Dedicated Muni Championships (Closed for comments)
Comments about this discussion:
This thread is to start discussion on difficult matter, that doesn't need to be solved for this edition of rulebook.
Due to low quality of Muni racing in past Unicons there are some thoughts among riders to separate Muni Championships from Main event if it cannot provide good conditions for Muni racing.
Finding suitable trails for Muni racing will probably not be an issue in next Unicon though.
I am sceptic to seperate Muni races from Unicons but seeing terrible Muni trails is not good either. Being able to separate Muni from Unicon would ease finding Unicon hosts from areas without mountains.
Unicons which do not provide Muni Championships events might be shortened by several days reducing organizational and participation costs. Some muni events might be run anyway to promote muni among all Unicon participants but without Champion titles.
The bright side of the changes is also having more time to rest between road races. Muni riders will have time to practice trial, jumps etc.
Personally, I consider myself as a Muni rider at most but I would definitely try to attend non-Muni Unicon though for road racing and other disciplines like hockey, trial, jumps, slalom, that I never get a chance to try due to lack of time.
In my view, dedicated Muni championships should consist of three disciplines (XC, UH, DH) with CX being an option as this can be run efectively during any Unicon.
Dedicated Muni championships would probably consist of training and racing days or even Muni tours days making the event week long. Considering possibility of having amazing locations will bring high satisfaction of competitors and spectators.
This thread mentioned Unicon but should also be considered for Continental Championships.
I fully agree with Maksym. I think the quality of muni events could improve significantly and it will make finding a Unicon host easier. If Unicon (or continental championships) are able to accommodate proper muni competitions, great, but this has in the past often not been the case.
At dedicated muni championships, there would also be more room to add additional events - for example standard XC and a long-distance marathon XC race. Or a muni obstacle competition like in Italy.
Muni world championships could also happen every year and would not be bound to the 2-year Unicon schedule.
I would hate to have the World Championships broken up, but it's also difficult to combine all those different parts into a single convention. Many people would have to choose one over the other, which could be both a good and a bad thing. Consider that a split like that would probably take the Trials and possibly Urban events with it as well. :-(
Also consider this common fallacy people have about Muni. It does not require mountains. With the exception of Thierry Bouche (France), Muni was mostly pioneered by people who did not have easy access to mountains. This includes George Peck, who certainly lived with mountains in sight, but mostly rode his unicycle on difficult terrain around the city of Seward. Roger Davies and his contemporaries in the UK, who introduced many of us to Orienteering in the earlier Unicons. A bunch of Midwestern US riders who rode on dirt trails that were challenging, but didn't have lots of elevation change.
That's why George Peck asserted the name Rough Terrain Unicycling was a better name. More accurate? Yes. Better to attract attention? No. Calling it Mountain Unicycling got us lots of press. But the mountains are optional. This is not to say that great Muni venues can be located near all viable Unicon locations. Unicons XII and XIV involved multi-hour bus rides to get to the trails, and even then, they weren't perfect venues. This helps to make Maxsym's point.
Mostly I guess I'm thinking of all the people out there who would have to pick one over the other. One of the best things about Unicon, and other large, multi-discipline uni conventions, is that people get to see sport unicycling in all its forms. I would hate to lose that.
Interesting thread. In the early days we came to the decision in the UK (when we had active national championships!) that Muni was a "doing" thing not a "competing" thing. I know that there is definitely a competing side to things but I think that many of our riders still think of Muni as a "doing" thing.
Although separating out the "mountain" side of Muni would give a better competitive event in most cases - isn't that what the winter Olympics are, just Olympics that need something that can not be provided at the summer version? I do not think that we should remove "Muni" championships from UNICON totally it is important for the "doing" at unicon as well as the "competing", this is needed to broaden and bring in new riders. It will also show riders where they can get to. Can we give flexibility in the rules to allow organisers to do the best with what is available?
We have CX that can be constructed and competitive almost anywhere. A good mountain competitive course is very hard to find, maybe it should as a separate competition sometimes?
Having Unicon set to be in Grenoble, France, I don't think it will put any risk of doing World Muni Championships outside Unicon 20.
However, having option for having Muni World Championships outside Unicons in more distant future would significantly help in finding and approving hosts from "flat" countries.
John, Muni has different faces, but as a sport it developed in proper mountains too. If we do not provide good conditions for serious Muni Riders they will not have opportunities to meet each other and share experiences on bigger scale.
I observe that after number of failures of Muni events at Unicons the riders are not attracted to participate anymore. Creating separate Muni World Championships would possibly attract many of those riders who do not plan to visit Unicons anyway.
This has been a good discussion, but will not end up in the rulebook. I do hope IUF will take notice. Closed.