Sweat and Unicycling to work?

Hi everyone! This is my first post. I’m new to riding, about 1 month now. I can freemount, idle a few times, and ride in a semi-straight line sometimes. I live relatively close to work and would eventually like to ride between home and a couple job sites, but I usually wear dress clothes, ie shirt and tie. Right now, riding kicks by butt, and I sweat a ton. Can I expect this to get easy enough that I don’t sweat profusely on a leisurely ride thats maybe 4-5 blocks?


When I was new (one year ago), I would sweat buckets going a little ways. Now I don’t sweat until I climb a steep hill or go for a long ways. 4 or 5 blocks will be nothing unless they are steep. Of course it depends on the length of the blocks. Some can be quite long. What’s the distance to your work in miles/km?

Oh, by the way, welcome!

Thanks for the reply! Its probably not more than .5km each way, nothing long. Your progress was what I’d hoped to hear. There are very low grade hills, but nothing difficult. We’ll see as I get better.

I agree with mbalmer.

You can also pace yourself and take it easy. I ride downhill to work and it isn’t a problem unless I am really working it. On the other hand I end up sweaty riding home in the evening.


It should get a lot easier…

Since you are new to riding I have to bring it up -
Is your weight on the pedals or the seat? If you
are relaxed with your weight on the seat you will
save a lot of energy.

It is common for a new rider to be tense & cautious.
Once you are past that stage stamina should improve
quickly. Just relax…And welcome! :slight_smile:

Yeah, I guess I get sweaty when I’m practicing because its a lot of repetition and pushing myself. Once I can go straight consistently, idle easily at intersections, hop curbs, and take turns on 1st try, it shouldn’t be much work either direction. Btw, I mapped it at 0.3mi on google maps. Its more for the fun of riding to work than either saving time or energy.

I find my self doing both. I am able to relax sometimes, but ironically it takes effort.

You are right it does take effort to relax, especially at first. Once relaxing comes more natural it does make the ride much easier. :slight_smile: I know if I am tense I tire rather quickly, if I just go with the flow I can ride non stop till I run out of time for riding.

I have pretty much restarted this year (late April - May) and although I don’t commute to work (very far) I have been making a point of taking my unicycle out to ride the canal trail before work and then I go to work.

I work in an office and have to dress appropriately also. I usually pack my work clothes and get into work early hit the restroom, freshen up so as not to offend anyone (although I don’t usually sweat that much) put on my office attire and go to work. I really enjoy the rides before work. :slight_smile:

Sometimes I sweat, sometimes I don’t it depends how warm it is outside, how long I ride, how fast I ride. I have noticed that since I have been making a point of riding almost every day, I have within a month + a few days (that is about when I really started riding seriously) gained so much stamina and I seem much more consistent in my riding. I am really amazed what a month of serious riding can do. Practice, you will be fine…if I can…you can. :slight_smile: Enjoy the ride :slight_smile:

I’m not very good at idling or hopping up curbs but I ride all over the place and don’t let these handicaps get me down. I hold the light post at intersections and try to cut up driveways…Working on the skills but not waiting for them. :wink:

I totally agree with you. I’m not good at idling or hopping either. I take my morning ride and hope that as I ride I will improve riding and other skills will develop along the way. I’m not trying to impress, I’m having fun and enjoying riding in the evening sometimes I work on a skill but I figure, hope that as I develop as a rider the necessary skills will also develop a little easier. :slight_smile:

I’m fine riding the 1.5 km to the shops and back in normal clothes without sweatimg much more than walking it.


I think if it’s really easy riding and not too far you’ll be OK as long as you don’t sprint it. The amount of effort (and so heat and sweat) does go down considerably when you get used to riding - when you’re new you’re expending far too much energy on balance (over-correcting) - that goes away on its own after a bit more practice.

I cycle-commute about 10 miles either way, either by bike or unicycle, road or cross-country (I’m lucky to have a choice of routes). I’m always in “race” mentality, so I ride in cycling kit and keep a change of clothes at work. Today I rode a 12-mile rocky muni route and arrived very hot, sweaty and bloody (oops!). A quick wash in the sink (no shower here), clean clothes and I’m fit(ish) to work. Sounds like that might not be practical for you though if you need to go between different work places during the day (and it sounds like you need to look more presentable than I do!)

