So yesterday I was enjoying a nice, long MUni ride at my local trails. Usually, when I see people with dogs walking towards me on a narrow stretch of trail, I dismount to let them walk by. However, yesterday a man with the dog told me that his dog wouldn’t bother me so I should just continue on. Unfortunately, while riding by, the black lab jumped right infront of me! Trying to dodge the dog so I wouldn’t hurt him, I jumped off to the side and landed right on my ankle. The owner felt awful, but I should have just went with my routine of dismounting to let him walk by. Now that I am sitting on the recliner icing my badly swollen ankle, tell me any of your worst, first, or unexpected dismounts that turned for the worse!
The only bad UPD I’ve had was a few months ago, a week after I got my 36er. I’d practised on a friend’s before so I kept the 125s that came with it on.
As I was making my way back from a modest 10 mile ride there was a final hill, quite steep, that lasted for a few hundred meters. The 125s wore me out so much that when I got to the top of the hill I just couldn’t keep up with the wheel once it started to gain momentum again and UPD’d in the middle of the road in front of a car. Scratched myself up pretty badly and damaged my right knee. It’s fine but it’s still not 100%.
I became quite feerful of riding the 36 again after that. Now though I’ve gone up to 150s and I’m more confident on it, though I really only like riding it on cycle paths now.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I tried out my friend’s 36er, which has 125’s, for the first time a couple weeks ago and I felt that the unicycle was controlling me and not me controlling the unicycle! I’m used to the 150’s as well!
Hope your knee and scrapes are all healed up!
A few stick in the mind:
- In the early days on my first 36 - a “Coker Big One”. I was riding down a sidestreet in a residential area. I got over confident and started to pedal as fast as I could. I lost control and fell off the front, took one big running step and then fell full length on my chest. My hands went down and I could feel the road surface rushing past my chest for what felt like several seconds. I got up as the uni finally came to rest. The front of the Viscount seat was bady ripped.
I stood up and looked down at my chest expecting my shirt to be torn and my skin cut, but there was barely a mark on the shirt. It had slid without tearing, and had saved my skin.
My cheap fingerless gloves had fared less well: the palms had torn and rolled back as far as the wrist straps, but at least my hands were unhurt.
Relieved but embarrassed, I went to pick up the uni and inspect the damage. A lady walking past had seen the whole thing. She suddenly exclaimed, “Your poor knee!” I looked down and my knee was pouring with blood.
I mumbled something and remounted and rode on.
The next day, I was booked to Morris dance; we wear plain white trousers. Despite my best efforts with dressings, the blood leaked through.
- I was riding a muni around a disused quarry on a snowy foggy day, a few years ago. It was probably my first time riding on rocks rather than mud and tree roots, and as I went off a small step, the rebound of the tyre totally threw me - literally: I flew forward without the uni, and landed chin first on a rock. The impact was sickening. I lay face down in the snow, sure that I had broken my jaw. I could see blood forming a pool around me in the snow. I spat out half a tooth. Eventually, I pulled myself together and stood up. My jaw wasn’t broken but my chin was ripped open.
I rode back to the car with blood pouring down the front of my dayglo cycling jacket, even though I was using one hand to staunch the flow. Even so, I have a clear memory of a group of walkers asking me the “other wheel” question.
Fortunately, I had a friend who lived nearby. He patched me up and I drove to hospital with my chin in a “sling”. I needed 7 stitches. I also needed my toth to be rebuilt.
- Riding around a sand quarry in an area known locally as “The Desert” I was riding down a fairly normal but slippery descent when my foot came of the pedal and I got in a tangle with the uni. The pinned pedals opened the back of my leg so it looked like a split orange skin. I limped and rode for an hour to get back to the car. I needed 7 stitches in the back of my leg.
Man! You made me cringe reading those stories! You must have been riding for awhile to have experienced all those UPDs. Your UPDs make mine sound like nothing!
Falling face first has always been my biggest fear and something that really held back my progress learning some tricks, even if I know I’m perfectly safe.
25 years this year, but all three UPDs were in the last 10.
One of my worst was riding down a big hill to about a 3ft drop and having to much pressure in the tire and when i landed it threw me off and i fell flat on my back and broke a finger and sprained my wrist
Ouch Wes! That must have been brutal. All I can say is that UPDs are quite scary at times!
