Can older women learn this?

Well, I had to ask!

Saw this when I was young and thought how neat it was, knowing it was not an “allowed” sport for young women.

I am older and free to do what I please now and came across a unicycle website by accident and it brought back some old memories. I am also looking for a sport, something to get me into a more athletic mode without wearing everything out so to speak, something fun and challenging, and energizing to the legs.

Also, I would like to know what type of injuries (maybe I should ask where people normally get hurt at…) are normal with this sport. And what types of “safetyproofing” equipment is advised.

I am 5’5" and believe my legs are a medium to short. City dweller with harsh winters.

Thanks :slight_smile:

This is Pete’s wife Suzanne. I learned last year when I was 50. It’s great fun. I also speed skate and have had more injuries with that. You usually aren’t going too fast when you fall. I did get a few scrapes when I was trying to free-mount. I always wear a helmet and wrist guards (I write for a living, so my head and my hands are important).

Sometimes you can find indoor places to unicycle during the winter – clubs, underground parking, etc.

We unicycled last year during rainy weather in Seattle. It was good cross-training.

Heck yes!

We have in our club several “older” women who ride and ride really well.

I contend that unicycling is very similar to yoga in many ways. One of those ways is that you can do it at almost any age.


Unicycling’s less painful

You say that like you know something about it. So here’s my question: Which is more injury prone?

Re: Can older women learn this?

Have you got osteoporesis? If your bones are ok then I can’t think of any reason not to start.

I’ve had three kinds of “falls.” By far the most common is a standard UPD (unplanned dismount) where you just step off. On a 20" or 24" unicycle you are only a few inches above the ground so this kind of “fall” is about as stressful as stepping off a curb you didn’t see. It’s just a hard foot plant. I’d say 99 out of 100 “falls” are of this type.

The second kind is about the same, but instead of catching yourself you take a tumble. You can bump your knees, hips, elbows or wrists during the roll. If you really want to get decked out in pads these are the places to protect. Most unicyclists use wrist protection, and some use knee and shin protection. There are a few who use elbow protectors, and others who use shorts with crash padding. Roller blading pads are more than sufficient.

The third kind is very rare but potentially dangerous. The unicycle scoots out in front of you and you land on your butt or back. I’ve had this happen twice in my brief experience as a unicyclist (7 months of regular practice), and both times I’ve been very grateful that I was wearing a helmet. I didn’t hit my head either time but if I had the back of my head would have slammed into the concrete pretty hard. So I’d definately add a helmet to you padding set.

As for cold winters… Unicycling is an EXCELLENT sport. It builds leg strength and ballance, of course, but it also strengthens your abdominal, back and shoulder muscles and improves your posture. I learned in an enclosed parking garage over the winter.

A 20" is great for learning. Spend a couple of hundred bucks and get a good one if you can. It doesn’t need to be a top of the line “professional” unicycle, but you should avoid the really cheap ones. They are uncomfortable and don’t hold up well. As a beginner you are going to drop it 1000 times before you can reliably catch it as you step off.

Have fun,


I know absolutely nothing about Yoga, and not much more about unicycling, so let me rephrase that:
Unicycling looks less painful.

Now you mention it, I would be quite interested to find out how injury prone other sports are compared to unicycling. That’s for another thread though.

Checkout this site. The site contains a comparison chart.

Like most activities, unicycling can be as safe or as dangerous as one desires. That is one thing that I love about it. However, the liklihood of me getting hit by a car is rather slim while I’m hopping on trials gear or ridng in the woods - perhaps the most dangerous elements of our sport. I might get a bump or a bruise but the chances are I’ll live!


Re: Re: Can older women learn this?

I don’t know, I’m falling backwards a LOT. I don’t know why I tend to pedal too fast or lean too far back, but I do. No matter how much my brain tries telling my body to do otherwise.

Re: Re: Re: Can older women learn this?

This is VERY common for beginners. When I was learning to ride, I did the same thing. To get over it, I would practice freemounting and instead of riding - stepping off the front of the unicycle (and let it fall behind me). This helped condition me to keep the weight forward.
If you try this method, it is important NOT to catch the unicycle from behind the seat (because that will make you lean back). In any event, the falling off backwards problem goes away eventually.

Coo - ell. I feel happy now. Even though my butt and right elbow still hurt from last night.

I don’t know what happened to Anne/Fenderbird/PashleyPrincess, but she’s probably in her late 30s and started riding. Last I heard she was turning 20 miles a day or so commuting on her 26" Pashley through New York City.

The Unicycle Lady will inspire you too.

And she even posts on here!

Go for it, you’ll have a blast, I guarantee.


Keith Williamson of Arizuni has several retirees as members. I believe that he has a 72 year old woman who was taught by her 76 year old husband. If you want age records for learning, check with Keith.

Yes, you can do this.

Yes, you should do this.

Come on in and join us.
If you go to USA nationals or internationals you will be able to race in the old lady class, I love it now I’m in old lady racing. Its so much less competitive than the 20-29 class, I even managed to win in the long and high jump at unicon.

Ps- old lady racing is my affectionate nickname for the ladies 30plus class at Unicon. Old men have to wait longer there are more of them still fiecely competitive in the 30-39 class, not sure about the mens 40plus… Harper do you have an opinion?

I’m 40+. :sunglasses:

PuffAddr, you didn’t say how far you were into the “old” category. Fortunately it’s mostly a state of mind. To hold off the decrepitness of old age, you’ve got to run your engine and parts. As my fitness level has gone up and down over the past few years, I’ve noticed how much “younger” I am when I’m trained up. The body is more durable, feels better, and is better able to protect itself from injuries in the event of a bad fall.

Yes, there is at least one lady out there riding in her 70s. You may be older than that, because I can’t remember a time when little girls were’nt allowed to ride unicycles. Sorry, just had to point that part out, though I know what you mean.

…< 40’s.

Thanx so much everyone! This gives me courage. I like the fact that u’s are smaller than a bike, and are easier to tote around.

I was told anybody in their 60s should not try such a thing. Now I am past 70 so it is OK.

Go fo it. We are just recycled teen agers.:wink:

Re: Can older women learn this?

For me, “old lady racing” is 50+!
I started riding when I was 45, and plan to keep going for quite a
while. My body handles it better than jogging or even walking, and it’s
lots more fun.
Have any other post-menopausal ladies found that “saddle sores”
take longer to heal that they used to? I don’t know if it is lower
estrogen or what, but that’s my worst problem.


At 04:23 PM 5/21/04 -0500, you wrote:

>Come on in and join us.
>If you go to USA nationals or internationals you will be able to race in
>the old lady class, I love it now I’m in old lady racing. Its so much
>less competitive than the 20-29 class, I even managed to win in the long
>and high jump at unicon.
>Ps- old lady racing is my affectionate nickname for the ladies 30plus
>class at Unicon. Old men have to wait longer there are more of them
>still fiecely competitive in the 30-39 class, not sure about the mens
>40plus… Harper do you have an opinion?
>sarah.miller - unicycist
>sarah.miller’s Profile:
>View this thread:
> mailing list -

Now that yoga has gained in popularity, you will find a number of injuries, such as a friend who injured his knees by staying in a full lotus pose too long.

For Jody,

No personal experience in your department, but hopefully you can get to the point where saddle sores are not common. Check your vitamin and mineral intake. Shortages there could be a cause. Also wear some good shorts. There is no substitute for a good pair of bike shorts! Lastly, if you are doing long rides, consider adding a handle and resting some weight on it. I can’t imagine doing my commute to work without a handle to lean on. This takes some of your weight off the seat, similar to how bicyclists ride.