New to unicycling: Rhode Island

Hello everyone,
My name is Yelena, I just got my first unicycle and am trying to tame it. While I am progressing very slowly but surely, there are people who tell me that at my age is impossible to learn to unicycle - and I’m only 36. I have a strong medical and scientific background, and my thought is that a healthy person can learn to unicycle at any age, although it make take longer for older people than for teenagers.
Here I am looking for resources of tutorials, tips, and first-hand stories. Also, if there are experienced unicyclists in my area (Rhode Island) who could give me a lesson or two, it would be great!
Thank you in advance!

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Congrats on your new endeavor. I just started riding in January and I’ll be 50 in June. So no you’re not too old as long as your having fun. As long as you put in the time you will get it just keep challenging yourself. And welcome to the site

Most of the recent posts on this forum are from people who are older than you are now, and were older than you when they first learned to ride, so don’t worry! Many of the younger unicyclists who used to post comments here and aren’t frightened of the NSA have moved to Facebook.

Unicycling can be an extreme sport if you are crazy enough to make it one, but otherwise it is quite gentle. Unless you are morbidly obese or suffer from some other condition that impairs your movement or balance, you should be able to learn to ride with no problem. Just find a flat stretch of open pavement and start trying to ride. It may take some persistence. Finding someone to show you the first steps in person is not required, but it is helpful. You can also learn a lot on this forum.

Thanks everyone!
Today I made my first full revolution without holding the fence. Believe it or not, but one of my friends is so confident that I’m too old for it, we made a bet than in two months I will be able to ride a flat surface unsupported. I decided to make it a small anti-ageist event, and invited my friends to come with anti-ageist posters :smiley:

So did Facebook steal a good bit of traffic from here? It does seem quieter than what I remember. Any idea which facebook groups are the popular ones?

Yelena, as for learning to ride I can’t imagine there are many good tips or lessons you could receive, although encouragement is always nice. Most of it comes down to practice. Start near a wall and keep trying until you can ride away, then learn to free mount and build from there. It’ll take time.

Welcome Yelena! I’m new to unicycling too. I’m 47 and getting younger every day. You’ll do great if you just keep practicing. Hope you bet something good, because you might be riding circles in two months!

Welcome to this forum. I have found it to be extremely helpful and fun.


Welcome to the forum Yelena.

You are not too old. I started when I was 49. You just need to have patience and lots of determination. Get comfortable by holding onto a wall but don’t do that for very long. Keep launching off without holding on to anything. If you’re afraid you’ll fall you can wear knee pads and gloves. At some point your legs will tire quickly. When that happens try putting all your weight into the saddle so your legs won’t tire so quickly.

There are lots of tutorials on YouTube. Each one will have different pointers so watching several is a good idea. That’s what I did and I think it helped me learn rather quickly. This video is a bit silly but I think has some good tips.

You are very lucky you want to start now!

These questions have been discussed before!

I met a man who was 92 and who learned to unicycle at age 91. It took him a year to learn. I heard of another man who learned when he was 76 and then taught his wife who was 72. You are currently half the age of the youngest one in that group. You’re not too old to learn, in fact you’re too young to quit.

36 is nothing, I met François, a 79 years old as I was riding my 36" in the park nearby, he told me that he also has a 36" but he couldn’t ride it at the moment as he was recovering from a bad fall on roller-skates… He started uni at 74, then went on a 1000km trip, wearing a horse shaped helmet as a homage to the horse he had to give away a few years back.

We’re all with you! You will win that bet!

I have two conditions that impair my balance, and I learned to ride with no problem.

Thank you everyone for your encouragement!
So far I am progressing very slowly, still very far from being able to ride unsupported. May a size of the wheel play a role? What I’m trying now is 15 inches in diameter, and it feels like I can’t develop enough speed to maintain a balance. Would it be a good idea to try a 20 inches wheel?

From all the research I did prior to buying my unicycle, it seemed that the 20" was what most people recommended for initial learning. However, I also believe that you adjust to whatever you learn on. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It just takes time, and then one day it will click. Have you been able to find a thread called “Learning Journal” started by NotSoYoungOne? It is a really good documentation of the learning process. I read it when I was starting out. Very helpful. Sorry I can’t paste the thread here…I am still figuring out how to use this forum. Good luck.

I started at 62 one year ago. Having a blast! Keep at it.

If it’s really 15", then yes definitely you should get a 20". Too small a wheel is definitely hard to ride. Very hard to ride.
Craigslist might be your friend to get a cheap one, and once you’re hooked you can get a bigger wheel.

Yeah get a 20".
My girlfriend (41)has done here 6th learning session on a trial 19er (20" real diameter) and has been able to ride 5 or 6 tire revolutions by herself, (about 8 meters)
I am 42 started at 36 on a cross 24er, it was harder than to learn with a 20" but after about 20 hours I was riding it.
15" is too small to learn with.

A 20, or even a 24" will help a lot. Also, a good seat will save a lot of pain. And, if you haven’t already put them on, gloves at a minimum; wrist protectors/knee pads/elbow pads/helmet as desired. I haven’t fallen on my head in years, but I distinctly remember landing hard on it a couple of times while learning.

That first 50 feet is really daunting, but anyone can do it with some time investment…it is not harder than walking, and we all manage that.

There you go:

Not a 20", but a good deal on a beginner uni. And it won’t really lose value after that.

Thanks everyone again! I already found cheap used uni with a large wheel, and will pick it up tomorrow. Small wheel is hard for the beginner because it’s very difficult to to fast enough to maintain a balance.