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Old 2016-07-02, 02:54 AM   #16
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
(having not read the whole thread)
The best way to learn idling and backwards is together. Take turns. Each feeds the other, and each reinforces the other. First step is to just ride to a complete stop, then continue. Meanwhile, practice idling with something to hold onto. This will teach you where in the pedal stroke your power is, and where it isn't.

If you've mastered one of these skills and not the other, have at it. You're already most of the way there, so finish it off! And these are foundational skills that lead to lots of other fun stuff you can learn. Like freemounting, for any of you that haven't yet tackled that....
Excellent advice John. Following your advice some months back, I soon realized that a breakthrough with one quickly lead to a breakthrough with the other. Just learning to go backwards a few feet helped improve my idling ability, quickly allowing me to do hundreds of continuous idles. Getting better at idling then helped me with going backwards, at least it helps me not fall and hurt myself.

As of tonight my new backwards record is 200 feet, and that's after taking 6 days off from backwards practice(was practicing it every day for weeks). Now I just need to learn how to turn backwards and figure out how to do backwards figure 8s.
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Old 2018-10-23, 10:51 AM   #17
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There are various backwards threads on here, so I take this random one and don't want to add onto the juggling backwards, coz I don't juggle.

I was wondering what wheel size yous learn riding backwards on. I reckon the freestyle is best suited but prolly only when riding in a jump or very flat surface. The last 3 months I've been practicing mounting the 36" and I've had some nice 20km rides with it and now I feel I want to learn something else again. I put the 19" trials in the car to give riding backwards a go until I get my UW. the last time I spent some time on riding backwards was when pushing off along a wall and the furthest I got was 2.5 revs, but that was 2 years ago.
For now I won't spend time on learning to idle, but once I can ride backwards, idling won't be much trouble I expect.
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Old 2018-10-24, 09:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
I reckon the freestyle is best suited but prolly only when riding in a jump or very flat surface. [...] I put the 19" trials in the car to give riding backwards a go until I get my UW.
19", 20" doesn't matter. 24" is probably fine too. Just practice (the same ways you learned to ride forward), and you will see progress. Even less secret tricks than usual with unicycling.

You would be the first person I have ever seen that rides an ultimate wheel, but can't ride backwards. Not saying it can't be done, and I would consider them "seperate" skills, but in my experience riding backwards is a whole lot easier to learn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
For now I won't spend time on learning to idle, but once I can ride backwards, idling won't be much trouble I expect.
Not really how it works, unfortunately. They are pretty seperate skills.
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Old 2018-10-25, 12:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
You would be the first person I have ever seen that rides an ultimate wheel, but can't ride backwards.
Everything I do with unicycles is forward or up. An UW is no different. I might rollback a little bit on the UW when mounting it. The only time I stood on one, I found it very difficult, because the wheel hung against my leg when getting on, but for now and based on watching some youtube vidz, Im positive I can learn to ride one. Riding backwards is scarier in my mind, coz of the idea of falling backwards on my ass.
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Old 2018-10-25, 02:27 PM   #20
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
Riding backwards is scarier in my mind, coz of the idea of falling backwards on my ass.
Practice on a 20". Get some tailbone protection shorts. Transition from idling to riding short distances forward and backwards. Wear a helmet. Backwards riding is fun. We don't want you to miss out.

After learning to ride backwards in the conventional way, I didn't improve much, my bw riding was wobbly, and I became disoriented after about 100 feet. Later, when my SIF riding improved, I applied it to my backwards riding. Now, I can ride down hills bw, ride on bumpy surfaces bw and perform pretty tight figure 8s bw.

Using the SIF technique, the unicycle never gets knocked out in front of me. If I ever fall on my ass riding bw, it happens in slow motion. Almost entirely, I am able to jump off the back during a UPD using the SIF method.

I think finnspin's comment about UW and BW riding was meant to suggest that there is a general progression of tricks, and that it's more practical to learn something easier (BW) before moving onto something harder (UW).
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Old 2018-10-25, 04:39 PM   #21
rogeratunicycledotcom
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I agree, they are not totally related tricks.

The riding backwards will improve confidence and balance which will help.

You do not ride backwards at all during idling. You swing forwards and backwards like a pendulum with the top of your body not moving.

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Old 2018-10-26, 01:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rogeratunicycledotcom View Post
You do not ride backwards at all during idling. You swing forwards and backwards like a pendulum with the top of your body not moving.
Makes sense (sort of). At the back end of the idle, the center of gravity is forward, which is not conducive to sustaining riding backwards. The center of gravity needs to be behind the hub to initiate backwards riding...which happens at the front end of the idle...so I'm not sure how you can say there's no backwards riding at all in idling.

I think idling can be a stepping stone to backwards riding. For example: Learn to idle, then increase the size of the idles until you reach the 3:00 and 9:00 position, then practice doing a momentary still stand at the forward and backward 3:00 and 9:00 positions. Using this progression, it seems to me the rider will, at some point, get some accidental backwards rotations, which will put them on the path to longer backwards rides.
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Old 2018-10-26, 05:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Makes sense (sort of). At the back end of the idle, the center of gravity is forward, which is not conducive to sustaining riding backwards. The center of gravity needs to be behind the hub to initiate backwards riding...which happens at the front end of the idle...so I'm not sure how you can say there's no backwards riding at all in idling.

I think idling can be a stepping stone to backwards riding. ......
I agree. If you break down both idling and riding backwards into parts, balance forward and backward and balance sideways, they are very similar. Balance forward and backwards is similar with riding forward, idling and riding backwards. If you start to fall forward, pedal more forward, if you start to fall back, pedal or put more pressure on the back pedal. That is very intuitive, just like walking.

