Sore Legs!

Unicycling is tiring! I have been learning for two weeks and now I can ride for some distance. (I am starting to working on free mounting.) I have been doing rides of about 1/10 mile and I find these rides really takes it out of my legs. (I probably road about a mile total today.) I have not been riding bikes in years, but I do keep active. My guess is that I could jump on a bike for an easy 10 mile ride with no problem. Right now a continuous mile on a unicycle (24") seems like it would kill me.

Does it get easier? I know I am building up quad muscles. Will my technique improve to make riding less effort? When in doubt I find myself “sitting back” to put on the brakes, and then it feels like I am putting significantly more effort in to moving forward. If I cruise fast on the edge of control it feels like it takes less effort. Will I just get better at cruising as my balance improves? Any tips?

I can’t say when my legs stopped getting worn out early in a ride, but at some point I just started to relax. I am pretty sure it’s not entirely a fitness thing. As my balance got better I just found that I wasn’t working as hard keeping the squirly thing under me, and it almost seems like I am coasting.

The other day I was dismounting, and I ended up literally coasting with both feet off the pedals for six or seven feet. I think that this is the same kind of balance that relieves the stress from your legs.

I have been riding a uni since July, and I now have a 29’er that I use to commute 4 miles to work.

When I first started, I could barely ride 100 yards without feeling exhausted. I mean, sweaty and drained. That wasn’t very long ago and now I can ride until my butt gets sore.

Also, make sure your seat is up high enough to take some weight off the peddles.

So there’s no real solid advice other than you’ll notice signifigant improvements very shortly. Just take it one step at a time.

When I was first learning how to ride I would also get worn out very quickly. The problem was that I was putting pretty much all of my weight on the pedals at all times. When learning it’s easier to keep your balance by doing this, but it’s a habit that should be broken off as quickly as possible.

Thank you for the encouragement. It sounds like it does take less effort as time goes on–I can expect to get more efficient.

When i first started to learn, it was a battle to keep on the unicycle, but as time goes on balance gets better, and so does weight placement. Allowing for a long efortless ride which is asome, then u get into bigger things. You
will get it don’t worry.

Riding Distance ad gettting Tired

  1. Make sure that you are keeping your wieght on the saddle.

  2. Newbies tend to fight for balance, Constantly overcorrecting themseves. Correcting ballance means breaking and accelerating. This is very tiring. As time goes on you will get much better.

  3. Unicycling uses many of the same muscles as bicycling but many different ones too. You shouldn’t compare the two activities.

From my own personal experience you will build up muscles and coordination as time goes on and be able to do long rides. Students of mine who almost puked from Physical exertion after riding 200 meters can now ride 5 miles on single trails!


As well as everything else said, having your seat low can make riding more tiring. Your leg should almost straiten at the bottom of the stroke.

Yeah, It’s hard work when your learning, distance gets much easier with experience.

After another few weeks of riding I am finding it much easier to cover the same distance. This morning I rode 2-3 miles with some hills. It was work getting up and down the moderate slopes, but it was doable. It was a beautiful morning and a lovely ride. :slight_smile:

I have now been learning to ride for a month and it has been a blast. :smiley: I can static mount some of the time (30-50%?). I can ride in circles and figure-eights and ride up and down hills as long as they are not too steep.

I did not keep an elaborate blog to document my progress, so you will all just have to imagine it. My elbow is healing up nicely and the rest of the scabs fell off yesterday. My left shin will still be bruised for a while. My progress has not been so different from “dudewithasock”, so I will just post a link to his first month journal:

I found it very helpful (and inspirational) while I have been learning.

Thank you for the encouragement along the way.

Only from a unicyclist. Beaten and battered but having a great time!! :slight_smile: