I went off the paved paths onto semisoft dirt trails… (this is Florida … most trails are soft). I had a good time manuevering around and over small tree roots. When I saw a large root in the distance I safely dismounted and headed pack towards the pavement.
A little later after removing my knee pads and helmet (but keeping gloves on) I was riding on one of the widest and smoothest parts of the park. I fell off the front onto my hands and knees hard. It happened so fast I was practically already on the ground before I even realized I was falling.
Prepared and decked out with all the safety equipment while doing something I’ve never done before on an inappropriate skinny wheel and nothing happens. Sans equipment, I trip over a piece of dust. Go figure!
I know how you feel. Sometimes I UPD on very easy terrain just like what happened to you. So I always wear knee pads, wrist guards, and helmet (I commute in traffic on my uni). Strengthening my core muscles, practicing dismounts, and then riding demanding terrain at slower speeds, concentrating on smoothness decreased UPD’s and I landed on my feet more often.
Tripping over dust…very common, at least among my muni group. It’s weird how common the experience is…ride something crazy hard, make everything and feel great…then relax when the trail evens out and gets easy, only to trip over some little pebble and off you go. I attribute it to relaxing after making the tough stuff, and then not being alert to react to the small thing that upd’s you.
It’s life’s little way of shrinking your head back down after it swells when you impress yourself by making something hard!
So now you’re off the pavement eh? Riding the soft dirt stuff is only the beginning you know. The dark side awaits…
Strengthening my core muscles. It is what is making me so sore lately. But I’ll be in shape in no time.
I feel sort of disappointed in myself for removing my helmet lately. The other day one of the mothers in our neighborhood kept asking me in front of her kids where my helmet was. I am sure she was thinking of my safety but also trying to make sure her kids saw something wrong with ‘this picture’. I should set a better example. One of the little ones even wears a helmet with his tiny bike on training wheels. I never went helmetless unicycling as a kid. Didn’t wear knee pads… but then again I don’t remember any nasty falls either. We come down harder as we get older… well some of us anyway.
No doubt. Carol Burnett was once asked if she still got butterflies before appearing on stage. She said of course she does. She added that the one time she confidently appeared on stage without the butterflies, she flopped.
I look forward to the dark side. Though I know there is no return. I go willingly… um… someday.
Yes, I always wear my helmet. Even when I’m not worried about my own safety, I wear it to show my kids (and all the other thousand kids on our street) that riding = helmet wearing. I once had a helmet crushing wipeout, where the helmet actually cracked and I walked away with a sore thumb.
That really impressed my kids and now there’s never a question or argument from them about wearing their helmets.
Seriously, always wear a helmet. even though you dont have many helmet necessary falls on a unicycle, it only takes one hard hit of your head on a rock, or concrete, or a tree to render you a veggie the rest of your life. Plus it is good to show kids (as steveyo said) that riding=helmet wearing
Thanks for the link to your story, Stevo. Seems like you’ve encounterd that dust too. I always wore a helmet when bike riding even just in the neighborhood to set an example for my children. They are both in college now so I guess I got too relaxed not realizing that the neighbors kids are watching too.
I suppose I should set a better example especially since any one of these kids could take up unicycling. I’ve seen some scary stuff with uncapped heads (on video).
Then again, I should do it for me too. No telling when the killer dust will get in my way again.
I guess it is like in Taekwondo when you try to break blocks with your hand. You don’t try to aim for the block but the surface underneath. ie. floor
That way you don’t hesitate or hold back once you’ve made contact.
Ya! I’m feeling liberated. I’ll can stop whenever and wherever without worring about an “on ramp”. Just like I used to…
I spent as much time off road as I did on this weekend. Averaged about 14 miles each day which is a record for me and wasn’t much of a problem as I really enjoyed the surroundings.
Some things I’ve learned:
I love hills… going down… I can’t seem to make steep off road hills… even the short ones. I have to bail just as I’m getting to the top. Anyone riding with me would be frustrated waiting for me to keep up.
That palmetto frond lying innocently in the middle of the narrow trail. It’s disguising a tree stump. Steer clear NEXT time!
Freemounting in the woods is much more productive for me than on the road.
Is it because:
a) I’m out of sight of onlookers.
b) I’m comfortable on the softer ground. (concrete is hard ya know…)
c) there are magical powers in the woods that make all things possible.
If you picked c, you should try again. Hint: Read the above hill statement! You need to beef up on your testing skills.
I finally got the AX-29… talk about beeeeefy tires! Wendy’s hasn’t seen anything like this.
I absolutely couldn’t wait to take it out. What a swwwwwweeeet ride. It was so easy to control… compared to this 24 no name I’d been riding all month I thought I was floating on air.
Unfortunately Mother Nature could have cared less about this 29er. After no rain for weeks she chooses this afternoon to drench us all. I got a couple of spins around a parking lot and that was it.
Somebody get out and push the earth to revolve a little faster. Morning won’t come soon enough for me.
Oh, and thanks soooooooooooooo much to those of you who helped me decide to get the 29. I never would have thought on my own to go higher than 26… actually… I think only a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have gone higher than the 24.
Seriously, I’m so new to riding off paved roads it’s almost embarrassing… :o
Today I figured out I could go a lot longer by weaving in and out on the soft ground rather than just trying to go straight… Florida has some wicked soft ground. Sand and vegetation layers thick and soft it puts mattress manufacturers to shame.
She wanted to take that sweet hill on the trail today… the one laced with tree roots. She wanted to race over the pinecones strewn all over the path. She wanted to fly off a curb instead of taking the easy way out down the ramp.
I don’t know why she doesn’t just throw me off and look for a new rider. I would if I were her.
I’m getting better every day… sometimes just not learning fast enough for the both of us.
She is so light that I almost forget there is something under me. (After about mile 2 I’m reminded though because of the brick torker seat.) Sliding her in and out of the car trunk or carrying her up a hill is nothing.
I have to say though that I am more gentle with her because of the aluminum. I wonder just how rough I could get and still keep her in one piece. Then again my skills have a long way to go before I can ride rough anyway. By that time I imagine I would have lost enough weight to even out the playing field.
Muni frame failures are pretty rare, a couple of guys who ride the most extreme trails in santa barbara area have broken frames, but other than that it barely happens. I would expect the hub/cranks to break long before the frame, you’ll have to watch them if you start doing repeated drops of more than say a foot. I’m sure that seems a long way off now but you’ll be amazed how quickly you can get to that kind of stuff if you ride with confidence. 3 months after I started riding muni I was riding on tracks that would eventually lead to the demise of my nimbus muni. As you get better the drops do actually look physically smaller, just start with rolling off a curb and build it up from there.