I’m a relatively new unicyclist from Western Australia.
About this time last year, I came across Ed Pratt’s videos on youtube. I think youtube suggested the videos on him crossing Australia, and it piqued my interest.
Before watching those videos, I’d never really thought much about unicycling. I mean, it’s a clown prop, right? But then I saw someone using it for a somewhat serious role - cycling around the world. I started taking it seriously. (I’ve since realized people do all sorts of crazy stuff on these things…, freestyle, municycling… etc)
As I watched more and more of his videos, I realized that I wouldn’t mind trying this out myself, so I looked on Gumtree (an Australian trading website), and found a cheap 20" for $40. I figured $40 was cheap enough for what may turn into a new hobby, so I gave it a go.
About a week afterwards (about end of February), COVID hit, and we went into lockdown. I was working from home and looking for an escape at the end of the day, so I launched myself down the driveway, until I could stay on for a couple of rotations.
Progress was slow for me, but every time I made it further, I found myself getting more and more addicted to it.
Since then, I have increased gradually in skill. Now I can basically ride as long as I’d like. However, I’ve yet to break the 1 km mark, so I’ve got a ways to go. The main things limiting me are:
- Tiredness - feet still go tense going down hills
- Lack of freemounting - something I’ve put off learning, but am trying to learn now
- Dips - I still find uneven ground very disconcerting. I don’t like drops.
- My lack of call to the void - I am a pretty cautious bloke, I don’t tend to throw caution to the wind, which has probably slowed my progress
I’ve since upgraded from my cheap Aldi’s brand 20" to a 24" trainer from unicycle.com. I can tell the quality difference. My 20" unicycle feels so flimsy when I ride it now.
I’ve been going slow, but I still really like this hobby, and I’m glad I discovered it. I’m hoping to get into distance riding.