Riding mud along side the rails.

Aw right, I finally had a chance to ride along the railways tracks for the kilometre or so on my commute to work. I had been eyeing up this ‘detour’ from my usual route along the sidewalk for a while now. Then we had about three days of torrential rain… I mean it really poured… a lot of wet drops even for us rusty Vancouverites!
So gave it a couple of days for the flood waters to subside and then I headed alongside the railway tracks where there was a wee ‘path’, in a manner of speaking.

All in all it was good fun for the first 2/3’s of the way but then I ran into the muddy section. First big mud bog my uni hit, it stopped and I just kept right on going… at least it was a soft landing…LOL

So, I come to you more experienced uni/MUni’ers for tips on how to handle mud. Anything that can be done to keeping riding when the mud appears, besides trying to plain old, go around it or walk through it?


Re: Riding mud along side the rails.

Grippy pedals and practice.

Mud is tricky. The uni does’t handle the same and pedaling technique changes. One method to handle mud and sand is to treat the cranks horizontal position as your stable postion. Pause a little bit while the cranks are horizontal and prepare yourself for the next half pedal turn.

Practice in sand. It’s similar to mud but won’t get you wet and muddy as you practice. Once you learn to handle shallow sand you’ll be well on your way to handling mud. Just be careful with sand that you don’t let it get in your pedal bearings and wheel bearings.

I’m no good in deep sand. Deep sand is very hard to ride through. Shallow sand is easier but still no picnic.

There are 2 things that help me in that slippy slidy mud that is just waiting for you to slip.

  1. Press down hard and really push into the mud, almost to where you can feel it grip because most mud like that is a max of 3in thick so you will reach bottom where it is soft but grippy soft.
    2 Get a good open tread, the more open and knobby the better. Make sure that the treads stick out far enough so the mud don’t stick too bad.

I’m waiting to get my new unicycle before I get into an real muni but I agree with John. I think it’d help to slow down quite a bit and the ngrind through the mud. I think that way you’d get less of a shock as you hit the mud.

Good luck,

I rode through a flooded track on the way home on Monday. the last 20 metres or so was underwater… I could see my house, and it was a long way round, so I thought “what the hell”…

A low tyre pressure helps for that little bit of extra grip, and because you can’t see the solid surface under the mud, so you don’t want bumps knocking you off. I’d definitely agree with the take it slow option, take it a revolution at a time, but try not to hop to retain your balance because there’s always the chance of getting completely stuck, depending on how thick it is…

Phil, just me

Firstly hold tightly onto the seat handle or the front of the seat, this keeps you on the uni when it gets slowed down.

Secondly, as much as you can, just keep powering through, if you can ride fast through the mud you’ll be able to ride it smoothly. So go as fast as you can. This is great on a coker because it can roll through pretty long stretches of mud, but doesn’t work for very long on a muni.

At some point you’ll find mud you can’t just power through. The really difficult thing here is to stay on when you get slowed down so much. Once you’re going slowly, you have to try and pedal as smoothly as possible so as not to slide out.

Again, with lots of mud, this will inevitably fail too, once you really can’t pedal smoothly, start doing half pedals, like you’re riding up a hill. Again try to keep them really smooth. In between each half pedal, try to get your balance back.

If you can hop, this is a good way to get out of slides, if you feel the uni start sliding, take a couple of little hops on the spot then start riding again, you’ll be surprised at how bad mud this can work in. Otherwise, once you start sliding, just try and stay on top of the uni and keep pedalling, you have to kind of adjust for the uni moving slower than it should be, which is a bit weird at first.

Most of all, no sudden movements as you’ll just lose traction straight away.

John is definately right about grippy pedals, pedals and holding onto the seat keep you on top of the muni and then your balance does the rest.


Judging from my memories of last spring: 1) mud is definitely a new skill and requires practice; 2) a really smooth circular stroke is helpful; 3) extreme attention to sideways balance is essential.

Thanks for your replies. I appreciate the useful technique tips. I know I’ll have lots of opportunities to practice my ‘mud riding’ this winter!


Re: Riding mud along side the rails.

Erin wrote:

> So, I come to you more experienced uni/MUni’ers for tips on how to
> handle mud. Anything that can be done to keeping riding when the mud
> appears, besides trying to plain old, go around it or walk through it?

Hi Erin,

I don’t know that I have any more experience than you, but this fall we
had allot of rain in Alaska and it made for some rather muddy MUni rides
so I’ve had some experience riding in it. What I found works best is a
‘steady as you go’ approach. I try not to apply too much torque to the
pedals but instead just hunker down and pedal as even and strong as

By the way, this summer my son tried crossing a thick muddy puddle (more
comparable to a small lake for him) and lost it at the end, just the way
you described your fall. He hasn’t tried it since! Yesterday he told me
that he prefers the challenge of riding in the snow over the mud.



I’m not shure what vancouver mud is like but Minnesota has alot of mud. I think that the people who have said ride smooth have the right idea. Try to stay almost directly over the top of the unicycle so you don’t slide away and peadle smoth without jerky movements. Also tires made with a harder rubber grip the mud better, and tires with a real open tread collect less mud.
I personaly think that the Gazz is a bad mud tire because it collects so much mud. My personal favorite mud tire is the Geax Blade 26" by 2.3.
mud can be fun to ride in, just don’t wear stuff that you mind geting dirty.