Something Stupid This Way Comes
July 27, 2008 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Have you tried MUni yet? It's the latest rage in adventure sports.
posted by Xurando (39 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I like how in the NYT video a significant percentage of the stuff he talks about is various ways people make fun of him. If you take yourself so seriously maybe you shouldn't ride a unicycle!
posted by aubilenon at 1:57 PM on July 27, 2008

"Hey, I know. I'll take an inherently unstable device at high speed over dangerously rough terrain. It'll be fun!"
posted by Malor at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2008

Some people just need to sit down and breathe deeply.

I know I do, because the alternative is to beat these people about the head and shoulders while screaming "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING, YOU MORON!"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:11 PM on July 27, 2008

Stupid? Moron? Whatever, dude.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:17 PM on July 27, 2008 [5 favorites]

Sounds like a throwaway gag from "Inside Springfield" on The Simpsons.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:18 PM on July 27, 2008

yeah but can Kris Holm do this?
posted by yort at 2:23 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for linking that vid Durn, that was incredible. I was blown away by that track in the forest, and then it cut to the bridge...
posted by Elmore at 2:25 PM on July 27, 2008

Ow, my balls.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:31 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Unicycling. On a mountain.

You may call it an 'adventure sport'. I think of it more as, oh, Russian Roulette, or slow-motion suicide.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2008

I think it's neat that they're turned on by the technical rigors of it, since it's obvious they're not going for the thrill of speed or just to look cool.
posted by cowbellemoo at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2008

Well here, you'll probably enjoy this one, too. This one kinda indirectly got me into uni.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2008

"Well, yeah, unicycles are for clowns. But they're not for your *normal* clown."

Oh, okay. Because clowns are usually so... normal and all.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:45 PM on July 27, 2008


posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:49 PM on July 27, 2008

The crazy thing about that one, Yort, is that it's in front of a huge audience. A one-off after a hundred filmed attempts, sure, but on command...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:52 PM on July 27, 2008

Man, that was really, really weak.Not a single acknowledgment of the original one-tired guy, Kris Holm; either from the "reporter" , or the riders.

When Kris started riding his uni on the off-raid tails here on the local mountains he was always respectful of George Peck and credited his accomplishments as his own inspiration.

I can't believe that none of those riders know about Kris, who is quite famous in the off-road world mountain biking world in general, never mind within the much much smaller unicyclist community.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:53 PM on July 27, 2008

Latest rage?

Have you people heard of these In-Line Skates? Incredible invention, fresh off the design board!

No really, I bought a uni two years ago and I usually start doing stuff way after the cool kids have moved to something else. Plus, Kris Holm has been doing this for ages.
posted by Laotic at 2:58 PM on July 27, 2008

Your favorite hobby sucks, apparently.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:07 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Surly just came out with their own Mountain Unicycle, which can take a hydraulic brake, and fit their enormous 3.7" Endomorph tires on 2" rims.

Since Surly is a subsidiary of QBP, by far the largest and most prominent distributor of bike parts in the US, you can easily buy one through any bike shop in the country.
posted by blasdelf at 3:09 PM on July 27, 2008

So this is what happens when you take fixed-gear stuff to its logical conclusion?

That forest track in the Kris that meant solely for unicycles? There were parts of it that looked as though it would be nearly impossible for a normal bike to navigate.
posted by maxwelton at 3:32 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

I always assumed that track was for mountain bikes and he had appropriated it. Can't imagine that much work being put into a uni track, but I could certainly be wrong.

Unfortunately my fave Kris video -- a wicked ride down a volcano -- isn't on the Tube at the moment. I have it on videotape somewhere around here...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:35 PM on July 27, 2008

That's nothing. I have video of a guy running down a hill, clopping two halves of a coconut.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:39 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't know about offroad, but my friend's unicycle trip across Laos is the most impressive unicycle-related thing I've ever seen. The pictures of happy kids totally justifies the stupidity of long distance unicycling, in my mind.
posted by Nelson at 3:42 PM on July 27, 2008

I hurt myself badly enough on the local trails with two wheels. No way am I going to try that on one. (Fun is fun, but not being able to breathe right for a month or two just sucks, and I'd prefer not to end up there again.)
posted by caution live frogs at 3:47 PM on July 27, 2008

Actually max , Durn is correct. It's the other way round. We built those trails to ride our bikes on; it was Kris who was crazy and talented enough to start taking his unicycle on it.

