your worst injury LEARNING to ride?

I’m sure most users here can post some horrific face plants doing downhill or extreme stuff

-= However =-

As a returning rider trying to re-learn something from my youth (and as a 50 yr old) I’m curious what was your worst injury while LEARNING to ride?

So far I’m 1.5 hours in… longest distance about 150 feet. I’ve fallen hard three times. Scraped knee (then went in and got knee protection - yeah, should have had that on to start with), scrape between elbow and wrist, small bruise on right shoulder, generally sore from falling…

Just trying to keep up the courage to keep mounting the beast until I can tame it.

98% of the time I land on my feet. The other times it seems to fall sideways and since it is a 26" my feet end up suspended 6" off the ground as I fall to the left/right…

Pedal bites on shins were probably my worst injuries, but as the pedals were plastic they weren’t too bad. I did fall back once when learning to ride backwards and hit my head on the sidewalk; my helmet prevented any injury there.


Pedal (w/pins) strike on my calf. Punctured the skin then traveled an inch or so…blood everywhere. I’ll have those scars for life :astonished:

While doing an assisted mount my right calf had a sharp pain, like someone hit it with a bat. I rode away but after a few hundred yards I stopped and hobbled back to my car. I couldn’t walk on it for three days and on the fourth day a huge bruise appeared. I think I tore a muscle. I couldn’t ride for a couple of weeks.

One year into riding, knock-on-wood, nothing serious. Probably the worst injury for me was not acute, but rather chronic…over-straining my forearms learning SIF and pulling on the seat handle while MUni climbing. I have installed bar ends in my Road and Mountain unicycles, and have adapted to performing most SIF maneuvers/jumps with both hands on the seat…and my forearms are already on the mend.

BTW, I wear a helmet, wrist guards, gloves, elbow pads, shin guards, knee pads, heavy mountain biking shoes. Wimps live to ride another day!

The only stupid fall I ever took was while trying to stand on the cranks; I was still a beginner, and I had no right to be trying such a trick. It ended with a pretty hard fall on the blacktop. I learned, subsequently, that whenever I want to learn a new technique, there are a whole bunch of other techniques I might need to master, first, before attempting the harder technique. “Gradus ad Parnassum.”

When does “learning” stop. I have been riding for fifteen months and I am learning.

Regarding that one never stops learning, all are learning injuries;)
While really learning to ride (means: trying not to grab the wall or a fence to go a few meters) I had no injuries. Later when larning tricks i had some scratches or sprained wrists, but nothing really bad. Once my shoelaces got catched in the chain of the giraffe and I fell on concrete landing on shoulder and hip, but despite having a blue side it was no big injury.

I think my worst injury was when transferring to a 36 and using shorter cranks. I have found that at my age it was not good to pedal faster than you can run. Not being able to outrun a UPD caused road rash!

Well, the most painful was probably “accidentally learning how to rear dismount as ungracefully as possible”. Basically somehow one foot ended up on the ground with a small bit of my weight with the other still on the pedal and me still in the saddle, the wheel kept rolling forward until the weight of my other foot made it suddenly lurch backwards driving the saddle straight into… Well it caused a great deal of a sickening feeling in my stomach.

Aside from that comes the inevitable pedal bash of the shin from not wearing proper gear with shorts on.

Also a near miss where I was riding near some rusty “lawn ornaments” and nearly kissed them when falling.


While I was learning, I didn’t actually have any injuries. Yes I did fall off, but I fell on my feet.

The first time I was hurt badly was about 3 months when I learned to ride, I fell backwards and broke my wrist! That didn’t bother me, I was back on it the day after (I shouldn’t of, but I did anyway).

Yesterday I had a nasty fall, I thought it would be a great idea to go as fast as I can on a 20", it backfired and I fell forwards, flipped over and got cuts all on my arms and legs. (This was on concrete, too). I went back on it about 20 minutes later.

I learned to ride in the basement of my old apartment building. The worst injury I sustained was botching a freemount, sending the unicycle tire up at an angle, which hit a wall and bounced back with quite a bit of force.

The saddle was still under me.

My worst was getting the ankle between the spokes and crank then falling backwards to wedge it in harder. Took months for feel right again.

I did it again recently thgough not as bad so I’m riding in motorcycling boots now.

Learning on a 20-inch uni without pedal pins, and not being fat, my worst injuries were small bleeding knots from pedal bites on my shins, but that was only at the very beginning.

Later on I got some little scrapes on an elbow and a knee, but only once or twice when doing something stupid. Nowadays I do tons of hops of about 20cm, drops from slightly higher, and sidehops of 1m or so, but am very conservative about it, so I have not yet gotten even a minor injury this way. I also ride a 29 with pedal pins now, but only fell off it once when trying to hop up some stairs. Minor bruises.

Apparently shin guards are needed for learning unispins, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, I guess.

I bought my first unicycle for my 60th birthday. During the next three years I wouldnt have believed I could injure myself so much without it being terminal! OK, pulled muscles and joints but also broken ribs and toe; and to cap it off a fractured pelvis. I consider these to have happened in my ‘learning period’ and all due to unicycling. Although maybe I could have taken up, a safer sport like say, kick-boxing instead!

No problem 'cos three years or so after buying my first 36 I became (unofficially) the oldest person to ride 100 miles in a day on a unicycle - without injuring myself! :roll_eyes:

I was going to post some injuries but now I just want to congratulate moncyclist. that’s quite an achievement. props for staying with it after all those injuries.


Pedal bites. Nothing else worth talking about really. I was well padded up, but never really fell.

I was thinking about this thread today. I was out on a trail by myself for two hours and saw one mountain biker the whole time. It was overall a pretty bad ride on a new trail that was above my skill level. I had a couple of UPDs that hurt. I got to thinking about what would happen if I were to break my leg or arm or bash my face into that tree I just barely missed. Cell service is nonexistent where I was. Anyone have any “survival” stories? It’s not like I’m going to give up solitude and being out of cell range on the slight chance I might get hurt, but this was all on my mind when I took a fall today. I have a couple of crumpled band aids in my bag, but no real first aid kit. I guess you’d have to hobble on down the trail or hope for somebody to pass by. Or just not get hurt in the first place. :o

I try not to think about it, and hope it never happens :roll_eyes:

Glad to see all the posts here. I guess I started this thread thinking I would come back with a reassuring thought like “at least no one broke any bones learning” - however, I read another story elsewhere on the internet where a woman stepped off a curb, lost her balance and broke her collarbone - she was just freaking WALKING - no unicycle. So, nothing in life is 100% safe.