Descending down a steep grade is one of those things which are super cool do do on a unicycle, but can seem terrifying before one learns to be able to do it. Ever since I’ve learned to ride a unicycle, few things have left me more scared than the prospect of descending, with even the gentlest of grades causing me plenty of anxiety. When I decided to buy a 29-er earlier this year, I was sure that it would have to be disc-brake equipped, and that I’d use that to learn to be able to take on steeper descents.
My unicycling goals
In 2020, I unicycled 468 kilometers. In 2021 thus far, I’ve covered 457 kilometers, logging 263 of them this month. The 29-er has clearly been my unicycle of choice, logging 246 of the 263 kilometers I’ve unicycled this month. Since I started riding outdoors in 2020, this month has been the fourth time I’ve unicycled 100 kilometers or more, and the first time I’ve ridden 250+ kilometers in a month. I’d hoped to use the last day of the month to get in some more miles, but the incessant rain put paid to that. Per Strava, I’ve also recorded rides on 23 of the 31 days in March, averaging 11 kilometers per outing, which too is nice. I hope to continue to consistently log in more miles and I’m looking forward to riding more on the 36-er too.
In this post, I thought I’d write about routes around Linköping, which are suitable for unicycling. I try consciously to avoid traffic (both vehicular and human!), so I can enjoy my rides in peace, and I pick routes with a strong bias towards asphalt, as I lack experience of off-road riding. In the future perhaps, as I gain more experience, I’ll expand upon this post with non-asphalt options. Another point of consideration for me while designing routes is that I don’t generally design one-way routes, so this means that the distance will have to include both the onward and return legs. Since my current average speed is quite low, the time-cues for rides would perhaps be only relevant to myself so I’ll mention both time and distance for the routes.
I like to setup routes of different lengths so I can simply set off and ride them when I like/can, without having to waste time planning the route on the day of the ride. I’d setup a 30 km ride on komoot last year, and had even ridden it with my wife, on a bicycle, but the intention had always been to do the ride on a unicycle, but I’d not believed that I was ready, after earlier attempts to do 20 km rides had left me totally drained.