When he first started riding with us, ( his second and third rides were at night, in the snow, BTW) he pointed out that on some of the narrower technical sections he did have an advantage, in that he had no handlebars to snag on branches and such. He also pointed out that his center of gravity was always directly under-neath him; not that we were buying those arguments.

The big limiting factor for him is speed, he can't go as fast as us. He is so coodinaated though, that on the technical off-road sections he has no trouble keeping up with a group, it's the run-out on roads such as Dempsey Road and Mountain Highway where he gets left behind.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:48 PM on July 27, 2008

MUni - I thought this TV program was called Jackass.
posted by three blind mice at 4:03 PM on July 27, 2008

I've never considered the idea that a man could bruise his prostate until I watched that video.

(Now, it occurs to me that there might be another way to do so, but I'm going to skip that joke).
posted by Bookhouse at 4:16 PM on July 27, 2008

"Everyone's in awe -- no one actually believes that you can ride a unicycle offroad... and we've made that possible."

Ugh. Yeah, this pisses me off. What PareidoliaticBoy said.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:24 PM on July 27, 2008

Here's an article about George Peck in the Atlantic from '97.
posted by stavrogin at 4:30 PM on July 27, 2008

One out of two testicles agree that this is not a good idea.
posted by Senator at 5:19 PM on July 27, 2008

This is the real shit. Kris Holms kicks it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:37 PM on July 27, 2008

That forest track in the Kris that meant solely for unicycles? There were parts of it that looked as though it would be nearly impossible for a normal bike to navigate.
Not so. It looks like it was built for bikes.
posted by Xurando at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2008

I grabbed a friend's unicycle once some years back and couldn't even really get on it to the point that I could fall off it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:04 PM on July 27, 2008

Am I right in thinking that Kris Holm is the only person who can actually do this?

The riders in the Oregon Field Guide video are so duff at it that the report looks like the trailer for a new Christopher Guest mockumentary - the way they practically wet themselves with glee whenever one of their number manage to ride for ten seconds without falling on their arses is just hilarious. (I know it must be incredibly difficult, of course - it's the whooping and cries of 'Radical!' every time someone tries, but completely fails, to ride a unicyle off-road that make it funny.)
posted by jack_mo at 6:28 PM on July 27, 2008

I'm hoping this will finally cause unicyclists to become extinct.
posted by w0mbat at 6:35 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

There are about a 1/2 dozen little gromits inspired by Kris than can regularly be found on the North Shore trails , jack_mo. But you are quite correct in assuming that he is exceptionally talented.

In the interim of course. those same little gromit's buddies on two wheels are taking the sport to a level that us old farts can only watch in gape-jawed amazement .
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:10 PM on July 27, 2008

Why not try it yourselves?

(left is right, right is left, down is brake. Have fun, there's tons of tracks...)
posted by anthill at 8:18 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

four years ago i was riding the slickrock trail in moab when one of these mountain unicyclists came at me from the other direction. i was riding the main loop anticlockwise and i was coming up to the panorama spur and frankly was feeling pretty smug about having made it that far without breaking anything on my bike or my body - hell, i was barely even bleeding! - when this clearly insane person came grinding on by, gave me a smile and a wave, then...just...hopped up on top of the rock i had just walked down and disappeared around the corner. bastard made it look SO EASY. tip of the hat to him, though, for having not only the skills to tackle a testpiece trail like that on a unicycle, but actually really seem to be having a great time to boot.
posted by the painkiller at 10:06 PM on July 27, 2008

I thought, for a moment, that we'd be able to mention Clowns without the obligatory *smart* link to pictures of scary Clowns. Great, I thought....we've done it!

But then....

WHAT a disappointment!
posted by JtJ at 1:51 AM on July 28, 2008

I think my favorite semi-crazy unicycle event was the Ride the Lobster event this past June. Lots of fun links in a google search for ride the lobster, also.

(Sadly, a unicycle-shoelace incident prevented me from even having a chance at training up to go...tie your shoes!).
posted by nat at 4:33 AM on July 28, 2008

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