Unicycling after Injury: Day 1 Log

This will be a different entry. I want to “log” my progress back to my unicycling skills after an extended break of 3-4 weeks of zero unicycling to get over a minor knee injury. Share with you’all my speedy progress back to full unicycle power, again. Hopefully. In the past, it has taken about a month or two. Providing, I get at least 3-4 sessions a week.

I’ve been riding for 6 years and have become proficient in basic riding and have learned a few tricks. So, let’s see how long it takes to get back to my original skill level
-SIF(strong side only, 1/4 mile distance and SIF idling)
-Backwards riding(half mile distance or longer, turn within 20 ft)
-Idling: strong and weakside, no hands or hands stationary
roll back mount(strong & weak side), SIF mount(strong side only), over-the-top mount on strong side)
from seated idling > > SIF idling > seated idling >…back, etc.

So, know I’m almost 100%. Actually, about 95% healed but “eager” to get back on my unicycle. Can I still do it. Did I forget everything? Free-mounting, SIF, backwards? How about just riding forwards without hurting my knees.
---------------------------------------------------Day 1-------------------------------------------------------------
Goal: just sit on the unicycle this morning for about a 15 minute session before work.
First impression, wow, where did the air go? Hadn’t ridden and unicycles been in my trunk for a bit. Time to pump the tires.

No problem, my dominant(strong side) is my right foot/leg=injured knee. So, used foot to push down on the pedal(6 o’clock) and rose up /rocked back/caught top pedal. No problem. Then left foot instantly started idling, like it was auto pilot. I also instinctively rocked my upper body and felt my butt centered on the saddle. So, my senses were on. Good control and no wild loss of balance, or mental “glitches”. All instinct. I was in a empty parking lot near the Griffith Park Sr. Center(with lots of handicap rails around ;o), but I just used my raised car trunk for support. No wild swings or bumping into the car. Success, for now.

Well, as I tried to bend the bad knee forwards for a slow 1/2 rev forwards or 1/2 rev backwards. I can slowly feel that “knee stress/pain” as the quad power muscle slowly generate power. Nope, Don’t push it. It’s happenned before, and re-injury will set me back another week.

I could probably ride with “minimal” leg power, if I can maintain full saddle weight. However, if I should hit something and lightning quick reflexes take over then there goes my knee again. Time to quit.

Let’s try again, tommorrow…slam…


I’ll be interested to be reading about your progress.

All the best and good to hear you’re mindful to stop before causing re-injury.

From unicycling, I’ve only ever had a minor sprain grade 1 (no tear) Anterior Talofibular and found that medical people, I dealt with don’t tell you exactly which parts are involved unless you ask.
It gave me confidence to know my path of rehabilitation separate to what health professionals, in a hurry, are willing to advise.
Must say, I did as much research as possible.

A little over a year ago I broke my arm falling off my 26er (a moment of stupidity on my part) and was back riding within 3 weeks. I was tentative at first but rarely think about it now.
I’m pretty sure you’ll be fine but I’ll enjoy following your progress.
All the best.

Unicycling after Injury: Day 2…and probably the same Day 3

So, my knee is day/day getting better. However, still not 100%.
You know how I know?

a.) My leg will “cramp” if I go down stairs briskly. Actually, the mechanics and leg power required to walk downstairs is quite “stressful”. Basically, you are momentarily doing a “one leg” negative squat. Also, resisting gravity which wants to make you go down faster. All take for granted when we are healthy and strong. You feel it when you are injured.

b.) I can squat down fully, but it takes about 5 minute to gradually sink all the way down. No pain. Just feel stiffness. Then to come back up? Nope. Not going to happen. Holding the correct squat posture I cannot rise. or two to go all the way down. No pain, but stiffness from lack of stretching this area. However, I cannot “just rise” like I normally can do. Need use my hands and tip forwards for leverage. This at the very minimum should be the “test” for me to meet “minimal leg power” standards.

Since, I rarely fall when I was riding. I forget what would happen from just a simple, Step off UPD. Where you continue running forward or squatting down as the unicycle is left behind you.

Years ago, I blew up my left knee. ACL, meniscus, cartilage, fractured femur. I remember the doctor recommending that I go down the stairs backwards for a while, post-surgery and, pre-surgery. It made all the difference in the world.

Wow! How timely. I’m not as experienced but sounds like almost exactly what I experienced from failed free mount. Will be watching. The stair thing is what is hardest at the moment. (But rapidly improving)

In Novemeber 2020, I was a month into 36er ownership and I’d put in several dozen miles, and could take either foot off it’s pedal and keep riding. I was overconfidently flying down a slight hill with a sharp turn onto a sidewalk, and I lost control without much 36er UPD experience. The seat carried me forward instead of dropping safely behind me, and I went down hard. For a second I thought I was fine, but then I saw my mangled lower left leg. Two weeks later, they screwed my bones together and told me my ligaments were shot. There’s lighting a fire. In December, I mounted my 29er and left the neighborhood. I could only just walk, but there was no reinjury. I took the next year off work, and at the height of my practice that year, I rode 15-35 miles everday for a month. The following December, I set both a new speed and distance record in one 3 hour session: 23 miles in 50 minutes, a short break, then 23 more miles.