Will muni help or hurt me?

Hi everybody -

I haven’t been on in quite a while. 9 years since I first logged on, 3 years since I last did. I think I may finally be getting into uni again. I freaked out after falling off my 29er and hyperextended my knee about 5 years ago and have only been on a couple of times a year since then. I was thinking I should try to build some different skills (not that I ever had any) but was wondering if muni could help me gain confidence or set me back? I’m sure I’d fall off more but maybe it would help me get better? This is from a middle-aged woman who never really got good at this before I stopped trying. So tell me what you think even if it’s not the best news…

I’m pretty new at this having about 4 months of saddle time all told. I went for my first 2 muni rides rides last weekend. It was great! My street rides since then have seemed much smoother and I’ve been able to to some things much better than before the muni’s. A couple of things to keep in mind though. It is quite strenuous, and you will probably have to walk some sections. So wear good hiking/walking shoes and bring lots of water. I say go ahead and just have fun with it, don’t any performance related pressure on yourself. Good luck.

Get back on, you know you want to :slight_smile:

Whether muni (here probably easy cross country ) or riding all the new cycle trails that are appearing all over the world, makes no difference. Don’t push yourself, just have fun and you will find yourself riding further and further.

And definitely grab any chance to go riding with other people, it does make the riding much more enjoyable.

Go hard.

Hey digigal1. Welcome back :slight_smile:

I’d say 'Go for it Girl! ‘’:smiley:
I’ve got a muni and it’s great fun. Really builds up confidence. Though I have to admit I usually only ride the down bits then I let gravity take over, guess I’m a bit lazy. I like to just use my legs to steer :wink: I’m probby like kr :slight_smile: and it’s mostly easy cross country. I roll through a few puddles and over some sticks in the woods but it’s a hoot.:smiley:
The shifting about on the seat and the moving of my feet on the pedals has helped my overall uni riding :slight_smile:

I’d suggest wrist guards, helmet and knee pads, they give you confidence to try stuff you might not otherwise go for.

Good luck and keep us posted

( This is from another middle aged girl who’s not really any good at it, but thinks it’s fun so does it anyway)

I first rode muni within a couple of months of learning to ride (actually I first rode my beginner uni off-road within a couple of weeks). Easy XC, but to be honest I still don’t do much more than that - it doesn’t have to be extreme to be fun and challenging. OK so I’m an overconfident bloke, but not much difference in our ages.

Yes you’ll fall off lots, but the trick is to learn to just jump off and land on your feet when you fall - that came naturally to me (so much so that I have to really force myself to keep my feet on rather than jump off in situations I can recover), if it doesn’t to you then do a bit of practice until it does. As mentioned above you’ll probably walk the ups, but that’s not a big issue - I still walk some and look forward to it as a bit of a rest - as you get better you’ll find you ride more. It definitely makes a huge difference to your skill as you learn to correct for your balance being thrown off by the terrain - and most importantly it’s lots of fun.

I have a similarish background. In my case I quit unicycling because riding sidewalks became boring after a while. I didn’t ride for a 10 year period. I’m not saying that I had mad skillz, just that my vision was severely limited. I didn’t know what could be done on a uni so I just did what I knew and I had become bored by it.

It was seeing someone on a uni coming out of the woods on a singletrack trail that rekindled interest for me, I wasn’t even aware that such a thing existed. Boy am I glad I saw that guy. Seeing that guy caused me to dust off the uni and I haven’t looked back. After a bit I found this forum and started to see what the world of unicycling offered (I came from a world where the only uni sizes were 20" and 24" and riding off of a curb was a trick to me). I eventually worked up enough courage to take my uni off road.

The first few outings were largely embarrassing. Riding maybe 30 feet at a time, getting winded over very short distances, the smallest of roots bucking me off, etc. I remember apologizing to nearly every mountain biker I crossed paths with, it was that bad. Now here’s the part where I might scare you off, but don’t be:

Before taking up muni I only had two UPDs that I wasn’t able to walk out, and that includes my time during the learning process. After taking up muni… I ended up on the ground often, maybe a few times per day/week; a huge contrast to the few times per year that I was accustomed to. I think aracer nailed it, jumping off and landing on your feet during a muni UPD is a learning process, a process that didn’t come that naturally to me at first.

That said I know that taking up muni and more importantly sticking to it (I wanted to quit so bad at first - even now I have my moments :sunglasses: ) will make you a better rider. Since taking up muni I’ve also taken up moderate trials (nothing amazing) and I’ve found that those two disciplines complement each other.

You’ll gain a lot of confidence. Just as an example: Once upon a time riding off the end of a curb was the extent of my comfort level. Some long time after taking up muni I was able to (tentatively) take 12" drops so after that the confidence with curbs went up to the point where they were no longer on my radar. The roots that gave pause in the past are now hardly noticed. etc.

I’ve never been one to take risks so it’s been a slow process for me. There are trails and there are trails if you catch my meaning. Pick an easy trail at first. My experience is that discouragement will come but don’t let it take over. If you can find someone to ride with, that’s made all the difference in the world for me. Other riders that gave me examples, pointers, inspiration, motivation… maybe even showoff to in the distant, distant future.

Welcome back digigal1. Speaking as a middle-aged woman I’d say go for it. As many have suggested start with light muni trails and go at your own pace. Push yourself at your comfort level.
I am assuming you will be riding a smaller wheel for muni.
In any case, it sounds like you really never let it go and don’t want to, riding is so much fun at any age. I hope you go for it and welcome back! :slight_smile:

I’m waiting for someone to say “No. It will hurt you. Don’t do it.” :stuck_out_tongue:

No. It will hurt you. Don’t do it.

