I know it is an unlikely accident, off a 20 inch regular uni, and I am
constantly telling everyone how safe it is, compared to skating, skateboard,
bicycle, etc., because the moment you lose it, you just land on your feet…
BUT – I have managed to do it! (break my arm, that is).
I had ridden with a couple of friends, in the park for about an hour. After they
left, I stayed for about another 20 mins. I spent the time practising juggling
while riding forward on the smooth straight wide paths in the park. I was (and
still am) quite pleased with my efforts – it was only about the third time I’d
tride combining juggling with riding, and it wasn’t too bad! I’ve been riding
for about 5 months, I look pretty proficient on all my basic skills, and many
riders I have met who have been riding for much longer, are similar to my level,
or less. (I know everyone is different). I haven’t come to unicycling from
juggling (as a lot seem to) so my juggling is OK but I’m not a pro. Maybe it is
at about the same level as my riding.
Anyhooooo, back to the story. I guess I was a little tired (which does make one
a little less refined and more clumsy). I decided it was time to make my way
back to my car, having agreed to meet friends for coffee at a certain time.
The fateful part was the ‘just one more little ride and little juggle’. The path
leading to my car had woodchips on it which had spilled out from the adjacent
garden beds. Not at all surveying my terrain for all imperfections – to either
avoid, or make sure I had enough ‘oomph’ in my momentum to roll over them
(because I was looking ahead and juggling), I hit what was probably the
slightest imperfection, and went down SOOO quickly, my right hand bearing the
brunt of the fast and heavy impact.
Result: I have two broken bones (radius and ulna) plus a metal plate and screws
in my right forearm, near the wrist (from the resultant surgery).
Side effect: I have quickly developed two versions of my story… the short
one which is designed NOT to invite further questions is “cycling accident”.
That subscribes to the Keep It Simple school, and is for those who either don’t
know about my unicycling life, or those with whom I just can’t be bothered going
into detail… then when they DO probe further, I am forced into small
The long one which just gets all SORTS of responses and reactions is “Well, I
was riding one of those one-wheeled cycles, you know, unicycles, and I was
juggling at the same time.”
With the former, I get a bit of tedium, but with the latter, people are
amused, have little sympathy, think you’re a fool, refuse to be able to be told
you’re actually a proficient rider, and how rare and unusual this type of
accident from a uni is, etc., etc. And they just can’t believe I could consider
riding the unicycle again. Nobody takes it seriously. So I have sanitised my
story and ‘white-lied’ to all but my closest friends, or my mates at juggling
club, who understand (I think?).
I am a professional musician, so this is a heck of a setback, financially and
artistically. Given that twiddling my fingers is what I do for a living, you can
imagine how freaked out I was at the notion of surgery!
With either version of my story, I’m compelled to add that the lady in the next
bed to me in the orthopedic ward at the hospital had virtually exactly the same
injury (and surgery) as mine from simply tripping on the pavement (sidewalk).
Yet nobody says to her – “Gee, how do you feel about walking on the pavement
now, eh? I don’t suppose you’ll be walking on the pavement again in a hurry.”
This has proved to be my most rambling post ever… all typed with left
Yes, I do plan to ride again… juggling is shelved for the moment
Yes, I am definitely interested in getting some decent and well-fitting wrist
guards, because I have proved that the unlikely can happen.