Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling unco

Arriving home from "official" unicycle club after school. My D.I.Y. trailer extension is a bit overloaded here and tends to push up on the hitch when I have this much weight in it. Really needs the axles moved further back.

Not much has been happening on the cycling front this month apart from the usual trips to the park with Carla and commuting to work.

The unicycling obsession has continued though and despite horrific injuries to the backs of my legs, my groin and my pride, I have persevered and am finally making some progress. It's not like me to stick at something I'm not enjoying but I am determined to give it a good shot while we have the use of loaner "bikes". We are not in a position to buy any at the moment, but if the kids really get into it I might keep an eye out for second-hand ones at the right price.

I have managed to stay on for 80 - 100 metres on a few occasions and tonight rode for a very wobbly 60 seconds. I'll take that as progress even though I don't feel confident at all and zig and zag all over the place.

Laugh if you must! I'm going to need crutches sooner or later anyway. An hour of this got me traveling further without constant restarts and I'm riding unassisted now.

Riding through our local park on the way to school for a unicycle practice. The school is great as it has large areas of flat asphalt and lots of handrails to grab onto when you are first learning.

Hunter and Finn have not put as much time into practicing as I, but are coming along great. Finn has ridden 40 metres or so and Hunter about 10. It seems to be a mind-over-matter thing as some days you can't ride more than a few feet and start to get angry with yourself, and other times you can ride a considerable distance with relative ease. 

It has been hard on my body though! The backs of my legs are covered in scrapes and pedal-bites from the inevitable wipe-outs. I usually land on my feet but sometimes the uni gets stuck underneath you and you fall on top of it. The other problem is the "jumping off to save myself routine" really aggravates my bad ankle. Its been a year since the operation and I'm sitting here typing this with my foot in a bucket of ice-water to bring the swelling down. That's after only an hour of practice, but once I get the hang of it I think the ankle will cope. I don't get much pain cycling anymore until after a long ride.

Hunter makes the "gap".


Marla said...

Nice progress. Are those actually crutches you're using to balance with?

jumbly said...

I admire you for sticking with it, I tried to learn to unicycle last summer and quickly gave up. It is brutally difficult and the injury to minutes spent partaking ratio is like nothing else I've ever tried!

Antoine said...

They are the crutches from my ankle rebuild.
I borrowed one last summer from a teenager down the road but gave up after only two hours.
My boys asked if they could join the school unicycle club and it's been helping them and watching them progress thats spurred me on.

Doug said...

Once you have the riding part down, you could take up juggling. It could be a whole new career in show biz.

I didn't realize it was so dangerous and difficult to learn. I'd love to give it a try, but I don't think I'd run out and buy one just so I could. Are there lugged versions of uni's?? It's darn cool you're doing it with your kids!

Antoine said...


It's not that dangerous, I'm just an unco! Most of my injuries could have been avoided by wearing long pants or body-armour, but it's too hot down here now to ride in jeans and I don't own any leg protectors.

I managed to do a face-plant yesterday while starting off. I wasn't even moving and lost skin on my forearm, hip and knee. Luckily I was wearing my cycling gloves at the time.

I have improved a lot this week and are bailing-out less. Just got to get the steering sorted, I can't find the handlebars on this thing!

Lugs you say? I don't know if you can get lugged ones but a few of the custom builders around do unicycles as well. Hunter cycles of California for example make some beautiful custom steel frames.

Jeff Moser said...

The Unicycle has been on my to do list for years. There's just always something else that takes priority on my 2 wheelers. Glad to see you giving it a shot!

I tried one years ago, and didn't have much luck!

Antoine said...


Believe me, I have two wheeled priorities, but losing skin on a borrowed wheel fits my budget at the moment.