I am having a couple of really frustrating problems that I would like some advice on.
I am trying to learn to unicycle on a Nimbus 24" with 125mm cranks. I have had 7 practice sessions now, each of which ranges from about 45 to 90 minutes long, with most of them being about 1 hour long. I can mount OK as long as I have someone or something on one side of me to hold onto. Once mounted, if I am touching my husband’s hand lightly – only our fingertips touching (so lightly that he couldn’t actually provide any physical support if he wanted to) – I can ride as far as I want to, including wobbling around turns, until my legs get tired. If I push off on my own (without him walking next to me), or let go of his hand completely, I will either fall immediately, or usually only get in 2-5 revolutions before I fall. Has anyone experienced a similar “mental block” when learning? It’s really frustrating because 1) it is beginning to feel like my progress is very, very slow, and 2) I know that I can do it, I just somehow panic when I don’t have anyone/anything beside me.
Regarding the sore knees: After doing some searching, I have come to the conclusion that this is a fairly common problem, but I have tried all of the suggestions that I found and I am still having no luck. Around my second practice I noticed that my knees were sore. This has really only continued to get worse. Now when I practice unicycling, they are so sore that I actually have trouble walking up and down stairs the next day! The residual soreness lasts for at least 2-3 days afterwards! This is also slowing down my progress because I can only practice 2-3 times a week. I don’t have any pre-existing knee problems and I have run on a regular basis (an average of about 10 miles a week) for some time now without having any knee pain. I know a common suggestion is to raise the seat, but my seat is already as high as I can get it and still have my legs slightly bent when the pedals are all the way down. I’m not sure what else to try? Would longer cranks help? I try putting as much of my weight on the seat as I can, but I am still learning so I don’t have very good control and I end up relying on my legs a lot for helping me correct and stay balanced.
I would appreciate any advice whatsoever – I’m really frustrated!