I learned something important today: No matter how hot it is, where a t-shirt. I was working on (trying to) ride backwards this evening in the driveway, as well as hopping onto cinder-blocks, and it was getting war, so I pulled off my t-shirt for better ventilation. Lo and behold, I fell whilst “riding” backwards, and landed on my elbows and back. No biggie really, the elbows were well padded and suffered no damage, but I slid on hard, loose, rocky gravel on my back… Nothing serious, little blood if any drawn, but stung like a male child of an incestously inclined, chemically dependent, female member of the oldest profession… (Son of a mother fscking crack wh0r3)…
After only 3 weeks you haven’t yet had time to learn your “fall” patterns. This refers to the areas you tend to scrape up or otherwise hurt when you do fall. If you don’t ever fall, it means you’ve plateaued and aren’t working on new things (such as riding farther, over bumps, etc.). Generally, you will fall from time to time.
Not really sure your riding conditions. A lot has to do with how aggressive your riding is. Just going from A to B at a gentle pace is a lot different from aggressive Trials along the way.
I think most of us buy or put on pads after we’ve had an owie or two. I bought my first kneepads and gloves after scraping up my palms and knees a few times. I was one of the only ones wearing them at the 1980 National Unicycle Meet, but they were on because already by that point (about 9 months of riding) I’d learned that I fell a lot less when I had them on.
Why fall less with the pads on? I don’t know, but I know it was true. Or maybe I just didn’t remember so many falls with them on? No, because my pads and gloves stayed pretty clean in those days of street riding. It’s just Murphy’s law. If you own pads and take them off, that’s when you’re most likely to fall and scrape yourself up.
Today I wear a helmet and gloves for my Coker rides to work. I seldom dismount, so forego the kneepads. When riding trails however, there is always something on my knees, hands and head. I have three levels of kneepad:
Volleyball kneepads, which are ultra light, comfortable, and fit the minimum requirement for unicycle competition. These are great for racing (except on rough terrain), but offer minimal protection in a crash.
Plastic hard-shell kneepads. These are also fairly light, and can be worn for quite a while before they start wearing holes in my knees. Good for general riding on rough terrain.
Roach leg armor. Good for any extreme terrain, or when trying new things. Yes they’re a little hotter and chafe a little more, but they have protected me and that’s worth it.
I always keep the palms covered, because I hate scraping up my palms. Also they protect my hands from all that seat holding and resting my weight on them.
And as for the head, I prefer not taking a chance on a brain injury. Plus my helmets are comfortable, and protect my wide expanse of scalp from the sun. My head will sweat anyway, so what if the helmet makes it sweat slightly more?