Back in the Saddle (after a 16 year break)

I recently sold my first Coker to make room in my apartment for my 2nd Coker. I put on a new seat, seat post, and air cover and now have two rides under my belt. The first one was a ride over the Ward’s Island Bridge followed by a tour of Randall’s/Ward’s Island. I probably rode about 6 miles or so and was huffing and puffing to ride up the steeper side of the bridge on my way home, but I pulled it off. I didn’t push myself too hard, though I did have some fun starting to gradually re-learn how to do the steeply banked turns I was known for a long time ago. For those of you who don’t know me (which is probably about 99.9% of the current members), my favorite kind of riding involves conquering (or at least attempting to conquer) riding across, up and down, or up and over various types of challenges at skateparks and MTB parks. This type of riding is demonstrated in the video my friend and I made back in 2005. If you haven’t already seen the video, you can watch it here, if you’d like:

Riding my Coker at a Skatepark and an Indoor MTB Park

I wish I still had the original better resolution version, but the YouTube version will at least give you an idea of the type of riding I’m talking about.

I am slowly building up my riding muscles so that I can attempt to regain the skills I had nearly 20 years ago. Once I do that, I will start going to skateparks in NYC and vicinity to see how well I can do. While I don’t expect at the age of 54 to be able to get back to the level I was previously at when I was 35, my goal is to become even better because I’d rather set high goals and be disappointed than set mediocre goals and not be satisfied.

If there are any 36er riders in the NYC area who would be interested in riding with me in Manhattan or in accompanying me to local skateparks (and hopefully at some point MTB parks, as well), please reach out to me. Nearly all the skateparks have some ramps and other stuff that are very easy, so you don’t have to be a pro, and I’ll be taking things fairly slow because I’d rather take my time to get the rust off rather than push myself too hard or too fast.

Can anyone recommend some really good 36er videos? In the nearly 20 years since I was last actively riding, I would love to see what people are doing on their 36ers now. Who are the top riders of 36ers these days? Can you please post links to videos that you believe demonstrates the most impressive 36er unicycle riding currently? Now that I’m back on my wheel, I would very much like to watch some videos that inspire me. Thanks!

Lastly, I am interested in meeting 5’ giraffe riders in the NYC area who are skilled and confident on their giraffe. If you fit the bill and would be interested in having fun on your giraffe, please message me.

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Welcome back! I, too, took a break for over a decade (12 years). I rode from when I was 12-15. Now I’m 27.

While I didn’t ride 36ers back then - I was an urban rider, mostly doing flatland tricks on a 19" wheel - I do now! I’ve gotten much more into distance riding and plan to take it touring across multi-day trips.

As far as what people have done on a 36er while you’ve been away from the saddle, I’d recommend you check out Ed Pratt, who circumnavigated the globe on a 36er and documented it all on his YouTube channel.

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Here are a couple that are pretty inspiring…

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Quite the understatement! I‘d love to have those skills on any unicycle, no matter the wheel size.

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@MatthPeder Thanks! This is actually my return to the sport after my second long break. I started unicycling at around 6 years old or so. I had seen a unicycle at the local bike store, but my feet couldn’t reach the pedals, so my parents brought me back to the bike store every year until I could fit on the thing so that they could buy it for me. And so began my adventures on a unicycle! I kept riding fairly regularly (with some breaks) until the age of around 18 and then didn’t ride again until I saw and purchased my first Coker, which I believe was around 2002 or maybe 2003. I rode my first (steel rim) Coker and my second (aluminum rim) Coker pretty regularly up until 2007. And now that I’m back on the saddle in 2024 I’m hoping for a good run!

Welcome back to you! 27 is a great age to be unicycling. It’s good to develop those flatland skills because I think they come in handy in other forms of riding, even if just to enhance your control of your unicycle.

To me, one of the great things about unicycling is that it offers so many different wheel sizes and disciplines so everyone can find something they really enjoy about the sport. Many unicyclists favorite types of riding often evolves over time, so that, too, keeps it interesting.

Thanks for the Ed Pratt recommendation. While I can very much appreciate the conditioning, skill, perseverance, and fortitude that goes into distance riding, it’s just not my thing. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested in hearing about what others have done and are doing in that domain, it just means that it doesn’t inspire me because I will never be a distance rider. Nonetheless, impressive accomplishments on one wheel do very much fascinate me and I like learning about such things, so thank you for posting to this thread and sharing that with me.

@MrImpossible Thanks for sharing those video! I really enjoyed watching them and found them quite inspiring, indeed! Especially the second one! I’d love to see more of that kind of stuff and videos of any other 36er riders at or near that level. Awesome stuff!