Age and Related Skill Sets

I’m 46, and just started riding. I’m very curious about how age plays a role in what skill sets are developed. I know there are exceptions to every rule, and without going into a “you are your only limit” tangent, is there a general age where riders tend to decide that trials is not for them, extreme muni is out, the risks are just too great? At what age did you learn to ride, and how risky are your skills?

Well, I’m 47 and only really been riding for a few days. I spent the best part of a month falling off though.

I wanted to learn to ride to walk the dog around! I aim to get good enough at hopping to deal with kerbs and staying stationary for a bit - though I can tell that I soon won’t be satisfied by that. Can’t see myself trying 12 pallets though.

I’m more interested in using the uni to pop down into town (good offroad cyclepath) and a bit of cross country with the dog.

I’m happy to just keep pushing a little at my limits - I’ll wait and see where that attitude takes me.

I’m 47 and do what I would consider “extreme” muni. I do some street and trials, but I am so-so at those. I also do some road riding on a 36. Seems like most older riders focus on muni and road riding. Street and trials, for the most part, seem to fit better with younger mindset.

I’m 39. Been riding seriously for the past couple of years but learned long ago. I like to challenge myself with terrain, inclines, riding paint lines for distances, idling, riding backwards, etc. I don’t consider any of that very risky but I can still push my boundaries and get better.

I am happy to challenge myself but I am not interested in ‘defying danger’. Unfortunately, while I wouldn’t think twice about riding rough terrain for 12 miles I don’t have the nerve to hop up a curb :frowning:

I’m 49 and have been riding since February. I have no interest in doing anything extreme on the unicycle, as my knees are damaged from racing motorcycles. Rather, I’m using it as a form of exercise that my knees can take, and it’s far more interesting than a bicycle or elliptical machine. At present I can free mount reliably, and I’m close idling. I imagine that I’ll learn to hop small obstacles, but probably nothing more exciting than that. I ride around the neighborhood and on dirt jogging trails, and some mild mountain bike trails. I’m really taking the unicycling easy, as the motorcycle racing offers plenty of opportunity for me to further injure myself.:slight_smile:



I thought I was most interested in muni when I learned to ride a couple of years ago, but over time I just started finding street and trials to be more fun.

Welcome to the uni forum! I started riding at age 50, and now at 55, I’ve had more amazing experiences unicycling than I could have ever imagined! I think I’ve just refused to let “age” be a factor, and through sheer will, hard work and the love of the sport, many of us older riders are the best shape of our lives!

As for risks, I’ve always believed that without it, life isn’t much fun, and as I continue to push my limits, it has continues to pay off physically, spiritually, and in many other positive ways! It’s really the best of all uni-worlds!

Of course, there are always going to be certain limitations as we age, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t aim for the stars! I truly believe that we can accomplish ANYTHING we set our minds to.

Btw, I love the adventure sport of extreme MUni because in addition to being out in nature and riding miles and miles, I regularly find natural trials objects in the terrain, big drops, gaps, etc, to mix in with my rides.

Then, to augment my offroad adventures, I also love riding long distance riding on my 36er, which I have also used for trials and MUni. There really is no limit to what you can do on just one wheel. And nothing else compares! :smiley:


Terry “UniGeezer” Peterson

I’m in my 30’s and have been riding for almost a year now. I’m into technical and XC muni. I would say the terrain I ride is pretty risky, however my I’m not reckless. If certain terrain looks too dangerous to ride I get off and walk it and work up to it by finding terrain that has similar characteristics but with less risk.

I have decided that Trials is not for me as it is something I associate with teenage boys, skate parks and bucket helmets.I don’t mean to sound demeaning - I just don’t think I’ll ‘fit in’ to the trials scene, and it doesn’t appeal to me.
I enjoy RIDING my unicycle and working may way up the IUF skill levels. Muni is the best though - nothing comes close to the joy of riding off road. I have a 26" muni and a 20" freestyler.

I think it also helps if you are committed to general health and fitness. I do specific weight training exercises to ‘back-up’ my muni and am pretty strict on nutrition. Proper targeted stretching is also very important.

Incidentally the worst fall I’ve ever had was while learning a side mount, which I don’t think most people will classify as extreme in any way.:stuck_out_tongue:

I think it boils down to how much time you have available to put into it. I would ride more if I had more time. I used to ride a lot more. If you have the time, as MuniAddict has shown, there seems little limit to what you can do.

