In June 2015, I took part in a Scottish Mountain Bike Orienteering event around the Pentland Hills, just south of Edinburgh, Scotland. I was the only Unicyclist, and I came last behind all the mountain b*kes… but not by much!
On 27 Feb 2016, a similar event is being run around the Forest trails of the Callendar Estate, Falkirk. Instead of going flat out for 3 hours, this is riding 1.5hrs in daylight, then a break, then 1.5hrs in darkness (with headtorches!)
I’ve signed up already - any other Mountain Unicyclists out there wanting to join in the fun, with a map? We could have our own division if there are enough of us!
How technical are the trails? I’d consider myself an off-road unicyclist rather than a mountain unicyclist, but if its not too technical I’d be interested!
MBO used to be something I did quite seriously (I’ve won a few events and got top 5 in the national champs), and have been thinking for a while about doing an event on the uni. Unfortunately I think that’s a bit too far away for me!
I don’t know about that particular event, but almost all the events I’ve done most of the trails haven’t been been very technical, and I reckon I’d have been able to ride at least 90% of those where I wasn’t defeated by a climb.
Many years ago we did the Polaris Challenge which is a score event over 2 days. The unicyclists generally beat about 1/3 of the bikes on that event as they were more accurate on the map reading and better judge of their speed than the bikes who would loose all their points through coming in late.
Not sure yet how technical the trails are. I plan to scout them out before the end of January, one weekend. I don’t think they will be too extreme, given the info on this website:
Looks like mainly blue trails, with some red sections.
Thanks. Nevil, let me know when your going and I’ll see if I can get through? My mother-in-law is on the road between here & falkirk so I might be able to get the kids looked after even if my wife is working!
I can’t see times on the event website, do you know when it finishes? I work Saturday nights so might need to book a night off if it’s a late finish.
Hello OorWullie (I’ve only just read your message) and anyone else still tuned in.
I went round the Callendar Forest Trails on Saturday, and none of them have any ‘technical’ aspects. The green and blue trails are gently undulating gravel paths, whilst the red trail is similar but steeper in sections. I was able to ride up and down all sections, albeit with a bit more effort.
As for start times, it looks like riders start between 2:45 and 3:15, with 90 mins for ‘part 1’ in daylight. Part 2 in darkness starts between 5:30pm-6pm and is again 90 mins.
Results and prizes are at 8pm.
You can read a bit more info here:
From my experience on Saturday, it’s quite easy to get disorientated on the twisty trails in the forest with few sightlines to landmarks, so using a compass is going to be crucial!
Hope to see as many single wheels there in a months’ time!
Last question before I decide whether to go for it. I ride a Nimbus 2 24", stock Duro 3" tyre. Will I be too slow? My average speed on my usual off road route which includes some hills (nothing too long or steep!) is around 6-7 miles an hour. Is that going to be ok for this type of event or will it be embarrassingly slow? I’m not confident enough to use my 36" for anything other than flat, smooth tarmac yet!
I’ve found that Muni speed is not the issue, especially when doing Orienteering in a dark forest, at night!
Given the terrain, I’d judge that a 24" is as good as my 26" that I’ll be using. Your speed sounds similar to that which I travel at, over long distances.
We’re not going to beat (m)any cyclists, so it’s just an excuse to ride around some trails, on a mission to find checkpoints, and impressing people who’ve never tried riding one wheel.
Okay, I’m persuaded! Provided I can arrange child care I’m in. See you there!
All set for this tomorrow! Kit set out ready before I left for work. Now I just need to hope I hear my alarm (3am finishes and 9am starts don’t agree with me normally!) See you there?!