Need some motivation, learned at 60 after pushing from a buddy, rode a lot, never got to backwards riding, nor idling. Gradually tailled off riding at the years went by, now only comfortable on a 16" and even then kind of nervous because skills have deteriorated, perhaps because I only ride once a year on my birthday (78). No surprise there. But with aging comes balance deterioration generally and I’m wondering if I can get it back with a lot of uni riding? Except kind of need motivation from a kindred spirit - in Halifax, Nova Scotia. any unicyclists out there feeling their age? Bill
First of all, good to see you back on the saddle.
I used to windsurf a lot when vacationing in the bahamas. To me it’s a very physical sport when learning and having muscle strength and power is very useful. Not only for the work but for quick reaction and padding. However, I always marveled at the older gents with no strength, being able to take out a very big sail and windsurf. Their skill, coordination and efficiency made it a possible to be able to windsurf with “zero mistakes or minimal correction” that would require rider power. In addition, to manipulating the wind to do all the work.
However, when it comes to unicycling. Especially for a beginner or “re-learning” after a long injury. You need strength/power/flexibility to “save yourself/escape”. When your mind “goes blank” or you feel “trouble” you need to jump off or kick out the unicycle with lightning speed. We don’t always have the convenience to be able to “just step off”. That’s fine if you are just riding. However, when you get in trouble during a free mount or doing a trick like backwards or SIF you need to get off quick. I’ve had a lot of injuries in the beginning falling “into the unicycle”.
I am an older rider approaching 60s, but the number one thing I do besides unicycle riding is to maintain my endurance and power. Running and weight training with machines and speed controlled(aren’t they all?) treadmills and steppers.
In my opinion, unicycling is “not” a finesse sport. It is a brutal freestyle activity above bmx and a few levels above skateboarding. You need the ability to take a fall and extra muscle and power for the “escape reflex” to prevent injuries.
Although I’m a little younger at 73 I’d say it comes down to “use it or loose it”. And I’d also say based on my experience you can regain proficiency with action.
I have not noticed any balance deterioration but rather think it is more about muscle fitness and just burned in muscle memory.
Somebody needs to organize a group ride in Halifax. You may not be able to ride along on a unicycle, but perhaps a bike or one of them electric self-balancing unicycles? Then you don’t need to worry so much about falling (as long as you take it slow).