Learning to muni

I searched for something like this but was unable to find a thread for it. If there is one out there please redirect me.

I went off road on my wheel today. I found out about a place that used to be an old construction waste area that the city has turned into a bike park. It has a lot of really flowy areas, a rock garden and a couple semi technical (for someone who’s good) downhills.

Anyways it was my first time on any thing other than pavement. I spent about 2 hrs. out there and got pretty frustrated. I really need to learn a static mount because the rollback I usually use just doesn’t cut it. the place has a lot of small steepish hills with kickers built all over It and little 2-3’ jumps all over the single track. Lots of ruts and exposed rock as well.

I had a blast aside from the mounting issues and not being able to clear some of the hills I thought I should. I rode down to the LBS to get another set of bike shorts(one pair isn’t gonna do). While I was in there two kids on mountain bikes came in , they looked at my ride and said “hey weren’t you out at north park earlier, That was nuts it looked really hard”. We visited for a few minutes and I came away feeling a lot better about the experience.

Tommorrow I’m going up to ride the stone temple trail with them in the mountains, I’m pretty excited.

What I took away from today:

  1. Learn the static mount
  2. Go faster on the flats to set up for the hills.
  3. Improve my hopping, a lot of things I could have made with just a hop or two.

I really enjoyed it overall and would like to hear about other peoples first foray off the road.

Yeah, static mount helps on up hills and where more technical.

As u get better rolling hops help, w/ either foot forward. U can practice rolling up curbs to help w/ the bumps. Practice rolling hop up curbs from various distances so u can learn to adjust your dist on the fly for the hop (weave, small rolling pre hop, or hop w/ half or full rev).

For me my hand gets tired easily from holding the handle so I switch hands every few minutes.

Yeah that’s one thing I should have put in as well. I still have the Don Quitoe windmill thing going on with my arms. I’ve been working on it but so far can only really hold onto the seat with my left hand. My left bicep is shredded it should be unusable after tomorrow’s ride. Pitiful I was only out there 2 hrs some of you guys go all day. Oh well gotta have goals.

Sounds like you had a terrific first time off the pavement! Good going. Thanks for starting a learning MUNI thread. I am looking forward to hitting some trails soon. I too need to get a solid static mount (or any reliable mount for that matter) in my quiver first.

This forum is an amazing resource. I also recommend Kris Holm’s book The Essential Guide to Mountain and Trials Unicycling for an intro to MUNI and inspiration. Happy Riding!

Yup. You can practice with your wheel in successively smaller little notches in the ground, to help hold it in place. The objective is to use your first foot to simply stop the wheel from moving, and don’t let it roll back. Keep that other pedal out front, and use enough momentum to get you ahead of the balance point before starting to pedal. Repeat.

Hmm. November 1979: trying to get from the end of my driveway over to the paved street that was one house away. Bumpy gravel with potholes for about 125’. But technically that doesn’t count, since it was my (unpaved) street.

So, first actual off road riding? I DON’T REMEMBER!! Sad. Probably the little path (maybe 300’) that connected a nearby (dirt) street with a local shopping center parking lot. Sheesh. As a pioneer of MUni it’s a bummer that I can’t remember when/where I did it first. I’m pretty sure it was in late 1979.

These will help w/ the SM.


I went out for my second muni ride this morning, we rode an intermediate trail called stone temple, and another called rock and rolla. We had a slight navigational error which put us onto an advanced trail called ingnoramus. All told we rode about 8 miles. The mountain bikers I went with were really patient and super cool. It was a riot, but my body is thrashed.

The riding was an entirely different world than yesterdays, or on the street. There were many sections I had to walk, and I found out my hill climbing is awful. A couple of very exciting moments as well, I managed to land the 2 biggest drops of my short career, both in the 20-24" range(previously hopping off a curb was my best).

A lot of steep rocky sections which pointed out how far I need to go in my physical conditioning to really get the most out of muni. It really felt as if there is a whole different skill set involved. I really had trouble mounting on the loose gravel, scree, and uphill portions for the first part of the ride. The mounting got much better later in the ride, I even managed a few static mounts, out of necessity.

I took a few pictures and a short video(on an easier section) that I’ll try to post to the latest ride thread tomorrow. All in all a very positive experience. I think this whole muni thing will boost my riding to the next level. If your even remotely thinking about trying it, just go do it.

Thinking about this weekends off road adventures alot. there are several skills that need specific attention:

  1. Static mount, this is getting a little better everyday, its just likeanything else practice.

  2. Hill climbing, there are a couple of hills nearby that are usually avoided on my daily rides, but they will be targets from now on.

  3. Hopping both feet, this suprised me the most, after only 2 muni rides I found that i went 10-20 hops strong footed to hopping strong footed until i was too tired to hop any more. The weak seemed to show a little improvement but not as much. I think this skill will help the muni more than any other.

  4. hand on handle riding, still working on this, been trying to ride with my hands behind my back or head any where but flailing around.

Those are things I’ve been working on. I’m pretty excited i have another muni ride set up for next weekend, with a much less skilled MTB’er so maybe I’ll be able to keep up a little better. I think we’re gonna do an easier trail as well so we’ll see whats up.

My first off-road ride was on my 20" learner unicycle about 2 weeks after I had finally learned to ride. I hit a woodland trail on it just for fun and got the MUni bug.

I have to force myself to ride anything other than my 24" QUAX MUni now :smiley:

Static Mount into a short stillstand is what I use most when the terrain is a bit rocky.

I need to learn to hop and drop soon as the guys in our FB group are talking about us all riding down Mount Snowdon together :astonished: