One wheel Zen.

For the past few weeks I’ve been out most days (or nights) on my Muni (off road unicycle) with the focus on getting fit.

This has involved lots of climbing Sheffields finest hills, and lots of sweat/pain.

However, a few days ago I aquired some kind of minor stomach muscle/groin strain which put a stop to most activities, and also hindered Mondays spinning/juggle session at Teapots. I suspect it happened due to a weekend muni session which involved some harsh UPDs (unplanned dismounts).

I’ve also been a little ill/run down and it’s been a miserable few days.

So tonight I decided to go for a mellow cruise on the muni, being careful to not overdo it cos the muscle pull was still in evidence.

It turned out to be a really nice ride which brought back memories of the summer two years ago when I spent most days on my old 20" wheel standard uni, riding in the sun with no goal or aim other than riding on one wheel.

It was one of those warm nights which, with winter coming, are going to be increasingly rare; a bit of rain on the roads made them glisten nicely, and it was just me on a wheel in the night with no pressure to be dragging myself up hills drenched in sweat- a nice change.

I even headed into town which I haven’t done for ages (previous excursions months ago were a lot of fun but potentially quite hazardous; Sheffield city center on a friday night is not the best place for unicyclists!), as it’s a Wednesday night it was a lot more mellow, and I bumped into a spinner I’d not seen for ages.

Getting back into Crookesmoor I was feeling peaceful and relaxed and so I decided to tackle a couple of hills which I’d gotten a bit annoyed with i.e. they were hills which I knew I could do, cos I’d climbed them b4, but last few times I’d been UPD-ing due to lack of focus cos of the fact that my lungs were gasping balls of pain.

This time I was a lot more relaxed cos the previous ride had been so mellow, I also climbed them slowly and could focus fully on ensuring my feet weren’t thrown off the pedals by minor bumps.

So, all in all, a really beautiful ride and one which took me back to the roots of my strange unicycling obsession; a reminder that the most important thing is to be happy on one wheel, not to be constantly pushing to be better.

All that lot deserved at least one reply! :0) And it’s nice to read someone saying why they like to ride, in between all the technical questions about specifications.

I notice that despite the intention to keep it easy, you ended up going for the big hills at the end. It’s a compulsion we can’t fight -or, to be precise, we can fight, but can’t beat.

For me, the best rides are those with no UPDs at all - but not the ones where there is no challenge. There is something pure about mounting first time, riding a long and challenging route, and dismounting neatly. The unicycle as a means, not as an end - dancing the wheel . I don’t think it’s a Zen thing, because I only get to do it once every couple of weeks - so it’s a Now & Zen thing.

I rode the Coker about 6.5 miles on Saturday a.m. Not much by my standards, but over a variety of terrain, and, I flatter myself, with a certain elegance of style. I found out yesterday that I had been seen and recognised by someone who didn’t know I was a unicyclist. They were impressed by the fact I was riding it - not just by the fact that I was able to ride it.