George Peck and family, Pioneering Rough Terrain Unicycling

I don’t remember seeing a link to this one, from Alaska Public Media. It’s some nice work.

It’s a bit hard to make out the yellow letters, but Kris Peck seems to be wearing a California Mountain Unicycling Weekend t-shirt. Can anyone put a year on it?

The most impressive thing in the video was the son riding the ultimate wheel. I read that, in order to ride an ultimate wheel, you have to first be able to ride with the seat dragging behind. I can barely do more than 2-3 pedal strokes after dropping the seat, before I UPD. Kind of made me want to throw up, watching him ultimate-wheel across some uneven surfaces. I need to practice that…

Most of the rough-terrain riding I saw on the video involved the riders moving very slowly, a series of starts and stops, with both their arms out for balance. Unicycling is cool, because there can be different approaches. If I am riding, for example, on a rocky creek bed, I am more likely to push the seat out in front, either sitting on the back edge of the seat or shoving the seat against my groin area, then holding on with two hands, maximizing leverage, getting the unicycle in front of me. Kind of similar to the brute force method I use to (attempt to) ride/crash up a curb. I remember, one day, tearing the seat right off the seat post, while doing that maneuver. Since rough-terrain unicycling started out when unicycles were not as strong, I wonder if this “brute force” method of riding rough terrain… was not practical back in the day.

thanks for posting the video. Great inspiration. I’ve not seen that one, but watched about all that George made. That family amazes me, and having lived in Seward (and visit there), I wonder how a person can do all that.
At my weight and age, I’d be happy to ride around the parking lot lot here at the center and apartment complex :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting the video. I hear riding an ultimate wheel with cranks is even harder than riding ones with the pedals attached directly to the rim. I have tried standing on my unicycle wheel when it’s not attached to the frame and I start out hugging the wall and soon after, I’m hugging the ground.
There’s another video where George Peck is riding a UW. Click here.
You can find more Peck videos on Vimeo; just search ‘Kris Peck’.
Be well and keep it spinning.

Watching Kris on the ultimate wheel, I thought that his riding style might not be all that different from how his dad rode uneven surfaces and very steep inclines on a conventional unicycle. I wonder if he might have taken a different path to ultimate wheel riding by learning to ride like his father first. And I’m inclined to think you’re likely right about George being careful to stay within the limits of the unicycles available to him at the time, adapting his techniques to those limits.

Glad you enjoyed! I also got a lot of inspiration from watching George, especially during the months when I was just starting to ride.

Dedication and time, and maybe not a whole lot else to do around there? :slight_smile:

I’m sure you will if you stick with it. Despite George’s disclaimers about having only average aptitude at learning those skills, saying anyone could learn to do it with time and effort, I suspect that he’s really very gifted at physical skills like that. I don’t see the trajectory of my skill development ever getting to there. But I’m still happy to be able to go out and ride around the neighborhood until I feel like stopping, or to bash through some of the easier mountain bike trails around here–when the rain lets up and they’re dry enough, a big issue this year.

I’ll have to check those out. I never noticed how many videos Kris had on Vimeo, and judging by the dates, they were posted there even before I started unicycling. Thanks for the heads-up.

Another important factor in his favor was age of learning.
However, I will get to riding again. Won’t be able to put the miles or time on wheel as others simply do to geography. I’ve seen -55F here in winter time, and other years an awful lot of snow. Lately, hasn’t been much of snow or cold temps.

Hopefully knee and shin guards will be here tomorrow (supposed to be here today) and I can get out and start riding, start getting some time and distance on the wheel :slight_smile:


If you have a group of fat-tire bikers in your area you may have groomed winter trails to use.
Once you learn how to handle snow in it’s many forms, your skill level will jump up one level once the dirt starts showing again.

Benefits… no bugs, not as much sweat, way softer landing on uncontrolled UPDs, and Yoda like training because it can be so damn hard.

I’ve only been looking at videos and riding for a short time. And I’d have to say he’s probably the most persistent unicyclist That I have ever seen. I watched one the other day for the first time. And I think it’s one of the best I’ve seen so far,
Had George in it, with John Foss also. But I think it’s one I could watch a few more times. I’m sure you’ve all watched it. :sunglasses:

Canoeheadted, no fat tire bikers around here at all :slight_smile:
There may be some in the towns, but not here. Miles of 4-wheeler paths/trails beside highway, but when snow flies, that’s where all the highway snow gets blown off to.
If I get comfortable enough to try it, may go out on the snow packed gravel side roads.
I’ll do something :slight_smile:

1wheelonthefly, thanks.

Obviously NC is nothing like AK when it comes to snow, but I haven’t missed a chance whenever we’ve had any accumulation to ride and it’s a real kick. No bugs and less sweat, like Canoeheadted says, and staying warm has never been a problem. Below zero Fahrenheit would probably be very different, but well under zero Celcius with bare legs has always been perfectly fine. And it’s totally different experience every time out depending on the surface conditions. The Eskimos are right to have 40 words for snow. :slight_smile:

If you get lucky and have a long mild autumn this year, that might be ideal for learning, especially so if you go heavy on the protective gear.

Helmet, elbow pads, knee/shin guards, KH gloves/wrist guards, and back padding.
Hope that’s enough lol. With diabetes and other complications, don’t want anything happening…not saying anything will happen, but doing what I can to keep protected.

Indeed that video is a very nice piece! It’s great that the Peck family think of carrying on a “unicycling legacy”.

The T-shirt is probably the second-ever Muni Weekend T-shirt, from the 1998 California Mountain Unicycle Weekend. The picture is of George Peck descending a very steep section of trail at the first (1996) Muni Weekend, as that trail was featured again in '98. Lots of amazing people came that year. It was the first time Kris Holm rode trails with other unicyclists. George and his son were there (Christopher I think), Dan Heaton, Bruce Bundy, David Poznanter and many others.

Not really, but it’s a good warm-up for doing it with the frame off.

I think you are correct. In George’s original video, there’s a part where the camera pans slowly along a shelf of broken uni parts, especially axles. Even then he was having his custom made; he was probably the first unicyclist to use splined axles. Notice the older video all shows him riding on what we would today refer to as “skinny tires” in terms of Muni. That’s what we had.

I’m pretty sure he did start out riding like his father, because he also comes from the time before strong hubs, fat tires, etc. He didn’t start making videos until many years later.