I’l start this off with a big thanks to Phil who agreed to meet Paul and I for a ride in the quantocks with less than 24 hours notice.
He picked a good route, a sort of 8 with the car park in the middle. I was a bit apprehensive before we started that Phil was going to ride off into the sunset and I wouldn’t be able to kee up thanks to him having kept on riding over the winter and me not having been on my muni since september. How right I was. I guess I’ve got to the age now that I can’t just get on and ride well anymore. The winter idelness really shwed and I was riding like a muppet.
So badly was i rideing that I only did half the route and wussed out at the half way point. Paul and Phil carried on and did another 6 mile loop.
So the point of all this is what…
The BMW in the quantocks will have some great riding, BUT its VERY hilly. So if like me your muni hhas been gathering cobwebs, dust it off and get a few miles under your wheel before BMW, you will appricate the single track more for it.
Well, it’s not just me then. For family reasons, I went from about September to Christmas with hardly a ride, then I rode once between Christmas and New Year and once in about January. Other than that, I haven’t been on a uni at all - and I used to ride two or three nights a week.
Life’s so full of stuff!
Hopefully with the lighter evenings, I’ll be out again soon.
it seems that unicycling is a bit of a seasonal thing, much like juggling (my other love) i have been out riding whenever its not raining to keep up the practice although havnt been out on the muni for ages
The Quantocks are super for hill-climbing practice! The hills are about 200 metres from top to bottom, but most routes do the whole climb several times and it all adds up, especially when the hills are so steep. On the second half of the ride Paul and I received several comments about going up hills, usually including the word “mad” in them…
My “personal Everest” (to steal a Mikefule phrase) is a half-paved track on the south side. I’ve done it twice on the bike but I really want to be able to do it all on the 29er by the Mountain Mayhem. I’ve only got half way so far. It’s exceptionally steep, slightly bumpy and just goes on and on…
Most of my muni riding has been on the 36" recently, it’s been so lovely and dry that I just can’t resist using the coker. Helps that I can extend my commute that way too. I find if I’ve been cokering a lot then I’m okay on the muni after a little warm up.
I like the little hill lots of times kind of muni, I remember a great ride on the south downs following the ridge between Lewes and Eastbourne, but zig zagging up and over the ridge repeatedly rather than just riding along the top.
The best trick for keeping muni riding is to obsessively ride your local riding any time you have spare. This might require moving house to somewhere with riding right nearby, but it’s well worth it in my experience. Pretty much anywhere has some riding to do, even when I was in London I had practice riding on the common that wasn’t totally easy.
Anyone is welcome to come on any Muni rides I organise, with two exceptions. Firstly, the winter night rides, there’s no point coming unless you’ve got lights of some kind. Secondly, if someone posts a ride that’s going for a specific distance or specifically says it’ll be a fast ride, you’d have to be up to the speed to come along. This was the case of one of the christmas rides in the Peaks, where we were aiming to do 20+ miles in a limited amount of daylight.
Most of the rides we organise, like the sherwood pines rides, you’d never get left behind, with all the faffing, trying sections multiple times etc. the actual speed we go at is probably below walking pace. The other thing is that riding over rough grass is often more tiring than riding on actual trails, so it’s not that good an indicator.
The evening rides will be particularly good for beginners once we’ve got a bit more light so you don’t need to have lights, as they’re usually based in quite a small area, so there’s no chance you’ll get left behind.
Oh and the hockey on tuesday nights is a good way to meet up with people to see that we’re not all superhuman fit people and find out more about rides. We have spare sticks, all you need is a uni (20 or 24 is best, muni is okay though).
Thanks for the offer. The problem’s time. I fence two or three nights a week now, with occasional weekend competitions. I’ve always danced one night a week, and some weekends - especially in the summer. What with that and my girlfriend living 270 miles away (something I said?), which means I only get to see her on occasional weekends, and my leisure time is pretty much spoken for. At this rate, I’ll never write that novel!
Hopefully, I will be unicycling Tuesday evenings, occasional Mondays, and some weekends, now the worst of the winter’s out of the way.
It’s a bit of a sod isn’t it? Starts off OK but just goes on and on at a thigh-burning angle! Being a bit out of condition too (though seemingly not as bad as sarah) trying this after 8 miles of hilly Quantocks was a pedal or two too far…
Just to whet appetites, there is a pretty thatched pub at the bottom of this hill, so it is possible that it might be the first thing to tackle after a lunch stop. I don’t think Phil has finalised routes yet, but if he does choose this one, it might be sensible to be conservative with lunch if you don’t want to see it re-appear on the climb!
There is fantastic riding throughout the Quantocks - fantastic singletrack, open heathland tracks, watersplashes, log-jumps, rocky descents, wooded valleys, some pubs and Stella’s tea-rooms. You know you wanna come and play later in the year