MUni, with something as simple as a track with two wheel ruts. That gives you at least 5 routes: down the middle, down the right, down the left, or along either of the ruts. Given that you can ride each way along a track, a short length of rutted track can become 10 routes of varying levels of difficulty.

With an eye for the terrain, an area of broken ground becomes a maze. Finding the route across can be as difficult and rewarding as the simple physical challenge of staying on the uni.

Maximum respect to the King MUni Man who seems to have spotted this at a very early age. Wise beyond his tender years. :0)

Being interested in both MUni and rock climbing I can see exactly where Mike is coming from. In rock climbing you need to constantly have your eyes open to spot the best route and you have to be able to do it quickly to keep up your momentum, if you stop it is both tiring to get going again and it makes you feel like quitting. If you stop when you are MUniing you loose your momentum and you can get stuck in places you dont want to be. Im sure climbing has improved my MUni skills, and viva voce :wink:

Re: finding a rideable line

Well, that’s probably the point in time where he starts to outperform you in a growing number of fields.

It’s really supercool that your son can choose the optimal riding line; my experience with little kids is that they do not see these sort of things.

Or you just have to lower your seat, perhaps he has a much better view of the track because he is so much smaller than you? :wink:

Regards,
Juergen

Re: finding a rideable line

Jason,

Great stories. My 7 yr old is ready to hit the trail - What’s the best 16" Muni setup? What’s King Muni man riding, and where do you get the 16" knobby duro tire?

Thx

Joe

If I weighed as much today as I did when I was six, I’d bounce too! :slight_smile:

Re: finding a rideable line

johnfoss wrote:
> foolish wrote:
>> How do little children fall off so much but not get hurt?? They
>> just seem to bounce!

> If I weighed as much today as I did when I was six, I’d bounce too!
> :slight_smile:

Drop a mouse off a skyscraper, like as not it’ll run away. Drop a horse off
a skyscraper and you’ll splatter the building across the street.


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
–Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Re: Re: finding a rideable line

Hi Joe,

Nice to hear there’s yet another young Munier ready to hit the trails! I’ll be sure to tell my son.

He’s six and rides a 16" United with KH Welgo pin pedals and a Durro knobby tire I purchased at a Fred Meyer store. “Freddy’s” is a store that carries everything from groceries to cloths to cycles, guns and tools. You name it, they have it. I don’t think it will be hard for you to find a 16" knobby tire. You can checkout his Muni in the Gallery here:

http://tinyurl.com/7lca

Cheers,
Jason

Re: Re: finding a rideable line

That’s what my wife said! :smiley:

Cheers,
Jason