Survival tips

Hi guys, I’m an oldie complete beginner (61). I’m ready to put in the hours as I know it’ll take me longer, but at the mo I keep hurting myself by hitting the ground rather than managing to step off. I’ve ended up on my back a few times and today went forward and grazed my knees and hands. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I’m doing/ not doing. Many thanks for your help

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Welcome :+1:

Get some proper protection. Helmet and wrist guards as minimum.
Maybe also something for your shins, knees and elbows. Find some nice tutorials like UniQuest - Tutorial Series For Beginners and then just practice, practice…

Oh and start with a 20" or 24" and make sure the seatpost is long enough so you get a similar (or slightly lower) extension of your legs as on a regular bike.

If you need better advice filming yourself and posting here will make it easier to give you advice.


Thanks very much Hammer. Yes I’ve got a helmet already and other protection ordered today! Need to get quicker at getting my feet off the pedals and back on terra firma

Make sure your pedals aren’t too grippy. I started with super slick ones and if it was too humid out my feet would slip all around so I never got hung up on those when bailing.

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I consider helmet, wrist and knee guards to be a minimum. If I’m going to be trying something difficult and there are rocks, uneven concrete or anything else that’s I could fall on then I’ll also add padded shorts, elbow and back protection. For my back I use a hydration pack with a piece of hard plastic and some d30 padding in it.

It depends on the activity and the outside temperature as to how much I’ll wear. I don’t like getting injured, but it’s really easy to wear too much protective gear in the summertime. Downhill or on rocky terrain is where you need it most. Uphill falls tend to be short and slow and on flat ground or easy trails you don’t need the extra gear.

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Also, falls on your knees and hands are very common and to be expected. Falls on your back, hips, elbows or face are rare, but they’ll come at you from out of left field and they usually hurt.

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A pedal hit in the shin always happens to beginners, but I didn’t encounter this accident for years (but I just do very basic stuff like… Riding).
If you don’t have proper shin guards, you can use cardboard, it does the job very well.

When you’ll start being comfortable with your unicycle and start to dismount from the back… Always pay attention where you put your feet.


Thanks guys, pads have arrived super-quick so I can put these ideas into practice.


I rode bikes for a long time, then at 60 began unicycle riding. When mounting a bike you coast and adjust your feet. To make sure I didn’t do that on the unicycle, while leaning on a post getting ready to go I would repeat to myself “pedal-pedal-pedal” over and over, then take a deep breath and go. It worked wonders! So be sure to pedal, and sit up straight. That should about do it.

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Thanks, I’ll try that.

You can also try next to a railing for a while till you get the feel for the wheel. With a suitable railing, you could be riding away from it ok in about an hour (but your mileage may vary).

Thanks Gockie

I did the exact same thing and even continued repeating that while riding for a few seconds sometimes.

Probably need a few more details. How far can you ride? If not, are you using a fence, poles or something else for support? What sized wheel?
I never ride without gloves. Use a helmet normally but have never bothered with the rest. (I’m a slow cross country/bike path type rider, not real muni…:wink:
A fence rail about should height is ideal for learning, your hand should just be resting on top of it, not gripping it but you can grab when things go skew whiff…
Other than that it is just putting in the hours.
Good luck.

Thanks for your advice. Im still right at the start and think I do as you say need to put a lot of time in.