Unicycle Till I Drop – 9/29/2020

I’ve posted many times about unicycling on the blog. But today, I did the hardest unicycling that I’ve ever done before. There is a discipline of unicycle called Muni. It stands for mountain unicycling. While there are not any serious mountains in the St. Louis area, Muni is more the concept of off road riding. The first time I tried this was earlier this year at Creve Coeur lake on the lower flat section near the lake.  This time, I decided it was time to try something a bit harder.

On the higher side of the lake, there is a trail called Bootlegger’s Run. Mountain bike people will tell you it isn’t that hard, but its what we have available in the area. From the perspective of a person riding a unicycle that generally doesn’t leave the pavement or hard packed flat gravel, this was insane!

I had a few things going for me being a large 32″ unicycle wheel that only had about 25 psi in the tires. This meant that when presented with a branch on the trail, the large tire would just fold around the branch and I almost didn’t feel a thing.

The roots below didn’t even register with the large wheel.

A sample of some of the difficult riding. I learned quickly to use the trees to help with mounting the unicycle for balance.

I started out riding some switch backs off the trailhead, dismounting any time I saw something I knew would be too much for me. Then I would walk till I got to a better place and started back again. This type of riding put me at often beyond my upper aerobic level. I looked forward to the obstacles I knew would hurt me so I could walk a bit and catch my breath.

I only rode about 1/2 of the trail. See the part I did ride below in red.

In the back half of the ride, I found myself riding with a large drop off to my right down to the lake. I was riding at the edge of my aerobic level and the edge of my fear at the same time. Eventually, I got to the point where I decided I had enough and headed back to the car instead of finishing the whole loop. In all, I walked about half and rode half of the 2.85 miles logged.

I wish I could say the story ended there and everything was great. When I woke up the next morning, my legs were in incredible pain. It took almost a full week before I could walk normal again after that ride. I’ve not been back to ride again as I’m not sure I could take another horrible week of leg pain!

Hogan Haake