What is considered “best” is definitely debatable, but IMO Kris Holm has one of the nicest styles of any muni rider. His riding is very flowing and smooth, making it look effortless. Rolling hops in just the right places to smooth out the ride.
Plenty of other people ride terrain of similar difficulty, but from what I’ve seen KH is usually the “best” (or certainly one of the best) to watch. His trail riding technique is what I have in mind when I’m riding (although I’m completely useless at rolling hops - must get better!)
Even the greats like Kris and George hop and peck when conditions call for it.
I have seen Kris treat rock outcrops just like natural trials on a MUni ride. That is fine.
On a moderately technical trail you can roll right over every obstacle and there is no need to rolling hop, hop or peck. As the trail becomes more technical you have to start rolling hopping obstacles. When the trail becomes very technical there is no escaping hopping and pecking. Unless you want to walk the MUni, which is something that I prefer not to do!
Maybe we should have an anually held long MUni rally organized and declare the winner the best MUni rider. However would a person that finishes faster with more UPDs be considered the winner? It would have to have some kind of official status and judges.
Like in video game races where, in this case, a UPD would cause a +1 second to your finishing time. or maybe up it to +5 seconds.
Could also have sections, demonstrating the different muni terrains. Steep, bumpy, northshore obstacles, some stuff to jump down, stuff to jump up.
Each rider would compete in all categories, that way, you could have riders who excel in one terrain, take 1st for it, while somebody else takes first in the other.
Either this course could be linked all to make one final long race, or you could take the final average of the above races, and figure out the overall muni champion.
In my mind it would be more of a time trials thing, cause picturing a lot of muni rider competively trying to get pace a tight section wouldnt work too well, but who knows.
Get a location, and time, and set it up, so the timing would be accurate, and enough officials to be able to see all the UPD so the penalties would also be accurate when added onto the final time, and people would probably come.
You’d just have to make it pretty extreme, not like a little cyclecross competition, but the course(s) would really need to push your limits.
But when you get better at those trails and at handling a muni in general, you won’t need hops. When you treat rocks like trials lines, its not muni anymore!! It’s trials!! and that’s cool, I like trials but if I’m watching a video I’d rather see someone dropping into a steep grade super fast or speeding off a drop.
I think a muni comp would be tight! Rather then a timed race though, I think it would be better as a whoever-gets-to-the-end-first-wins type thing.
Ya Jerrick, that would be awesome to have a comp like that. Great idea and hopefully someday soon there will be something like that set up. Unicon & NAUCC should really do something like this. You should send them your idea.
Back on topic, I think that Kris Holm is one of the best overall MUni riders.
Hey, Jamey, Jerrick, it takes riders like you and I to set these things up! Why not organize it yourself?
How d’you think events like CMW and Moab go off? It takes a team of motivated riders, family and friends, but you and I all have those resources. This is one of the best benefits of the unicyclist community…
In my opinion, the best MUni riders are the ones who ride all of the trails with flow. Kris and the other top MUni riders usually have a pretty clear distinction between riding the trail, and doing natural trials; I don’t recall seeing Kris stop his flow in the middle of a trail to peck up a trail obstacle. Sometimes he’ll stop and do natural trials on obstacles near the trails, but it’s done as a trials session, not as part of the flow of the MUni ride.
Beau Hoover is another example of someone who’s an incredibly strong MUni rider who very rarely does any pecking. He rolled nearly all of the Slickrock Trail last year, which includes some super-steep uphill.
There are a lot of trails and trail obstacles which are not very interesting to hop/peck, but are really interesting to roll. There’s very little that’s not rollable in the downhill direction, and a surprising amount of uphill is rollable. I virtually never hop, but I ride more of the uphill than 80% of the people I’ve ridden with, including many people who are overall better riders than I am.
That being said, I think trying to categorize the best MUni riders is missing the point. MUni is about being outside having fun and riding cool trails with your friends, trying stuff that is challenging to you, whatever level you’re at. It’s an inclusive environment, not a competitive one. We do have competitions at the MUni events, but that’s mostly because we’ve got to figure out some way to hand out all the schwag.
Well anyone who can keep up with me on tech dh is doin pretty good =p lol. But you cant vote for who is best, like everyone has been saying there are so many styles…Kris = smooth speed makin the impossible look easy! Eyal = who needs to hop when we can roll! Mango and Jake S = They apply roll hops to there muni that makes all new lines that you wouldnt even think of! Me…When in doubt…there is a hospital 5 miles away… Everyone has there own style that makes them unique…dangerous, enertaining, or just amazing. For instance…Keny Banks? that second picture still amazes me! In my experience though all muni riders have there major strong points, and all are great to ride with! Ohh and I almost forgot 2 things…one ya my last name is Williams and there is one more name I would like to mention…
Miles style = “I cant believe you rolled that!?” SPLAT
I seem to remember you at the middle to back of the pack on the muni race at CMW? Yes, there was uphill, tsk, tsk.
Tom said it best. Muni is about fun. No need to compete.
