Enjoying unicycling with Jessie in Sydney

Hi,

About 3 months ago, I was inspired to drag out the Aldi unicycle (that I found abandoned at a council cleanup) from under the house. I was getting a bit bored taking Jessie for her 6am morning walk. I love Jessie but I felt I was missing out, somehow.

With working from home and being stuck to the desk, I found that 5-10min breaks in the backyard practicing with the unicycle was the perfect break from work - mentally and physically. I just got hooked. I just enjoyed the motion of …on…off…on…off… wasn’t really worried about any progress… bit by bit, I managed a little more balance…then …on…off…on…off…etc.
After 3 weeks I found I could free mount and maintain a steady forward motion on the unicycle in the backyard and on the street outside at 9pm under street lights - hiding my practicing from the neighbors.

The picture below was taken by my son, when I eventually had progressed enough to be confident that I could take Jessie for her walks and she was safe with me on a wheel. She knows to stay well behind me and to the left side. After this photo was taken the pedals became slightly loose. (Cheap unicycle with aluminum cranks - threads get stripped)

I got online to Unicycle.com (Aus) and ordered steel cranks and a 400mm steel seat post to replace the 300mm Post which had too little engagement length in the Uni frame. It turned out the new seat post had a different seat attachment top plate, with differing bolt hole pattern to the Aldi unicycle seat. I fixed that with a custom intermediate plate out of Galv Plate, skateboard nuts and bolts and loctite thread glue.

Anyway’s, while I was online ordering that stuff for the Aldi 20" uni, I thought – you know…I think I’ve “graduated” from the 20" and I also ordered a KH29 (all black with those 3.25 inch wide tyres, what an awesome looking beast!)- Also got the KH touring handlebars, I dislike paying for postage and packaging, so got it all.

I still intend to go with Jessie for walks with the Aldi 20" uni, it is perfect for that… I go to the local dog park that has a concrete “cricket” pitch where I practice idling, while Jessie is off leash rolling around, away from me…

2 weeks ago I finally got the nerve to try out the KH29 at the local park with open grass playing field. Jessie is off leash and rolling around away from me. I felt like I was starting over again learning to free mount.
I actually started to feel the shock of landing from failed freemounts on my ankles and actually am now recovering from slight ankle sprain. Had ice on left ankle last week and was able to walk but with irritation in the ankle.

For me, I guess I have reached the stage of my unicycle progression where I need to strengthen my body where it needs to be strengthened. I love unicycling and feel I am evolving from legs to a wheel, so am happy to take the the time to do the strengthening of my lower body, as it seems at this stage.

Also got some Ankle Braces - T2 Aktive Ankles (thanks for the recommendation UniMyra - you have been my inspiration). This will add to my “body armour” - Wrist gaurds, football shin pads, and helmet. I also got my "187 Killer Skateboard knee pads for later. They may be massive, but now I think I may need them - getting on this OG at 53. If I manage to attain my goal of commuting to work with the KH29, I also have my Leatt 3DF Body Protector.

So there you have it - if you managed to read this far. Thanks for staying with me…

Cheers

7 Likes

Welcome Norm, I’m also an Aussie, I’m in Sydney, and there are a few of us on this forum :slight_smile: . Well done for picking up that Aldi Uni from council cleanup.

If you happen to be in Sydney, would be great to catch up. I’ve been riding for 4 years now, and still improving skills as I go.

@BruceC also is a Sydney rider and is very fond of dogs! (Oh, and KH29 is his favourite uni!)

:slight_smile:

Oh, and, if you find idling hard…. it is. Try riding forward, a half rev back, then forward again. And also try rollback mounting too.

Personally I found learning to hop much faster/easier than learning to idle, but I don’t recommend learning to hop on the Aldi, you will probably break it :).

Thanks Gockie,

I am enjoying reading your posts.
Yes, after all these COVID lock downs have ended, it would be good to catch up.

Cheers

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Welcome!

Walking the dog is one of my absolute favorite things to do on a unicycle. It seems like it should be hard, but it’s actually very safe and stable - even my crazy foster dog that pulls like mad, and wants to run to every dog we see, can’t pull me off.

That is brilliant!

Good to see another Aussie on the forum. Which city/state are you from?

I too started on an Aldi 20 inch one. I got dirt in the bearings though, and pulled it apart to fix it.

Once I put it back together, it felt kind of off balance. By that time, i’d ordered a 24 inch wheel, and haven’t looked back much since.

Still, it got me started on my unicycle journey, and it sounds like it got you started too.

Thanks MrImpossible,

It is reassuring to hear that others find it possible to walk a dog with complete safety to the dog with the appropriate awareness.

