10-15 hours of practice gets you where, now ?

Not to be a retard, but i read everywhere “typically, it takes 10-15 hours of practice to learn to unicycle” But what does that mean ? Level 1 skills ? 5 revs ? I mean… 10-15 years is an equally (in-)valid estimate, if you know what i mean.

Seriously though, i’m at 8.5 hours right now and i’m just curious as to what the average joe has achieved at the end of that magical 10-15 hours.

my post might not count but i guess i put in 3 hrs before i could ride down the hallway just lightly tapping my one hand on the wall. my arm is broken so i am not aloud yet to “ride” so i am staying bored in the hallway before i can report if i can ride it or not.

its healed but it could be another month before i can let it go so i stopped counting how long i mess on it just balancing.

There are no average Joe unicyclist. Kids are doing unispins within minutes, others take years. By learning to unicycle, as stated in your quote, im 99% sure that it means you can mount onto the uni, ride around, and then unmount when you want to, and not because you just had to walk off.

For now, lets forget about hours. Live by a store? Yes? Good. No? Even better. Pick a day, and uni to the store, even if you can just ride a few revs or have troubles mounting, do it anyways. Now you have a destination and you will be judged by the distances you can ride and for how long you go before having to unmount.

Once you get to the store, buy yourself two candy bars. One to eat right then, and the other, well, you got to ride back home. =p

yeah… i know there are no average joe unicyclists… we’re all freaks… DUH ! :slight_smile: But seriously i was just wondering if there was a concensus among the pros as to what the newbies should be doing after those first few weeks. Mind you, i’m not worried or complaining about my progress. I feel GREAT with my progress… Every time i practise i know i’m doing better… etc. The post was not about me, per se… just a curiousity.

So basically, level 1, roughly speaking ?

Yeah, id say around there. Just the basics of riding. Depending on the person they could still be having some troubles or want to jump into crankflips. =p

The destinations rides will still help a lot.

is uni a lot like other balance sports? i know when i tried to ride ramps on rollerskates, it took me a month. i was frustrated and figured i sucked and would never do anything. then i learned a lot, plat-toed, then i started doing a bunch of tricks, then i broke my arm lol. lets pass the last one this time… :stuck_out_tongue:

its plateau…

i’m doing that sort of thing in my apartment lot right now… the lot is HUGE. the area i’m learning in right now is about 400m long. Overall though my apartment complex is about 4 square blocks of low-medium traffic… fairly smooth terrain (when snow-free that is.) But when i step outside of the complex’s lot… things get hairy. Some steep hills, narrow sidewalks RIGHT close to the busy street. It’ll be a bit before i do much there. I do know what my first real destination ride will be, though. To the gas station, halfway back to the park which has a wicked nice trail/track thing, back to the gas station, and back home. ponders I think i might go try that. The only pain in the rear is i can’t freemount yet.

the creative and visually gifted cannot spell! i just proved it. :roll_eyes:

It’s not simply the number of hours.

It’s how you use those hours.

It’s where you are able to practise.

It’s the quality of the uni.

It’s your level of fitness.

It’s your level of determination.

It’s even partly luck dependent.

Don’t measure your achievements against others, because all that will tell you about yourself is which people you decide to choose as a yardstick. There is someone out there 10 times better than you, but that doesn’t make you useless. Someone else is ten times worse, but that doesn’t make you a genius.

It’s just a game we play. Ride it for fun and you will get better at it. Ride it to be as good as a lot of people you’ve never met, and you will only make yourself unhappy.

It took me 4 months of 2-3 hours a day practice to get unicycling.


I learned 180 Unispins in less than 10 minutes and took me 1 month to learn Hickflips…

I learned rolling wraps in some minutes and took me 15 days to learn outside and varial rolls…

Time to learn stuff is really personal. Just ride and you’ll see!

An attempt at recording my unicycling progress

I also read the ‘label’ that said 10-15 hours of practice is typical for a unicycle. So after buying my beginner unicycle I religiously videoed my progress on an hourly basis. I had never used a unicycle before so I was absolute beginner. The video record can be seen here as short clips from each hour.

As I developed a little every session I also recorded some of my comments that seem to suggest I was offering advice (as if I could!) In fact I was trying to interpret what I was practically learning into an explanation. So you experts out there don’t be too critical of me if you view the movies and think I am talking rubbish. Since filming the first six hours of practice I have gone on to longer runs of 7 miles and also started some muni.

