What got you into riding a unicycle?

How did you get into unicycling? I always wonder how people get into hobbies that aren’t common. Since I was about 18 I’ve been in motocross and mountain biking which led me into motorcycles trials. Did the motorcycle trials for about 10 years on and off and very impressed with the balance some people have. I’m always watching YouTube bicycle trials and wanted to try that. Those videos led me to uni trials vids > muni vids of great riders such as KH. A unicycle was cheaper and easier to transport around than the trials bicycle so I gave it a go. I’m still a total begginer but am loving it. Now I just need to find other local people that might be into it. A few of my motocross friends sound interested but not sure if they would put in the time to learn it. I guess I’ll be solo for awhile or at least til summer when I bring it around my mx friends.

Sorry I forgot to do a search for something that has probably been answered a lot of times on here. Can I Delete a thread?

Yeah, this topic has been up before, but what the heck…

Although there was some interest/intrigue always in me concerning unicycles and I would have tried to ride if I had ever had the opportunity, I somehow never did (one friend had one and I had even asked to borrow it and had said yes, but somehow never happened).

I was very into freeride/downhill mountain biking as well as trials mountain biking. Actually I was on an 8-day freeride mountain bike trip to Porte de Solei in the French Alps where after a great day of riding with sunny weather, it rained for 6 days straight! After sitting around one day, riding in rain gear supplemented with trash bags and getting totally muddy and soaked the next day and then sitting around another day, we walked around the pedestrian shopping zone of a village and a guy from a bike trials shop was riding it in front of his store and offered to let me try. I tried for about a 5 minutes and thought, “I could do this in the rain” and then asked if I could rent it for the week… I did and then learned to ride in the parking garage in the next 2 days and bought the muni at the end of the week!

It’s definitely worth trying, but for a variety of reasons it is generally harder to motivate people than you might think (especially when you know how much fun and addicting unicycling is!). I think the best candidates are people who:

  • like challenging themselves, solving problems
  • deal with failure and frustration well (perseverance)
  • are self-confident and don't mind people staring and making comments
  • don't have a problem "doing something weird" (this eliminates at least 2/3 of the population)
Of all of my mountain bike and bike trails friends, only 2 have even tried unicycling and one started before I had met him.

At least in the beginning you’ll probably ride by yourself a lot (unless you’re really lucky). Then when you start riding with others it’ll really help your riding even more, as you see new riding styles and things to try that you never thought of. Again, it stays interesting :slight_smile:

I think my biggest hurdle with my mx friends is they’re too cheap to buy one and learn. I have one friend who him and his son both ride trials and mx. I’m going to lend him my club 24 when I get the new KH 26 I ordered. If his son likes it I’m sure both will get into it. His son is extremely talented with BMX , mx and trials so I think he will pick it up quick and like it.


Everyone knows that unicycles are chic magnets.

Why else would you ride?


saw a girl riding in a park. Was very impressed and said to my grilfriend: It is amazing how humans are able to learn controlling an instable system and even make it look so easy. Next birthday I got a unicycle.

I turned 62 last March and I decided to try something new and challenging so I bought a cheap craigs list unicycle. The idea was to convince myself I wasn’t over the hill. Didn’t work. However turns out I really enjoy it.

For me it was a series of nudges.

First a friend brought one up to a camp I was working at. A few of us decided to see who could learn to ride first. There was real competition for uni-time at first. Eventually I got to the point where I could push away from the building and make it to the tree, about 20m but never got much further than that.

That fall I was working in the middle of nowhere. it got cold and I needed a new past time. On a trip to town I saw a unicycle hanging from the ceiling of a bike shop. I bought it, studded the tire and re-learnt how to ride. For the longest time I could turn left, but not right. One night after a few wobbly pops at my friend’s erging I hopped on and could turn both ways. Sometimes when you forget you can’t do something you can.

A year and a half later I was in a not very bike friendly city and got hit three times in two months riding my cargo-bike in town. Driving was wasteful and expensive, walking and the bus took too long, and biking was too dangerous, so I decided to take up uni-commuting. I bought 26x3 Yuni built some tire chains and away I went. The bigger wheel and fatter tire were a game changer and I started to take it kind of seriously.

I heard about Ride the Lobster and that is when things got really interesting. I built a road wheel for the 26, ordered a 36, and started swapping parts around trying different things and experimenting until I crashed going 30km/h with a lead weighted 27" road bike wheel, 100mm cranks, ineffective brakes and a backpack full of textbooks. Reconstructive surgery was successful but I lost a lot of training time for RTL.

After RTL I started traveling for unicycling, going to the California Mountain Unicycle Weekend a couple times, and joining the uni-tours in Uzbekistan and Nepal. It has become an excuse to travel and a great way to meet many new and interesting people. It is a big enough community that you can find unicyclists in many countries but small enough to feel like a community.

I don’t ride as often as I used to but feel more a part of the group than ever. Next trip is the Sedona Muni Weekend in Nevada this spring.

