Wear your armor dummy!

I spent this weekend with my family at our summer home. This was our first time there since winter so naturally there were a few things that needed to be repaired. A water line to the kitchen sink had frozen and split so I spent a couple hours with my head in a cabinet working on the plumbing.

When I got done I decided a nice little MUni ride was in order. I wasn’t planning on going far - just a short ride down the road. Why bother putting on the 661’s for just a short jaunt? I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story!

I’ll spare you the photo of the gashes and blood soaked sock. Use your imagination. Take it from me, a Wellgo B-37 can (and does) do some damage to a shin.

I was mounting the MUni on rough but flat ground. My foot slipped off the pedal and the MUin shot straight out behind me, raking my shin and throwing me flat on my chest. Never done that before!

Worse than the shin is that I think I might have broken a rib. The lower left side of my rib cage is swollen and hurts like the devil. Didn’t stop me from taking another, uneventful MUni ride this morning though.

Steve Howard

Ouch, Steve! Will keep fingers crossed you didn’t break that rib. Bloody shins just give you cachet, but rib damage can slow you down a bit. There was another recent thread that talked about how folks tend to adjust their padding strategy after each new major wipeout. I’ve been eyeing those Brine lacrosse “chest mail” pads…might be worth a look.

Heal soon…


Ouch! Shindentations hurt and injuries on the shin don’t heal quickly. Here is John Foss’ definition for Shindentation:

I still have a small dent and scar on my shin from several years ago when my shin struck a root after a UPD. I was wearing neoprene shin protection (this was before we all discovered Roach armour) which certainly kept the shindentation from being worse than it was. Even with the neoprene pad it still hurt.

I hope you heal quickly, but it’s likely going to be an injury that you’ll see the evidence of long after it’s healed.

this reminds me off all the years i spent playing field hockey in high school and at varsity
with and without shin pads

Re: Wear your armor dummy!

If you can cough or laugh without being being doubled up in agony, then its probably not broken and just bruised. The bad news is that there’s nothing doctors can do for ribs, bruised or broken, so you just have to wait for it to get better (takes ages a few weeks like). You can ride while its getting better though, so its just annoying.


That’s too bad Steve. Hope the rib is not broken. But if it is, would that injury have been prevented if you had been more sensible with the armour?

Klaas Bil

My Dad has dents in his shins from a tobogganing mishap when he was a little kid about 55 years ago. I’ve bruised my shin through the 661s too.

I rode last year with no pads and had very little shin problems (this was road and mild trails stuff, not ‘on the edge of my ability muni’).
the few times I fell and got a DX pedal in the shin was surprisingly unpainful; when I looked at the little holes the pins put in my shin I expected them to be a pain to heal, but they were fine.
This year I’ve been accumalating pads and checking past threads for advice on prioritising; I started with helmet and wrist guards.
I noticed that in most of the video clips of trials and muni that everyone was wearing shin protection, so I thought there must be a good reason why!
Luckily a nearby shop was selling off all its BMX gear at half price so I got some TSG shin pads.
In conjunction with my £5.00 pensioners garden kneeling pads I now feel much safer, and generally wear the stuff even on general riding around.

Klaas wrote:

No - using the 661’s wouldn’t have prevented the sore rib but generally being more sensible would have. Lately I haven’t been paying attention to the position of the pedals when mounting since I’m now able to rotate the pedals while mounting … until this time.

My foot was on the rear pedal but the front pedal was rotated vertically and I didn’t place my foot far enough forward while mounting. When the pedal rotated to horizontal my foot went off the back. From now on I’ll pay more attention to the pedals.

I didn’t mention in my original post the most important thing though … nobody saw it happen!

Steve Howard

That sounds like it hurt! I tend to do the same thing. I never fall when i wear my 661’s. But as soon as i take them off i fall.


Bad luck about the injuries. I hope they heal quickly.

I’ve had a few injuries myself in the last year of serious riding. I’ve skinned both knees and both elbows (in one UPD); I’ve sprained a wrist; I’ve pedal-pinned the back of my calf; and so on.


As one who spends all his working life dealing with the consequences of accidents…

Safety equipment is not the same as safety. Witness how so many UK motorbikers wear race leathers, back protectors, Kevlar gloves, race helmets… and how most fatal motorbike accidents involve the motorcyclist overtaking on a left hand bend. (US readers: we drive on the left, so left hand bends are a BAD place to overtake.)

So the most important piece of safety equipment is the brain, which is why it’s worth putting in a decent helmet.

Gloves will take the sting out of a fall on your hands. ‘Bugshield’ style eyewear is very handy. After that, I’m not convinced that the safety equipment is as important as the practice, the skill, the experience, and the judgement.

Treat every mount with respect. Treat every UPD as a serious failure. Build up to the difficult stuff. Spectacular falls are exciting to watch, and exciting to describe. I’ve had a few, and I’ll have a few more, but my aim is to keep control of the unicycle at all times. The obstacle will still be there next month when you’re a better rider.

Obviously, those who go for the extreme trials and really extreme MUni are in a different category, and need more equipment. Remember, though, no piece of equipment will prevent a broken arm, leg, or neck. Safety gear is an insurance policy, not a first line of defence.

Steps down off soap box.:o