I started unicycling when I spent some time working in London a couple of years ago - I had one in my twenties, but never got proficient on it, and it burnt when the neighbor’s garage went up in flames so that was a fairly short experience… I’ve been practicing a lot more since september last year (travelling less helped) and I’ve been going at least once a week since. I’m really enjoying it, it’s a great exercice (I’m preaching the converts here…) and it’s almost become my weekend necessity. There is a wood not far away from my place - those who know Paris might know the Bois de Vincennes, famous for its night activity… It’s fairly flat but has a lot of paths, wide straight ones and narrow ones going under the trees.
I went for my first ride with other parisians (some of them are on this forum too) at the beginning of the year in a more hilly wood and it helped me progress a lot in one ride. But I’m still nowhere near their level.
A few months back, I bought a second hand KH29 - one of those bargains that you can’t miss, even if you know you don’t have the necessary skills yet. It came with 125mm cranks, a Big Apple tire. I used it a couple of times before deciding that I should stick to the 24" until I made real progress. Yesterday, I decided to take the KH29" to the woods instead of the 24". When I bought the 29", it came with a spare Ardent knobby tire, so I put that back on it and put the 127/150mm cranks from the 24 on it (I ride the 24 on 127, so it was an easy decision to do that swap).
That was a revelation in many ways. The good ones being that it’s much easier than I thought. After a couple of kilometers, I was able to go to almost all the places I go to with the 24". Also, the big wheel really swallow the bumps and roots and so on. But it made me realized that by doing mainly off-road, I have developed some pretty bad habits. There is always a bump or a hole waiting to send you UPD, so I spend a lot of time negotiating those by putting weight on my pedals. Since off-road you alternate a lot between short moments where you’re on the seat and short moments on the pedals, it was never really a problem. The only problem I was aware of was that I was using more energy than my fellow riders when we went to the forest. They all have between 5 and 15 years of practice though, so I decided that it was the explanation.
Today on the 29", I came across a couple of long flat stretches with no bumps, those nice lanes drawn by the park makers back in the days when the country was a kingdom, and they became hell for me! I couldn’t keep a straight line, I was drifting, my shoulders were not at a 90° with the wheel, I became aware that most of the balance was done by my right (dominant) foot, and so on. Not a great feeling. I do tend to analyse a lot what I’m doing (over analyzing some might say…) and that made me realize that I got that from doing off-road. I don’t put enough weight in my saddle and I correct the balance with my legs and flailing arm, where it should be done by the pelvis, right?
Anyway, that was a long rant about myself, and I welcome all advice on tips and exercices I should do to correct that before it becomes too ingrained in my riding.