MUni Racing

I suggested to a mountain bike race promoter that he include unicycles adn much to my surprise he said “Yes.” OK, y’all, now what? He wants to know how to merge this event, one single class, into his mountain bike points series. I need a little coaching here. I’ve attended ton-o-mountian bike races but never a muni race. What do I need to tell him? What do we need to consider in merging with two-wheeled vehicles?

Consider your entrants. Who will they be? This depends on where the race is, and what’s involved in it. Too long and you may scare any local riders away.

I’m assuming you’re talking about a separate category for the unicycles. Or will they race the same race as the bikes? If it’s an actual race, this is a bad idea because the unicycles will be so slow all the bikes will likely be done long before the unicycles. I haven’t heard of unicycles competing in mountain bike races, only orienteering and endurance events.

So I recommend a shorter course or a smaller number of laps. Base this on the amount of riding you think your group of riders can do in about the same time as the fast riders in the bike race. This way, if you run concurrently, you will have plenty of crowd to experience your finish. But if both races are to share the same finish line, you may not want them ending too close together…

The main thing is probably having an idea of how fast and how far your group of riders can go. If you have no idea, you may not be taken seriously by the race promoters. But that’s easily solved by doing some practice races to find out.

The course is 5 miles and so I was thinking of suggesting one lap. The race organizer suggested that he have one catagory for all one-wheeled vehicles. The current schedule is that the first race is a women’s race for one lap. I was think ing of suggesting that the muni-ists push-off a the same time and race their own race. Personally, I’m not interested in racing against bikes.

A couple of us raced in a NORBA race last fall. See a trip report and the thread here in which I reported it.

The laps were 5 miles long, as stated in the report.

Good luck; it was a blast!

Is this the Tour de Wolf race?

Sorry Isaac, sadly the Tour de Wolf is not happening. I understand that the Big Dog Classic will be happening locally. However, the race that this thread is about is a mtb. points race series in Jackson Mississippi. I know that you are not driving but I’ll bet that ther will be several of us heading down to participate in this - including Sam (11) and Joe (14), as well as my daughter (13). You should hook-up with us sometime.


I actually wasn’t that interested in going. Just curious. I’m more of a trials person:).

Hey Tommy,

What is the date for this race. I’ll try to put it on my calendar. Relocation is haunting me once again, even though I just did it a month ago. Jackson will likely be a couple of hours north of me in a month or so. It looks like I might get to ride with the DUC more than the MUC.

Hope to ride with you again soon.

I usually race in the rec class (usually 8-10k)- there’s plenty of slower mountainbikers to beat, and the races are so short anyway that even if you finished last you won’t be too far behind the mountainbikers.

In general the more technical the course the better you will do relative to the mountainbikers. eg if it’s steep, technical, raining/muddy wet it’s going to slow the mountainbikers down quite a bit whereas MUni riders go at a relatively stable speed.

Racing in MTB races is fun- good luck!

Ken :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey Jeff,

Sorry to hear that you are having to move - again. However, farther south also means warmer winters.

I don’t have the specifics of all the races yet. It is a points series race in the Jackson, MS area. I will post the specific info here and of course in the MUC Weekly Update and on the MUC web site as soon as I get it.

I’m considering competing in a few short mountainbike races on my muni this year. They’re inter-school races and I’ve done them for the last 2 years on my bike. I might not do it if it’s more than 1 lap. I really wouldn’t want to get in anyone’s way.


In our local races, when I’ve done it, I’ve just ridden the fun category, which is usually 2 laps of a 4 or 5 mile course, often quite technical. There’ll always be someone in the shorter categories who’s taking like 1hr15 to ride 8 miles, you’re unlikely to be last in. As for getting in people’s way, you find they get in your way on the uphills more than they have problems overtaking you. Remember bikes are usually only going fast on the easy bits which are better for overtaking.

Having a separate category for unicycles would be okay if you got loads of entries, like more than about 20, but otherwise seems like a bit of a waste of time & space on the course, at our races they have categories going through the day already. If you’re going to run the category simultaneously with one of the bike categories, there doesn’t seem any point in it because you’ll still be getting in the way of people as much.

As for not racing against bikes, I don’t quite see what the point of entering a mountain bike race and not racing against bikes is? Given the small numbers of unicyclists, it’s not like you really need a huge setup and a marked out course to run a just unicycle race, and you’ll likely get a better course if you don’t use a mountain bike one, cos then you can make it really nice and technical and uni friendly.


Animation and I ran the course this last week end; if dry, it’s a novice-intermediate trail ride, not much different than the moderate portions of Skanky Creek in Memphis-land. Last year when we approached the organisers about competeing, they were positive, and were considering which heat to release us with- there were many (kids, old, amatures, hardcases, etc). Sadly, my health turned destinctively south at that time; it’s hard to believe that a year later I’m going to be able to participate.

Damn- gotta punch the clock. A schedule of Jackson cycling events is attached- just change the file extention to PDF.


2003regionalevents.txt (13.9 KB)

At the Pumpkin race (see above) they were concerned about us interfering with the two-wheelers. I think that is mostly because of the fear of the unknown. Unicycling off-road is still basically unheard-of. In truth, the bicyclists are more likely to take up trail space, ride in an uncontrolled way, and are generally wider because of the handlebars, and obviously longer. If one were to use the same standard for both sets of riders, they really ought to be saying the opposite.

There really only two things to consider. First, the chance of a UPD are possibly higher for a unicyclist. There’s no way to prove this, and anyway, the unicyclist prone on the trail will take up far less area than a bicyclist, so it will be easier for a rider behind to avoid a unicyclist who crashes. Second, the unicylist’s waving arm on the uphills makes some worried. Although that arm is not going to result in a wider footprint than a bicyclist’s handlebars, it’s easy to ride the side of the trail that your free arm is on, thus giving passers the easiest chance to pass.

Count me in. And possibly Sarah (12) and Ellen (8).


I can count roughly 7 or 8 possibles from Mudville.

Maybe the littler kids can race a 400 meter course (or so)?

Lewis and I rode part of the coarse again; lots of gumbo mud. I believe a lap is about 5 miles.

More info forthcoming.


I’ve sent several e-mail to the organizer but he has yet to respond. Should you come across the details just get me specifics and I’ll post 'em on the web site.

I’m glad that you both are getting out. I got a couple hours of trials in yesterday and about an hour of street-urban trials riding today. It is still SOOOOOO gloomy in Memphis - endless rain and eternal gray. I remember living in Seattle. We (Memphis) just set some sort of record here for continuous days without sunshine. Not to worry, teh sunny South will return.

Looking forward to the Mississippi MUni / MTB points race!