Unicycle, rollin’ on 20…

They see me rollin’ and they be hatin’

Feb. 2014
I have logged 20 hours on the unicycle and can consistently ride about the length of 2 football fields before bailing out.

When word got out that I was trying to learn to ride a unicycle I was amazed at how many closet unicycle riders or wannabes I ran into. I heard the following comments at least 20 times.
“Oh yeah, I use to ride back in college.”
“I’ve always wanted to try a unicycle.”
“You’re an idiot and you’re going to break your neck.”

Turned out my neighbor who is also around 60 rides and a neighbor on the other side is a personal trainer who grew up in Ohio at a school where all the kids were taught to ride.

I saw a story about a 70 year old dentist in Orlando area who rides his unicycle to work.

Riding a unicycle is something most people can learn.

There are very good tutorials online which detail each progressive step towards becoming an accomplished rider, mine is not one of those. I have provided a quick introduction video.



Recap of my unicycle experience.

First tried it at age 28 and never quite got it. Put unicycle in storage.
At 60, pulled unicycle out of garage. Flat tire, rust, too short… borrowed a good unicycle from a friend.

After the first hour I was certain that riding a unicycle was impossible.
After the second hour I was certain that a few highly talented people might be able to ride a unicycle but I was not one of them.
After the third hour it was like playing the slots. A little pay out now and then. Just enough to keep you hoping for the big win.

This is a short clip of day one on the unicycle. 09/23/2013

This sensation is still there after 20 hours.

My neighbor says he rode to the stop sign and back (about a 1/4 mile) and that became my quest. I can make it to the stop sign on a good ride but that’s it.

I’m thankful he didn’t say he rode a mile.

Concerns:
I have not had a bad fall yet. It will probably happen. For old guys I do suggest wearing some tighty-whities or compression shorts (no one wears jockstraps anymore). Enough said.

Tips:

  • I found shoes with a heel was a help because my feet tend to slide forward on the pedals.
  • Find a video of “How To Idle”. This skill helped my riding the most.
  • “Even pressure of your feet.” Repeat that to yourself over and over.
  • I started by standing up off the saddle a bit. It took a long time before I felt comfortable setting my weight down on the seat. (I do not know if this is advised or not)
  • I’ve heard training aids such as using crutches to balance will help. Crutches, shopping cart, riding along a wall, these are all recommended. I didn’t use them so I can’t speak to that.

Keep in mind that riding a unicycle may seem impossible even after a number of practices. Keep at it, it will be more fun than a treadmill once you start riding more than a few feet.

It is a workout. It will tighten your legs and burn calories.

Buffalo Tip: Don’t Be a Hater

There are many wonderful and caring animal shelters needing your assistance. South Lake Animal League is a no kill animal shelter in the Orlando – Clermont area. If you are considering adopting a dog or would like to make a donation, please visit the site below.

www.slal.org.

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