commuting on sidewalk

Hello everyone!
I started riding a little over 2 weeks ago
I can ride and freemount 20" unicycle :]
I finally got out of the neighborhood and rode 1mile to community center,
There were some ups and downs, and I got stuck remounting when after upd on uphill section

my first question, I felt like I kept turning left, and had to hold both arms out to the right and twist my body a bit to keep going straight…I adjusted the seat to turn more right, but still had to fight to go straight…is this a fixable problem? or just more practice?

Second, I want to be able to ride about 6.8mi(11km) to school; it’s not flat, but not super steep for the most part.
I would be on the sidewalk, with some people jogging/walking(suburbs about 30mi from LA)

I read through a bunch of threads about commuting and what unicycle to get and decided that I want to be able to have good control/steering and be able to go up hills without it being too difficult.
I concluded that 36" would be too difficult for me to tackle, and 24" too slow,
so I started to look for 26" unis. I would mainly be riding to school for fun, so i am aiming for anywhere from 50min-1hr10min, is that reasonable?

I would have to ask my dad to buy the unicycle(i got my 20" for free from a school raffle that allowed to get any transportation device under $100 :sunglasses: ).so I want something that isn’t too expensive

would a 29" be necessary? I would like to have enough speed/ease so I am not super sweaty and can still go uphill and not take forever, but I can’t be unsafe on the sidewalk nor have something bulky throughout the schoolday

3rd…is it safe to ride that far of a distance on the sidewalk? my mother would 99% oppose me riding on the street…saying that it is too dangerous

Thanks for any advice~!

a commute could be done on almost any unicycle but there seems to be a threshold wheel size where you feel you’re going fast enough to make it worthwhile

for me 26 feels too slow to be any fun or useful on anything other than reasonably hilly terrain
29 however feels fast enough on the flat to be worthwhile.
36 is awesome, but a little cumbersome for storage and to be honest a little daunting size wise (at least it was for me)

insert comment here about everyone being different, personal preference etc…

but in your position I would be looking at a 29

its a shame the 29" trainer is currnetly out of stock. at 155 USD, thats a great deal, but if you could stretch to the Nimbus road, thats a great uni right there.

29er would be better for your travel, but 26er with some road tire and short cranks would do as well in the time you specified. And control and confidence you’ll get with time :slight_smile:

Crank length is also a personal preference.

Unless you’re planning to constantly travel at near the maximum speed your unicycle is capable of, just stick with the cranks you like best.

I use 150mm for everything. This means I can freemount all my unicycles with an identical action and pedal away in exactly the same way. The wheel size I choose determines my ‘speed’ or gearing.

Short cranks annoy me as it means it takes more effort to climb the hills here (The Pennines) than I am willing to use :smiley:

By all means, borrow some unicycles off friends and try different crank lengths over a ride you know well - I did and that’s what made me decide on the 150s :wink:

If you want to be able to do it in that amount of time it’ll be a lot easier with a 29er.

This is currently out of stock, but it’s a cheap(ish) 29

Also this site sells Torkers cheaper then those links you had

I would not suggest the 24" wheel, but 6.6 miles can be covered in under 1.10. On my 24" with 125mm cranks I can go 7.5 miles in an 1:10, but really, for commuting you shouldn’t really buy the 24". I would suggest a 29er, but no less than a 26er.

The other guys already posted their opinions about wheel size. They’re right, but remember, everyone’s different. If you can borrow someone else’s to try, that would be best. The bigger the wheel, the easier the commute will be. But a 26" with short cranks (like 125s) would be OK for a commute like you describe. Just remember that after a while, you will be thinking about a bigger wheel.
Nobody addressed your other questions. So here’s my $.02. 1 – Sidewalks are harder to ride on than the street. You have all kinds of irregularities to deal with, not the least of which are driveway aprons. I’m still relatively new, but these drive me crazy! You have to lean like mad to stay upright, and it feels really awkward (to me anyway), like I’m about to UPD every time I hit one. 2 --If you feel like you’re leaning one direction a lot, it may be because of the surface you’re riding on. It took me a while to realize the crowned road surface was causing me to lean to the left all the time. On light-traffic neighborhood streets I ride right down the middle, and it’s amazing how much better it is. So get a helmet and pads, and look for a route that has a designated bike path, then ride it. If your mother lets you ride a regular bike in traffic, this isn’t that much different. (Except it’s hard to look behind you. Get one of those helmet-mounted mirrors for that.)
Good luck!