You know the old adage: You can fall out of the saddle but you need to get right back in it. Well, getting right back in the saddle is a lot easier if you don’t have any injuries to tend!
Unicycle riding, like bicycling, comes with its share of risks. Everyone who learns to ride a bike has taken a spill at some time or other. Scraped hands and knees are, in some ways, just a part of learning.
Well, if that’s the case, there are even more scraped hands and knees among unicyclists. Learning to ride the one-wheeler is even more challenging than biking, and comes with its share of unplanned dismounts, no matter how you look at it.
On that note, it’s imperative that you always have safety gear, including sturdy footwear, a helmet, and knee, elbow, and wrist pads. These will help protect you in the event of a fall or a collision.
However, it’s just as important that you learn good habits in the event of a fall, in addition to wearing the proper safety equipment. Here are some pointers for what you should and should not do in the event of a fall.
Don’t Stick Your Hands Out!
When you feel like you’re losing your balance or hit an unexpected bump that throws you from the saddle, one of the most basic instinctive maneuvers is to throw your hands out. Don’t do this!
Sticking out your hands before your fall is literally a recipe for broken bones in your hand and wrist. Even if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with sprains, scrapes, and a lot of pain.
Instead, keep your arms close and tucked in toward your body, so you can help lessen the impact to your core as you fall.
Don’t Brace for Impact
It might sound dreadfully counterintuitive, but don’t brace for impact. Doing so is like “going rigid” and only invites injury. If you can train yourself to do so, try to “go limp” before you hit the ground.
That will help your body distribute the energy instead of directing it into one “stiff” part of you, be it your hip, hand, elbow, or knee. Getting tense before hitting the ground only invites the likelihood of fractures and injuries to tendons and ligaments.
Tuck and Roll
Now for the best advice of the bunch. The goal of falling safely is to dissipate all the energy from the fall over as long as possible a course of time and over the greatest possible area.
If you’re falling to the side, try to roll over your back and shoulder as gently as you can. If you fall over forward, keep your arms close to your face and chest as you fall and keep your chin tucked low. If you can, absorb some of the impact through your arms before rolling over your shoulder to bleed off the energy.
The Importance of Safety Gear: Helmets, Knee, Elbow, and Wrist Pads
These tips should guide you as you learn to become a better unicyclist, but wearing the proper safety gear, for protection and comfort, is still imperative. A helmet is a must, and it’s a good idea to wear knee, elbow, and wrist pads as well to provide further protection, as well as sturdy, comfortable footwear.
Visit Unicycle.com for a broad range of protective gear, including helmets, shin guards and leg armor, knee pads and elbow pads, and wrist guards, which when worn together offer extensive protection to riders.
If you have any questions about any of their protective pad sets or other safety gear, please reach out to their customer service team directly at 678-494-4962.