Muscle Memory & Unicycling?

I unicycled to a party tonight, because A) I wanted to get there faster than walking, and B) I was planning on drinking there, and pushing a unicycle home is much easier than pushing a Honda home.

After said party, when I had imbibed some, to the point where I was obviously intoxicated, and in no shape to drive, I found I was able to freemount, bunny-hop in place, and ride significant distances. While muscle memory is an amazing thing, I would think that unicycling would be much more difficult than driving (no worry about balance), or typing, yet I find myself having to backspace quite a lot. Have other folks observed the same results, that unicycling is so ingrained in reflex and the muscles that it can be performed while under the influence?

you need to go to more conventions for the best answer :slight_smile:

Kids, everyone here, lets get drunk and unicycle so we can provide some data for this question! :stuck_out_tongue:

Age plays a factor; I’m assuming you can do many things drunk at 30 that you cannot do at 50.

indeed, I have often seen friends unable to stand up and walk unaided, but still capable of wheelwalking

I think you have to be pretty drunk to even try unicycling at all.

I’ll have to try it sober sometime…I’ll let you know how it goes.

BTW: that was one of the more coherent drunk-posts I have ever read.

I’ll actually second that. I’ve never really been… drunk drunk, but I had maybe 7 beers or something in Denmark at Unicon one night and, though I could still walk in a straight line without difficulty and all that, I definitely didn’t feel like myself. I could still ride my guni without any difficulty, though… I did notice that it felt like I was riding on slippery ground. I’d come out of a steep turn, and the wheel would keep twisting under me as if I were turning sharp on a slippery tile floor, or something. Other than that, it didn’t feel any different. Straaange :slight_smile:

I actually find hopping up steps easier (i.e. possible) when I’ve had a few, because I’m less worried about cocking it up and hurting myself.

I remember years ago riding quite happily across a convention field back to my tent after 8 pints of Ash Vine bitter. Mind you, I had quite a high alcohol tolerance at that time, having just completed 4 years at university.

On another occasion, while riding home from the pub, a WPC [1] commented: “I bet you can’t do that after a few pints”. Evidently my riding style didn’t show, at least to the casual observer, that I’d just had a few pints.

[1] Translation for Americans and other non-English speakers: Woman Police Constable, a term which I believe is no longer used by the police.

The Two Beer Test!

I do whats called the two beer test. After I feel that I have mastered a new skill such as riding up a sidewalk curbs I will drink two beers and see if I still have the skill mastered!

At a batchelor party I put down about 15 drinks and sill felt very agile on the unicycle.

Last Tuesday I went to a wedding and also got plastered. In the morning I was not hung over but still drunk. I met up with a friend for a MUni ride and was definetly not up to par but was still able to do the ride. I did not attempt any of the more dangerous sections of the trails.

You can still do anything drunk but just not as good as you can when completely sober. Your soordination and alertness slows down but it does not shut off. That is until you pass out!


I can vouch for this effect. I can ride a uni when I have trouble walking a straight line. I dare say that for life-long and regular riders, the unicycle is a bit of an intoxicated persons “cloaking device”, making it possible for you to pass for sober - and get from place to place wtihout detection by police and passers by. I’m pretty sure that the perception that unicycling is difficult to near impossible by the average joe/policeman will function almost better than a field sobriety test.

So kids, go out and drink yourself silly, but remember to bring your uni to get to and from the party, rave, playbround, bar or . . . .drainage culvert or where ever you do your drinking.

Also, there’s a short bit about the field “sobriety test” concept in this short video that a bunch of us did for a local film festival. Its in the middle somewhere, after the little kids start cursing and asking questions:


I feel the need to point out that this response is from the only guy on this forum that admits to having shot an automatic weapon while on a unicycle. Ye ha! But Unicorn, can you combine the drinking, automatic weapon fire AND unicycling? Video please???

I’ll let you know in 20 years :smiley:

I’ve been typing since I was in the 4th grade, reading since the 2nd… muscle memory applies to more than just unicycling :wink: And I did mention the excessive use of the backspace key :wink:

Unicycling is much more difficult. The difference is the consequences. Crash into someone on your unicycle, say excuse me. Crash into someone in your car…

Alcohol impairs your judgment more than your motor skills (depending on level of intoxication). The judgment is what leads many drunk drivers to make bad choices (beyond the obvious first one).

I’ve only unicycled once when quite drunk. I’d only just learnt at that stage and could ride maybe 20m consistently. While drunk I found it much harder to unicycle. I hardly ever drink these days though so I dunno how hard it’d be.

I have never been too drunk to unicycle, and I must admit that years ago I gave it a good try. Could I unicycle well while drunk? Nope! Could I unicycle in a cookedy line? You betcha! Brycer is right, unicycling is a great cloaking device. Everyone expects you to ride in a crookedy line. I don’t know if the .08% blood alcohol content applies to unicyclists. Maybe crashing while unicycling drunk is the criterion.
One thing that I have noticed is that coffee impairs my ability to unicycle well. Get a cuppa in me and all a sudderly I can’t do a decent pirouette. The muscles are just a little too twitchy to smoothly execute such maneuvers. Green tea (with the calming properties of theanine) causes no such problems. Maybe adding a little whisky to the coffee is what I should try next time.

Interesting how this thread gets started on a Friday afternoon, and wow, lookie there, its now getting close to beer-o-clock here in Portland. Look out pedestrians . . . cause if you don’t like my riding, stay off the sidewalk!

I rode 15 miles at night drunk as a skunk once. I don’t recommend it.

Though it’s irresponsible of me to write this; in my experience,ones fluidity and nerve can be enhanced after some small imbibing. So, I agree with John F. - judgement goes first then balance.

In Nottingham we have an annual pub crawl on unicycles which can include anything up to 14 pubs. I’ll admit that in most of the pubs we only have a half pint of ale, but normally we often stay in the last pub for a few more. Even after this amount of alcohol, I’ve always managed to ride the 5 miles home ok. As John says, though, your judgement does go, and it can be hard to ride past the kebab shop without stopping :smiley:

A few months ago my local pub closed down. It was literally just over the road for me, so I now have to go about 3/4 mile for anywhere decent. So, I take the opportunity to ride there, have 4 or 5 pints and then ride and back. Having the uni propped up in the corner of the bar always causes a few comments, the most common being “I bet you don’t ride it home after a few pints”. Knowing how many regulars there drive home after the same amount, I enjoy pointing out that it’s the safest and quickest way to get home!


Well, i havent read all the posts in this thread, but i find when drunk i cannot unicycle.
Mounting is quite hard.

I have been to the point where I use the wall just to stand and could still manage to ride my unicycle. All of my friends talk about this all the time.