I am curious about another thing. How old do people get and still unicycle? I was born in 1948.

i appreciated the video mc! im glad i watched hour 1 as my arm is “healed” but not so much that i think i can fall on it. i get my cast off tomorrow. i guess i will have to wait til the bone is hard to learn. :frowning:

i also wobble side to side whenever i dont touch the wall. unfortunately i have black marks all over the wall to prove it.

i hope i can ride soon! this looks so much fun. hallways isnt really riding.

I enjoyed your videos very much. For me its more fun to watch a beginner “getting it” than it is to ride myself. Seems to me you made faster progress than most. Looks like a beautiful country road to learn on!

Good to hear things are starting to come together. I’d second Jerrick’s suggestion about a “destination ride”, though I understand the traffic and safety issues at this point. Have you started getting some controlled turns into your riding? Perhaps use a stopwatch to keep track of your longest ride (time-wise) within your parking area. That would force you turn with control while increasing your leg strength etc. Then you could go out into the big bad world with a bit more confidence.


Nice idea documenting the learning process. You’re learning very quickly for an old guy :slight_smile: and I’m sure you’ll be able to keep riding for a long time.

I think the classic 10-15 hour estimate is to be able to ride a reasonable distance and then dismount cleanly. I’m not sure it includes learning to freemount as many people take a while to master that.

Congrats on learning!:slight_smile: Looks like you learned a bit faster than average to me too, esp considering your age (supposedly takes longer the older you are when you start).

@ the end of your 6th hour vid, it looked like you should be sitting up streighter. Generally there should be a streight line from the top of your head to the hub. Try not to lean forward at the waist. Most do the static mount (which it looks like you’re doing starting w/ the cranks horizontal, not 5 & 11 o-clock).

Now try to get good at holding the handle (looks like your uni doesn’t have one, so just grab the front of the saddle as if there was one). Also, hopping, figure 8’s w/ diameters < 3 m., etc. check my signature.

What kind of riding do you want to get into?

You mean still stands? Don’t worry if it seems impossible, a 10 second still stand is a level 10 skill.

I can’t really do it intentionally w/o support, but I have done them up to two or three seconds in the middle of a ride.

  • There are three ways I practice this:
    –All my weight on the pedals
    –Normal weight on the seat (meaning most of it)
    –Most of my weight on the pedals and my but barely touching the saddle (easiest for me)

The first two are equally hard for me, they’re just different.

Old Folks on Unicycles

Loads of people your age are still riding around. Search the forums a little bit and you’ll see. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m 36 and just started riding again about a week ago. I rode for a one or two year period about 20 years ago at my elementary school.

Today was my third official practice session. As of today I am able to free mount, ride forward, turn (reasonably well), and dismount (controlled and uncontrolled) I plan on moving out of my old digs at the schoolyard and heading for an easy trail/fire road for my next ride!

My biggest problem is that I am still out of shape and get winded pretty easily. This is my biggest limiting factor as of now. I’m surprised at how fast I picked it back up; but, it did take me a long time to learn the first time, which should help some of you feel better.

If you are having a hard time. Just try to relax and ride upright and smooth. Don’t force stuff and over stress. At some point everything just “clicks”, your able to ride, then you will have other stuff to learn.

Pity about your arm – I have a few pulled muscles and to continue learning I am popping a few painkillers – but I reckon learning with your bad arm would be a bridge-too-far for me! Get better soon.

Thanks for the compliments and yes the country road I learnt on is also located in a beautiful part of the UK. If you would like to look at the very bridge, and road, I learnt on go to Google maps, turn on Satellite view, and look here:

Bruce Dawson
Thanks dude! When you called me an ‘old guy’ I knew I had made it! – No offence taken :slight_smile: The reality is I am no spring-chicken and I think time is not on my side. I’m doing a little off road but heading towards imminent purchase of 36er so I can learn to ride roads by summer 09 – this will be safer territory methinks. As uni_jim might say, I want to be a Flatlander :slight_smile:

Really appreciate your feedback. I live in unicycle-isolation in a low population area where sheep outnumber humans. My only means of help has been reading-the-manual, online videos and some feedback from Terry ‘Unigeezer’ Peterson. Yup, I got the crank position sorted now for free mounting. Amazingly you also mentioned holding the saddle!! Unigeezer advised this after seeing my videos! So I have been holding the saddle without feeling any rush of purpose through my veins – then I went off road! Wow, holding the saddle was a revelation to keep me on it and only using one free arm for balance was a real surprise!

I intend to purchase a 36er very soon still assessing which one. Narrowed it down to a Nimbus perhaps. Coker appeared to have some criticisms on the forums for quality issues. Didn’t mean to imply stand-stills in my post but have been trying to do this. Will try out the techniques you explained – and thanks for the links.

PS I have stopped doing hourly videos of the ‘learning-curve’ and switched to producing monthly ones.