Is riding a unicycle like riding a bike?

I learnt to ride a unicycle nearly 20 years ago at a local youth club. I got quite good at balancing and could ride continuously (indoors). I even learned how to hop as I was mostly into BMX at the time. I’ve recently discovered muni and I really want to give it a go. Is it like riding a bike or will it be like starting from scratch again?

Yes, and no. I pretty much didn’t ride for about 6 years. When I picked it back up a couple of months ago I was still able to free mount and ride, but struggled to go more than a few hundred metres. Riding once or twice a week for a couple of months I’m doing 3 mile rides without dismounting and a bit of light off road now.

By comparison, I didn’t ride my MTB for a couple of years after a bad crash, when I picked it back up I was fine doing 8-10 miles, on moderately difficult terrain.

It will depend a bit on your own skill level, fitness and determination. You will definitely be able to pick it up quicker than the first time, but it will still take time to get used to doing distance. You will still upd, but then even the very best riders do that. And being able to upd safely is a useful skill to learn anyway!

Just go for it, it’ll all come back to you pretty fast if you want to do it!

I would say just do it.
You never know unless you try. Some people can pick it back up instantly, some may not. If you want to do muni then you might as well try and fail then doubt yourself and fail from the start. You’ve already got prior experience with unicycling so you’ve got an advantage over someone who wants to do muni but has never ridden a unicycle before.

As stated above, your body will remember how to ride the unicycle; some people can do it after 20+ years of not being on one; I’ve seen it in person! That doesn’t mean your legs will have the stamina they did while you were learning. You may need to take it easy at first and work up to longer and longer rides.

Riding a unicycle on dirt is harder than riding a bicycle on dirt, but that’s part of what makes it such a cool challenge. Any little bump has the potential of knocking you off. But as your skills increase, you can just blast through all sorts of things.


I didn’t ride for 12 years. Took me 5 mins to be able to ride again, and one ride to be able to ride decent muni again. And within three outings I was better at some things than I ever was (riding standing up for uphills and fine movement corrections) but I never quite regained my total balance or skill, even after a year of riding (I am 12 years older now, after all).

So, interestingly, the end sum is that I’m just as good as I was before, but through different means.


Riding a unicycle is like riding a bike but with one wheel.


When I started to learn, I had to almost re-learn each time I stopped for a while. At one point, I got to a level where I could stop for a while, and pick up exactly where I left it.