Giraffe Unicycle

How would you safely get down from one? I am in my 50s, and I wouldn’t want a hard fall either.

You have to absorb it with your legs on a rear dismount. It’s a bit like absorbing a landing on a ski jump - you have your legs extended at the contact point and you let them absorb the momentum by bending them. Good example in this TikTok video of @Harlequin :

Otherwise you have to find something to help you down which could be what got you up in the first place, a ladder, bleachers, etc. I used a garbage can near a baseball backstop

The video linked above shows the basic technique, but it’s possible to make a softer landing. The guy in the video lets the wheel simply roll out, and he goes straight down. An alternate method is to stop the pedals (one foot down) and then let the uni rotate away from the wheel. This means you will be landing with some rearward momentum, so plan for that, but I think it also brings you to the ground at a slightly slower speed.

For any giraffe dismount, make sure you have clear space to land, and/or for the wheel to roll out. If you let the uni rotate away from the wheel, make sure you’ve cleared the spot where you’re going to land. If you roll it out and the wheel hits something, that can be pretty painful. One time, in a show, I was on a shallow stage (the kind that folds up) and underestimated the space behind me. I thought I was positioned at an angle, but not enough. I let the wheel roll back, it hit the wall and I got shoved forward. My feet landed on the stage, but I was still going forward so I ended up in this ridiculous position of hanging off the front of the stage. Way to look cool! Of course the kids (elementary school) thought it was hilarious. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, if you want to be nice to your knees you don’t have to go straight to ground. Ride over to something you can step off onto. Back in the day, before we learned to freemount the giraffes we would stand on the hood of a car (CAUTION: a 70s or older car; on modern cars you’ll make dents!). We could also ride back to same car if we wanted, and step off onto that. But we were 17, so we didn’t.

Did a ten mile ride on my Nimbus performer Giraffe at the age of 62 - finding space can be a problem and overhead trees always an issue here in sunny Wales

As others have said, you need to learn on a normal unicycle first, I certainly don’t find it any easier to ride and certainly much more difficult to mount & dismount. Falling off hurts a lot more as well😀

I agree with all that said about space needed for dismount - do what works for you, personally I dismount forward as I find it easier on my knees (each to their own)

I occasionally still ride it near my home, but as I’m fast approaching 68 years old, I feel a "for sale’ ad coming on…

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10 miles that’s a great effort, longest I’ve done is maybe 5km’s. Crossing intersections is interesting as you can’t reach the pedestrian buttons with your hands. However your feet are the right level so you can kick them in. I don’t really find a difference dismounting forward/backward. It’s also interesting how much attention you draw riding a giraffe compared to a normal unicycle.

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Hmmmm, I don’t think I will be getting me a giraffe. I am 57, and I was originally diagnosed with the bones of a 70 year old. I am pretty sure a fall from a giraffe would be a serious problem. :thinking:

Wow! That’s a lot for one of those, especially at our age. The length of a parade (which probably averages out to 3x the actual road distance) is more than enough for me on a giraffe. And even then I prefer my 45" Big Wheel for parades…

Once upon a time (1980) my friend Bradley Bradley and I entered a March of Dimes charity bike ride on our Schwinn Giraffes (6’). We were the first to start, and the last to finish the nominal 75k (probably actually 50 miles due to it being miles in previous years). We both were riding with large upper sprockets; a 48:28 (or 12:7) ratio. I was 18 and I think he was 17 at the time. OWW! That was some abuse to the crotch area. :slight_smile: