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Old 2018-08-06, 10:53 PM   #1
Dingfelder
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New old kid on the block

Hi everyone! To introduce myself,

I'm closing in on 60, and it seems to me I only have so long to start risky new physical endeavors I can do long-term before it becomes foolish or even dangerous to do so, so ... unicycles are what I've chosen, and the time is now. I put in my order for the Nimbus Oracle 24 mountain unicycle this morning.

The risk sounds moderate to me, and learning the skill and riding our fantastic trails here in Oregon with my dog sounds like an absolute blast. A way to stay in shape that's enjoyable rather than merely a dull grind.

And I really like that unicycling looks like a way to have fun for whatever time you can find, be it 10 minutes or for hours on end. I also like that it sounds like something I can do most anytime, anywhere, without having to do all kinds of arranging in advance.

I look forward to getting to know you and learning from your experience. I have already learned a lot from reading back through lots of the forum pages, and I thank you for that.
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Old 2018-08-07, 01:59 AM   #2
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by Dingfelder View Post
be it 10 minutes or for hours on end
I suggest you practice one hour every day. Just for reference, I was a somewhat slow learner. It took me about 6 weeks of daily practice of 1-2 hours until I could ride the 1/4 mile loop around my neighborhood without dismounting. Not so long after that, I was riding off-road, and I was officially hooked. Unicycling is going to seem impossible at first. Don't give up! Wear safety gear. There is a lot of good advice for beginners on the forum. Please share your progress. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 2018-08-07, 07:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingfelder View Post
I'm closing in on 60, and it seems to me I only have so long to start risky new physical endeavors I can do long-term before it becomes foolish or even dangerous to do so, so ... unicycles are what I've chosen,
Unicycling is always foolish. It is one of the things that makes it so appealing.

Quote:
The risk sounds moderate to me, and learning the skill and riding our fantastic trails here in Oregon with my dog sounds like an absolute blast. A way to stay in shape that's enjoyable rather than merely a dull grind.

And I really like that unicycling looks like a way to have fun for whatever time you can find, be it 10 minutes or for hours on end.
The physical effort until you become proficient is incredible. Off road even more so. Be careful not to overdo it.

Protection is paramount, especially wrist guards. Another recommendation is to get some thick high density closed cell foam as hip pads. Put them in calico coin bags and down inside your shorts with the bag folded over the waist band. Mine are an inch (25mm) thick and have saved me from serious falls more than once. Straight down onto my hip from a 29er onto concrete was the worst.

BTW This weekend was the first time I fully appreciated my helmet. Went down a hole in a cyclocross course and landed almost on the top of my head. Couple of bruises on my forehead.
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Old 2018-08-07, 07:13 AM   #4
Dingfelder
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
I suggest you practice one hour every day. Just for reference, I was a somewhat slow learner. It took me about 6 weeks of daily practice of 1-2 hours until I could ride the 1/4 mile loop around my neighborhood without dismounting. Not so long after that, I was riding off-road, and I was officially hooked. Unicycling is going to seem impossible at first. Don't give up! Wear safety gear. There is a lot of good advice for beginners on the forum. Please share your progress. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
Thanks!

I'm definitely a believer that after you get too tired or frazzled, doing any more can just burn in bad habits, so I am going to keep the practice time moderate, like you suggest.

I would be very happy to learn to do something so weird, goofy, and fun looking in only a couple of months.

Already got some safety gear. Helmet, hillbilly gloves with wrist guard, shin protector, knee protectors, and some padded shorts. I know I'm going to fall, but definitely want to be sure I do my part to prevent injury.

Was thinking about a padded backpack of some sort, but I don't know if I need to go that far?
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Old 2018-08-07, 10:17 AM   #5
wobbling bear
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Welcome to the "Old Geezers On One Wheel" Club!
Welcome to the "SEXagenarian" sub-group (Alas I am leaving it soon since I am heading towards "SEVEN****").
Unicycling is a good choice to mature slowly! You don't age while riding!
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Old 2018-08-07, 12:34 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, Dingfelder! You've come to the right place. Lots of tips to learn from the expert members here.
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Old 2018-08-07, 04:51 PM   #7
Dingfelder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
I suggest you practice one hour every day. Just for reference, I was a somewhat slow learner. It took me about 6 weeks of daily practice of 1-2 hours until I could ride the 1/4 mile loop around my neighborhood without dismounting. Not so long after that, I was riding off-road, and I was officially hooked. Unicycling is going to seem impossible at first. Don't give up! Wear safety gear. There is a lot of good advice for beginners on the forum. Please share your progress. Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
Thanks!

