With Race the Train this Sunday I thought it was about time to dust off the 36’er and start…err… train-ing!
I haven’t ridden any significant distance on a uni for a long time, in fact I’d reckon you could count the minutes spent on unicycles in total in the last couple of years on one hand. It’s not that I don’t love uni’s, it’s just that they ended up hurting my balls way too much.
Riding a unicycle off road is just that much harder than riding a mountain bike – both physically and mentally. As an example there’s a rocky climb I’ve often rolled up mindlessly on the Mojo HD which required so much focus and effort on the uni. A big part of the appeal and fun of riding uni’s off road is the challenge, and the feeling of satisfaction when you get it together.
I’m super glad I got out for a decent length ride before Sunday and was able to blow out at least a few of the uni cobwebs. While the basic skill of riding a uni doesn’t seem to go away, mounting a 36’er is something that gets a little rusty and requires practice, as does reading the terrain uni-style vs MTB. I usually prefer 137mm cranks but am running 150’s for a bit more confidence on Sunday. Fitness-wise it’s brutal too – unicycling uses muscles so differently to riding a bike!
Did my balls hurt? You betcha! I spent a while tinkering with the saddle angle along the way to help minimize discomfort but unlike a bike there are limited ways to distribute your weight on a uni and being way out of practice couldn’t have helped much. I’d guess crotch management is as big a topic of discussion now in the uni community as it has always been 🙂
I was completely destroyed by the end of the ride. It felt great. Training complete – roll on Sunday!