Hello from Rhode Island, USA! If there are any riders up this way, give me a shout. I’d love some help learning to ride.
Short bio: I’m 65 and retired for 3 years. I’m fortunate to be a snowbird and have a winter home in a very active community in Florida. I juggle, and joined our clown club there, which does some nice volunteer work. I bought a unicycle 2 years ago thinking it could be a part of my act, but never gave it a chance.
A few months ago, we had an out-of-state couple over for dinner, and I was flabbergasted that my friend, who is older than me, rides a unicycle. That night was one of those “if he can do it…” moments.
My birthday present to myself was to set a 60 day plan - I would practice and not quit for 60 days. Well, today is that day 60, and I’m a unicyclist!
Learning by myself was VERY challenging. I’m active physically and thought I have good balance, but it was really tough for me to get past the first few wheel turns. 30 days, exactly, before I had a hands free run of over 30’. I tried fences, walking poles, whatever I saw on YouTube, but I did a face plant on day 1, and was timid to just let go. Another factor was seat height. I equated a lower seat to safety, thinking it was easier to get off and not fall. When I finally raised the seat, I quickly started doing better.
A big issue for me is conditioning. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but this sport is humbling for me. I can ride my bike 15 miles an hour up and down hills and hardly break a sweat, but when I ride my unicycle, it feels like I’m doing wind sprints! I practice for 1-2 hours, and I’m wiped out. Is this normal, or am I just an out of shape old fart???
My practice routine now is to ride until I’m out of breath, which is usually a couple hundred yards. I’m at the awkward stage of learning how to sit and spin the wheel vs standing. So, I ride, try some mounts. Ride, try idling. Ride, practice something else.
I had no idea that it would be this hard! EVERY aspect is something new to learn, from turning to mounting, idling to reverse. I went a few weeks seeing daily improvement, then had a couple of awkward days. I’ve fallen a few more times, but now it’s from trying to save something when I’m tired.
I love it! Life is all about new challenges, and this is a physical and mental challenge for me. This is a great site, with lots of expertise. Any help with the conditioning part would be appreciated. I’d love to start doing some more distance.