Return of the Big Wheel
23 Jul 2019

Return of the Big Wheel

Mountain Unicycling the North South Track on a 36er

23 Jul 2019

That’s the thing about riding a single 36″ wheel on single track. It may look seriously kooky, and definitely doesn’t have the same cool factor and adrenaline rush as MTB… but it does feel great in a zen kind of way!

Learning and earning the secrets of the wheel. Its combination of simplicity and intense difficulty is addictive. Years later it’s something you want to experience again, even if your skills have become a little rusty!

So maybe riding the North South Track on the big wheel today was a little ambitious, coming straight from a ~10 year break from mountain unicycling. While the trail is a scenic blue (intermediate) cruise on an MTB it’s something you’d work up to on a uni, especially a 36er with short cranks HAHA!

Mountain Unicycling the North South Track, Hobart Tasmania

On the upside I now know how much work needs doing to get my skills back up. The 137mm cranks also need to be swapped out for more MUNI friendly 150mm. Maybe a bigger rotor would be handy too.

Today was also a great reminder of how much of a mind game mountain unicycling is. Fear, doubt and hesitation aren’t your friend, especially riding a 36er on trails where you sit so much higher than a mountain bike. A sniff of negativity and you’re as good as ejected.

The thing is there’s nowhere to hide on a uni. Every seemingly minor skill, every moment on the trail, is a result of endless hours of practice. If you have the skills you might successfully clear a section of technical trail… or not. If you don’t have the skills, unlike MTB there’s just no chance of lucking it.

I’m looking forward to spending more time on the 36er in the coming months. It’ll be a great way to help maintain fitness over Winter, and great fun too.

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