Letting cars go / Unilegs / Groin... toughness

Three-for-one topic because I thought of all three of these things while on my 8 mile ride to the mall today, but I obviously don’t want to flood the front page with my threads.

  1. How do you signal for cars to go when they have the right of way, but they think you have no way of stopping and wait for ten seconds at the crosswalk before you’ve even gotten there? I often stop to idle and stare at the driver, waiting for them to go, but then my lackluster idling skills cause me to fall off, at which point the driver then peels off and I’m left dismounted and humiliated.

  2. Do you often feel after riding for a substantial period of time that it takes a couple minutes to get your land legs back? After I got to the mall, I stumbled in and must have looked all kinds of drunk and crazy because I couldn’t walk a straight line. It didn’t help that I was trying to text people, and I got all kinds of crazy looks. I guess it’s pretty normal to get crazy looks from people at the mall anyway, but I felt particularly self-conscious.

  3. Does your groin… toughen? That is, will long rides become easier, or will they always destroy that region if you don’t take the proper precautions? I want to know if it’s a priority to invest in a nice KH saddle, or if what I did today is the worst it’ll be, so long as I am consistent in my riding.


I have a few answers for you

  1. This one I can’t answer, because I don’t ride in traffic, I only do offroad unicycling.
  2. I have never experienced a strange walk after a long unicycle tour.
  3. No, the groint will not toughen, at least not my groint. The numb feeling in your man region is caused by compressing your blood vessels. using a KH saddle helps a bit, but I still have to stand up every few miles.
  1. Motorists are morons. Very few of them know the traffic laws. Then they are astounded by seeing someone on a unicycle. This makes a situation that requires some moderate amount of thought even more difficult for someone who’s not too bright to begin with. They stop for no reason and then expect you to ride your twenty pound unicycle in front of two tons of steel being piloted by someone who doesn’t even know they have the right of way. Don’t expect this state of affairs to suddenly change.

  2. Occasionally…but I always skip the texting and the self-conscious part. I kind of lump people who walk around texting in the same group as motorists.

  3. My groin is already like hardened steel.

There’s nothing numb about what my groin is feeling when I go on long rides. It’s more like chafing. And harper, your groin of steel gives me hope that one day I may have one of my own. Hopefully it won’t take until I’m 59.

I’m not normally a walk-texter. It scares me when I look up at the people around me and more than half of them are either listening to music or buried in their smartphones. But I was trying to arrange grocery shopping with my clown friends, and that’s an ordeal for us. I’ll try to remember to find a place to sit or a wall to lean against the next time I receive an urgent text in a public setting though.

Believe me, I would never dream of faulting a guy who grocery shops with clown friends. This falls well outside of the category of standard, run of the mill, pedestrian walk-texter.

It’s things like this that have addicted me to Unicyclist.com :smiley:

  1. People in cars always have the right of way. There are laws that say otherwise, but the laws of physics don’t need a court to uphold them. Physics always wins. So if somebody chooses to stop for me, I’m not going to stop for them if they’re making eye contact. In other words, as long as I know they see me, I will get by them and give them a little wave of thanks.

And all that stuff Harper said.

  1. Today I had that problem. But mostly this is because yesterday I rode the famous Downieville Downhill. That’s a mountain bike trail that goes downhill almost 3000’ in 4.5 miles. And I don’t have brakes. Then you still have to ride 10.5 miles and another 1100’ downhill to get to civilization. Today my wife got me to go riding on the bike path with her. Stopping hurt. My legs are two pieces of toast right now.

But you haven’t shared your riding conditions. We know you rode 8 miles, but was it on a small wheel while wearing conventional pants? That’s a lot harder than 8 miles on a 36" unicycle wearing bike shorts. I vividly remember the first long ride I did. My friend and I rode to a restaurant 5 miles away, on a 20" Schwinn and a 20" Schwinn giraffe. I had only be riding about a week. By the time we got there our crotches were severely damaged, and there was painful urination. Plus we still had to get home…

  1. Harper has a crotch of steel, but not from distance unicycled. I think he had to have that installed after too much riding on top of the cyclotron. :slight_smile: Your crotch can get used to some amount of riding, but you can also improve your seat-area riding environment to be less destructive. Get some bike shorts; they make a huge difference!

If your unicycle seat looks anything like this unit currently on a local classifieds (@ a whopping $125!), your crotch will always feel like you got it caught in the chain that your unicycle may not have.


I agree with what John said. Especially after getting hit by a car last year, I won’t go out in front of one until we make eye contact or they otherwise acknowledge my existence. I’ll gladly ride past them if I have the right of way and they know I’m there.

I only experience what you’ve coined “unilegs” (nice term by the way, I like it) when I’m pushing my lactate threshold. Basically, whenever I’ve been spinning faster than normal for awhile or after a day of hill climbing… which is every day as a unicyclist in Madison :roll eyes:
If I’m just riding at an average pace on flat ground, it never happens. Of course, mounting sucks after you’ve ridden 70 miles on ANY terrain, but that doesn’t count.

I rode a 26" on some rather worn backroads, and I was wearing jeans. So not ideal conditions, but not as bad as say a 20" with only a week of riding experience, or on that monstrosity 4umfreak posted. I have some biking shorts back at my parents’ house that I’ve been wanting to get ahold of; that is, I have them in an abstract sense and do not actually have them in my possession. Now I know that it’s probably more worth it to get those back than have the surgery to have a steel crotch installed because that is definitely not covered by my insurance.

“. . . and I was wearing jeans.” :astonished:

8 miles on a 26" in jeans is tough. I know some have ridden longer distances on shorter wheels but the crotch seams in jeans are no joke. I don’t ride in bike shorts all or even most of the time but I’d try to find a pair of pants or shorts with friendlier seams before heading out for 8 miles on uni.

  1. People are stupid, people driving cars are stupider, people driving cars while using a phone to text…

The only good answer is don’t ride in traffic.

  1. The only time my legs take time to recover is if I pushed to far without a break, then they can be a bit rubbery.

Ride more, they get stronger

  1. Is it a priority to invest in a good saddle?

I suppose you have had the seats removed from your car and now sit on a plastic five gallon paint bucket, yes?

That’s the wrong question, try this one: Is my comfort worth $50?

I’d spend the cash on a good seat and shorts if it was a question of doing what I love while being more comfortable.

I’m having trouble with the question of whether my comfort is worth £100 ($150) as I want to try several different saddles!

I’ve found this to be true. People in cars often stop when they have the right of way thinking that they are somehow being helpful. This leads to an awkward standoff where no one knows who should go first. I usually just dismount and wave them on. As irritating as that is, it’s safer that way.

I agree. They wait for me when it’ll be at least 8-9 seconds until I’m even at the intersection… just go, people. I’m not going to magically warp in front of your car as soon as you start moving.
Then there’s the folks at 4-way stops that WILL NOT MOVE until you motion to them or dismount, even though they may have gotten there first.

Traffic laws are there for a reason, and that reason is because it’s easier and safer for everyone. I know they think they’re being helpful… but it’s really more irritating than not.

It can be useful to just idle in that situation- I usually also just look down at the road directly in front of me, as that both helps me to idle and kind of gives the hint to the car driver that it’s time for him/her to move :slight_smile:

I’ve been riding out on the roads and sidewalks around here lately. I find that if I see this situation about to happen, and yeah I also agree people do it a lot, I will just slow down to a crawl speed while I’m still a ways away and make eye contact and generally they will get the hint they can go, or they end up looking real dumb for waiting that long and you can just ride by. :smiley:

It’s a great way to practice your slow speed riding.