Bad fall last night - kinda shaken

My worst beginner falls were failed mounts. I wear wrist protectors, elbow pads and knee pads. I agree that a 20" is going to make you more confident.

Concerning mounting, I suggest you focus on mounting as slowly as possible. In other words, make the mount last a long time. That is the essence of a good static mount. I recall as a beginner trying to get the mount done as quickly as possible; the logic was that if I didn’t get it done quickly, it wouldn’t happen at all. But the consequences of a quick mount were the occasional missing of the second pedal. Don’t let it happen to you. A good, smooth mount is easier said than done. Focus on slow and smooth rather than success (riding away from the mount).

Two things:
Keep your eye on the pedal till your foot hits it. If I get sloppy I occasionally don’t keep an eye on the pedals (lead foot first then second pedal/foot) I will not hit the pedal squarely.

Age is just a number. I started riding a 36er after a 50 year break. Yes a few bumps and bruises but safety gear will help and you will get better in a short time. I believe that the exercise you will get far out weights the risk.


That’s a valid point. When I went back to unicycle, about 20 years after I sort of learned (never proficient then though), I first got a 24". Weeks of frustration and then I got a 20" and could master mounts in no time. I kept it for quite a while as a loaner to wannabe learners.

You’re right I feel very invincible and only wear wrist-guards and a helm because my boss can’t do without his lead programmer. :slight_smile:

You can say that, but I feel when mounting the 36", it is quite high and it turns out to be easier to hop on a bit faster, just to have some momentum to take off.

My best learning of static freemount came from holding a fence. Started with my forearm along the top rail. It is very easy to stabilise direction like this. As I progressed I relied less on the fence until I only need a pole because I could maintain direction with my legs.

Eventually I didn’t need to hold on to anything.

One thing that has surprised me in my learning is how easy it becomes to mount a small uni after dealing with a 36. The twenty now feels like “pop it under me and ride away”. Mounting the 26 feels trivial, yet when I first started riding it, I thought it was a monster.

Some of the skill to the static freemount comes from learning to still stand. I learnt that by riding up steeper and steeper hills. It is very insightful to ride very slowly while applying high forces to the pedals.

The static mount is sometimes described as a “one footed still stand”.

And definitely watch unimyra’s tutorial videos. They are the best. Here is one of them. The principles also apply to smaller unis. The 36 techniques introduces some aspects of a rolling mount.

There is another brilliant video he did just on the rolling mount.

Get well soon.

If I’ve gone for a period without riding, or if I’m using a wheel size that I haven’t ridden for a while, or a different crank length, I find that mounting becomes easer once I’ve “dialled in”. That means riding for a bit and getting used to the cadence and resistance of the unicycle. Try mounting against a fence and riding a few circles, ideally on uneven ground. You will then probably find that free mounting comes back to you.

It’s not meant to be easy — that’s part of the charm — but no one wants to hurt themselves.

Personal opinion: too much armour and padding can make you feel that what you are doing is more dangerous than it is, and therefore make a fall more likely. I’m 55 and ride with only with helmet and gloves most of the time.

I have a different practice: I am often overprotected (youngsters nicknamed me “Iron man” :p) and it smoothes the stress and thus falls are less likely.

Yes…I don’t know if it’s possible to perform a true static mount on a 36". Our center of gravity is too low. My frame of reference is with slower wheels. Thanks for clarifying.

I had a helmet , bought some gloves and leg armor. But I sprained a wrist because I wasn’t wearing the gloves. Then I bought a headlight and taillight, to see and be seen. One night at dusk, heading home , I fell hard, the second fall, I may have fractured a rib because I couldn’t see the ground. My fault , since I didn’t mount the headlight yet. I did have the gloves on.

Now I try to wear gloves everywhere, because if you’re not falling, you’re not trying. They give me comfort. And I have a light with me at dusk all the time.

The other day I forgot the gloves in the car, and felt almost uneasy without them. I can’t explain it. I haven’t wore the leg armor yet, after owning it about a year. I consider Jeans as some of my safety equipment, that helps prevent most cuts and bruises on my legs.

Bottom line is: figure out what works for you, learn from yours and others’ mistakes, and pedal on.
And the creakiness will subside after more and more pedals.

just got some hillbilly gloves and they have already saved me from a fall off the 36". I dont think i will ride without them.

I forgot you are in my neck of the woods. I haven’t been all that active for the past few years and some days I feel like a rusty lawn chair unfolding but I know that will improve.

