2 beginner questions

I have only 1.5 month of uni experience, but I am making great progress, taking not to steep hilly roads and riding off road on my uni. Free-mounting isn’t so much of a problem anymore and today I have focused mainly on dismounting behind my uni, instead of catching it behind me.
My first question is : where do you well-trained unicyclists keep your weight when riding down hill? When I hang backwards a little, I have full control over the speed with which I ride down, but it takes a lot of energy in my legs. Naturally I could just hang to the front more, in a kinda falling position and pedal like a maniac, but at some point, my feet would just fly off the pedals taking me along with them :slight_smile:
Second question : I really want to learn how to stop when nearing a kerb or any obstacle that would normally throw me off the uni. Naturally I can watch the youtube vids, but they don’t describe where to keep my balance. As soon as I stop pedalling, the forward speed makes me dismount, or now that I know how to dismount with the uni in front, I hang backwards too much.

If you’re going downhill off-road, and the conditions are bumpy, you’re going to be putting a lot more weight on your feet. This will continue to tire you out, for a while, but things will improve. I think that, as riders become more experienced, they learn how to, very quickly, adjust the weight between their seat and the pedals. I use a t-bar on my mUni, and I’m supporting a lot of my weight on the bar, thus taking the weight off both my seat and the pedals.

Regarding the dismounting: You’re going to start learning how to ride more slowly, to the point that you’ll simply slow to a stop, then dismount.

Cool thanks, so simple, just ride more slowly. I will work on that for several hours tomorrow, no doubt.
Uhm what do unicyclists do when the days are getting shorter. Here in DK there will be a few months where it is dark when I drive to work and dark when I go home again at 4 pm. Only riding weekends won’t do for me, as I am too addicted :slight_smile:

Outfit yourself and/or your unicycle with lights and reflectors and enjoy not overheating or needing sun protection?

You kind of answered your own question. You need to lean backwards a little, with more of your weight on the pedals than normal. (Also drag the brake, if you have one.) I did what you mentioned in your last sentence about two weeks ago, going down a steep hill. Got pedaling a bit too fast, was leaning forward, hit a big bump, and launched! Literally went flying down the hill, tried to run it out, failed, and went rolling. When I picked myself up I turned to the group of lady hikers standing nearby (there are always spectators when you have a major UPD), and said, “that’s what you call going ass over teakettle.” They laughed. (It’s always good if you can make light of it, makes you seem less like an idiot.)

Sounds like you’re making major progress, that’s great! Cheers!

That said, I did have one minor UPD tonight I could attribute to it being nightime - as near as I can tell, I was on a slight downgrade and despite my light giving me plenty of field of view to judge balance, good information about road quality, and ample time to see anyone I’d potentially slowly overtake (as well as making me extremely visible to everyone else) I didn’t get enough subtle visual queues from the overall environment to recognize a downgrade for what it was. That’s something that isn’t always trivial in daylight either - there are famous photos of a river flowing “uphill” that come about because of mis-cues that make what is actually a downgrade look like an upgrade.

Lean the uni backwards but keep your upper body upright. If you lean your body backwards it is easy to lose control.

Pull hard on the handle to stop yourself coming off the saddle. Grip the saddle between your thighs.

It is easier to go faster because the air resistance increases with speed.

Assuming the area is free of traffic, riding in the near dark can be a learning experience teaching you to feel what you are doing over bumps. Don’t go too fast though.

Practically speaking, get some lights. Don’t buy cheap ones. They are inefficient, ineffective and their rechargable batteries die very quickly. For example you see them advertised with warnings like “Please don’t overcharge”. These will get overcharged and die. Or “Please don’t touch lamp body as it gets hot.” A sure sign of inefficiency.

I prefer helmet mounted because it can be pointed where the light is needed. I am still looking for the right short range fill-in lamp to mount on the uni for when I need to look down in tight spots.

I use and highly recommend the Azur ThumII 1000 lumen rechargable as the main light.

Separate lamp and battery. (This is ideal for helmet mounting)
5 W LED lamp (weighs only 50 g)
3.7 V, 16 Whr Lithium Ion battery (weighs 150 grams and fits easily in a shirt pocket.)
Automatic charging from USB with charging/completed indicator (6 - 8 hrs)
Four brightness settings (10%, 30%, 70%, 100%)
3 hrs to 30 hrs run time.
Excellent velcro strap helmet mount included.

Even on full power the lamp body runs cool. I use Level 2 on streets with lighting and Level 4 in total darkness. Can’t imagine needing more light on a uni.

Recommended retail is $139 (AUD) but I got it for $74 online in Australia.

No AC charger is provided but it will work on any typical USB charger with a USB-A socket. The other end of the charge lead is a round 2.5 mm DC connector which is also used to connect to the lamp. No flimsy mini USB-B connectors to break.

Thanks, I believe I actually do that too. Today I had a 2km downhill road, which was great for practicing. It wasn’t very steep, but with a unicycle you feel every small rise and fall much more than with a bike. On the way down UPD’d only once and on the way back up, I had to stop several times, because it was very tough for my legs. I did notice that if you are at the position where you nearly fall forwards, the pedaling becomes much easier. It will take some practice to get the technique right, but once I’m good at it, then hills shouldn’t be so heavy anymore.