Do y ou use your uni for commuting and regular errands

For all you that use the uni as a form of transport, or errands - yopu know, as a utility sort of thing, how about sharing some details.

Like, do you ride to work? Do the shopping? Have you a backpack. Any extra gear to make it work? Lights for night? Do you fit chains in winter? Mix it with buses? Mixing it with hitch hiking sounds practical.

I’ll start off and see what the rest of you do.

I ride in Perth, Western Australia which is pretty flat, though in summer it can get pretty windy.

I mostly ride to get to and from work each day. I have not missed a work day doing this since late 2008. When I mix it with train it is 5km (3.2km) each way or it can be a 100 minute slog all the way.

I do try a bit of extra riding for recreation and stuff and most weekends will do a long trip to the city for a coffee at my regular (week daily) coffee spot on the river and then come home, usually doing some train but mostly riding and that takes half a day out of my weekend.

We have great end-of-trip facilities at work and, as I get to allocate the lockers to all the joggers and riders, I am well set up there.

afaik we are the only place on this planet where the public transport people have a published policy specially for unicyles. Essentially we do not have the restrictions that apply to bicyclists, surfboard carriers etc. It works really well then for moving about on weekend trips and stuff as well as work.

Winter is a bitch with the extra layers and waterproofing but as time has passed I’ve set up the backpack to make most things easy. Like the passes for traina and work security are fitted externally. And I’ve always travelled pretty heavy.

For night riding, as well as commuting in winter when it’s dark, I have a strong head lamp, a backpack light and a couple fitted on the forks.

I have a trip meter which tells me I have done over 3000km this year, mostly commuting.

People look a bit but mostly they have seem me before. And I don’t mind the attention anyway. I manage quite well in crowds on paths and pedestrain malls and no-one seems to take offence.

I also have a giraffe which I pul out every couple of weeks for a ride. That would normally be around 12km of broken legs, maxing out to about twenty when I really feel like punishing myself.

I have a few mates that I get to ride with but I have not come across anyone that uses it as I do for commuting and regular errands. I would love to have more company, though many cyclists slow down and chat.

suppose i will start.

I live a small city by world standards (Hobart Tasmania) and I find the unicycle to be primo as practical transport for the following reasons.

There are few places I need to go that arent within Uni distance, and if I need to get on a bus at any period on my trip, I am able to take the seat off and this makes my uni small enough for my local bus service to take it on board. Something you cant do with a bike!

Also, I didnt expect this to be the case, but I am able to carry up to maybe three or four kilos of cargo in my backpack before it starts to affect my balance. Very starry.

There is no snow at ground level in hobart at any time of the year unless you ascend a few hundred metres which is ok because most of hobart isnt far above sea level. So snow is no problem.

As far as night goes, My uni is black, I have no reflective clothing and I ride at night with no helmet. I feel 100% safe.

For me Uni has become my preffered transport but I have the benefit of a small city to get around in, the only thing that irritates me is hearing those same jokes over and over. You know them, we all hear them.

Love and lollypops from Thor

I’m riding just under 3 miles to work daily on my 20" trials (until Wednesday, then I’m leaving that job). The last bit I usually walk, because it’s a 5 lane Blvd with no sidewalk… Texarkana is so anti-pedestrian I’m surprised people don’t just drive their SUV’s around the stores :stuck_out_tongue:

i could never ride my 20" uni anywhere because my cranks were too long and i was too slow, but with my new coker i will go anywhere if i’m not in a hurry. i plan to ride it to school next year occasionally.

I ride to school and back on my 29" Kris Holm on a daily basis. To the extent, I have forgotten how it feels like sitting on a bus! I’m on 125mm cranks.

Just got back from doing the grocery shopping.
We just take backpacks (and a few shopping bags just in case).
I’m looking at the SQR bag mentioned in the unicycle touring thread, though - a backpack always gives me a sweaty patch on my back, and I wouldn’t mind having another hands-free alternative.

We have some knog frog led lights for darkriding.
That’s about it.

I see you have started that thread.

I don’t commute on a uni, can’t see that happening until I can shower at work, and they add cycling lanes along the roads. My commute would be a possible 7 mile ride. I would be too stinking sweaty, and there are no showers at work. Also I don’t like riding with traffic.

You are lucky to have a shower available at work.