Unicorn, no need to keep arguing for pecking. People will hop when they want to, and won’t when they don’t. Leave it at that.
There’s a place for hopping on the trail. Sometimes I get locked in a mode of “never hop”, but oftentimes a well-placed rolling hop or gap makes the trail lots more fun. What else is there to worry about?
I vote Beau. Not necessarily for technical ability (as if he is lacking) so much as just an all around great guy to be on a trail with, always enthusiastic, and always encouraging people to try the next line.
You’re right and I will set something up in the future with help from you guys of course! As some of you know, I’m starting my own unicycle business down in SoCal (www.uniproshop.com which will hopefully open within the next few weeks) and I hope to have a yearly gathering that will include fun rides and comps kinda similar to FLUCK…it’s only a matter of time! I even hope to host a Unicon down here in the distant future and of course CMW’s!! I’ll start a new thread on the new company when we’re ready for it! Cheers.
Lol I hate uphil so bad…That race was death! But I jsut love bombin down stupid lines and eatin it But yeah total agreeage with Beau…That guy riders like the energizer bunny on crack! He just flys by you with a big smile.
He is correct for the most part but when there is a rock or a high root or a log in the trail that is over 8" it is not possible (for me at least.) to roll so why not hop it? I think that Natural Trials can definelty be included and has a place in MUni. It is just important not to let the Natural Trials dominate the MUni ride.
This Pecking hopping issue has been blown out of proportion.
As I have stated in the past I will roll anything that I can and even obstacles that are a bit beyond my rolling ability. (Even when I know that the result will be a dismount. How else am I going to improve?)
In Israel there is a lot of terraced hills. When you are going uphill and you reach a terace that is about a foot high and it is a 90 degree angle not sloped at all there is no way to roll it. Some might be able to rolling hop it but it is very hard to do when going uphill. Why not just do the sidehop and continue on. I have gotten pretty good at not letting the sidehop interfere with my flow. I do a small pre rolling hop with a 90 degree rotation and then do the sidehop sometimes even putting the -90 degree rotation into it. There is almost no interruption to the flow of riding.
I have started a thread in the past about rolling up sidewalk curbs because it is so much more energy conserving than hopping up. Presently I can roll up 7" to 8" sidewalks about 80-90% of the time. I can roll up much higher rocks if they are sloped a little bit. (I MUni with a KH24.)
Going downhill you guys are correct. There is very little that can’t be rolled. Unless there are space constraints. (A tree or boulder 3 feet after the drop.)
Or a steep incline after the drop.
Once again I repeat. I think it is important to roll whatever you can. However on the very technical trails there are obstacles where this is just not possible so if I have to pick betwwen a certain UPD and hopping and pecking then I will hop and peck over the tough obstacle.
I attached a link to a video that shows Kris pecking up a steep hill with tons of roots. It is the video that I emulated in order to learn how to peck.
I also wanted to say that just being out in nature weather it be a woods or the desert or whatever is a large part of the fun of MUni. Many times during rides I will see obsacles and have a blast natural trialling them!
Although hard to creat a Muni skills list (trials too, but less so) w/ it easy to tell what level is whatbut I think this would be great. (Street is easier to quantify. You can eather do a trick or you can’t and stairs are all pretty much the same.) Like the freestyle and street skill lists, it could give someone a good idea on what would be likely to work on next and goals to shoot for.
Muni, like anything else should be primarily about fun. Competitions can keep things interesting though.
The only way to “quantify” a best MUni rider is to see who wins a competition. But that only shows you who’s the best at that particular course. A shorter or longer course on the same terrain might be won by a different rider. Someone else might dominate a race with more uphill (Beau). Yet another person might win a race with lots of mud and slippery stuff.
If the same person wins most or all of the races you can put together, then you’re zeroing in on a “best,” if not fastest MUni rider. Does the best MUni rider have to ride fast?
I’ve seen a bunch of freeskiing and freeride mtb comps. Rider A may ride a technical line really fast and rider B a REALLY technical line not so fast and rider A will win, or visa versa. Depends on the terrain, the judges and other factors.
I remsmber a “Xtreme” skiing comp where in previous years guys had gotten badly injured by attempting big cliffs, so they discouraged this by not giving as many points for big drops as before. Then one guy came up to a 60 footer didn’t hesitate at all on the approach, had a perfect landing and won the comp by a fiairly big margin. Others did similar drops w/ slight bobbles on takeoff or landing and just barely made the top ten.
I agree that muni might just be too wide of a skill set, and too dependent on terrain to really know who is “the best.” When I ride with people… I can generally tell if they are better than me or not… (or, often more the case, who is a lot better than me and who is just somewhat better… )
I think there just needs to be a better way for really good riders to ride together a lot. In lots of different kinds of terrain… More events like CMW and Moab could only help.
I wish there was enough money in the sport that a group of people could be pros or semi pros… Then we might be able to have a competition circuit or some regional gatherings / exhibitions. Maybe someday.