I’ve got another story about why I didn’t ride for 10 years but that’s for another thread. 10 years ago I was riding a 29" uni and wasn’t particularly worried about falling. These past 10 years have really aged my body and made me feel stiff and old(er). But today’s plans include heading to the park to practice my rolling and some other stuff to make me less worried about falling.

I like those knee pads because they articulate but ouch on the price. I got some gear yesterday, pretty minimal protection, more like what an inline skater would use, but that’s kind of what I want but the knee pads are going to bother my knees I can already tell because they are not very long so they are bunched up behind my knee. So I’m still kind of in the market. Until I go on my next ride which is still a few days away.

Things would be a little better if it hadn’t been six months since I did the seat time on the 20". I kinda wish I had got a 24" but I wanted to get the Uni I really wanted for the riding (road/fitness) I plan to do. It was a guess on how much transition there would be to the 26". It’s a case of not being as good as I hoped but not as bad as I feared, well until the fall. I really wasn’t expecting this awkward of a fall.

I know how to mount… just been a while. I totally get what you are saying about making it last. I call it riding the unicycle up. Like coming over the top of a roller coaster. I make sure I get the seat tucked up nice and tight into my crotchal area, try to relax and enjoy the ride up and over.

The day I fell was only the 2nd day I didn’t do a curb mount first, ride around a bit get the feel of the wheel, then free mount after that. I think that contributed to the fall.

Thanks, it’s a good reminder to not get nervous when I go back to riding in a few days and relax during the mount, don’t rush it.

They call me “knight” or “soldier”!!!
My armour help me feeling confident during freewheeling learn or during backward riding learn

Depends on your philosophy. I would consider them expensive if I thought I wouldn’t actually use them. If I knew they were going to be used then I wouldn’t mind the price.

Some of the falls I had prevented me from riding for 2-3 weeks. I didn’t mind shelling out for safety gear after that :slight_smile:

… or Robocop! :smiley:

I am using age-old inline skating gear (wrist guards, knee and usually also elbow pads), bought very cheap at a special offer of a general supermarket = nothing fancy. It’s been useful inline skating, snowboarding (underneath the clothing; though I heard that while it protects the wrists, this sometimes leads to some nasty broken bone in the forearm, which specialized snowboard wrist protection supposedly equally prevents)… and these days I use it mostly used for unicycling. With the gear, I usually use a simple bike helmet since I’ve once lightly touched ground with my head. More recently, I’ve had a friend suffer a very serious head injury when a pedestrian (!) started into his bike - so I figure more than ever that a helmet doesn’t hurt.

The gear’s been used so much that some seams and even some of the material are giving in from tear and wear. I’ve never had “bad falls” with it. I’m not a muni rider (!) and generally not a very fast rider, but yes, I’ve fallen with a 26er only recently without being able to outrun it. I wasn’t hurt. I think for standard riding it doesn’t take specialized super-great equipment, just something you feel comfortable with. BTW, I very much appreciate that my knee pads have not only straps, but can additionally be puton like socks - they just keep in their positions so much better; the downside is that it’s warm and that once in a while I get chafing in the back of a knee from prolonged use… but I mind that so much less than riding unprotected.

I don’t think safety equipment makes me more fearful of falls or otherwise nervous; quite the opposite. My very first days of snowboarding taught me the hard way that protection is simply there to take the pain out of a harmless activity when I mess up. :slight_smile: If anything, I was initially a bit annoyed that I don’t feel the air everywhere when unicycling, but I’ve mostly gotten used to it…

Sooo - get better soon and enjoy (riding with) your protection!!

When I rollerbladed I used pretty robust knee pads and so did my friends. There were always the types who wore little or nothing, or rolled around half naked showing off, but I definitely didn’t take my cues from them. They were in a world of their own.

You went from no protection to minimal protection. I think it might be a good idea to buckle down and save up to get something reasonable, even if you have to stop unicycling for a while. A few weeks or even months won’t make a difference in the long run … but all you need is one unlucky day riding without protection to destroy either a body part or your confidence.

Confidence is actually pretty important too … I know my body reacts instinctively to certain dangers that my conscious mind doesn’t take nearly as seriously … but whatever confidence I can muster does help to tamp down the overreactions or freezes I’d otherwise get …

I’d get a helmet too. You can live a decent life with a terrible arm or leg or even more than one, but a damaged head, and your joy is probably gone …