Not falling over on ice

I was out with my dogs for a bit this afternoon, and the paths and trails were really icy. I unicycled down the path without a slip, and got all the way round the ride without being affected by the ice. That was until I stopped, as soon as I stepped off I tried to stand up, I fell flat on my back!

How does that work then?

Is it because we are at the point of perfect balance when we are on a unicycle? Or should we just carry on unicycling and forget about this walking lark?

Prob something to do with the perfect balance on a flat surface but on any slope this simply wouldnt be the case because you are leaning to adjust yourself.
Screw walkin


I noticed the same thing a week or so ago when our roads were practically pure ice. I could unicycle on them quite easily but then had trouble walking once I dismounted. Durr.

I think it more has to do with you trying to stop with your foot down, for me it works better if you step off with a bit of slide in your step. Uni in back and dont try to stop on a dime as you wont have a chance.

Walking is a jerky motion, you are altering the forces through your feet considerably and large forces are imparted when you put your foot down on the floor. When riding at steady speed on the flat you are imparting an almost constant force on the tyre, and this force is only enough to counter your wind resistance, which is very small.

In short,
Walking: big force for small amount of time, causes foot to slip
Riding: small force continuously, force never exceeds limit of traction so wheel never slips.

This is really a very interesting phenomena. So I’m just plain chicken to try on ice. How is it mounting on ice?

In reading other mention of this, the consensus was that studs aren’t even necessary.

I was able to free mount quite easily on the ice, it was only getting off that was the problem.

I’ve found that doing a rolling mount on ice works out quite nicely, as it’s slightly harder to speed up from a static without having the wheel spin out.

While I’ve never unied with studded tires they don’t seem too necessary when you’re cruising along in a straight line, but they’re probably quite useful if you ever feel like turning. Without them to turn you either have to do it in a very wide arc or slow down quite a bit and turn v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

The best way to mount on ice is to pretend you are carrying an open bowl of eggnog and walking on… ice. Very smooth, no jerky motions.

One can ride on ice without studs. For a bigger “forgiveness envelope”, or for negotiating mild slopes, studs really help.

Check out for some ice riding photos and text.

I have only used the homemade studded tire shown there, but it would be cool to try a commercially available tire. Be a while, though, it’s t-shirt weather here in San Antonio!