I'm definitely a believer that after you get too tired or frazzled, doing any more can just burn in bad habits, so I am going to keep the practice time moderate, like you suggest.

I would be very happy to learn to do something so weird, goofy, and fun looking in only a couple of months.

Already got some safety gear. Helmet, hillbilly gloves with wrist guard, shin protector, knee protectors, and some padded shorts. I know I'm going to fall, but definitely want to be sure I do my part to prevent injury.

Was thinking about a padded backpack of some sort, but I don't know if I need to go that far?
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Old 2018-08-07, 05:02 PM   #8
Dingfelder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
Unicycling is always foolish. It is one of the things that makes it so appealing.



The physical effort until you become proficient is incredible. Off road even more so. Be careful not to overdo it.

Protection is paramount, especially wrist guards. Another recommendation is to get some thick high density closed cell foam as hip pads. Put them in calico coin bags and down inside your shorts with the bag folded over the waist band. Mine are an inch (25mm) thick and have saved me from serious falls more than once. Straight down onto my hip from a 29er onto concrete was the worst.

BTW This weekend was the first time I fully appreciated my helmet. Went down a hole in a cyclocross course and landed almost on the top of my head. Couple of bruises on my forehead.
Glad you didn't take serious damage on that potential head-buster!

This is the helmet I got:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Re the high density closed-cell foam, where is a good place to find it? We have a home depot in my small town, and an Ace Hardware store ... I've never heard of calico coin bags ... you mean like this?:

https://www.amazon.com/Bysiter-Cosme...lico+coin+bags

I do have a bunch of protective gear already but wouldn't mind a little more, think I still need elbow pads, and wouldn't mind something protecting my spine. I got protective shorts but could always put more in there.

Re the physical effort, I believe how hard it will be! Stuff using your core muscles a lot usually is. I don't know how to prepare without hurting myself -- you can't go on a one-week exercise program and expect to see real results -- so I guess I'll just start doing some stretches and knee bends so I'm that tiny bit less likely to pull a muscle.
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Old 2018-08-07, 05:20 PM   #9
Dingfelder
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Originally Posted by wobbling bear View Post
Welcome to the "Old Geezers On One Wheel" Club!
Welcome to the "SEXagenarian" sub-group (Alas I am leaving it soon since I am heading towards "SEVEN****").
Unicycling is a good choice to mature slowly! You don't age while riding!
Thanks wobbling bear!

Wow almost 70 and still unicycling? That's pretty great.

I guess you would know from experience that unicycling can help you stay young. Love the idea of the exercise, and the stimulation has gotta make a person feel alert and alive. Turning on the TV and loafing on a couch or favorite chair after work? A big part of life for most adults, but not inherently exciting. I can't imagine falling asleep on a unicycle though.

I've heard it said that when dementia sets it, it can be a quicker fall for people who don't have a cushion of much intelligence to rely on in the first place. They only have to lose a little mental ability before they've lost way too much to function properly. I'm hoping that developing a high level of balance and coordination will be somewhat of an insurance policy keeping me safer into my old age. If I lose a lot of my sense of balance but have so much already ...?

And hey, being in good shape with a strong core never hurt anyone ...
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Old 2018-08-08, 03:09 AM   #10
Dingfelder
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Welcome to the forum, Dingfelder! You've come to the right place. Lots of tips to learn from the expert members here.
Thanks ExpertBobby!
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Old 2018-08-09, 03:08 AM   #11
bungeejoe
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Get off before you get hurt…

Just remember to dismount and get off before you get hurt…

I never realized how many learning to unicycle try riding it all the way into the pavement! They seem to keep trying to correct the impossible. Thus they get hurt, break things, and need full body plastic bubble wrap.

Just suck up your pride and step off the “Wild Bull” (unicycle). Get off before you get hurt, before it snickers at you while you lay in the dirt in agony as the bull tries putting a hoof or two into your belly. The crowd will be groaning in sympathy with you.

Or you can snicker at having mastered a clean standing dismount with the “Wild Bull” still in hand as the crowd cheers.