I play the recorder and ride unicycle. My wife tells me it’s a good thing we were married before I picked up these hobbies!

I always was fascinated with the idea as a child, I had a book about bears and wheels since I was about 5 that made me wonder about it and I saw someone riding one to a gas station. I remember asking my Dad how it was possible for a unicycle to go around a corner since it must be nearly impossible to go in a straight line at all. Once I was older a relative bought one on a whim and I spent a few hours learning to ride it after which I bought my own.

My story is simple. My wife bought me one as a joke Christmas present. Kind of back fired on her, my son now uses that first one and I have another 3 of my own. I’m also looking at a fourth when my bank balance allows! Still torn between 650b and 29" though. Or I might get a nicer one for my son first.

I had previously stumbled across the usual YouTube videos, Kris Holm and co, and thought it looked cool. I’ve also always been drawn towards the more ‘niche’ aspects of biking, singlespeed, fixie and so on, so I guess uni was the natural next step. However, I have to say I doubt I’d ever have bought one myself. In hindsight, I missed out on a lot waiting on that random joke present!

Funny, a lot of wives seem to hate it if their husband’s rides a unicycle and encourage you to dress up like a zebra and go mountain biking.

My parents bought me one as a joke 13 years ago. They said ‘i bet you can’t ride it’… Well after proving them very wrong the addiction continues along with the number of unicycles in the shed :smiley:

My wife loves that I do something so unusual. In 2014, less than a month before the UniNATS (Australian Nationals) I expressed an interest in going the 2015 event, thinking it was really too late to get ready for 2014. She said “why wait” and organised all the flights and accommodation.

I spotted a guy riding a 36er in Kings Heath, Birmingham, he was riding on the road, I was amazed at his talent and wanted to learn but didn’t know where to start. Then I found a unicycle for sale in Worcester bike shop and bought my first one a 20inch.

I’ve answered the main topic of this thread in some past threads. If I were less lazy right now I’d track them down and link them to this one, wouldn’t I? :stuck_out_tongue:

But Shmolagin’s posting of the Bears On Wheels book reminded me of some fo the early influences of unicycles in my life. I don’t know if I had seen/read that book before, but if not, there were plenty of unicycles and odd, one or more-wheeled devices in the Dr. Seuss books. I’m sure these were part of my early interest in unicycles (which I mostly remember seeing in a parade when I was 5 or 6).

That got me wondering why one rides a unicycle to a gas station. Fueling up? Getting air? Or was it also a convenience store?

Anyway, for those of you that have never read the literary blockbuster Bears On Wheels, it is not to be ignored. The story is simple, but has a clear message; that one wheel is just the right number. :slight_smile:

Bears on wheels is available as a pdf book via google.

I started out of curiosity, and a need to regain fitness - how hard can it be?
The reasons were:
Bicycles are too big - no storage at home, no room in the motor home.
I don’t have anywhere to go - riding around in circles, or short distances is fine for me.
Painful arthritic hands - golf, windsurfing, and motorbikes have taken their toll (my hands don’t work, but my legs are fine)
Muscle strength - I tried an exercise bike and hated it, Uni is my new gym equipment.
Cheap £16 Ebay purchase (+£50 upgrades / £100 club 24 / £350 26" fattie = £500)
Novelty factor - it’s interesting, very few people have the riding skills (big fish, little pond)
The ultimate wheelie - I never could keep a push bike wheel up when I was younger.
The adrenalin rush - the buzz of staying on, and the fear of falling off.

Best of all - I enjoy it. Everyday I try to learn something new.
12-months in and I am still learning.

As a kid growing up in California I was fascinated with stilts, pogo sticks and skateboards. A kid in the neighborhood had a unicycle that he couldn’t ride and asked if I wanted to buy it for 5 bucks. I ran to my Mom got the 5 bucks and started trying to learn how to ride it in the backyard. I just thought, “if they make it, it must be possible to ride it”. I had never seen anyone riding one before. It has changed my life and has kept me in shape for 43 years now.

Before I discovered unicycling I was (and am) big into street luge. When you talk about obscure extreme sports, street luge is the kind of thing that there’s two people in every state who do it but they never end up meeting.

I’d gotten the urge to learn a “trick sport” but I was bored of what seemed available. Skating and BMX take themselves far too seriously and whenever I get on roller skates it turns into a Final Destination movie.

One day I saw a youtube video featuring some shirtless guy pedalgrinding a rail on a bright pink unicycle and the gears started turning.

I used to ride mine to the gas station/convenience store a few miles up the road all the time, usually to come back with a bag of energy drinks in each hand. Made for a relaxing night when I was less busy in life. It’s actually how I learned to freemount - for each house I passed on foot, I’d attempt a freemount. If I was on the unicycle, I could keep riding. If I came off, I’d try at every house, on the dot. Made for a nice challenge and now the only time I need to dismount is when I go inside the gas station.

Unless I’m on my 20", but I don’t know if they’d appreciate that. :slight_smile: