How does it feel? Was it worth it? Dollars/time/effort?

Looking back at your months or weeks or years, no prejudice - was it worth it? Do you still ride? Love it? Feel you still learn anything interesting and have fun? Or did you put the uni away after a while, whether you were good at it or not, and feel satisfied that you were done and moved on?

If you could start over again, never having had a uni at all and never having spent the time or money or pursued it, would you have started at all?

It took me a couple of weeks trying most days for an hour before I could ride my first uni across our front yard. Fell backwards just the once on my first attempt. No serious injuries.

Put in many hundreds of hours over the past four and a half years getting better and better at it. Had a few injuries along the way but nothing too serious. The gain is much more than the pain.

Love it. Can’t imagine not doing it. I taught both my sons to ride. Today I was out with my elder son riding the 26 and 29 on fire trails in the national park near his home. It is the most adventurous muni we have done yet.

Still learning new things about riding. Always fun. I feel so invigorated after about half an hour and really start on to the hills climbs. Muni is fun too but very arduous.

Absolutely. One of the best things I have done. It is like a physical meditation. I would have taken it up decades earlier if I had known and been exposed to uni.

I started with a ten dollar uni from a garage sale. Now I have sixteen wheels in a collection worth several thousand dollars and I can’t imagine selling any of them.

Unicycling is a silly sport to take up. I picked it up because I didn’t have my own bike, I had resorted to riding my dad’s bike everywhere.

I’m glad it came out to be one of the most fun experiences I had.
I’m glad I didn’t stop after my first day of practice when I still couldn’t mount.
I’m glad I kept learning and that I still have more to learn.

The one thing I regret is that I only have one friend who can ride.

It’s day 22 for me, with an hour of practice each day. It can be discouraging but the little successes each day cancel them out. I still dismount several times in a row right off the launch, then I get a couple of good runs and then some more immediate failed attempts. It gets better about 30 minutes after I start. The number of good runs has increased as the hours of practicing go up. My runs are varied from a few feet to over 120’ now. There has been some progress every day, more on some days, only marginal on others, but always some. Keep at it, I believe it’s just time in, the same as any other difficult skill. Keep at it, it will happen if you do!

It was absolutely worth it…and it is absolutely worth it. My only regret is that it took me until I was 46 years old to start. Arggh!

I’m not going as far as ASD, but my impression of your thread-starter is that you’re psyched-out.

My friends invited me to their kid’s football game the other day. Things started out all right. But, as the game progressed, the other team started dominating. The final score was 55-12. The losing team had this kind of body language…the way they ran on and off the field…and the uncertainty in their moves during plays…that contributed to their death-spiral-performance . The winning team did not look that way; they had a spring in their step. My friends noticed it, too. They said it was the emotional state of the kids that was making them look and act that way.

Dingfelder, I don’t know what it’s like to be you, but my impression tells me you’re all-in mentally and physically, but you’re too emotionally distant from the unicycle.

When I was a beginner, I frequently had random, unexpected falls. Every day I suited-up, as a beginner, I had to deal with this psychological baggage. It felt somewhat like I was going into battle. And when I was riding, my best strategy for learning was to capture the general feeling of my successes, then figure out, mentally what to do. When I felt tired and frustrated after making seemingly no progress in a session, I had to work through these feelings, mostly by keeping riding for longer.

I may be confusing your story with another rider, but Dingfelder, you bought a 26" to start on, correct? And, then you had a couple bad falls onto your back when you started practicing. Both those things, I think, put you at a disadvantage. If you had started with a 20" (it’s not too late), the fear/consequences of falling would be less, mounting would be less scary, and you could ride erratically without falling off (whereas on a larger wheel, you have to be more controlled from the get-go).

It’s great having you on the forum, Dingfelder. Keep thinking about how to stay safe while learning. Consider getting a 20". Use a crutch if that helps. Remember that when you’re learning new stuff, you’re going to be out of control. Good luck!

Heck yes, I’ve bee riding for a year now. The good lady runs, I tag along on the uni. I’m out 3 - 4 times a week, and would be out more f I could.

I love riding the uni. Not sure why, and I’ve thought about that one a fair bit. So now I just ride.

My only regret is leaving it until I was 49 to start.

I ride a 29er muni and an old Nimbus 36er bought from a member of the forum.

Firstly, you might be asking the wrong audience to get the big picture. Everyone here is still sufficiently engaged to have not only carried on unicycling but loves it enough to hang out in a dedicated forum to discuss it. Those who have stopped are probably not hanging out here!

I still retain the thrill from simple stuff like maintaining balance and in the grand scheme of things (time taken to learn the basics, compared to the amount of time I have spent riding), it was not very much effort at all.

My enjoyment of unicycling has come in waves. Sometimes I have not touched a unicycle for years (probably as much as a decade at one point). Yet, currently I am commuting via unicycle every day and still sometimes go for rides in the evenings after the kids are asleep.

I have lots to learn (if I ever choose to). I can ride for relatively long distances, up and down hills, without UPDs and I am told I look quite stable but I still never bothered to learn a lot of basic skills, like idleing, wheel walking or riding backwards.

I have never thought much about the cost but my unicycles were relatively cheap. I don’t consider this an expensive hobby at all. It’s only as expensive as you want it to be. I could get by (and would still enjoy it) even if I only owned one.

