First Offroad Attempt

I’ve been a secret indoor unicyclist for a while and made a sudden leap in ability after moving from my no-name 24" starter to a 19" trials uni. What a difference - I can scoot around the house and hall only using the walls at each end of the journey to turn.

Emboldened by this small success I tried myself out on a quiet country lane and discovered I could pedal along until I chose to dismount (most of the time). Yay! Time to try some very tame offroading.

I popped the uni into the van and stopped off on Cannock Chase to make the attempt.

Wow! This is WAY harder than I thought. I did manage to complete the circuit I intended - but more as an extended series of (often failed) freemounts rather than any sort of ride, though I did manage a few hundred yards here and there.

I eventually made it back to the van, exhausted and dripping with sweat. I’m going to need a LOT more practice before I try that again - though my freemounts are now significantly improved!

Pic of the uni at Cannock Chase today, and loaded on my dog-transporting cargo bike from the other day’s country lane attempt:

Neat way of transporting stuff…congratulations on ‘coming out’. :smiley: (nice dog too!).

Congrats on hitting the trails, it’s lots of fun!

Is that a Yuba Mundo? how do you like it?

Like the big dummy. Kinda want one :slight_smile: have fun riding it’s a joy!

Yes its a Yuba, the 6 speed early version. Its very useful and extremely heavy with the dog onboard. I’ve stuck a 250 watt hub motor on the front which helps, though there is one hill on my circuit that is a walk-up even with the motor!

No!!! just keep going out there. That’s exactly the practice you need. :slight_smile:
welcome to the dark side!

Yes, but its so embarrassing when MTBers stop to watch with bemusement as I mount, flail wildly for a few revolutions, UPD and repeat :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll do a bit more quiet roadwork before I go public XC again. I’d rather flail less and get a little further next time!

You could always ask if they’d like to give it a try… :sunglasses:

The uni’s only 3 days old - only I’m allowed to smash it up still! But you’re right. And even though I UPDed so regularly, nailing the freemount with onlookers is a great feeling! Hehe

99% of them will turn your offer down, the other 1% can either ride or they’ll just smash their shins up and call it a day. Nailing the freemount with onlookers is pretty sweet! Keep it up!

Well done on the first attempts mono, good job!

Keep it up and it’ll come eventually and also i agree with the guys above. When i have a bad UPD (hands and knees) and get a few people laughing at me i always give them a chance to show me how it’s done, not had a taker yet! :smiley:

Keep us posted on your progress anyway. Oh and keep on posting pics…I like pics :slight_smile:

Don’t wait, go right back out there and use a tree or boulder if you have to.

I still can’t freemount and I don’t let that stop me from going for a Muni ride (I have some paralysis in my legs that keeps me from easily getting up there w/o a tree or the like).

Since you can mount a bit, it’d be good to work on them. Do something like anytime you go somewhere you must land and ride out X freemounts, then every intersection, X mounts in a row, etc.

Looks like you really bit the Muni bug, you’ve cloned Kris’ dog :stuck_out_tongue:

After my rather discouraging offroading I took the uni (and dog) for a mile or so down a very minor road this evening. MUCH better! I was able to go for long distances (for me) and dismount to rest rather than riding til failure. I feel considerably more positive :slight_smile:

I got the uni because my normal ride is a cargo bike - and I do up to 50 miles a day getting about. I enjoy cycling and wanted to get a basic runabout for short local stuff and dog walking. It struck me that you can’t get much more basic than a uni, so I bought a cheapie and got hooked.

Going from an extremely heavy bike to a light uni I find that I actually miss the resistance - as if having nothing to pedal against results in me spinning faster and faster - I keep having to slow myself down. Going uphill is MUCH easier, and such a joy to go buzzing up a slope that would have me straining on the big bike. Downhill is a very different proposition.

One thing I notice going from riding indoors to outdoors is that I have always been riding TO something (wall, doorway etc), and I initially found the act of riding to infinity very unsettling.

Oh well, early days. I’m glad I went ack out with it and regained some of my self esteem though! Thanks everyone for your encouragement.

When I was learning Munii it helped significantly to focus on a rideable space next to a tree or rock. Don’t focus on the rock itself or you’ll run into it.

My first proper muni ride was at Cannock Chase. That was a few years ago now, with Alan “Arnold the Aardvark” Chambers. (Don’t know if he’s still around.)

Congratulations on your first rides in public. It gets easier. Once you’ve got the freemount somewhere near 100%, it’s a lot less tiring.

Hi Mike - Cannock Chase is a good place to ride, loads of different terrain too.

I see you play the concertine, I have a fine old Lachenal anglo that I take out busking.

And thanks for the quote, hehe

I went back a year or two ago with a group and we followed a trail called something like “Follow the Dog.” I went back a week or two after on my own and rode all the bits that had defeated me the first time.

I used to busk playing harmonica and fire eating - although not at the same time.

I have a modern Marcus G/D Anglo and a Jeffries B flat/F.

Funny how obsessive unicycling becomes, or is it really that only obsessive personalities persist in trying to learn to unicycle?

I went out for another session on the minor road this afternoon. A morning spent repeatedly attempting freemounts on my very uneven lawn paid off and I nailed nearly every one on the road.

However, now that I could get on and ride so much better, I became aware of the next niggle: a tendency to veer constantly left. I played with seat angle, buttock placement, shoulder position (I tend to lead with my left shoulder), riding on different sides of the road to see if the camber was doing it, and holding the seat handle with either hand.

I can see this will drive me nuts for a while :angry: It seems lots of us have this trouble initially.

I’m also still struggling with how easy it is to pedal the thing without having to fight the resistance of my big bike. I find myself spinning madly and constantly have to slow myself down. Maybe a bigger wheel wouldn’t feel like being stuck in the ultimate granny gear!

Busking with harmonicas: I once lost my breakfast through one when busking the morning after a heavy night. I was flat broke - the only option was to tap the sludge out and play on :frowning:

Although veering to one side can be affected by road camber or a twisted seat and helped by tweeking those, all beginning riders do it a bit to one side or another.

I would veer to the left for a while after learning, then it went away. A while after that I went on my first Muni ride and it came back when riding off road.

The cure is doing LOTS of circles in the other direction.

…also, if you’re always veering to the left, you could just mount your seat twisted slightly to the right to compensate.

Check your foot position on the pedals. I find that an uneven foot position can also be a cause of veering.