I usually start out walking the unicycle until she does her no.2s (quite predictable) and then get on the cycle after that.

I also dismount when I feel the pressure on the lead that tells me she needs a wee stop.

Cheers
Pokalde

Hi Plasticcaz,

Great name, is in connection to any long stints not riding due to injuries? (Plaster cast?)

I would appreciate any advice about dealing with down time due to injuries.
I just have a slight ankle sprain and am feeling nervous about managing the injury before getting back “in the seat” and continuing long term unicycling, which I want so much to do.

Oh yeah, I am based in Sydney.
Looking forward to eventually joining any local Muni events - in the distant future.

And yes, I can see a 24" Uni being a good replacement for the Aldi 20" and complement the KH29.

Pokalde

I have a solid and good 24” trainer I can sell you.

No, my name is a combination of a nickname my Aunt gave me when i went to visit her in Sydney (“Plastic”), and my name backwards (“Zac”).

I did fall and hurt one of my knees fairly seriously once. No cast necessary though. I took an extended break from unicycling while I recovered, and got into walking once my knee was a bit better. Don’t really think i have much advice though.

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A little used 24” UDC trainer in really good condition that I am happy to sell. It’s only about a year old and perfect for someone for their first 24” Uni. CRmoly hub for strength so you should be able to do some hopping and kerb drops with it, and you get much more peace of mind with this than with a no name Uni. (But, your mileage may vary). Hardly worn tyre. I’ll sell it all for $170 incl 2 extra set of cranks.

The current cranks attached are 125mm lightweight Aluminium QU-AX and I’m including a steel 152mm (the original pair) and a steel 150mm set. Both steel sets are heavy and a little rusty from environmental factors. Personally I find 150mm long, but they are totally fine for someone starting out or wants to climb hills. The seat can be easily raised with the quick release and should be ok for leg lengths to 94cm (according to the unicycle.com description). Feel free to message me if interested. :slight_smile:

Reason for selling: I already have a 24” Club for the same niche (ride to train station for work) and that’s got some more sentimental value for me since I’ve had that for a while. I competed in my first (and so far, only) UniNats racing events on it! Did well btw. :slight_smile:









I have more pics if you want, let me know if you want specific pics. The rest didn’t automatically upload….

If you’re concerned about aggravating an injury, just take it slow and easy. I’ll usually wait until I’m not noticing significant pain doing daily activities. Then I’ll try a short and easy ride and see how that feels and gradually ramp up the activity from there.

One of the other important things is to stop your activity as soon as you notice an injury. Don’t try and ride through the pain. Go home and put some ice on it.

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Thanks Duff. It was good to read all your advice, especially the bit about stopping immediately if feeling any pain and not trying to push thru it. I did that. I’m currently searching youtube for Sprained ankle rehab exercises.

I’ve sprained both ankles in the last 3 weeks… first one was a 36er problem (I don’t know but after a turn, I ended up coming off)

Then today I sprained the other one just walking along, might have stepped on a rock. This was at the start of a long offroad ride… :roll_eyes:

I wear boxing style ankle boots and it limits the sprains… they tend not to blow up but are sore for a while.

I treat mine with chinese medicine.

Thanks Gockie, I’m actually quite happy with the 20” uni I got. Grown quite attached to it. Seems pretty sturdy now with the new steel cranks and 400mm seat post.

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Ouch, hope you get better soon Gockie…For myself, I’m so relieved to be feeling better after a week of rest and following ankle rehab YouTube videos. I can see these stretches and strengthening exercises becoming a regular part of my Unicycling life - body maintenance plan. I had a mini brainstorm this afternoon. I seem to always be landing on my left foot when falling off trying to free mount. So I thought if I try switching and freemount with the left foot starting on the pedal, then I will mostly land on my right foot on a failed free mount. Seems to be working for me. If right foot starts to get issues, I’ll swap back again. I’m hoping it will be a sustainable strategy.

Worth a shot :).
Knowing how to freemount either foot is awesome btw…

oh right. I think I may have got some cross training in balancing from Stand up paddle boarding in pretty choppy seas. I usually go out on 2 to 3 hour sessions and can come home and sit down and have breakfast, being dry enough.

“So I thought if I try switching and freemount with the left foot starting on the pedal, then I will mostly land on my right foot on a failed free mount. Seems to be working for me. If right foot starts to get issues, I’ll swap back again. I’m hoping it will be a sustainable strategy.”

Unless your left foot still hurts keep switching (on every mount) which foot you mount with and you can avoid this issue on either foot altogether.
You will become a better rider and is much more sustainable than overusing certain body parts by developing asymmetrical skills.

Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of unicycling.