Yep, I am lucky and the showers are only a millimetre short of an absolute prerequisite. And at 7miles not even that millimetre.

The larger the wheel, while benefitting speed and distance, takes paths out of consideration. On 24" I do do long distances, I think on a 28" it would be out of the question. My wish os for a hub gear, but I will always need the smaller wheel for lumpy paths and continual road corssings.

I ride my Nimbus 29" 2.5 miles each way to and from work. Going there is up the Western Avenue (a nice bit of uphill to blast away the morning cobwebs) and I usually come back across Wormwood Scrubs, which is a bit of a XC workout that changes every day with the hot weather at the moment.

Other than that I ride just about everywhere around town. Tempted to get a 36", but practically the 29" is probably the best compromise for London Streets.

It’s a lonely life riding in my part of the world though. I’ve only ever spotted one other unicyclist!

I went to my unicycle show on my unicycle… I had my Trial on my backpack and I was riding on my Coker, it looked pretty cool!

I also mostly use my Trials uni to go to school, it’s a 2km ride, and there’s a long hill to glide in the morning, them when I come back from school there’s a skatepark and a few cool trials spots on the way. It takes me 15 minutes to go to school and 1 hour to come back:p

I have pretty much quit using my vehicle in town. I buy groceries on the unicycle. I go to the hardware store, auto parts store etc on my unicycle. I also go to the local gas station and buy gas for the lawn mower on my unicycle.
For night riding I have one white strap on light from REI, some what like a knog frog, and also a red strap on light. These both blink. Then a put another flashing red light on my belt. In one hand I carry a small but very bright 4 Watt flashlight.
In town the only place I have not gone on my unicycle is the library. I am sure I would get told that I could not have the unicycle in the library. Outside of that my unicycle has been in the bank, auto parts, city hall, K’mart, Grocery stores, Fast food places, Post Office, Home Depot Hardware, etc with no problems.
I find that I don’t need any special equipment like a backpack. Grocery bags fit very well in the hands and arms. Anything above about 20 - 25 lbs is too much though. Five 2 liters of sodas can be held in two hands against the chest easily. Two 7lb bags of ice, no problem, 2 gallons of gas, no problem.
Coffee from the local gas station too, no problem. Actually the unicycle is very practical for around town purchases.
The unicycle I use is a 28" Sun.

I live in Grenoble, France - a very flat, medium size (150K people), city close to the Alps.

Since I’m 10 or so, I have always been a heavy user of b*cycles to ride in the city, back in the days this strange kind of 2-wheeled object still existed in my mind. :smiley:

It’s now around 6~7 years ago that I started using unicycles instead, for commuting downtown. From Monday to Friday, I ride to work, all the ride being in the city environment, and it takes just a few kilometers from where I live. But occasionally, I could ride much longer throughout the city - though never really more than ~10kms I would say.

I was riding a 29er the first couple of years, but have settled since then to a 36er (Qu-Ax then UDC then KH). I really find it to be the perfect way of moving around in the city: just fast enough, not that risky if you are careful enough (speed is lower than most bicycles anyway + vertical-ish position and elevation definitely helps to see the danger coming), so much fun to ride, and obviously enjoyed by most of the people watching you.
Well, I have also used my new 26" Guni for a little while as a tentative replacement for the 36er, but quickly came back to the 36er - finding it better suited after all to the road/city use, but also much more enjoyed by the people as well (the “big wheel” effect…).

On my 36" Muni, I have used 125mm cranks most of the time, went down to 102mm for some time, and now am presently using 110mm cranks - which I find a very good balance (in my environment) between “top speed / comfort” and “control”.

Outside of exceptions, I systematically use a backpack, because -for pretty obvious reasons I guess- I don’t like much holding something in my hands while riding.

Worth to be mentioned, I NEVER met anybody else on a unicycle in the city - even though that’s really a daily activity for me. Really, I don’t have the feeling that the unicycling sport is growing down here (unfortunately) - not at least as a way to commute. True also that I am not riding very often in the old part of the city, but rather outside of it, in the “suburbs”.

Once I arrive at work, I have access to showers, but decided to do it the simpler and more convenient way: I am basically only washing my top, and changing my t-shirt for a clean one. And -to tell you everything- I will use this new t-shirt the next day to come to work - in order to not wear 2 t-shirts a day but only one (yes I’m a lazy man ;-p).