I learned to unicycle at 46. Never wore a helmet until one was required to enter my first event, Seattle to Portland-STP. That was several years after learning to ride. Never owned any pads or used any “protection” except cheap gloves until I started competing in mountain bike races on unicycles.

I would break fingernails trying to keep the seat from hitting the ground, thus in my first few months I started wearing the full finger gloves.

Now, I frequently “dress for the crash instead of dressing for the ride”. But I do things regularly that many on this forum call extreme.

Do what you think is best in your situation. But don’t get in the habit of usually trying to salvage the impossible when your skill set is limited to only what is currently doable.

One of the first things you might find useful to learn is the “stepover”. Why? It teaches you the skills needed to get off a unicycle safely while holding the seat from hitting the ground.

In the days of wire frame seat protectors, we all learned quickly how to not damage the unicycle during dismounts. Seems no one thinks that’s necessary anymore and during group rides I’ve watched many unicyclist let their unicycle fly around and hit or obstruct the others in the group Lets all hope when you start riding with any of us we don’t need to worry any.

Enjoy,
JM
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Old 2018-08-09, 09:30 AM   #12
Dingfelder
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Now, I frequently “dress for the crash instead of dressing for the ride”. But I do things regularly that many on this forum call extreme.

JM
Thanks JM! I have lots of protective gear. I doubt I'll have the courage to do many extreme things, though I am likely to muster up the foolishness or ignorance to do so unintentionally.

Quote:
Do what you think is best in your situation. But don’t get in the habit of usually trying to salvage the impossible when your skill set is limited to only what is currently doable.
Good rule of thumb. Sometimes it is hard to keep ego out of it.

Quote:
One of the first things you might find useful to learn is the “stepover”. Why? It teaches you the skills needed to get off a unicycle safely while holding the seat from hitting the ground.
I did see that in a video, and it is one of the first things I want to do and do a lot of. It looks like a very sensible learning step.

Quote:
In the days of wire frame seat protectors, we all learned quickly how to not damage the unicycle during dismounts. Seems no one thinks that’s necessary anymore and during group rides I’ve watched many unicyclist let their unicycle fly around and hit or obstruct the others in the group Lets all hope when you start riding with any of us we don’t need to worry any.
I'm more the sensible, even over-cautious type. Plus I love my stuff looking nice. I was even thinking of padding or taping my new unicycle to keep it from getting scratched up too quickly as I learn.

I don't think of myself as either lucky or physically gifted, and I know I'm not getting any younger, so I'm most likely to err on the side of caution.

Here in my small Oregon town, I've never seen a unicycle and don't expect I ever will besides my own. I don't even usually see skateboards, rollerblades, or bikes. I talked to someone in our only bike shop and I got the impression he might be a little confused about the subject. It will be a long drive and probably a long time till unicycling is more than a solo thing for me. The friends I've told I ordered one look at me like they think I'm nuts.
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Old 2018-08-09, 04:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dingfelder View Post
I do have a bunch of protective gear already but wouldn't mind a little more, think I still need elbow pads, and wouldn't mind something protecting my spine. .
Welcome to the group! This is a great place to learn.

I had my first shoelace wrap a few weeks ago. Went down flat on my back. I don't always wear my camel back if I am just going to be in one area working on skills but since I was going to be on the trail a while I wore it. It saved me, it and my helmet. Now I always wear it.

I too am think about elbow pads. Not that I have ever hurt my elbows but as I get older I am more concerned with injury. Don't heal as quick as I did when I was a teenager.
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Old 2018-08-10, 03:47 AM   #14
Dingfelder
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That's what's on my mind too. Everybody makes mistakes, but the older you get, the harder it is (and less likely you are) to heal from them.

And I remember from my (never very good) rollerblading and skateboarding days that if you fall backwards when there's a wheel involved, it often seems to happen faster than regular falls. Maybe just my perception, sensory overload or something. If I fall when just walking around, I often feel as if I have time to make choices and do it the safest way possible. With wheels I can feel like I'm being launched at the ground too fast to do anything about it.
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Old 2018-08-11, 05:03 PM   #15
Dingfelder
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Wow opened my e-mail this morning and saw that my unicycle is going to be delivered today, Saturday, instead of Monday! Woo hoo!
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