I ride my 36” unicycles (darn my love for the big wheel) almost exclusively on paved asphalt (roads, sidewalks, and rail-to-trail greenways). I don’t UPD often, but when I do, five feet is a long way to fall on an unforgiving surface. I have always worn a lot (SixSixOne EVO Shin & Knee, POC VPD elbow, DocMeter WristGuards, Giro Helmet, etc) of safety gear. Yes, it is hot, it stinks, and it takes five extra minutes to get ready for a ride. But, I like to be able to stand back up, and live-to-ride-another-day.
The intimate relationship between my saddle (KH Slim) and cycling shorts (Louis Garneau bib-shorts) has always left my backside unprotected. I justified this risk by saying “I usually UPD off the front” and “Saddle soreness is something every distance rider deals with so I am doing everything I can (own stock in PaceLine’s Chamois BUTT’r) to prevent it”. That was until…
I had a nasty “low speed” UPD off the back of the wheel and landed directly (I had only bruised my hips going off the front before) on my tailbone in a “sitting position” last week. Turns out, it’s fairly difficult to actually “break” your coccyx bones. But, it is easy to “bruise” them and tear enough ligaments to cause significant discomfort. Then, if you just bump it with a light tap, it hurts like a bitch. I’ve ridden three times (10 miles each) since my accident. We unicyclists really sit more on our perineum than on our coccyx. Still, sudden onset saddle soreness stops me from doing my normal quarter century. I have always had lower back pain but it seems worse as of late. I think I might take a couple weeks off. I am so pissed at myself because it happened on a normal ride in my park on a routine turn that I have made a thousand times before. I just lost focus for a second. I guess it’s true what they say that most (automobile) accidents happen within 5 miles from your house when you let your guard down.
The majority of coccyx protection on the market is for SnowBoarding. I shopped AzzPadz, Skeletools, and other SnowBoarding protection but, if they are uncomfortable (feels like you got a load in your pants) sitting on the ski lift, they are going to be unbearable on a saddle. Some of the Motocross gear like Troy Lee Designs have anti-chafing pads on the inside thigh that I did not care for. I trust the d3o material in the SixSixOne EVO Bomber Shorts and the Visco-elastic Polymer Dough (VPD) in POC’s Hip shorts as much as I trust “real plastic” to dissipate the impact and that material seems like it would be much more “saddle friendly” but I ended up purchasing the Dianese MTB Impact Shorts pictured below. They MSRP for $150 but they are on sale for $69 at GoRidedotcom. Major selling points for me were the breathable mesh and the zippers for easy (no need to unlace my FiveTen Impact Mid shoes) on/off. Have not taken shipment yet but I hope and pray (no returns on clearance items) for minimum saddle interference from all that padding.
I am starting a new thread (my first ever) rather than resurrecting an old post (like the one below) because I wanted the Title (subject line) to focus on prevention rather than treatment.
Link URL to “Busted Tailbone won’t heal completely” thread below:
Please post a reply if you know of a better solution than what I have presented above. Your expertise is, as always, greatly appreciated. I have fallen before but this UPD scared the hell out of me. Mortgage and kid’s tuition make Long Term Disability or Early Retirement completely out of the question. Advice?