What Was Your Worst Unicycling Injury?

Not actually an injury but a very close call earlier this year.

Whilst doing a brake assisted freemount on a freewheel I got my little finger caught in the gap between the brake mount and the saddle.

It was an awful feeling as I couldn’t get it out whilst trying to control the unicycle and working out what to do so I didn’t snap my finger. If I recall correctly I dismounted forwards in a controlled way as to keep hold of the unicycle.

Since then all my braked unicycles have foam wedged in that gap so it won’t happen again.

Not pretty but functional!!

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My worst issue this year but not physically limiting is a damaged or lost big toenail. I have not heard of it to be a problem with other unicyclist but it seems to be quite common with other repetitive activities. In the runners world it is called “runner’s toenail”. I have also read that it is common for long distance hikers.

A few times I have had some toenail damage or lost a toenail after a full day uni ride. The problem seems to be caused by repeated stress on your toenails as you ride. Rather than resulting from one acute problem while I ride, the toenail is damaged or toenails falling off after the activity typically because of the accumulated microtraumas your toe experiences during the ride. That is converted form What Causes Runner’s Toenail? Any other unicyclist have toenail issues from overuse?

In summer this year it had a bad injury. My sheolaces wrapped around the Pedal from the 36" wheel on 20km/h. I fall of and broke my left radius head from the elbow and my right collarbone again. The collarbone hurts a lot also with pain killers. Aweful. The plate came out in Dezember 2022 and half a year later it broke again. Than 4 months bo Unicycle for me. This year was so bad for me, i cound’t ride half a year. The Suggestionen from the last year took me also 2 months with out of riding the uni. The last month , November , it was really hard to find the way back on the uni again. Also the Bones are don’t get better and hurts. This makes me really frustrated on my own, i also lost all my goals in my life. Now, end of Dezember, it’s better and i can ride my uni again but this was more a mentaly question for me.


@Felgenbremse ,

I am so happy to learn that it is finally getting better, and that you have started riding again!


I was lucky to survive a shoe string accident with only brush burns and some strained joints. I was wearing a new pair of shoes with a grippy sole as I had recovered from an accident wearing shoes with a worn out tread and thought I was solving my tread issue. That year was bad for me and injuries but I learned some valuable lessons. One no shoe laces, I converted all of my athletic shoes to easily tuck able bungies and I still like riding in vans but I watch the condition of my tread carefully. I never ride ith out wrist guards and helmet at the very minimum.


Fell pretty hard on my left shoulder today with an awful crack. Fingers got all tingly and I could feel things shifting in there. I was worried I broke my clavicle, but ended up just being an AC joint separation.

Not the worst thing that can happen to a shoulder, and thankfully no head impact. But I’ll be off the trails for a couple weeks at least.

Here’s the rock that did me in. I think I just hit it too fast and with pedals at 12 and 6.


Hope you have a speedy recovery. Stay safe out there.

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My last injury was a big one, the worst injury of my life. It’s a bit of a story, so indulge me. It happened September 14th 2023. Perhaps I should say from the outset that I’m 46, but don’t know how to act it. I had been riding muni for about 2 ½ years and would consider myself better-than-intermediate in skill, comfortable with drops up to 3’, pretty technical descents, and fair at hopping up and down obstacles. This particular day I just had an unfortunate little misstep. Side-hopping a gap between two big rocks in front of a drop of about a foot down to another large flat rock, my tire caught the edge of the far rock, I went over sideways falling directly onto my hip on the lower rock. I knew it was bad, I hoped it wasn’t broken (it was fractured). I was wearing knee and elbow pads, and a helmet. The rest of the story is a cautionary tale in personal safety preparedness. I was alone, half a mile up a fairly rugged trail, and I had left my phone in the car. (Also it was a trail that tends to be lightly used, so naturally no other hikers appeared at all). I realized quickly I was not going to be able to put any weight on the leg. With that realization I nearly panicked. I managed to calm myself with some deep breathing, and resolved to ditch my uni, find a stick and try to hobble back, which is what I did. It took a long time, over an hour. The pain was not crazy bad if I stayed off the leg, but it was grueling. Friends came and drove me to the clinic. I was in surgery the next day and they fit me out with a pretty intense piece of hardware called a gamma nail. Needless to say it caused no end of amusement among the hospital staff as to how I wound up there.
Recovery was tough, mostly just being patient, and I’m still not 100%. It was a long while before I could even look at my unicycle again, much less even think about riding it. I did resume riding after the new year (which felt amazing), but I’m not quite ready to tear off into the woods. I did, however, register for Unicon 21, which feels like an act of defiance or resilience or something. It’ll be my first one, and I am super excited. Sorry for the long story, but hopefully it gives some folks a little reminder to think safety, and know your limits. Then ride like crazy :wink:


Thank you for sharing your story! I am very happy to know that the surgery went well, and that you are still healing/progressing!

