Right now I am a level one rider but I can idle very well and ride backwards a little. I’ve avoided hopping and riding off curbs because I have Torker CX uni’s that I don’t want to tear up. (A Nimbus Trials uni will arrive as my Christmas present.)
So there I was riding my giraffe for the 2nd time. I was at a school parking lot and getting much more confident. I idled successfully and took John Foss’s advice to practice dismounting in different directions. So then I felt saucy and set the goal of riding around the school building. To do so meant I first had to navigate a less than perfect approach onto a sidewalk. Then I had to duck and ride under some tree limbs. Never had to do that before! I got past the limbs only to find myself headed off of the curb! Probably wouldn’t be a big deal if I had experience riding off curbs but I don’t and hear I am on my giraffe. So I gave it my best shot (I had no choice) and, you guessed it, did not succeed.
Fortunately the fall was uneventfull but what a moment… It was a classic “Oh Crap!” moment where you see it coming and there’s nothing you can do about it. I did have a glimmer of hope I could ride it out so that kind of added to the excitement.
This reminded me of a great story from John Foss:
"One of my scariest unicycling experiences was on perhaps my second ride on a 12-footer. This was at the USA convention in 1983. I’d ridden it once, and decided to get on it for the parade competition. All the unicycle clubs rode around this indoor field house at the same time. So I’m up there with three clubs, feeling all cool & tall. Until I dropped one. As it fell I thought “Wouldn’t it suck if it lands right in front of the wheel?” Which of course it did. I had about two seconds to make a decision. Not enough room to idle or back up, it was a choice between a dismount (to a rubberized but very flat floor) or try to power over the club. I grabbed the seat and pedaled hard… and bumped over the club! Followed by an adrenaline rush that felt like my head would explode. No more clubs on tall-tall unicycles… "