But if you don’t have to ride too far, and resist the temptation to go fast, I reckon you’ll be OK. Might be worth having a separate pair of riding shoes to avoid ripping up your work shoes on pinned pedals. If it’s raining it’ll not be so practical though - you could wear a waterproof coat but your trousers will get wet (and I find waterproof trousers a real pain).


EDIT: Just re-read your post and realised how short the distances are - you’ll be fine :slight_smile: Welcome to the forum by the way!

UniMD: one more question… what wheel size do you have? If something more than 20" it should be not a problem to go 0.5km without sweating too much.

I’m having 29" and I have about 4.5km and if the weather is moderate I would be comfortable enough with a quick wash and change of shirt. On the other hand when it is hot or pretty cold (much clothes) I get to work pretty sweaty. But luckily I had a shower there so I’m taking this opportunity not to kill co-workers with my stink.

Thanks for all the replies and the welcome.

I’m riding a 24" nimbus with a KH Freeride saddle.

Learning to ride has been a truly awesome experience. It’s been a really long time since I had something that I couldn’t just pickup and do right away. I think our society has conditioned us to instant gratification. Every time I ride I notice improvement in one area or another.

I will say that it is exhausting at times, and my quads/upper legs are always in pain since I was pretty out of shape. I ride about 1hr a day. How long until my legs no longer kill me or am I just going to keep trying harder and harder stuff and always be sore?

It got better pretty quickly for me once I could ride. At first I’d be aching all over after a few minutes of practice - I think it’s because of too much weight on the feet (i.e. not enough on the saddle) and making over-exagerated movements to keep balance. I’ve always been a keen cyclist, so it wasn’t a leg strength or general stamina problem, it was technique. Soon you’ll be able to ride further and further without getting tired as your technique improves - I can’t remember exactly how long that took me but it was probably within a few months of being able to ride that I was unicycling the ten miles to work occasionally (on a 26"). Eventually you’ll be able to ride as long as you like - then you get different things to deal with (numb crotch etc).


Like the others said it’s such a short commute (and flat) that after a couple of days or weeks of practice you should get there in a similar condition that you would have been after walking or cycling on a bike.

When I commute I wear a camelbak to carry my lunch, wallet, water, etc. so I get particularly sweaty on my back but I’m lucky to have access to a shower when I get there.

+1, although I’m probably more sweaty/smelly. :roll_eyes:

But the OP’s distance sounds short enough that once you’re more comfortable on the uni, you shouldn’t really even need to worry about changing clothes. I’m now riding 5+ miles around the neighborhood in the evenings when I don’t commute (although it’s on a 36er), and I’m not even warmed up at all at less than half a mile. At your distance, I’d probably just wear my tie, and draw that many more wide-eyed looks. :slight_smile:

If you raise your seat you will engage the lower quads and will have more muscles doing the work.

Based on my experiences with cycling, your muscles will always be sore but it will become a soreness that you miss when you don’t have it. You might say it’s a healthy soreness, like your muscles did some work and did it well. That feeling of ‘use’ becomes a good feeling.

Hills hurt I don’t care who you are.

“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”
Greg LeMond

“I’ve read that I flew up the hills and mountains of France. But you don’t fly up a hill. You struggle slowly and painfully up a hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top ahead of everybody else.” — Lance Armstrong

“The thing I like to do is not think of it as ‘pain’, but as ‘that feeling I get when I’m riding correctly’. Do that long enough and you’ll actually start to believe it.”
Mark Hicke

But I’m not trying to discourage you. If cycling in any form wasn’t worth it, so many people wouldn’t be doing it.

Sorry, accidentally put my last sentence in the reply I was quoting.

Whoops! I knew I should have had two cups of coffee this morning.

My seat is already as high as I can set it and still reach the pedals easily. Its my lower quads that are killing me. Even running I never had my quads be this sore. It is a good kind of pain, but that doesn’t mean I like it all the time.