I always comumute on my uni (12mile round trip) but my legs were a bit sore yesterday so I nicked my partners bike (I don’t own one) although it was quicker, and easier on the bum, I found it killed my arms. But the main reason I started this thread was to see if anybody else has found what I found… A unicycle is safer to commute on, you can stop sooner, swerve out of danger quicker and the main one I found cars are nicer to you on a uni, I got cut up so many times on the bike, and cars give you barely any room on a bike so get pushed right to the curb. I’m gunna stick to my uni from now on I think.
Edited due to my dreadful writing of the distance I commute
and to make uni laterals first comment void
A 12 metre round trip…you must have been exhausted
I’m looking forward to being able to ride these sort of distances to try commuting too. I agree about the danger on a push bike but actually find drivers give me a super wide berth when I ride my trike.
From this we must deduce that having an odd number of wheels makes you more visible…I think.
I generally feel more confident on my commute on a bike. On Uni I’m afraid of two fings. First is accidential UPD in high traffic especially in areas where road surface is a crap. I have one intersection on my way where it’s hard to keep bike handlebar in your hands and I must admit I’ve never tried it on uni.
Second thing is that I’m bit afraid to slalom-filter that aggressively as I’m doing it on a bike. I’m crossing everyday two crowded intersections and sometimes I need to put my leg down on the pavement to tilt my bike to avoid the mirrors. I guess it would mean dismount-walk-remount for me on my uni.
But I agree that drivers give you much more space when you are on uni, especially the overtaking ones, but also at intersections and other traffic mixing situations.
I have an alternative way for uni commute, which is just a bit longer but avoids all traffic intensive places, so from time to time I use my uni. But I’m too lazy to do it everyday as I spent 45-50 minutes on uni for my 10km commute, while it takes 30-35 minutes on a bike, so most time I prefer to save half an hour especially while raining/cold/snowing.
I think that riding something slightly ‘different’ makes you more visible Drivers will glance at you, then double-take and go WOW A UNICYCLE/TRIKE/RHINOCEROS, and will have noticed you, otherwise they just go ‘oh another bike yawns and carries on texting’
I don’t have a job so I don’t ‘commute’ anywhere except for occasional visits to the jobcentre, but I definately prefer the Uni for commute-style rides (IE. going towards a goal, on the road, with traffic etc.). Yes it’s slower, but I can ride it far more places thanks to the better agility, and can climb any hill in my path without bothering to drop a gear
As for 2-wheelers being more comfortable… When I tried riding one yesterday (For the first time in… 8 years?) I found my legs caved in after about 3 miles, because I’m SO used to constantly pedalling, and I geared up for speed, so I was pedalling all the time against high resistance I guess… Strange, I can do about 30 miles on my 29er Uni before my legs start to complain. The bikers always tell me ‘you must be fit as a fiddle to ride anywhere on that!’ yet I get tired quicker on a bike
Interesting thread. I commute on both my bike and 36er 14 miles round trip. More on my bike, just because it takes about 15 mins quicker, and honestly most of the time I don’t feel like concentrating 2hours a day when I have to concentrate so much at work.
My commute doesn’t involve very much traffic, but a few dangerous areas nonetheless.
I may feel more confident and relaxed on the bike, but in reality the uni is definitely safer mainly because it is much slower (at least on flats and downhill) and I am less likely to take risks.
My commute to work by unicycle is 6 miles in 40 minutes (9 mph). When I go by bike, the trip is 5 miles in 20 minutes (15 mph). The unicycle distance is longer because I take a relatively deserted route to avoid being a spectacle. The direct route involves riding on main streets with lots of motorists and pedestrians who can’t resist yelling a comment or two. This is compounded by my commute occurring at school dismissal time, which means plenty of schoolchildren around, who also feel compelled to voice their delight at seeing a unicyclist. And I’m not complaining – 95 percent of the remarks are positive. But too much attention can grow tiresome after a while. Still, I would think after more than a year most people would have gotten over the novelty of seeing “the unicycle guy.”
As far as safety goes, I feel slightly more confident on a bicycle because it’s easier for me to turn my head and look behind me. On the unicycle, anything more than a quick glance over my shoulder affects my balance. I tried those mirror devices that attach to a helmet or eyeglasses, but never felt comfortable with them.
Also, kahunacohen makes a good point about the concentration factor. On the unicycle I must constantly be vigilant for any subtle road hazards that could cause a UPD. Granted, these same obstacles can be a threat to a bike as well, but the bike tends to be more forgiving.
Bottom line: The bike is faster, but the unicycle is more fun.
How long did it take you guys from the time you got your unicycle to start getting proficient at riding the streets and not being so afraid of dealing with traffics, uneven streets including road crown and potholes, and pedestrians?
I’m new so I still prefer my bike because I can sorta drift off and not have to wonder if what’s on the road would trip me up or not and at the moment, a lot of things are causing me to lose my balance or make me clinch/brace myself. I unicycle purely because it’s different and it’s just challenging to ride around on it. Even applying foot pressure to brake is a challenge to me and that makes it fun.
I’ve tried riding in the street and for the time being, it seems a bit opposite of Ed’s experience. The cars seem to drive closer and more readily past me and I’m desperately trying not to lean too far to deal with the road crown. They’re all still nice, but it seemed a bit better on my bike. The cars usually give me more space or go to another lane.
If you’re referring to bending over like for those drop handlebars, I also had that issue so I sold my road bike which had that (also because of the bad neighborhood, always fearful of it getting stolen or me jacked along with it). I got a bike with a riser-bar handle and rode it in a very upright position. I didn’t bike too fast so I was okay, I’d just take my time and cruise around.
Ive ridden for 30 years, with 25 years off. When i stopped riding in the late 80s i was comfortable with bumps but when i took it up again a year and a half ago and started doinf muni and trials type riding i became very comfortable and thus fine with anything the road can throw at me.
However i avoid riding in traffic, not because of my skills but because i cant keep up like i can on a bike.nthat in itself is very dangerous…riding a lot slower than traffic. I keep to the sidewalks and hiker biker trails on my commute except for a few places without sidewalks.
I suggest you try muni. That will help you learn how to ride irregular surfaces. Plus its so fun and a really good workout. Good luck and stay safe to ride another day.
I commuted by uni for some time, but now I hardly do it any more.
I ride a studded-tyred upright bicycle in winter and a recumbent all other seasons.
It’s 6km one-way. With the uni I take a recreational-style bikepath winding along the river. I actually find it to be more stressful than riding in the midst of traffic as I do with the bikes. All the dogs, strollers, sportspeople get in my way, and their behaviour is harder to assess than that of motorists.
I’m clearly choosing convenience over safety (as are the motorists, only in their case it’s the safety of others)