First one was autumn last year. Found a really steep, slippy slope to ride down, and gave it a go. Had my brake on as hard as it’d go (but still ended up going too fast). Tyre hit a lump, wheel twisted sideways, throwing me off in the process. It was one of those situations where you have no idea what’s going on, and you only realise what’s happened once you’ve stopped. Luckily, caught it on video
This one was early last year, and one of my best. As with last time, there was a long, steep slope. Despite the fact it was too steep to walk up, I was determined to ride it, so slowly crawled up (hands and knees, dragging the unicycle beind), mounted with the aid of a tree, and went for it. All I remember was getting faster and faster, then being on the ground and having a sore head.
Both times, I walked away with little more than a small graze. (On the attached photo) however, I wasn’t so lucky. A wall seemed like the ideal place to do a standstill, so up I went and did a surprisingly long (by my standards) one. Then, I fell off to one side, went to put my foot down, but missed the wall. Instead, my foot plunged down into open air, dragging the inside of my leg down the rough edge of the bricks, leaving a nice row of deep, bloody gashes. I was wearing shorts at the time, and wearing trousers for school resulted in what felt like dragging sandpaper up and down the wound. I put on a bandage, but the blood dried into it, so ended reopening the cuts as the bandage tore off the scabs. It hurt. Lots.
Ouch. I am recovering from my worse upd, I was coming down a shingle track and the wheel slid out from me as well as one foot coming off the pedal, (must change to metal pedals) as I came down my left knee got jammed between the crank and the wheel as my cranks have big Q factor (must change cranks). Luckily there was fence stopping me going down bank, after riding home found my knee seized up. Am just getting back to regular walking and have only had one spin on uni since then.
strange how we get more unlucky as we get older …
But you deserve the award for best UPD stories!!
It’s difficult to choose the worst UPD. They always end up with skinned knees and hands, torn pants, and recently, cracked the glass on my iPod.
Once I was uni juggling 3 clubs down a sidewalk I had ridden a hundred times. But on this day, the oil truck was making a delivery, truck parked in the street, 4" oil hose running across the sidewalk to the building.
If I had seen it, I could have ridden over it. But I ended up flat on my face:o:(
I laughed my but off after reading that; however, I hope it didn’t hurt too much! I am assuming that you ride with your ipod since you said you broke the glass screen. I wonder how many people ride with their ipod? I’d be too worried that I wouldn’t hear a mountain biker coming or runner coming behind me.
@peter thats why i dont ride with my i pod.
I had a bad one today i was riding down the hill and i started to slide so i juped off and when i grabbed a tree to slow me down it snapped and fell on me
Haha! When you grab a tree, you expect it to be strong enough to support the force. I think it’s hilarious when the tree comes with you! That happened to my dad a couple years ago when we were hiking on an icy trail!
I’ve never ridden ST with my MP3 player, but have recently begun riding some DT by my house listening to it. I may start riding with it all the time, because I find that it’ll give me a little boost when a good song/beat comes on. Could really help the last few miles of the ride when you’re running on fumes and trying to make it off the mountain and back to your truck before your heart and/or quads lock up.
As for my worst UPD, I haven’t had any really bad. Been pitched off the trail while hitting a rock, but only resulted in skinned palms and cactus needls in my hand and knee. Also lost it while trying to pull over for some bikers, ended up with a pedal bite in the shin that was my worst so far, but not terrible.
If you wanna experience some crazy UPD’s, start learning to ride an ultimate wheel. I had scabs on top of scabs on top scabs on my palms while learning.
My worst UPD (till now) was not scary but really fast.
I finished some XC exhausting ride and was trying to get on the high curb…
Stopped, prehops and after 1/100 sec I holding my face in 10cm near to pavement.
Thanks to wrist guards - wrists are fine.
But metacarpal bone on left (my grab hand) was hited by sharp stone and cracked.
Scary UPD was when I was trying to go done pretty steep slope (I learning to do that).
Rode to the start of slope, saw some stones and other stuff which needs to be passed. Have no brakes on my muni After start everything was going good enough but for some reason I decided to dismount. Took my foot from pedals but did not fall down and continue riding no footer. That was about 3-4 meters of scary ride Fell down on my left palm (see above) and back. No any damages excluding reminder that hand still recovering.
One of my worst occurred when I was riding my 26 guni down a fire trail.
I was going flat out when I hit some loose sand and the wheel just stopped.
I was doing around 30km when it happened, I got one step in and then nosedived.
I slid so fast that when my helmet caught the ground I actually did a complete flip over and ended up on my back with my feet in front of me.
Some mtb riders who were just behind me were shocked that the only injury I had was a grazed knee. They bought i must have broken something… Like my neck.
Wow, I couldn’t imagine a UPD going 30km/h. I wonder what you were thinking at that instant when you knew you were in line for a good rolling…
Also, I think the no footer riding is quite scary too. It seems to happen when you try to bail before reaching the peak of the slope!