Minor sprains and pulled muscles are fairly common in extreme unicycling but by and large unicyling is a fairly injury free sport. There have been very few “major injuries” in the history of unicycling. This is a little surprising considering what people have attempted on unicycles.
Note that you can ride for years without injuring yourself if you ride within your capabilities and don’t push yourself too far. Wearing the proper protective gear makes even minor injuries much less likely.
The most common injuries are probably “shindentations” and “calf tracks” - bruising or drawing blood from a pedal hitting you in the shins or calf. Leg armour fixes this but by and large its mostly short term pain and you can always show your scars off later.
You’ll get the odd bruised or bloodied hand from an unplanned dismount at speed on to concrete or some other nasty surface when not wearing gloves. I and a few other people have managed to burst blood vessels in our hands doing this. You get a lovely purple dotty effect on your palms. I wore gloves for a while after the last one of those.
Sprained ankles can result from nasty sideways dismounts or falls when riding offroad on rugged terrain. My worst sprains came from falling sideways off a 7ft giraffe and two falls descending a volcano crater, both fairly high risk activities.
In terms of broken bones from unicycling accidents, I know of 3 broken ankles and 2 broken wrists. I think it is between Ken and Dustin as to who has had the worst accident while unicycling. Both managed to totally snap through bones, requiring much addition of metal to their legs.
I sprained my ankle once when I was just starting. I got going too fast and got flung off the front of it. While I was running to catch my balance I stepped on my foot sideways! So I didn’t sprain my ankle riding the unicycle, but running away from it.
I think Dustin wins hand down (or legs down). If I remember rightly, he broke both his Tibia and Fibula which required a lot of hardware to stabilise. I broke my fibula and tore my deltoid ligament, although it was quite a bad and unstable Webber Type C fracture.
Unicycling is an extremely dangerous sport. In 10yrs of MTBking I’ve had nothing more than a few scratches and 7 stitches. in 8yrs of TaeKwondo I’ve had nothing more than a few whacks in the head and some bruises. In less than two years of unicycling I’ve had 12 stitches, about 4 badly sprained ankles (two were hyperdorsiflexion injuries while doing drops, the others were sticking my foot in awkward places on UPD’s.), three sprained fingers, numerous scars all over my shins and back of my calf from my pedals, one Weber C ankle fracture that had to be screwed back together.
> I was just wondering how badly people have hurt themselves on their
Lots of minor bumps and scrapes. I have a nice set of
unicyclist’s shins, though my 661’s are protecting them nowadays.
Only one severe injury (though nothing like Dustin’s recent accident).
I broke my wrist last year playing hockey. I thought it was a simple
sprain until I drove the 20 miles home. That was agonising - not to mention
dangerous - and I went straight to A & E. Still hurts in some positions.
A couple of weeks ago I had a really simple fall while muniing over some
(easy-peasy) roots. I somehow managed to pull, twist or otherwise knacker
my shoulder. I was incapacitated for three days, and it still hurts a bit
I haven’t been on a uni since, so I’m really looking forward to the unimeet
at the weekend.
Anyone who’s been riding with me knows that I fall a lot. Mr. Wiggins
reckons I don’t know when to bail out. I just think I’m a clumsy oaf with
a penchant for ballistic UPDs :-). Anyhow, the fall I had was the sort where
getting leaf litter up my nose is the worst I should expect. I guess you’re
just going to land awkwardly some of the time, as Dustin found.
At least I landed on soft earth, unlike the big rock that broke the fall I
had on the way down from Snow Lake (Unicon XI). Now that was
Unicycling can be dangerous, but so can talking to your neighbours.
Everything is a calculated risk, and I prefer muni to the maunderings
of the bloke next door. But I don’t accept that it is “an extremely
sport” as Ken says. I believe rather that a growing number of people are
doing extremely dangerous things on unicycles, that they would not otherwise
sprained right wrist from upd’ing backward while trying to figure out how to do stairs
(tip: dont start with the 12 step flight)
hurt the same wrist from repeatedly trying to haul myself onto a giraffe trying to learn the freemount
in both cases i immobilised them for a week in a brace and allowed the body to heal itself
it works for minors
I think the propenderance of the evidence does not support this. Unicycling is about as dangerous as taking a bath. Doing extra-ordinary cycling like long drops, stairs, etc, is like doing acrobatic diving into the bath. Sure, you can get good at it, you can have fun- but you’re only as safe as your judiciousness. Regardless of this, you’re eventualy going to step on some soap. Plenty of folks have incured serious injuries (and, yes, death) MT*ing- just because you did not does not does not support your assertion that unicycling is an extra-ordinary risk.
