My "first" MUni ride (was: Humbled again...)


In message “RE: Humbled again…”, John Foss wrote…
>Greg House wrote:
>I was just thinking about balance yesterday, when a couple rode by us on
>mountain bikes on the Culvert trail in Auburn. The woman said something like
>“I just don’t have the balance to do that.” But she was riding on a very
>narrow singletrack, with bumps and rocks all over the place, and apparently
>doing fine. I wanted to tell her (she was gone by then; it was downhill) she
>already had the balance.
>If she could keep her bike on that narrow trail, the balance issue was already
>covered. If you can walk, your balance system works. Riding rough terrain
>doesn’t require any additional balance, just additional skills. Most of us
>unicyclists like working on new skills (or we’re not unicyclists yet).
>Yesterday Tim Bustos and I introduced Jack Halpern to some proper MUni-ing.
>Jack Halpern is the founder of the IUF. He’s been riding at least 25 years,
>has ridden in countries all over the world, and thought up the idea of
>UNICONs. But yesterday was his first time on a serious MUni ride, and he
>seemed to have a good time. I’ve asked him to write something, but he’s in the
>middle of a business trip, so he may not have time for a while.

I must say I am grateful to John Foss for urging to ride with him between a busy
meetings schedule in Silicon Valley. It was a truly unforgettable experience,
and I can see why people get addicted.

>Jack was worried about the terrain and his ability level. Also his unicycle, a
>standard 24" “street” Miyata. Like most people over 30, he was concerned for
>his bodily safety too. But we told him what we tell everyone when taking

I was really kind of worried before the ride, and didn’t think that my body or
unicycle were really up to it.

>them on the singletrack, “walk the parts you’re not sure about”. During the
>course of the 4 mile ride, he had visible improvement in his abilities to ride
>over the stuff. The nice thing about MUni is the initial learning curve is
>very shallow. It only gets steep when you let Bruce Bundy, George Peck, or
>Kris Holm lead the way!

One thing I’ve learned form this ride is that gloves, kneepads and probably
elbow pads are essential. I’ve learned this the hard way, after several falls
and bruises (nothing serious). Fortunately I have never hit my head from a
unicycle fall, but I can appreciate why helmets and other safety gear are
absolutely necessary.

I’ve been trying to poularize MUniing in Japan by publishing articles in JUA
News, but without much success…

Anyway, thank you, John, for the great time we had together,

>Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to
>“Every once in a while, you just have to be an airplane.”
>- Andy Jennings

Regards, Jack Halpern Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society,
Voice: +81-48-481-3103 Fax: +81-48-479-1323