Why a Unicycle

I am working on a report about unicycling for school and need to know the story of why you ride a unicycle. Stuff like how you got started and what keeps you from coming to your senses. Thanks.

  • a challenge
  • gets me outside
  • a unique skill
  • ego boost
  • commraderie with other riders
  • great conversation starter
  • always another challenge
  • improves balance
  • improves core strength
  • an "excersize" that's fun!
  • fun that is also excersize!
  • less risky than skydiving :-)

When I was about 7 years old I saw another kid ride by on a unicycle. He wasn’t very good at it but I thought it was SO cool. Fast forward many years…

When my oldest kids started riding I tried it, but it was “too hard” and I had enough on my plate just raising kids. When my youngest learned to ride I figured I had better try harder and stick with it longer this time, it would be something we all could share. Six years later my kids only ride infrequently but I’m working on Level 6. I love it, it’s like being back in P.E. class every time I ride. I love teaching the kids and having them teach me. Doesn’t hurt that I stay in good physical shape as a by-product.

Do you think that helps in getting more response?

Maybe not quantity but it certainly helps the average quality by weeding out the responses from the uptight who can’t consider a little whimsy in a remark. :roll_eyes:

Blueharmony hit all the points for me! I’ve been riding for almost exactly a year now. I’m an avid mountain biker and I’ve really taken on Muni as a compliment to the bike. I believe both activities give me skills that apply to the other. I also see the core/trunk exercise as important to build up strength for later life - I’m 42 and I can just barely see my 60’s out on the horizon :wink:

what got me started was an editorial in a bike mag. were the editor was writing about teaching himself to ride an unicycle and I mentioned it to my wife and she got me one for my birthday 6 years ago, stated with a 20 " then a 24" and now on a handmade 29" muni , there is no feeling quite like riding on a wicked bike trail on one wheel

gotta say, blueharmony hit it all for me. i have been out of the loop a whole year and just started back on the forum. Been running for the last couple months and am going to jump back in the saddle tomorrow. Thanks for the tread, got me thinking uni again!

Why would I want to come to my senses, after 32 years of heathy fun, meeting great people, traveling all over the world to ride, and a lifetime of unique experiences? I’m happy here. :slight_smile:

Main reasons I ride a unicycle:
-its different. I don’t like to be just like everyone else
-It is FAR more enjoyable than riding a bicycle
-it actually takes less energy for me to ride a unicycle than a bicycle.
-I love having both hands free. I can eat a sandwich and sip a coke while riding a unicycle with no problems
-everyone in my close-knit community knows me by it, and I like that.
-Simplicity. I have no chain to fall off, much less will rust on my unicycle, and there is less to break.
-portability. I can take it everywhere. I can even put my 20" uni in check luggage and take it on the airplane with no issues.

I actually live in a bicyclist community where everyone rides beach cruisers. We also have a terrible salt spray from the ocean because it is a small tropical island. As a result, everyone’s bikes are rusted and they constantly break. People’s chains fall off if they hit a bump or go too fast. Meanwhile, I easily ride past them on my shiny unicycle because I have almost no friction compared to the fat tires and rusted moving parts of a beach cruiser bicycle. I can also keep my uni inside so that it doesn’t rust and stays looking new. It is almost maintenance free.

I was into BMX as a kid and there was an article on unicycles in my BMX mag. A BMX mate of mine got one, I tried it and was hooked.

Immediately, I thought Fishstaples was speaking for all the people who have that response to those of us who take up this insane activity. He was not really asking the question, but was repeating the reaction of those who do not unicycle.

1- I get a huge kick out of being different.

2- I love a challenge, and REVEL in proving I can DO it.
I don’t know of a more thrilling challenge than riding a unicycle.

3- Remarks like “You’re crazy,” or “What keeps you from coming to your senses?”
are motivation for proving I can do it.

4- I like the attention. I interpret remarks like “Where’s your other wheel?” in a positive way…
as in “Hey, you can do something I can’t do, which is pretty cool.”

5- If the whole world could unicycle, it wouldn’t be different,
and I think it would lose some of it’s appeal.

6- What better way is there to get some good exercise?

Forgot to state the “Why I got started” part:
To prove I could do it after trying mostly unsuccessfully 45 years earlier.

PS -
Possibly “I get a huge kick out of being different,” could be better stated, as…
I get a huge kick out of being able to do something that amazes other people.

My reason is why not?

The ladies love it.

