It's like riding a unicycle...

Hi all, some recent threads have got me thinking about how hard it is to re-learn to unicycle. I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying “It’s like riding a bicycle” but does this apply to unicycles/unicyclists too??

I’d be very interested to hear from those of you who, for whatever reason, stopped unicycling for a long period of time and have started since.

How hard did you find it? Was it like going back to square one or just a case of finding the knack again?


I stopped riding for a couple of years. It didn’t take long to get back into it. I could ride again straight away. It took a couple of hours to back into Ultimate Wheeling and I’m still not as good as I used to be. I think that is more down to fitness and unicycling muscles, though.

I stopped riding for 7-8 years. When I rediscovered the uni, I could ride, freemount and do other basic skill at once. I think, skill wise I went down a level, but it came back pretty quickly.

I stopped riding for 17 years. I actually ordered a new unicycle without bothering to first find out if I could still do it.

It took fewer than 15 minutes to be back on and riding around again.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

I stopped for 20 years (learned at age 11, stopped in High School). I left my uni in my parent’s garage when I moved to Colorado for graduate school. The next time I rode was when I saw a uni in a bike shop. Without really thinking about it, I grabbed it and free mounted, then rode around the shop a bit. So for me, it came back right away.

I hadn’t ridden a uni in 30 years. I could ride a short distance (30ft) right from the box with the new uni. After a few days, I’m still working on the free mounting but have been successful

The hardest part is that I’m exhausted after just a few minuets. There’s a number of muscles I haven’t used for a long while.

I didn’t remember the crown of the road being such a nuisance.

Turning is harder than I remember. Must be 50lbs I’ve gained since I was 18. Also I’m now using a 28" Sun instead 26" Schwinn I used to use. Seems to me the smaller wheel is easier.

I’m already getting sick of hearing, ‘All you need is a clown suit’, or ‘can you juggle?’. I don’t remember hearing that 30 years ago.

i was at my local high school and this guy asked if he could ride my uni so i let him, he could ride and go backwards alittle. he told me his name was doug and he had a old shwinn, h ealo said h ehadn’t ridin in like 10 years so iguess it is like riding a bike

I rode a lot (just basic straight ahead stuff) till I was about 8, then I got into regular sports and later rock climbing and didn’t ride for 35 years. Six months ago I ran into Kris H. at a trade show and two weeks later I had a KH24 and a Coker, and later a 20 inch trials uni. The basics all came back immediately, but since I never knew the technical stuff (idling, backwards, one foot, wheel walking, hopping and drops, MUniing, et al) learning those skills (my wheel walking is still weak–my legs are moving like Fred Flintstone) has required daily practice and totally abandoning rock climbing (for the time being).

I think you relearn skills relative to how wired you had them in the first place.


I hadn’t ridden a bike in about four years. I had ridden a unicycle for about a year and a half. At first, I could barely ride the bike, big, weird, bulky, thingy. But it took about fifteen minutes until I could do it just like the old days.

Today, at a sort of family reunion thing, one of my uncles (I almost typed unicycle… heehee) used to unicycle, but he hadn’t in about twenty years. It took about five minutes until he could ride around the parking lot.

I got my first unicycle from my uncle when he was moved from his farm. I learned to ride on it, and have since had a couple other unis. My uncle asked if he could have his back so his son could learn. I had been pretty hard on it, so I gave his old one back and also gave him my second uni (which is still in good shape) because I didn’t think there was gonna be much hope for his rusty old uni with cottered cranks. He decided to give it a go, he probably hasn’t been on one in about 7 or 8 years. he hopped on and rode it around his driveway. it was a little shaky, but he successfully rode it around his driveway on the first try.