Thrillseeking Brits risk life and limb flying down cliff faces on UNICYCLES

Yahoo! News22 April 2013
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Fans of 'muni' cycling insist it's safer than normal mountainbiking. (SWNS)

Thrill-seeking students are taking their safety well and truly into their own hands - by flying down cliff faces on unicycles.

Adrenaline junkies have invented a new 'extreme' sport where they taking to mountain ranges on the one-wheeled cycle and try to maintain their balance.

The hobby sees unicyclists pedal, pivot and 'bunny hop' from rock to rock as they descend mountains, hillsides and treacherous coastal paths on their custom-made cycles.

The bikes are given special mountain bike-type tyres to cope with sharp and hard rocks and surfaces.

Mountain unicycling - known as or 'muni' - was pioneered in the USA in the 1990s but the UK now has its first club.

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Kevin Callaby, 34, of Falmouth, Cornwall, has launched Mountain Unicycling Club Kernow (MUCK) and claims it's SAFER than mountain biking.

He said: "One of the earliest exponents described mountain unicycling as a cross between mountain biking and rodeo riding, and I think that's absolutely spot on.

"You can expect a few bumps and scrapes but there's actually very little chance of injury because, unlike a bike, a set of skis or a snowboard, you're not tangled up in anything.

"You can simply bail out and use your hands and feet to cushion your fall."

Common injuries suffered in the sport include "shindentations" - bloody gashes and bruises to the shins.

Kevin, a solar panel fitter and former performer with the Moscow State circus, has been unicycling since he was nine and his new group has around 20 active members.

He added: "Until about five years ago I used to just ride down the road, but then unicycles got better which meant you could go off-road.

"We started off with coastal bike paths but then we began to search for more difficult terrain. We look to ride down stuff that is really steep and really loose.

"There's lots of hopping and carving from side to side, rather like snowboarding.

"You always have a minimal point of contract with the ground, so it's about balance, skill and coping with what the terrain throws at you.


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"It doesn't have to be a mountain, you can unicycle down a set of stairs or even just a slippery kerb - anything that presents a challenge."



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