I’m picturing you as a superbike racer, who has sanded away most of his knees against the track. :astonished: No? Knees worn out from motocross racing? In any case, we’re the same age. Welcome to unicycling!

I started Uni riding at 37 just to do the London to Brighton (58 miles) with that accomplished, pressure of time (work etc.) meant I did not do a great deal after that.

Then, at 55 years young, I retired and started doing much more Uni.

First was hops and different mounts, then Muni and Giraffe.

Similar to other posters, I tend to go more for distance and challenging inclines rather than tricks. Not sure if its age related, but I have no real desire to spend my time practising tricks. But, I do have respect for those that do.

That said, my greatest Uni related thrill comes from teaching others to ride (I volunteer at a local circus group for young people) the delight of newbies as they accomplish their first 5 metre wobble or their first freemount is brilliant.

As for risk, I paraglide, ride a motorbike, snowboard, etc. So I have enough risk in my life!


First of all as others have said, welome to unicycling
I would have to say that as far as limitations, you can try anything. You may not jump as high as Max Schulz or ride Northshore like Kris Holmes but you can give any style a go.
I’m 41 this year and started about 4 years ago. I enjoy trials, road riding and muni riding. My main love is muni though. I’ve already completed several mountain bike races and have 2 more in the next 2 months.
I think that trial skills can compliment muni so It’s worth practicing that as well.
I’d have to say give it all a go just don’t push the boundary so far you injure yourself too much.
It’s all a heap of fun.

For me it really seems like it isn’t age related - I started unicycling about 2 months ago and once I figured out how to ride I kind of lost interest in spending time practicing tricks, funnily enough I co-founded the local juggling club here and have been getting a few of the kids into it (one of the lads can already hop about a foot I’d say and he’s been riding about a month!), I think teaching them is a lot of fun.

Oh, I’m 21 by the way, seems like this is just a case of different strokes for different folks - you have Terry going mad doing all stunts and whatnot and I don’t see myself doing much more than pottering around!:smiley:

I plan to start defying-death in my 80’s. For now driving my car and opening my mouth are the most dangerous things I do. :sunglasses:

Wow, thanks for all the replies! It would seem from all my reading that older folks are less into trials and more into muni. That being said, the risk involved in muni appears to be pretty high in some cases, after watching some of the videos. (Is Northshore that crazy wooden-log-track thing in the KH video I saw? CRAP!!) I’ve enjoyed my share of risk in life, broken both collarbones b*king in my early 40’s, almost got back into motorcycling this year (still waiting on finances, but now a 36er has taken priority)(a Victory Kingpin, if you were wondering), and went snowboarding for the first time three months ago (learned to uni in the snow on a broken tailbone.)

Now that I’ve completed my first goal of 1 mile in full control, I’ve set my sights on turning, idling, and hopping. So I ask this question about age because I’m trying to set new goals, and, based on all the replies, I guess the answer would be to ride wherever my wheel takes me.

Yeah “northshore” is basically anyting man made built into the trail to make it more challenging. Like most of the stuff in the VanUni vids (youtube, vimeo) Many of us doesn’t have terrain like that close by unless you build it yourself, or go to a bike park, but you can still usually find KNARLY terrain if you look for it (ie there is a local trail here that could verry from low intermediate Muni, if you stick to the path, to expert if you get a little trialsy).


IMO if those riders who decided they were going to stick to something like road riding, put the same amount of time into just doing and learning new tricks, they could learn a bunch of flat, street, etc tricks.

The main limiting factor is where your interest lies. A fear of getting hurt often sways this, understandably when faced w/ responsibilities and likely longer recovery times.

When someone gets older they often become less agile and old habits are more engrained. The likelyhood of getting hurt in a bad fall can be mitigated if one takes the time steps to become more agile and learn proper ways of falling. With the proper trailing and uni skills practice one could significantly reduce the risks.

Basically take some judo classes to learn to fall, practice on grass, then always wear pads (I wear shin/knee, elbow/forarm, and hip/but pads in addition to my helmut). When practicing uni skills put a premium on ones that focus on balance (and skills closely related/highly benefitial to your primary interest) over the specifics of a trick (ie long still stands or coasting vs. crank flips).

Edit: for now improve your general riding skills, then 1 ft, idling, hopping.