My Safety Plan for Riding Electric Unicycles Exceeding 30 MPH
It’s been 6 weeks since I learned how to ride a self-balancing electric unicycle (EUC). It’s a King Song 16X that can reach 31 miles per hour and weighs 53 pounds. Luckily, I have not fallen at during those 6 weeks until the present, as I just rounded out my first 450 miles of riding.
I’ve been going relatively slow at around 10 mph, but have been emboldened to go faster as I build up experience and time riding. At first I only wore minimal protective gear involving a half-shell helmet and wrist guards, since it was such as hassle putting on all the gear if I wasn’t going too fast anyways less than 10 miles per hour. But as I have gone faster towards 15 miles per hour, I’ve added a full face helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and more heavy duty wrist guards.
However, I just installed “power pads” on the sides of my EUC that have given me far greater points of contact and increased the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and turn. This increased control lead me to hit 20.8 miles per hour yesterday. It felt fast, but not too fast.
I’m itching to go even faster and buy newer and higher performance wheels such as the Veteran Sherman or the Gotway Monster Pro, so I thought this is a good time to pause, to reflect, and to formulate a safety plan since we’re starting to venture into speeds where there’s a much higher probability of encountering a life-changing crash.
I want to have a strategy to keep healthy for the future fall or crash that’s inevitably coming. It’s not a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when” the crash is coming.
Nature of Fall: Expected vs. Unexpected
First, we have to establish what falling means. I’ve fallen a lot in my life while participating in snowboarding, skateboarding, aggressive inline skating, Judo, Aikido, and climbing, so I know a bit about falling. However, falling on a electric motorized vehicle is a qualitatively different even though it retains some characteristics of falling in the aforementioned activities.
There exist a range of falls:
- On one end, we know it’s coming and can…