1 foot idle, new way to learn?

Today, I spent 6 hours trying to learn how to 1-foot idle, and finally got it about 15 minutes ago. I was so happy! But, I noticed something. The way that I finally taught myself to one foot idle, was different than what I’ve heard from other people, particularly those who say: “Just lift it off and go for it”. This would never have worked for me. I started off on a wall, and it was really awkward to say the least, but eventually, I thought looking at my regular idling might help. So, I went to the middle of the street and idled. That’s when I noticed something. If I lightened the pressure of my foot on top, it forced a rhythm with my foot on bottom (right). It would have to push, then ease up, then push, then ease up, while my left foot wasn’t doing anything. Before when I tried to idle 1 footed this morning, my left foot contributed a lot to my idling, and my right foot would push, and my left foot would pull to compensate. This led to me instinctively trying to push with my left foot on the crown, making me fall off. But once I drilled the rhythm with my right foot into my brain, it became easier to regular idle. I just kept saying in my mind, “push…push…push…push” and focused on my right foot only. Gradually, I got so used to thinking about only pushing each half revolution with my right foot, and never pulling or using my left, that I could remove it. But, I couldn’t remove it and just have it dangle. During the backswing of a normal idle, there is a brief pause. I just quickly put my left foot on the crown, and within minutes, could idle every time. For today, my record is 67 idles, before falling off. Has anyone else learned 1 foot idling this way? Hopefully that made sense. Maybe this can help someone else who is trying to learn how. Also, did most of you learn one footed idling first, THEN riding? or the other way around? I hope this isn’t redundant, but sharing progress helps us all get better.

Oddly enough, I can ride one footed with both feet (right foot pretty much unlimited, left foot my best, done today, was 10 revolutions) But, I cannot one foot idle. Probably because I haven’t put any serious time into practicing, but that’s beside the point. When I first tought myself one foot riding, I would ride along on my Schwinn 24" and give my right foot a similar rythym; push, push, push, to teach it independency from the left foot. At the same time i would let my left foot barely be on top of the pedal and gradually lift it off. It took much practice and hard work, but gradually I gained a record of 100+ revolutions (after that I stopped counting) Just today I was learning to ride with the left foot alone and found that progress has been easier to say the least, but I’m trying to use some of the same technique. Anyhow, that’s my two cents.

One footed idling was one of the easiest skills for me to pick up. I looked at billnye and said “I’m going to one foot idle.” I lifted my foot up, and bam, nailed 8 revs on the first attempt.

i’ve been tempted to give the one foot idling a go as my normal idling is approaching a respectable level now
cybeross’ post makes it seem a bit more doable
i’ll keep u posted

Yeah. I would say it’s highly doable for anyone that can even idle easily. It’s all in your state of mind.

thats pretty sweet!once i focused 1 ft. idling was just that easy for me too,but you have a non-flat crown…right?more balance needed without a good step.

Actually, I did the trick on my 24" semcycle xlw with gazz tire, which has a flat crown. Maybe it would have been easier still if i hadn’t tried to learn on a muni.

I put Elvis on the cycle.

AS much as I loath 20"ers (a complex subject best left for another post) I ‘got’ one foot idling on Tommy’s pimp ride on the second try. My first attempt ended like they always do -with the idle foot loosing energy until coming to a stop. I couldn’t keep it going with just the one foot, and the only other point of contact with the cycle was at the sadle… so I started pumping there, too, and bam-hey-presto! Idling with one foot on crown.

So key for me was putting some Elvis in the Pelvis.


I still have trouble idling at all, but I can now ride backwards for about 10 revolutions, which I thought was wierd. I’ve been blaming it on the fact that my uni is a 24’’, but I guess I just need to practice. soon…:slight_smile:


i used to ride a 24" uni and i always thought that my riding would have been better on a 20", then i tried one foot idling on someone elses 20", and it worked first time, wayhay i thought, lets get a 20" uni,

then i went home and treid it on my 24",just for the hell of it, and it worked, “oh”, i thought to myself, “i’m just inventing excuses”.

i stuck with my 24" untill i got into trials (it broke), and now i’m back to 20" ( well, big fat 20" with longer cranks)

ever since the day i learned to one foot idle ive always know that it takes practice to learn stuff, not wondering wether on not it would be easyer on a diferent uni.

"AS much as I loath 20"ers (a complex subject best left for another post) "

ok rhysling, u got me curious now
i’m listening?

Exactly right. Learned how to do it on a United… which is for sale.