That’s probably a fair guess at how much how many people try or learn to ride a unicycle in most of the world.

Except Japan. Then the numbers are probably more like:

  • At least 99% try; they're playground equipment in the majority of Japan's elementary schools
  • The vast majority of Japanese elementary school kids that try, learn to ride. I don't know the numbers, but believe it's over 90%
  • Most Japanese kids stop riding unicycles when they finish elementary school. I think it's a fairly small minority of riders that keep doing it.
  • The big difference, other than the vast number of people that can ride one, is that they all know riding a unicycle is possible, rather than impossible. The opposite of the vast majority of people in the rest of the world :)

Dingfelder, if you are feeling discouraged about conquering these things, think of all those (many million, since they started 40 years ago) that learned to ride during recess. Don’t quit. The unicycle will mock you, and throw you to the ground occasionally. It will only win if you let it, by giving up. :astonished:

What are you talking about? I just got started and am asking about how others feel about their experience. I thought prompting people to take a look back would be entertaining. Lots of people enjoy that and even find that their worst memories make their best stories.

As to people abandoning interest in something they no longer do, I think that once they develop a love for something, they tend to keep it. How many of us no longer play a sport, but still watch it on TV or go see games, talk about it with friends, read books and sports magazines and watch movies about it, or introduce it to our kids and watch them play?

I think some people might be getting the wrong impression and think I started the topic to ask myself if I really wanted to do this thing. That’s not it. I can see where someone could make that assumption. Heck, actors and writers can get mistaken for their characters and even get slapped for it! But that’s not what’s happening here. I just thought it would be an interesting topic for its own sake.

I appreciate the concern, of course, but, yes, I do want to learn to ride, not just for its own sake but for the larger goals of keeping my dog as well as myself active and healthy and having fun into old age. If it wasn’t this, it would undoubtedly be something less fun … but why go for something less fun?

I started with a 24. My 20 is supposed to be here by this Tuesday! Two days away. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I’m doing fine though. I scratched myself up a bit, but I can take worse than that. My jiu-jitsu teacher used to kick me in the nuts every day, on purpose, and I came back day after day. I had a brother and a bunch of friends who trained with him and they all quit, but I didn’t. I’m more durable than may at first be apparent. :slight_smile:

Can only second that! Except I was 41…

I agree, I’m 65 and new at the uni. I just made it to 250 feet today, I wish I had started a long time ago.

The people who are satisfied that they have done unicycling and moved on won’t be reading this forum or responding to your post!

I got my first unicycle in 1987: a cheap and very heavy 20, but I had a lot of fun on it.

Life moved on and I put it away for a few years then got back into riding in about 2002. In the 16 years since then, I’ve owned and ridden 20, 24, 26, 28, 29 and 36 and at one time I had 13 unicycles.

Now aged 55 and living in a flat area where most of the riding is roads and bridleways (rough paths suitable for horses) I mainly ride the 29 and 36 and occasionally the 24 or 28. I also find I use my bicycles more, mainly because I can go further and faster, on them, and expand my horizons a bit.

Unicycling has helped me to keep physically and mentally fit. It has been a challenging and rewarding hobby, and although I generally ride alone, I have met a lot of good people through the sport over the years. I hope to keep riding for another 10 or 15 years, maybe more.

If I had known back then what I know now, I might have gone about it differently, taken it more seriously much earlier, learned more skills, wasted less money on bad purchases, and so on. However, yes, I’d go back and be a unicyclist again — only maybe I’d be better one. It is a great sport.

Me too! We have nice trails where I live, but I have never taken much advantage of them.

Grats on 250 feet already! You haven’t been doing it for too long and are already making lots of progress.

Yeah it’s been well worth it. Been riding for about a year and a half now, just got my 5th unicycle: my 1st 36". Getting on it’s kinda hard, but once I’m on, I’m not comin’ off. Here come the miles!

Wonderful! The 36 looks incredibly fun. I really like Ed Pratt’s around-the-world video channel. It’s very intriguing and inspiring if the thought of being able to ride a 36 has ever crossed one’s mind as even the most fantastically remote possibility. And the unigeezer video of a 36 being ridden on trails really surprised me too.

Good luck and have fun!

That was exactly the first thing I thought of when reading.

If I could start over again, I would do it when I was much younger. First got into uni-ing at 39. It is what it is. Now that I can ride for kms on end, it is such a great feeling that I can never stop. I will keep riding until my legs can’t carry me any longer.
Now that I have a family, I can’t spend as much time unicycling as before or as I want to. Eventually I hope when my daughter is a bit older she will get the tick too and learn to ride too.

I quit unicycling today after going for a ride the day before. But I’ve been quitting that way for at least 18 years.

My parents bought me a Sears unicycle when I was 12 years old. I spent three weeks attempting to ride before I succeeded in traveling forward.
I wore that out by age 18 and did not ride for 30 years. At age 48 my wife bought me a 20" Sun Uni, and I resumed riding regularly. I treat it like most people treat walking or running. The goal is fitness. Two years ago I bought a 24" Sun and have been putting in around 100 miles per year.

Last year I started riding with a friend, and we have been getting between 3 and 5 miles in two or three times a week.
It has definitely been worth the time and money!