In an article dated Wed, 14 Aug 1996 15:36:00, “Johnstone, Glenn”
>>This is connected to the thread on how dangerous unicycling can be. This is an
>>extreme case, but less extreme is tricks going backwards, unicycling really
>>is safe, apart from this, 99% of all injuries I
>>had (only about 7 in 4 years) have been done going backwards, which
can looks like my maths is a bit off Lets say 6/7 injuries.
>>take a while before you learn.
>You’ve aroused my interest in what sort of injuries you can get from unicycling
>I have been unicycling now for about 8 months (when I get the time!)
>have got to the stage of being able to go backwards for quite a number
>revolutions (maybe around 5 - 10 metres). So far I haven’t had any
>crashes (just the odd scrap of skin off the hand) or done myself any
damage. I would consider loss of skin to be a particularly uncomfortable injury.
I have never broken a bone in my body and so what I referred to as ‘injuries’
were minor I guess.
> Are there any particular moves I have to watch out for?
No, but if you think about it, it will be more difficult to control any
problems, almost all human motion is based around going/falling forwards. If you
fall forwards you are very easily able to correct this by extending your leg,
this is not the same when going backwards, the same applies when unicycling.
When I was learning I would sometimes have to come off before I wanted to, this
was trivial! I could just move my legs forward off the pedals. When going in
reverse I could not and so I usually ended up on my bum or back or elbows… etc.
You are more likely to find problems when going fast, if you just imagine what
happens when going forwards at high speed when you have to jump off, you just
have to run a bit, and unless you have >24" it’s very unlikely to be going
faster than you can run* In reverse (just close your eyes and think of this) you
will stumble unable to get either foot on the ground at first, then after a
small amount of pride in the thought that you just managed 7 meters odd gliding
backwards you will probably find a foot under a pedal as it mashes in to
your ankle/shin, then already in great pain, you will be at an angle impossible
to correct. You will leave the unicycle standing as you pelt backwards, trying
to correct your position, alas unlike when falling forwards just 10degrees or so
is too much and the faster you run the worse you are making it, eventually you
fall back badly bruising your arse, and then scrapping several meters on the
floor removing maybe a centimetres of skin flesh then bone on all of your back
The worse two injuries I can think of at hand were when I was just learning to
go backwards and just fell in to a stair banister, this scrapped the underside
of my forearm, this would not have been possible going forwards, as my hand
would have caught it. This was my fault for ‘playing’ in a confined space. The
other (last) was while trying to go one footed backwards, I hit a pebble
(probably less than 1/2 a centimetre diameter) which stopped my weak and slow
motion backwards causing me to do pretty much as I just described in the
previous paragraph (although I only grazed myself a little). I have given up
until I can find some smooth ground, I have got nowhere in ages at this skill
and want to go past 10meters wheel walking regularly, first.
*As a sprinter (or ex sprinter now) I can probably manage over 25 miles per hour
for a moment as I wish to slow down, and I most certainly can not do that yet on
Damion Yates - Damion@myates.demon.co.uk homepage: http://www.bath.ac.uk/~exxdmy
(this is pants)