Cheers, Pascal.

I do shopping errands per unicycle and I occasionally use it to ride into town (10km).
Apart from that, I rather use my bicycles for transport. Uni riding is more of a leisure activity for me.

My uni is only 24" in size, that may be part of the reason.

I rode my 36er in Turnham Green yesterday… it was a leisurely one alongside my girlfriend and her two nieces who rode bikes. I occasionally ride the hilly five miles to work (Muswell Hill to Essex Rd). The warm and muggy weather at the moment takes it out of me though. Still, there’s nothing more satisfying than tackling the traffic and arriving to work on a uni :slight_smile:

I use it to take out the trash, as I have a huuuugggeeeee hill for a drive way, so going up and down with picking things up and putting them down is a pretty big work out.

When I finally get my 26", I might ride it to school if it’s allowed.

I ride in Helsinki. The hills are very small here but there are plenty of them.

I ride to and from work maybe twice a week. This summer I’ve ridden more often, some weeks every day. The distance is 7-8 km (~5 miles) one way and it usually takes me 30-35 mins. I ride on Quax 29" Cross with 114 mm cranks (125 or 150 in the winter).

I’ve been riding to work for two years now. In the winter there can be plenty of snow. Luckily the bicycle routes in Helsinki get plowed quite well.

I built a 24" uni this summer and I’ve been exploring the local singeltracks during the weekends.

In May I did the Dusseldorf Marathon.

We have good facilities at work and I couldn’t imagine riding to work without the possibility to take a shower.

I used to run every day so I’m used to wearing adecuate sporting clothing in all kinds of weather. Some years ago I commuted two winters on bike and I have to say that it was a lot colder than unicycling. My speed is so much slower on unicycle than on bike that the wind factor really makes a difference (maybe the double distance had something to do with it also).

I usually carry my stuff (phone, wallet, keys, etc.) in a belt bag. Sometimes I carry some clothes, books or a towel in a back bag. Usually I don’t have to because I can carry the bigger stuff when I’m taking the bus.

For commuting in winter I have a head lamp and a red back light. They are mainly to get seen, not to see. The cycle routes have lights so seeing the route is no problem.

I live about 20 miles from the University of North Carolina where I have an office job of sorts. I don’t want to pay the $500/year to park on campus so I leave my car at a park and ride lot 5 miles from campus. When it isn’t too hot (i.e. less than 80 degrees F) I bring my 24" uni on the bus with me and depending on how much time I have I get off the bus early and ride the rest of the way to campus. At the end of the day I ride my uni back to the park and ride when it doesn’t matter if I get sweaty. Most of the route is sidewalks but there about 2 miles where I can ride on some gravel roads and single track.

I love muni and I ride many mornings in the trails near my house. I’m also trying to ride 1 mile backwards without a UPD, so practicing for that has been occupying some of my time. Interestingly, I find that my legs are more sore the day after riding backwards than when riding Muni for an equivalent amount of time.

No showers at work, so I have to take it easy on my way in. A favorite trick is to hang out in the walk-in coolers in the research lab to cool off quickly.

I take my uni on the bus with me all the time. It’s very rare that a driver even questions the uni when I am getting on. The buses have bike racks on the front but I have never tried to see if my uni would be secure there. I’m afraid it would fall off and get mangled by the bus.

I have a backpack that I use to carry my lunch, papers, and work-issued laptop back and forth. I’ve only fallen on the laptop once and it was fine :astonished: but I don’t think I would take my own laptop on a uni ride!

It’s a lot of fun to ride on a big campus with students of all ages from many different cultures. My route through campus takes me by the clock tower, the football stadium, the hospital emergency room, “old well”, and statues commemorating both fallen confederate soldiers and the African American slaves who built most of the early buildings on campus.

I’m pretty new to uni, but a goal from the beginning has been to ride to work which I now do when I can. There are showers at work but often I can’t be bothered getting to work early enough to use them! I’m on ten hour days as it is and that’s a short day, screw showing up twenty minutes early.

For carrying stuff I’d use a backpack if I had one. Currently don’t. I’m stuck with a shoulder bag which doesn’t work so well :confused:

There is no public transport at all here so that’s not an issue :stuck_out_tongue:

You sound like my sort of rider madc-ccc (though your English is a lot better than my French).