If you don’t use it, you lose it. So use it.

Like others have said, ride at your comfort level. Do easy pavement or gravel paths at first and gain your confidence back.

Make sure to stretch before and after, especially the back and hamstrings and glutes. I’m only 40, and I need to stretch or I will hurt myself. Unicyling, esp. uses muscles that you don’t usually use, so it’s really important to stay limber.

Anyway, the health benefits of muni within your means far outweighs any risk, and if a form of exercise is fun, you are more likely to do it. And muni is very fun.

If you want to get into muni, start doing it. You will have fun, you will learn a lot and you will get hurt. For me, the good in unicycling far outweighs the bad, if I bruise my shin or loose a little skin and am down for a few days, who cares I had fun doing it. You obviously want to, so why not.

Hi Paula, I don’t have any answers to your questions, but as your signature hasn’t changed - although perhaps it should - I will simply say that I never stopped missing you.

OP- yes and no.
If u go into challenging terrain too fast u can definatly hurt yourself.
+1 for going your own pace. Loads of fun and it will definitely make u more fit and a better rider. I’d start on really easy trails. For me Muni requires good fitness more than it gives, esp core strength/endourance, and leg endourance. (See bottom)

Where I live all the trails are moderate +. I set the goal of riding up every driveway and off the curb for an hour w/ only a few UPDs, none scary and not exhausted. Now I do “urban Muni” as often as possible.

Since I’d rather wear lots of pads (knee/shin, helmet, elbow/forarm, wrists, & but) than take a trip to the hospital, I can really go for it. Once I tumbled down the trail 11 times before sticking a line :slight_smile:

Muni fitness: I won’t go on a Muni ride unless I can do the following (if I skimp on the core I have often & scary UPDs, the legs and my overal riding suffers): Leg lifts 30 L, 30 R, 30R, etc w/ 10lb per pair ankle weights for 30 min. 30 min on my rower ~ to 5 sets of 2 min standing squats w/ 2 min breaks. I do twice a day, if i can, to build up to that and twice a week for maintenance.


At the OP, you should do what you want to do, hail or high water, you only live once.

I’m assuming your knee healed, so might as well ride, what else ya gonna do with your free time?

I think most of us have gotten hurt, esp when learning, it’s the nature of learning that it takes a few good falls until we get better at falling/getting off the uni.

I have broken most of my fingers at least once, more thana few holes inmy legs, bone bruises that ache for weeks, it’s all part of the greater plan: learning to unicycle :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s also okay to back off, ride easier terrain, and save yourself from major injuries. I ride with folks who have a lower risk aversion than me, so I will walk an obstacle that they ride, it’s fine as long as we’re having fun.

Also look at expending your unicycling quiver, maybe pick up a big wheel (36") and try that, it can be fun to go fast and ride tall.

It takes practice, and lots of it, which will cause you to have lots of fun. Mt uncycling is a blast and self rewarding. Don’t give up, keep at it, its a rather long learning curve, but a great one, you will learn something on every ride. Some big and some small. I am 65 years old and took up municycling 7 months ago, built my own trail ( 1 mile all wooded and half is downhill ) I ride 6 or more days a week and what a blast. Some of my other sports have and are Mountain Biking, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, camping, hunting, skiing , some more I forgot. Anyways unicycling has been one of the most rewarding, and better ones. Always go at your our pace, and have fun, don’t give up. Buy good equipment. Good Luck

Yes, I think you should. I suggest you go for a 24" MUni. It’s lower to the ground and easier to manage and not as threatening as the 29er. You could always wear elasticated knee supports, to support your knees.
With regard to stretching before exercise, recent studies show that it may actually do damage, so you might want read up on that.

So buy a MUni cycle and comfort yourself with this thought, MOST ACCIDENTS HAPPEN IN THE HOME. So get out of the house and get on your MUni.

Hope this helps.

I’ve heard that.

If I remember right, light warm up for 5-10 min, workout, cool down for 5-10 min, then stretch is best. And only stretch when muscles are warmed up.

Personally I don’t bother and only stretch when I have time and the inclination (I hate stretching), mainly for better flexability. If I think I might be sore the next day (extra hard work out, or haven’t worked an area in a long time) I’ll stretch right after and every few hours that day. From what I’ve read and observed better flexability can reduce likelyhood of injury, as long as you have control w/in that range of motion.

If you really want to acquire new skills, you ought to ride with other people. Many times I have watched other people doing stuff that I didn’t think I could do, or was too scared to do, and then I pushed myself to try it. Watching other people ride is the ultimate motivator and teacher.

Although riding Muni would teach you some different skills, it does get you banged up more than riding on the street. I usually come away with some scrapes that I wouldn’t get riding on the road. It’s also a different experience – Muni requires more concentration and you can’t daydream like you can riding distance (in most cases).

Raphael you rascal, I’ve missed you, too!

I WILL buy a muni, I will I will I will! Not that it takes much convincing for me to make a new purchase. But you’re all right - I don’t have to kill myself trying to ride down a big gnarly hill my first time out. I assume the muni tire can be ridden on the road till I get the feel for it.

Thanks everyone for all the comments and suggestions. Unicyclists are such nice people…

If you’ve been riding, just no Muni, I’d go directly to the trails. Something pretty flat and smooth.

When I started I also thought getting used to the tire, etc on the road would be good but it was so sticky turning was hard, plus I’d rather wear it out on the trail vs. faster on the road. When I did go to the trails it was slipping all over the place, in comparison to my road tire, similar to riding on a smooth metal grate.

The squirming quieted down as I learned to pedal more smoothly (something I could ignore and barely notice on the road).