This is a typical run for me. I can cross some tree roots and go about this far until I run out of steam. 10 months riding.

Muni, especially Muni with roots is going to require you to learn how to ride while holding the saddle handle. Trust me, I speak from experience. I live in Virginia and the trails I ride are riddled with roots. It feels very awkward at first, but once you learn how to ride while holding onto the saddle handle, you will feel much more stable and be able to ride over rougher terrain. I would also recommend buying some knee/shin guards and some decent gloves. This will give you more confidence and allow you to relax a little more while riding over roots. Other than that, it just takes time and practice. I get frustrated (somewhat) almost everytime I ride. With UNI, especially at our age, the learning curve is very steep and sometimes it takes a long time to actually make any progress. Keep at it, you are doing better than you think!

One more thing, Muni really takes a lot of leg strength and endurance. When I first started riding off-road, I got tired very quickly. I would only ride for 20 minutes and feel exhausted. Now I’m riding for a little over an hour (with a few 60 second breaks) and I still feel exhausted, but not as bad. :smiley:

You are a big guy, so you probably have the strength, but not the muscular endurance right now. That will come in time. Just ride as long as you can at least 3 times per week. I recommend riding every other day at first so you can give your muscles time to recuperate (just like weight lifting). Every week, try to ride a little bit farther/longer than you did the previous week.

You are still very slow, go little bit faster and everything is easier.
A little bit more confidence and balance and you can go faster, confidence and balance improve the more your ride.
Learning to hold on to the seat handle with one hand is also very helpful.

The more you learn to really put your weight on the seat, putting weight on the pedals only when necessary, the longer you can ride, and the longer you ride the more practice you get.

No need to be frustrated, you are experiencing what every one of us here did in the beginning. Keep going, there are hundreds of miles of great riding ahead of you.



What I saw looked really good! The #1 thing is to go out and try and you’re doing that. It’s my experience that getting better is something that slowly builds. So much so that you don’t notice. I’ve had a few aha moments where I realized some progress that I had made, but by and large progress would go unnoticed.

I remember my first trip into the woods on a uni. It was late September last year. Frustration and even embarrassment were the key words. I’m glad I didn’t listen to the loud voice in my head that wanted me to quit because I’m a bit better today and I’m loving it.

Unfortunately for me the voice of defeat rings very loud in my head, it’s a big weakness I have. One thing that helped me was looking at the “Pictures of your latest ride” thread. Now usually I’m the kind of guy that walks into a guitar shop, hears some dude shredding the life out of a guitar, and I get so discouraged with my own meager skills by comparison that I feel like I never want to touch a guitar again… but for whatever reason the pics in the latest ride thread always puts that desire back in me to get up and try again… despite not being on the same level of those trail shredders. For whatever reason it works. Also, never compare yourself with others, compare yourself with your previous you. :wink:

Now you say you’ve only been riding for 10 months? You see I had the benefit of riding for a few years on pavement before I even considered off road was something that could be done. I couldn’t imagine taking on the trails after 10 months, so you’re doing well.

As far as advice… Yes, speed helps and it takes a while to get comfortable with speed on a trail. I’m still working on that bit. Speed will let you blow over smaller roots as opposed to laboring over them.

And yeah, riding with a hand on the seat. I’ve gotten so bad at this that I think I ride with a hand on the seat 100% of the time. I’m trying to dial back and only do it when necessary.

Cardio kills me every time on single track. In the very beginning I’d be completely exhausted after just a few feet, despite being able to ride miles and miles on pavement. I still can’t get the heart rate up on pavement like I can on muni. I’d make a guess of something like a 1:5 ratio; 1 muni mile feels like 5 pavement miles. I’m noticing that cardio is something that comes along very, very slowly,at least for me.

Tire pressure. Makes a world of difference. My second or third trip out to do single track I met a biker in the parking lot that hopped up on my uni, did some hops, rode off on a hiking trail, rode back, and told me to let some air out of the tire. I was :astonished: because 1) what are the chances of meeting a fellow unicyclist randomly like that and 2) he was so far ahead of me. Anyway I let the air out some but still wasn’t comfortable letting it out as much as he wanted me to. Over time I finally learned to let that air out. For me the tradeoff with low pressure was that my rolling resistance had increased quite a bit, which tired me out and dealt a blow to the cardio. You eventually compensate for that though.

Keep your weight in the seat as much as possible. That’s the #1, repeat #1 thing that got me to extend my rides. The first several rides I rode standing in the pedals nearly the entire time. Mostly to compensate for roots, obstacles, turns, and climbs. I’d blow through all my energy standing on the pedals fighting against the roots. Now this is another thing that only came with time. I didn’t go out there and say “this is exactly how I’m going to change my technique” but it’s something that occurred naturally over time. Only coming out of the seat when necessary, and by how much… if that makes sense. Knowing what size root requires a bit of a stand for shock absorbing purposes and which can be ridden over without special attention.

Sorry of meandering and being wordy. That’s another weakness I have. You’re doing a good thing. You’re out there. You’ll get better, even if you don’t realize it. It’s a good thing you’re taking video too. My wife is learning to unicycle and she has vids of her first attempts. I’d love to have videos of my first attempts at things, I’m sure they’d be a source of inspiration being able to look back on progress that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

You’re doing great for 10 months :smiley:

Ditto on everything above, but it took me a long time to get over the fear to get up the speed to get over bumps easily.

I like to switch hands on the handle. One gets tired after a few minutes and when hopping up stuff you can hop better in either direction.

I think you are doing great too. Agreed with above comments/suggestions. If it’s any help with me and maybe you are experiencing some similarity is I am my own worst enemy. I think I can’t - I can’t. I think I can and don’t let the negativity get in my head like the little engine that could - I usually can. :slight_smile:
I know it sounds really simplistic and of course there will be UPDs but positive thinking and just relaxing really does render better results, at least for me.

I think you are doing great! Keep up the good work. Agreed with above comments/suggestions. If it’s any help with me and maybe you are experiencing some similarity is I am my own worst enemy. I think I can’t - I can’t. I think I can and don’t let the negativity get in my head like the little engine that could - I usually can. :slight_smile:
I know it sounds really simplistic and of course there will be UPDs but positive thinking and just relaxing really does render better results, at least for me.

In just 10 months that is pretty impressive!

I am just working out the Muni riding as well and have found that running the tyre at a much lower pressure makes the ride over bumps much easier.

Keep at it - you are doing great,


Man I totally forgot to mention another top thing that helped me progress tremendously. Ride muni with others.

I would have only made a tiny fraction of the progress I have made thus far if it wasn’t for riding with other people, the guys I go out on rides with have made all the difference in the world. They push me in ways that I never, ever would have pushed myself if alone. It also makes the rides much more enjoyable. If I’m out there alone it just isn’t as fun.

I hope you are in an area where you can find a riding partner.

Its really tough to hold the handle or get speed starting in all those rocks. I think I should just hit easy trails until I make more progress instaed of doing my limit everytime.

I would suggest starting a fitness program or increasing the amount of cardio you do now. After I started doing more running, I found myself getting much less winded while doing Muni.

Your fitness program doesn’t have to start with running; you can start with brisk walking or biking or some other low impact cardio exercise.

I think continuous cardio exercise is much more effective at increasing your fitness level than Muni. That’s not to say that Muni is easy, rather it has a lot of starts and stops and is not always continuous exercise.

I would suggest going to a sporting goods store (Dick’s) and get knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads and helmet. I bought the above,minus the helmet, for $30 at Dicks… I have been riding a year now and would not be if I had not invested the money in the equipment.