I am 57 years old and have been faithfully exercising since I was 16. I ran for over 30 years, swam and rode bike for the last ten. I absolutely hated almost every day doing it. (I don’t regret it however) I always knew I needed to stay in shape.
I just started unicycling last february. I can say with out a doubt I love unicycling and am addicted to it. I rode 12 miles last saturday and I can’t wait every day until I can get back on it. It is a rush that I never have gotten from any other exercise.

Mike A.

I have to agree with madams, though my approach was different.
I wasn’t much into sports, but in the lucky condition that i was in good shape without much exercise. When i started unicycling i instantly knew that with riding my uni i get exercise in many aspects, it’s fun, it can spread fun when others see you, it hasn’t be expensive and it’s easy to transport and maintain.



Fishstaples, I was looking for some good complimentary activity to my main Summer race kayak paddling. I wanted something great for aerobic cardio, core and balance maintenance in the ‘off’ season. With Uni I found all that and more.

Year two now and I miss riding Uni in the Summer as much as I miss paddling in the Winter. I do need to work a little with free weights on upper body strength but an active Uni schedule keeps me mentally in the exercise mode. Important for us old sedentary types :slight_smile:

Good luck with the project


riding a bike in town, get hit by cars three times in two months.

switched to riding unicycles, stopped getting hit by cars.

too much fun to switch back

I bougtht a unicycle around five or six years ago but it really only came out when I holidayed at ROttnest Island which is a biking-only place. However I had to give up riding the bike to work and other places after about thrity years or so (elbow and wrists). However I have bad feet from a car accident when I was young so the walking every day to and from teh bus stop got too mcuh and so I had to drive a car to the bus each day. One day it occurred to me that every year I rode the unicycle around Rottnest Island on Holidays and that involved more than the couple of kms to the bus so I gave it a try. After the first day, though I was fairly awkward, I knew it was a winner. I have mades arrangements with our bus and train services so that I am able to take it anywhere unchallenged and it works a treat.

Eventually the commuting gave rise to recreation as well. As a result my riding is half commuting and half recreation - all up a bit over 5300km last year and this year I am averaging around 130km a week - 50km the basic commuting and the rest just for fun and exercise. With all this riding I am now becoming quite recognizable by strangers all across Perth which is fine because everyone seems to like a unicyclist.

As I mix and match with public transport, I have stuck with a basic 24" with skinny tyres which probably, for my distances, makes me unusual even among unicyclists.

My hope is to keep it up for another 10 or 15 years. After that the knees and hips should be stuffed. I then intend to grow fat. :slight_smile:

It looked like fun and a challenge. I like doing new things and challenges. I also quite enjoy being seen as being a little eccentric and enjoy the attention (I’m turning into my dad :astonished: ).

I did very briefly wonder “what now” once I’d worked out how to ride without falling off, but there seem to be an infinite number of new challenges, and right now I’m just enjoying riding easy off-road stuff. It’s also surprisingly practical in the sense that I can throw my uni in the back of the car, drive to somewhere free to park and ride into town - far more simple than with a bike where I’d feel much less comfortable mixing with the peds.

Great thread so far…

Interesting responses so far.

1.) I think if everyone unicycled, a lot of drug companies would go out of business. Unicycling should be the new prescription for: depression, weight loss (including muffin top syndrome :sunglasses: ), diabetes control, etc. I bet most people that suffer from depression would have better results with Unicycling with no side effects. Important Disclaimer Do not attempt to begin Unicycling without first checking with your doctor. Unicycling may make random strangers want to talk to you. Unicycling may be addictive. Take only one wheel at a time, and only one wheel per day until you are conditioned to take more (it is common for frequent users of Unicycling to take 3 or more wheels per day - MUni, RUni, GMUni, GRUni, G^2Uni, GG^2Uni, GG^2MUni, et cetera).
[MUni = mountain unicycling. RUni = road unicycling. GMUni = geared mountain unicycling. GRUni = geared road unicycling. G^2Uni = giraffe unicycling. GG^2Uni = geared giraffe unicycling. GG^2MUni = geared giraffe mountain unicycling.]

2.) It’s a great way to raise money for any cause you can think of. It is still a rare sight for most people to see unicyclists riding around in public, so that differentiation draws people to talk to you about your cause (whatever it is).

3.) It’s liberating to have that “floating feeling” you get while riding a uni. It’s like you are defying gravity or something, until you zone-out too much and gravity spanks you.