I definitely understand your mindset following a major injury/surgery/recovery.

Please continue to provide updates in some way (pictures of my latest ride, etc). It’ll be wonderful to see your progress!


Thanks for the write up, it does show the need to have some communication or backup when out alone. I sometimes travel alone in the back country where there is no cell service and another person may not be in the same place for months. I pack an Inreach satellite messenger so I have the option of contacting someone if I need help and to send an occasional message to the wife so she does not worry.


Wow, that’s crazy bad!
Glad you’re healing and back on one wheel again.
Take care.


I always take my phone with me when I go Unicycling, just so that it something should happen, I can get help.

I hope you get back on your uni quickly.

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Me too, usually. Just forgot on this occasion. If I had been immobilized on the trail, and shouted “HELP!” repeatedly, I think someone would eventually have heard me. But they would have still had to get me out of there. As bad as it was, I know in a lot of ways I was lucky. I’ve always been pretty lucky, luckily for me :slight_smile:

October 2021, and I’ve posted about it elsewhere here - in a hurry to mount a 36er while evening was falling, I started a rolling mount. The pedal was coming around faster than usual, and I was going to meet it higher than sensible, but I jumped a little higher to as an adjustment… and when the pedal made contact with my foot, my knee popped. I rolled off the uni to the side. My left patellar tendon tore, and my knee was instantly useless.

I kinda knew what happened (recognized the sound/feel of the tear). Turned my KH Percussions into a makeshift splint, and used the uni as a crutch to limp back to the car, then drove myself to the hospital.

The patellar tendon is the one that connects from your kneecap down to your shin. Without it, my kneecap was, um, floating a little higher than normal…

They had to open up my knee about 6" and sew the tendon back together. The surgeon said it was “very humpty dumpty” and that I’d “done a good job of it”, but that it should be a “full recovery”. Which is more or less true. There’s scar tissue in there that I feel, and a lot of the nerves in my knee were severed during the surgery so there’s a lot that I don’t feel, but it’s fully functional. I’ve got better than 95% of my original (hyper-)mobility back, and it’s well within the range of “normal function”.

So of course, I started riding again as soon as I could, around September 2022. And on my first day of re-mounting the 36er (learning a static mount 'cause I’m never rolling mounting it again), I had a terrible mount attempt where I didn’t quite catch my balance and wobbled right up to the edge of a path. I bailed too late, and landed partway down an embankment… spraining my ankle.

Anyway, all that is in the past at this point. I decided to take all of last year off for the ankle to heal well, and I’m glad to say I’m back at it. Haven’t pulled the 36er out of storage yet but the 24 and 29 are getting some good use while I rebuild all the muscles and do a good deal of practicing mounting and dismounting.

In the truest of unicyclist spirits, I’m thinking about buying a 32 (solving my “problem” by buying more unicycles!) and spending time on it after I’m feeling good on the 29 again, before I re-tame the 36er.

- UniT


So glad to hear that you’ve recovered and are back riding again. :blush:

I’m almost two years on from smacking up my knees pretty badly, and I’m still lacking in confidence on my 36er, so I stick with my 26er most of the time.

Oof. I hear ya, and I hope to get over that hump sooner rather than later. I’m generally a “get back on the horse” kinda guy, having started on skateboards back in the 80s.

But I’m definitely reluctant to re-mount the 36 right now, and I’m sure the lack of commitment lead to that sprain. We’ll see how I feel after a month or so on the 29, and if a 32 enters the picture or not. Maybe returning to the 36er will be next year’s accomplishment (it was a constant battle with myself to not try unicycling again last year while waiting for the ankle to fully recover, but staying off the 36 while riding the others should be easier).

Or maybe I’ll try to find a 29/32 guni and just stay off the big wheel for a while…

Regardless - for the moment, I’m happy with re-learning what I used to know. Got some solid rear dismounts off the 24 yesterday, which I’d forgotten about until I re-read my learning journals here from 2012. Found I can’t stall like I used to, but almost managed a SIF static mount (well, the mount was fine, but the riding wasn’t). Feels like it’s all coming back pretty well so far.


Fairly minor, but still my worst uni injury to date. Stepped off the front on a very short but fairly steep little downhill run when out on a muni group ride saturday, and spun the pedal into the back of my leg


I have become an evangelist for these “impact” type padded shorts. I did not know about them then, but had I been wearing these when I had my accident I’m certain I would not have fractured my hip. Particularly for muni riders who mess with rocks, or street riders, or anyone who just wants another level of protection.


They look a bit Mad Max-ish :rofl:

Indeed. Or like Darth Vader’s underpants. There are an excessive number and variety of these on Amazon. They’re marketed to snow boarders, skate boarders, ice skaters and others who’s butts are in jeopardy :smile:

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