(I will be impervious to flames, I will be impervious to flames, I will…)

I’s like this GILD: a 6’ cyclist on an emasculated little wheel like that is totaly Clown Shoes(As a staunch defender of the legitimacey of the Circus Folk, I do not endorse or condone the defimation of our pasty faced friends; the term ‘Clown Shoes’ is used here purely as a cultural signifier, and in no way conotes disrespect or hostility tword performers of that ilk- rather it is employed as a mindless sort of slur, intended to offend uniformly, from the Lowly Mime to the Mighty Montey Street Punk). Surely, little or no taint is born by those who’s deminutive size masks the Lilliputian nature of such wheels- but for those of us of larger stature the effect is destinctively invers to that produced by David Byrne’s Big White Suit, as alien to cool as Zero Kelvin is to heat.

(Ya, sing it Johny ‘I was go’in down in a burning ring of fire- I was go’in down, and the flames leeped higher…’)



i may not agree with u
(i dont as a matter of interest)
i have to thank u for stating your case with such conviction and forthrightness
as we seem to inhabit different spheres of the unicycling universe, such disagreements are bound to develop and sharing them could’ve avoided the schtuff in the middle east
not being able to afford to import a serious muni (yet!!), i find myself getting more involved in that arb world of ‘general’ unicycling
a vague and confusing term if ever i’ve heard one
i do a fair bit of performing on the uni
i’ve stopped using my 24 for that in favour of the 20 for the simple reason that the 20 looks better
it looks more ‘impresive’ on the 20
that keeps the customers and the booking agent happy and keeps me fitter than the 24 would’ve

as for the dissertation on the insult value of the term clown,
only time will tell if u made yourself clear enough or if your posting will indeed bring the wrath of chico down upon your muni’ing arse

i think u should be okay
only the stupid clowns wont get it and they cant insult to save their face paint

look after u

I’ve got a 24" and a 20". Here goes…

I think the 24" looks much better; it looks like more of a proper beast rather than a plaything, it does avoid the “clown” look and people singing That Tune at you by simply being huge and quite obviously a serious object.

However I still ride the 20" a lot… it’s a lot more nimble, and so I prefer it for tootling around and jumping on stuff. It does look more ridiculous when you see your own reflection, but it’s agility and lightness lets me do things I can’t do on the 24".

If I could only have one I’d have the 24". But I’d still mourn my 20"…

Phil, just me

Re: 1 foot idle, new way to learn?

In article <phil.8x61n@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
phil <phil.8x61n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
)I think the 24" looks much better; it looks like more of a proper beast
)rather than a plaything, it does avoid the “clown” look and people
)singing That Tune at you by simply being huge and quite obviously a
)serious object.

I was out, in full battle armor, on some fairly serious trails
yesterday (Chabot and Redwood Park, for East Bay folks) on my 29", and
I still got a clown joke from one bicyclist.

It definately removes some of the fear factor. I was out trying to Po-Go Stick the 24" yesterday, wincing as the wheel flexed, and wondering where I was supposed to put my knees as I jumped 2 feet in the air while geting my shoes to rubber next to the crown; the entire time I’m think’n ‘Man, this would be so much easyer on a 20’. Tommy spent most of the last Delta/MUC Rondevue tooling around backward on his Pimp Sem 20, making it look easey. EVERYBODY that road 20’s that day seemed to like 'em alot for the wow-this-is-easyness. Still, I couldn’t help having one of those Cinderella momments as I one foot idled, where all the birds and squrals dance and cavort about- except instead of singing of my lovelyness they’re saying ‘Freak! Freak! Clown Shoes! Clown Shoes!’, and I end up shouting ‘Hulk SMASH!’ and turn our feathered and furred friends into pate with a Tommy’s barrowed 20. :wink:


now that im on a 20inch all the time i have noticed less negative comments than on my past unicycles,24,26 and coker.

i think this is a combination of a couple of thingz

  1. more tricks in a smaller over-all space.

2)smaller wheel meanz less chance of some idiot see’ing a wheel under you to yell at.

I can one foot idle pretty well on my 20" and I want to start learning how to idle with foot extended. Anyone have any tips on this? With the foot on the crown, you have something to balance against, how do you do it w/ your foot extended?

I learned to one foot idle w/ a sloped crown. I didn’t even put anything on the crown to help me. It’s a 20" cyclepro. So no excuses from the rest of you! :smiley:

I tried without my foot on the crown today, and managed about 6 idles at the most, and they were pretty sloppy looking. I think just take your foot off the crown, and slowly your balance will adjust to no other foot on there, at least, it’s working for me.

Which is easier to learn though for all you experts out there? Wheel walking? Or 1-footed riding? Assuming I can 1-foot idle really well. I just can’t quite seem to have anything click when I attempt to 1 foot ride. I feel weird doing things backwards also, as in learning to 1 foot idle before riding. I hope something clicks tomorrow, or I will just go straight to wheel walking.