However balancing in the sideways direction is not the same for riding backward and forward. If you start to fall to the right you turn to the right when riding forward. On the backwards stroke of idling and when riding backward if you start to fall to the right, you turn to the left (and vice versa). So to maintain sideways stability on the backwards stroke of idling and when riding backwards you have to turn to opposite direction of the fall. These are very similar actions and many people report that learning to idle and ride backwards are very similar. Some suggesting learning to ride backwards first then idling and some suggest the other way. It likely makes little difference if you learn idling or riding backwards first, they are both very similar and one will support the other. This is especially true in maintaining balance in the sideways direction.
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Old 2018-11-10, 05:46 AM   #24
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I just read through the thread and noticed no-one mentioned holding a hockey stick (or a broom) while learning to ride backwards, which is how I made my breakthrough. Having something to lean against gave me the confidence to nail it.
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Old 2018-11-12, 08:43 AM   #25
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My 9 year old daughter just started practicing both and (since I cannot do either one) she just devised her own method.

In reading this topic I see she is taking the JohnFoss -approach:
She has one hand along a wall or rail and is practicing both.
For backward she keeps a sliding, not holding!, hand for the time being, letting go in short intervals.

For idling she lets go of the wall (too?) quickly and flails about in the open.
When I saw her practicing idling yesterday my heart skipped a beat because it looks like an onset to repeating her worst fall to date.
(falling backward on the concrete on a failed freemount)

But she is the better unicyclist in the house so I guess she knows what she can and cannot do. And as a parent sometimes you have to let them.

Off course she always wears helmet and wrist guards.

Last edited by Quax1974; 2018-11-12 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 2018-11-12, 09:05 AM   #26
Setonix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Practice on a 20". Get some tailbone protection shorts. Transition from idling to riding short distances forward and backwards. Wear a helmet. Backwards riding is fun. We don't want you to miss out.

I think finnspin's comment about UW and BW riding was meant to suggest that there is a general progression of tricks, and that it's more practical to learn something easier (BW) before moving onto something harder (UW).
Im getting the hang of riding a UW now, as I managed to ride 1.5 revs in less than 3 hours altogether. I also found that learning to mount with my non-dominant foot backwards gave me insight in how to take the next revolution. I always found freemounting with my non-dominant foot on a uni very strange, but I think with the UW, I can improve that and not be so dependent on one side anymore.
As for BW, I feel it should be possible to learn on UW, which might be easier to learn than on a uni, because a UW requires smaller movements closer to the center. On the other hand, I do need to keep a certain speed in the rotations to not get tangled up with my feet. Time will tell.
For now Im bit into the UW and backward riding will be for the future.
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Old 2018-11-12, 11:10 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
As for BW, I feel it should be possible to learn on UW, which might be easier to learn than on a uni, because a UW requires smaller movements closer to the center. On the other hand, I do need to keep a certain speed in the rotations to not get tangled up with my feet. Time will tell.
Following that logic, riding an ultimate wheel should be easier to learn than riding a unicycle. I don't need time to tell that that logic is majorly flawed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
For now Im bit into the UW and backward riding will be for the future.
Congratulations, and enjoy riding the Ultimate wheel!
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Old 2018-11-12, 12:02 PM   #28
Setonix
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Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
Following that logic, riding an ultimate wheel should be easier to learn than riding a unicycle. I don't need time to tell that that logic is majorly flawed.
Naturally I agree with that and for someone who never rode uni, it will be mighty difficult to learn to ride the Ultimate Wheel. Any unicyclist won't need much extra time to tame the UW.

Anyways, once you've mastered riding a UW, it might be easier to roll backwards on it than on a uni. When sitting, I'd have to twist my back to look behind me. On a UW, I'd twist already from my legs.
I am well aware I don't speak from experience, as I've only ever ridden backwards while holding a wall and managed two revs unsupported.
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Old 2018-11-12, 04:02 PM   #29
elpuebloUNIdo
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backwards riding

My backwards riding technique has changed since I first learned it. At the beginning, I had my hands out for balance. Small obstacles would cause UPDs. A few times I landed on my ass.

After spending a lot of time learning to ride SIF forward, with some practice I learned to ride SIF backwards with both hands on the seat. Now that I've learned that technique, I find it much easier than arms-flailing. Both hands provide stability. In this position, I can ride backwards down uneven surfaces (grass, dirt trails) and power over small obstacles. Dismounting during a UPD is more controlled. I can also ride bw figure 8s more smoothly holding the seat with both hands.

Recently, I have spent time practicing another variation of backwards riding. I remain sitting on the seat (sitting far back on the ledge of the seat) with both hands on the seat handle or bar ends. My progress is similar to learning to riding forward in this position. Currently I can ride backwards the length of a basketball court, though my motions are jerky/start-stop. I learned this technique after first learning to idle in this position.

I have no interest in returning to the arms-flailing method of riding backwards. Maybe I never learned it so well in the first place. But what I have now is more stable, and I've dramatically reduced the chances of falling on my ass.
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Old 2018-11-12, 04:45 PM   #30
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I have to back this up.

Two hands has to be better for control than one. It's physics.

No hands=low control but better for reactive measures (beginners over reacting)
One hand=medium control but asymmetrical so skills are unevenly developed.(where most riders stay)
Two hand=high control but because everything is symmetrical the skills are harder to develop. (they all have to be brought up together)

Once you start using two hands your stability increases and everything seems easier.

I recently broke my handlebar/seat attachment so I had to take it off and install a seat handle for a week.
Anytime I rode with one hand it felt very unbalanced and felt like I was riding with poor posture.

The replacement part came and handlebars are back on and now the muni feels like an extension of me again.
Upright and balanced... just like walking.
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