Here’s a potential new category for India’s Rural Olympics: Extreme Mountain Unicycling.
Because riding a unicycle isn’t challenging enough, Oddity Central reports on the growing number of people who seem to enjoy pedaling atop one giant wheel along rugged mountain terrain.
It’s actually more specific than that. Extreme mountain unicyclers make a point to climb dangerous peaks just so they can try to “slide and bunny-hop” all the way down without crashing and rolling or free-falling into the nearest bottomless pit. This is the stuff of which mothers’ nightmares are made.
This idea of a fun pastime came out of the American West Coast, where, back in the early 1990s, some enterprising pioneers with zero concept of mortal danger started taking an apparatus associated with clowns and, by introducing a mountain, turned it into an apparatus associated with very brave souls.
“People like the novelty of it,” Wendy Grzych, the president of the Unicycling Society of America, told the New York Times back in 2008. “It’s a whole subculture, and a different makeup than your church friends or work buddies.”
Known as “munis,” these dedicated daredevils have even starting holding their own festivals.
But ask any dedicated munis about their craft and they can get downright philosophical about it.
“Muni is a sport for minimalists and problem solvers — people that don’t mind working over and over at something until they succeed,” Canadian unicyclist extraordinaire Kris Holm told the paper. “A trail that would be boring on a bike can be totally enthralling on a muni.”
“Mountain bikers do it for adrenaline… This is a more focused, technical sport. The amount of concentration it takes is akin to meditation,” fellow muni Eyal Aharoni added.
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Whether it sounds like meditation or madness to you, take a look at some more extreme mountain unicycling videos and judge for yourself. Happy trails!