Old argument -in which I’m usualy on the other side- encouraging the use of safty equipment.
BTW: I’d trade my head-pain for Dustin’s totaled leg any day; I just gotta figure out a way to get him into the Karma Transfer Device…
Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
> Mr. Wiggins reckons I don’t know when to bail out.
> I just think I’m a clumsy oaf with
> a penchant for ballistic UPDs :-).
…but I’ve never disagreed with that.
> Unicycling can be dangerous…but I don’t accept that it is “an extremely
> sport” as Ken says. I believe rather that a growing number of people are
> doing extremely dangerous things on unicycles, that they would not otherwise
> have done.
Indeed. These days more and more unicyclists are doing things that were
unheard of a few years ago - and the number of reported injuries has
increased accordingly. I’ve set my limit and I’ll wimp out of stuff that
Alan’ll go hurtling down. Even so, I accept that I could hurt myself
even keeping within those limits. It’s a level of risk I’m prepared to
accept for the amount of fun I get from muni, Coker rides, hockey etc.
Of course, the worst injury I’ve suffered “on” a unicycle was when doing
less than 5 miles an hour on a ride so short and flat that there was no
need for helmet and wrist guards was there? Doh.
Oh yeah, and double-double tying your laces is plenty. Not.
Dangerous or not?
There’s only one thing I know: YESTERDAY night I had a distortion to my right ankle, and doctors sayd me that i must stay in bed for 12 days!
Now I’m here writing in this forum…
Dangerous or not?
Mark Wiggins wrote:
> Of course, the worst injury I’ve suffered “on” a unicycle was when doing
> less than 5 miles an hour on a ride so short and flat that there was no
> need for helmet and wrist guards was there? Doh.
> Oh yeah, and double-double tying your laces is plenty. Not.
This seems an appropriate time to post the link to the picture again:
Hey, Mark, you should have done it again tonight, then gone trick or
treating with the kids
At 40 years old I actually did a 12’ fall off a uni in 2000 (PPD = poorly planned dismount). I broke my back, smashing the L1 and L2 vertabrae together and at the exact same moment disinigrated the navicular bone (connects the ankle to the forefoot) in my right foot. The “best” foot surgeon in the hospital had to call out for a specialist because he said that I turned the bone into powder and broke a few more little bones in the foot too!
The second doctor told me that I would be lucky if he could ever get my foot shaped back to fit into a shoe. I was out of work for over 2 months with almost unbearable pain coming from two places constantly (except for the Vicadin times). I could bearly tell which pain was worse.
After 2 major foot operations (I still need one more) and alot of metal I was back on the uni playing basketball with Team Semcycle. It still seems easier to ride the uni (half the body weight) rather than walk with all of my weight on my foot.
This year I broke my pinky finger while playing uni basketball. I was hit from the rear by another uni and fell backwards onto their wheel. My right hand (except for the pinky) went through the spokes of the downed uni. That darn little finger got hooked on one of those spokes and broke at a 45 degree angle to the severe right away from Mr. ring finger. Seems that little baby finger couldn’t support all of my body weight on it’s own. I should have took a picture of it but my instinct told me to grab it and force it back towards it’s fellow fingers. Crack, cccraaack, kkRRRaCk! Pretty close, on to the hospital for casting. bugger still hurts.
Back to the basketball court! Dustin, Accord and the rest of the injured, I do feel your pain and wish everyone pain-free nights and unicycle dreams.
> I know we’ve all been hurt somehow or another on our unis. Lately I’ve
> been on a bit of an injury spree, but I learned to hop and I got a sweet
> video of me falling down some stairs… I digress.
> I was just wondering how badly people have hurt themselves on their
I’m currently not riding due to a pulled hamstring. I was Muni-ing and
aggressively attempting to ride up a couple different steep grades
when… ouch! If only I had a Fantastic Klaas Bil unpatented portable
Inclinometer with me I could tell you exactly how steep they were. Next
time for sure!