Monday, August 12, 2013

So you want to learn to unicycle?

As many of you know my other passion outside of running is off-road unicycling. While I haven't ridden at all this year (Yikes!) I do plan on getting back to it very soon; been pursuing this fat-biking thing over the past several months but that's fodder for a future blog post...

Anyhow I do often get asked about how to start out learning to unicycle. What brand of unicycle should I buy? What wheel size? How do I learn? How long will it take? Etc...  So for those folks interested in learning I'm going to share my own experience in learning to ride and try to address the more common questions.

Why learn to unicycle?
As a runner I gravitated to learning to unicycle after a prolonged feeling of burnout. I wanted to try something new yet still stay active. I soon discovered unicycling (once I learned), complemented my running very well. Why? How?
  1. Unicycling puts you in a very similar body position as running; very upright and not hunched over like you'd be on a bike.
  2. The speed and leg turnover while unicycling is very much like running and is a great way to maintain your leg speed without the pounding of running.
  3. A unicycle is fixed gear meaning that there is no coasting, as long as your moving you're pedaling. Just like with running there is cruising!
  4. Unicycling is a highly cardiovascular activity, it takes a lot of work to crank along for miles and miles!
  5. Unicycling builds great core strength as you initiate turns from your core; you steer the unicycle with your core. To stay balanced and ride forward you must execute good upright posture with strengthens your core and lower back muscles.
  6. A runner is the perfect candidate to learn to unicycle because to be a dedicated runner takes a large measure of stubbornness and perseverance both qualities one needs to learn to ride!
Still interested in learning to ride a unicycle? Good. Read on!