Video: Mountain Unicycling in the Wadi Rum Desert Jordan

Mar 27, 2019
by lutzeichholz  

In front of me Michael is riding on a unicycle over a 5m long and 200m high natural bridge. Behind him I see the last rays of sun set behind the beautiful landscape of the Jordanian desert and I wonder, what am I doing here?

My name is Lutz Eichholz. I am 32 years old, at least half professional adventurer and mountain unicyclist. For almost 2 years I have had an even more important, unpaid, job in which I will soon be promoted. Was it a good idea to start another adventure in the Middle East just before the birth of my second child?

I started six days earlier at the train station where I had to leave my wife and daughter before I went via Frankfurt and Amman to Jordan’s only city on the Red Sea, Aqaba. At our hotel I meet Lea and Michael who I only saw once before, who accompany my old friend David and me on this trip.

The next morning, we go directly to the rental car dealer and from there immediately to the Wadi Rum desert. I hope that this place is the perfect spot to find out if I can push my sport further or if I should slowly think about expanding my work as a city planner and keep unicycling only as a hobby.

A few days later I know that unicycling just as a hobby still has time. Even though I am very homesick for the first time in my life the journey is unbelievably fun for me. The bizarre landscape of the Wadi Rum motivates my fellow travelers and me to push the limits of our sport each in our own way.

Every day we search for the hardest unicycle obstacles and go to sleep happy and tired under one million stars.

We cook on campfires in the desert. Every two to three days we visit small villages to buy new provisions and try out local food in small restaurants.

Of course, we visit the classic tourist attractions like Petra and the Dead Sea as well.

And of course, I drive, even if it is actually stupid, behind Michael over the exposed, narrow bridge.

After a few days of getting used to the new ground I try new freeride tricks and ride down the steepest spots I have ever tried in my life.

Nevertheless, I still don’t know on the plane home whether the sport experience is worth being separated from my family for two weeks. Only after a few days at home where I view the photo and video material I come to a positive conclusion. The two unknown accompanying athletes have become friends. The memories of the adventure I experienced together will keep me smiling whenever I think of it for a long time. Now I am ready to tackle my real task as a family father even more motivated. I am looking forward to the challenge of soon having two kids at home who make every day an exciting adventure!

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  • 24 1
 This is more "cycling" than an ebike Smile
Absolutely sick!
  • 2 0
 Was thinking of this exact same comment when looking over the photos.
  • 15 0
 This man needs a knee pad sponsor!
  • 5 0
 rental pads from 2005. Keep it real boyeee
  • 1 0
 old school pads that cover the shins are much appreciated on the uni.
  • 14 0
 Bring him to Rampage!
  • 8 1
 Always good to see some proper MUni on here. Don't be intimidated. Just like when you'd ride a bike in the terrain shown here, it takes serious skill, determination and consequences can be serious if it goes wrong. But just like on a bike, riding it in more mellow terrain is quite safe. But unlike the bike, even mellow terrain can be challenging and gets you giggles. The gear is relatively inexpensive, doesn't require much maintenance and it is built to take a good few slams. If you want to give it a shot, there is little reason not to. Gear is relatively cheap and durable, risk is low and giggles are aplenty. Practice half an hour a day and within two weeks you'll be riding unassisted. From there on, set your own goals. Obviously it would take forever to get to the level of what Lutz shows here.

I've got only one dvd about unicycling though I think it is a classic for those interested. "Into the Thunder Dragon" covers the journey of Kris Holm and Nathan Hoover through Bhutan, riding their unicycles across the Himalaya. Good vibes, impressive riding.
  • 2 0
 What's that Jurassic Park quote?
  • 9 1
 No 29er version with a bottle cage? I'm out
  • 3 0
 This is one of those people who meditates in the morning while standing on an exercise ball with just one foot. Core strength for days.
  • 2 0
 Is it just me or why is it easier too ride an unicycle than wheelies on a normal bike, maybe i should try a normal bike with fixed wheel or try ride unicycle with a free wheel to have real understanding?
  • 1 0
 I've got to admit that I never tried to sustain a wheelie a bicycle but I think I understand why it is probably more difficult. When seated on a unicycle, you have your weight directly over the axle and feel through your spine what's going on. Especially when first learning to ride, the recommendation is to avoid standing on the pedals but just sit down and only lightly push on the pedals On a bicycle you kind of have the weight of your bike in front of the axle and your own weight behind it and you need to balance that. And of course you have the freewheel so correcting a sudden loop out (by using the brake) is different to correcting the front falling down (pedal harder). On a unicycle, for both corrections you use the same mechanism (the pedals). I think that's simpler and closer related to balancing while on our feet (walking, standing). Also, the fear factor is lower on a unicycle. Your feet are still below you so it feels easier to jump off vs having your feet extended in front of you on a bicycle.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yes that makes a lot of sense, so just need to put my seat over rear wheel on MTB & should feel the same?
  • 5 0
  • 2 0
 killing it! Love the dropoffs to the sand
  • 7 0
 I was anticipating you to have commented. Not disappointed. @rideitall
  • 3 1
 hub standard looks a little dated....
  • 1 0
 Lol, there are actually multiple standards for unicycles though. 90mm for some freestyle and track racing ones, 100mm for almost everything else, and 125mm for fat bike ones. Plus your hub is also your crank spindle so you have isis, square taper, and a few proprietary unicycle ones, but most people just run Isis.
  • 3 0
 Great video and pictures
  • 1 0
 I was wondering what these pics were doing in the dh bikes category! Cool stuff!
  • 2 1
 Even though ENVE gives unicyclists 50% off a set of wheels, they still don't ride em.....hum.
  • 2 0
 Are those old school roach knee/shin pads?
  • 1 0
 I think they are Kris Holm Percussion kneepads. Unicycle specific Smile .
  • 3 1
 Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  • 3 1
 No freehub?!?!
  • 1 0
 so is he always loving back wheel?
  • 7 6
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 He is extreemly good but I still have to ask the question WHY????
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