muni terminology

What is the difference between a trials course and a muni trials course? And where does the term ‘natural trials’ fit in?


I know Natural Trials is when you are hopping on, off, around, up, and on stuff in Nature. Like rocks, stumps, big cliffs, any random stuff you can find in Nature.


Yes but then what is the difference between natural trials and muni trials? As far as I can see we have two kinds of courses; artificial built and those with natural obstacles. But we have three names; trials, muni trials and natural trials.

As far as I know, Muni Trials is a term that was used at some conventions to describe the trials competition. I think the idea was that trials was one of the areas of competition within MUni, in the same catagory as Uphill MUni or XC MUni.

So in that context, there is no distinction between regular trials and “MUni trials”. The latter is just a name given to regular trials based on a misunderstanding.

In a completely unrelated area, sometimes people will say they are doing “MUni trials” when they stop and hop on rocks on their MUni’s during an offroad ride. But again, this isn’t a seperate area of competition. You could also call this natural trials.


Another possibility is that people are making typos in their posts. I tend to do that sometimes, and Trials and Trails are not too hard to get mixed up. On the other hand there could be a giant secret sport of MUni trials that I never knew about.

I think you can pretty safely stop using the term “Muni trials” and stick to natural trials and the other kind (whatever you’d call that). I usually don’t give a specific term for man-made trials (unless it’s urban trials) and only be specific when I’m talking about natural trials (because it’s such a different style of trials riding).


I think Muni Trials does refer to stopping and doing natural trials obstacles on a muni ride, and most importantly, on a mountain unicycle, not a trials unicycle.

Ben, could you please email me at scott (at)
I responded to your PM a few months ago and never heard back from you.


Re: muni terminology

Nothing, as has been said above. You could make a distinction where MUni Trials is stuff you do along the way on a MUni ride, but I wouldn’t put it in a dictionary.

Natural means it’s not man-made. The Trials courses we have done at the Moab Muni Fest, out in the slickrock, are natural Trials, because the riding surface is used as-is (other than marking the course).

MUni is a generic term for Mountain Unicycling, rough terrain unicycling, or off-road unicycling. The capital U is optional.

The official name for the Trials sport on a unicycle (correct me if I’m wrong, Kris) is Unicycle Trials. This is to make the distinction between it and Bicycle or Motorcycle Trials. When talking among unicyclists, it’s safe to just call it Trials.

As Ben has already suggested, the label MUni Trials probably comes from one or more unicycle conventions where the Trials events were a subset of the MUni events. We have similar problems with artistic events as the word “artistic” is incorrectly attached to everything and anything, leading to the wrong names being used, year after year, all over the world, because the Unicycle Convention Program Andy Cotter created many years ago is outdated. So everything keeps getting called “Artistic Freestyle” and other wrong names (correct names: Individual Freestyle, Pairs Freestyle, Group Freestyle, etc.).

Ah yes but when does ‘natural’ trials become unnatural? It is possible to construct trials sections out of natural objects. For example arranging rocks and logs to form a section. This is somewhat artificial and counter to the general idea of natural trials, but it does happen - especially in trials competitions.
Here the definition of the word ‘natural’ becomes blurred. To me the word ‘natural’ can be used as a description of sections but not a lot more than that. An analogy is a Muni rider might describe a particular track as being ‘loose’ or ‘greasy’. While these are potentially useful descriptions, most riders wouldn’t think of loose or greasy trails as being a different form of Muni. They are just a part of Muni. So really natural trials is just a subset of trials.


i’m gonna say that a trials course made from rocks and logs and other natural items is still man-made. maybe the strangely named, “artificial naturaly trials” or somethign equally impossible sounding. i think natural trials are as you find them in nature. finding some roots or rocks or logs or something out in the woods.

I would offer to modify the above definition of Natural Trials to be “anything not specifically set up to ride on.” The idea here is that some ‘natural’ stuff isn’t natural either. You’re riding down a trail and you come across a log across a stream. Though a tree may have fallen this way, this particular log was put there, several years ago, to get across the stream. So it’s natural materials, in a natural setting, but did not naturally occur.

Another thing that could be called natural would be riding on man-made stuff that’s already there. A set of landscaping berms, walls, posts, etc. They were not built to be a Trials course, but are some pre-existing stuff you’ve chosen to use.

So unless someone sets down a hard-and-fast definition, the distinction between natural trials and ‘unnatural’ trials will remain open to interpretation.

Re: muni terminology

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 18:09:35 -0600, “johnfoss” wrote:

>Another thing that could be called natural would be riding on man-made
>stuff that’s already there.

Much of that would in my mind be covered by the term “urban trials”
rather than natural trials.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

It’s impossible to get old when you ride a unicycle - John (what’s in a name) Childs