I’m very new here and new to unicycling, so if I make any gaffs, I beg your understanding (feel free to let me know if I’m doing something wrong). Looking through the forum, this seemed like the best place to start.
I’m Razz and I’ve been sort of obsessed with getting a unicycle for the past several years. Unicycles have held a fascination for me since I was a little kid but I didn’t seriously think of them as a good bike alternative until I happened upon a Kernel book article written by a fellow blind person who frequently rode a uni. I’ve been putting it off but now that I’m a freelance artist and self-employed, I realize that I need to do something to keep fit and the only thing I really enjoyed in the past for exercise was biking. Biking stopped being a feasible mode of transport for me when I a) moved to the South (no sidewalks or bike paths) and b) traded in my folding cane for a superior long white cane. I could tandem bike but I’d much rather retain my independence. Plus, unis are cooool.
I’ve been reading everything I can find about learning to ride and what sort of uni to purchase as a total newbie, but I’m still a little uncertain (and kind of overwhelmed :D). Money is tight and I can only afford to make this purchase once (well, at least for now; maybe once I learn more and make some money I can invest in another uni), so I want to make it count.
In all my research, it sounds like an all-purpose, 24" wheel uni with 5"-6" crank arms (still not entirely sure what those are) would be best for me. I’d like a versatile uni since I don’t know where I might ride (I live in the South where sidewalks are few and the road quality is variable, but I’ll be moving North in a few months and I travel frequently). I can only afford to spend $250, max, on the uni and safety gear combined (though I’m having trouble finding any wrist protection that doesn’t have fingered gloves; I’ll be riding with a white cane in hand which means that I will need my fingers bare and free, though the palm of my hand can be covered). So far, I found a 24" Schwinn on Unicycle.com that might work for me, but the price is a bit steep ($180). I have no idea what sort of arm protection to look into (helmets I understand since it’s the only protection I wore as a biker).
Whew. Sorry for the question overload here. I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing before I jump into this. I’ve only actually seen one uni in person and I have no idea what the specs on it were or even what kind it was (my boss had it and let me borrow it for the weekend :D).
Does anyone have any advice on what might be the best uni for a complete and total n00b and where to get good safety gear/what sort of gear is a must (besides the helmet)?
Thanks for any help, guys.
Also, I’ll say up front that you are free to ask any questions you may have for me. The terms “blind” and “artist” tend to arouse curiosities. There are no dumb questions and I’m not a shy person.