IS it safe to ride a unicycle on side streets

I was wondering if it is safe to ride a unicycle on a road which is not a main road :thinking:

What is safe? There is an element of risk every time we go out. You have to decide your level of risk taking, evaluate your road risk, and go from there.


There are so many kinds of roads with different circumstances that it is difficult to answer your question. What is your specific concern?

Dead end streets with very little traffic tend to be safe.

Then comes the “Fear of the Dark” \m/

Let me help you with that eloquent statement.



In my opinion and experience it’s no more or less dangerous than riding a bike on the road in most cases. There are pros and cons.


  • You look unusual on a uni, so people tend to notice you more readily.
  • People assume unicycles are unstable, so often give you more room when passing.


  • You look unusual, so idiots will lean out of windows and shout as they pass. You need to be expecting that and not let it affect your concentration.
  • Side winds are more of a problem on a uni than on a bike - much harder to hold a straight line, especially if it’s gusty.
  • Similar to the point above, but if anybody does pass you fast and close you need to be pretty confident of being in control as you get hit by the turbulence.
  • Stopping at junctions can be a pain, especially on a bigger wheel where idling is less practical (harder and takes more room). You can hop on the spot or lean on a convenient post, but it’s just something else to bear in mind when you’re used to a bike.

Personally, I don’t really like unicycling on main roads if I can avoid it - it feels annoyingly slow compared to a bike and people passing at high speed can be a bit dodgy. But on minor, slower roads it’s fine if you’re well in control, make sure you’re visible and be predictable (same as on a bike).




so then where do you ride

Around here, there are side streets that are heavy with traffic, then there are some that are safe enough for kids to play ball in the street. If the street’s real narrow, I wouldn’t even consider riding in the street. Depending on where you’re at, there can be some bigtime idiots out there who get a thrill at scaring people.

A while back, my brother was riding a bike, in a bike lane when this guy driving a truck decided he would try to run him off the road. Unfortunately the moment one responds to one’s idiocracy, they act like the one they were trying to run off the road did something wrong to them.

Realistically, provided the sidewalks are wide enough and there’s no legal matters with riding on the sidewalk, I prefer riding on sidewalk when it comes to being on a unicycle, skateboard, or roller blades. Since a bike can pick up more speed and if you intend to ride higher speeds, it is best to ride in the far right of the road, depending on your country. What I dislike is how cars tend to block bike lanes or park in the gutter, forcing you to be up close and personal with that outer lane. Just my 2¢

If that was directed at me, I mostly ride unicycles off-road, bikes on the road. I’m fortunate that I can ride to work about 60% off-road, but the other 40% of that I’m on the road. Mostly minor roads, but some larger ones. I tend to avoid riding unicycles on fast main roads because bikes are so much better for that, and being overtaken too closely by a lorry or something on a unicycle is a bit more scary than on a bike, but I’ve ridden a fair number of events (races, audax rides, charity rides etc) that have involved lots of road riding on a unicycle. Personally I choose a bike for road riding most of the time, but the answer to your original question is yes, it’s “safe” to ride unicycles on side roads (as safe as a bike I’d say). Not very practical at junctions in towns, but not dangerous (if you behave like a cyclist should). Main roads, especially fast ones and ones with multi-lane sliproad junctions, I’d avoid, mostly because a unicycle goes too slowly and will be in the danger areas for too long at junctions.

My daily commute is by unicyle - pretty much the main way I get to work as well as for shorter trips, recreation and errands. I crank over 6,000km so I think I have a pretty fair grasp on the issue.

Most of my riding is either on shared paths or regular footpaths. Otherwise I would be in breach of laws and, with the amount of time I am on roads I would long ago have been booked. Besides shared paths are a better match for riding distance anyway.

However local roads in Western Australia are legally rideable during daylight hours. ie Roads that are 50kph or less without marked lanes. So I do a fair bit on local roads too.

I have found roads to not be a great issue. I have solid skills as far as riding straight, banking, turning, stopping, looking behind without deviation and a vary solid ability to soak up a bumps and derpressions, climp back over those 2" rises of path at road junctions etc.

These need to be fairly strong but are able to be developed from footpath riding, indeed there is much pausing and looking over shoulders as you pause to check before crossing from one side of the road to the continuation of path on the others. And though I say “strong”, I am not talking serious off-road/muni/street freestyle. Indeed I have very little in the way of flashy skills.

Idling is useful (not essential) on paths but less so on roads.

So, if you are OK with those skills then local roads should be OK. If not then they are quyickly developed on footpaths, where it really is far more effort to ride anyway as you will be more constantly having to reacha little beyond your comfort zone.

And of course on ani it is easy to move between road and path according to your abilities an confidence anyway.