20 metre barrier

I’ve been riding for a few weeks now (2 hours/week).

I can ride about 20 metres but not much further.
Has anyone else found that you get stuck at a certain distances. Or is it just me ??? :frowning:

Re: 20 metre barrier

welcome to the board!

no, it’s not just u
the solution is as simple as practise, practise, practise
u can speed things up by focusing on a couple of things
basically u need to do whatever got u 20m far, just do it a lil’ bit better
a lil’ bit smoother
i’ll guess that u’re probably coming off when the pedal on the down arc gets ‘stuck’ at the bottom
this is caused by u shifting your weight from the seat to your feet
when u start feeling slightly unstable on the seat, it’s a natural reaction to put more weight on your feet in order to try n regain stability
to ride the one-wheeled-wonder, u have to find your body’s ‘Override’ switch for this instinctive reaction and relax into the seat
as in horseriding, your stability lies in putting your full weight on the seat
make sure it’s acomfortable one
2hrs a day can easily get pretty uncomfortable, adding to your 20m woes as your boohiney just can’t be sitted upon any more
do some searches on ‘seats’, ‘comfort’ and ‘sore’ (and similar terms) to find threads with oodles of advice on how to make your seat more comfortable

make sure u’re not looking down on the ground when u ride
focus on the horizon, or opposite wall
this helps with a good posture for learning to ride the uni

check that u’re not suddenly hitting a bit of uphill at the 20m mark

and try n make sure that u roll the pedals over as smoothly as possible and that u don’t manically speed-up as u go
this will throw u off pretty quickly
it must be as controlled as possible

how did u get into uni in the first place?
and where are u?
(not in the a/s/l sense of the word, i’m just curious to find out if u’re close to other uni-riders who use this forum)

Great avdvice above by Gild as above.

I got stuck on a variety of skills and the ulimate solution was always. Sit on the seat!

And practice, practice, practice.

Also let go of the rationale thinking and let your muscles start taking over. They have a mind of their own and are invariably right!

Like you I only get in a couple of hours a week and I know that feeling!! Both the 20m barrier and the pain! But trust me, it all comes in time.

I’m about 6-7 weeks into this now, and it’s all about practice parctice practice! and possibly a decent uni?

I did a 4-5 mile off road ride a couple of weeks back which was great fun!
I can ride down steps (6 is about the best I’ve done)
Ride along and hop up kerbs - good skill for continuous riding without having to dismount all the time.
This weekend I rode along a wall 2ft high and 1 brick wide for about 6m - that was an amazing feeling! My skills had progressed this far!:smiley:
Riding along this wall also made for the need for polishing up my near on non-existing drop-off skills, or becoing a mess on the floor!

As for ‘normal’ basic skills - turning sharp each way has suddenly appeared from nowhere. I will admit I really need to work on these basic skills. I can’t even idle yet! :thinking: … but I’m sure it’ll all come with practice practice practice, after all, I’ve only owned a uni for 2 months and don’t get the chance to play as much as I’d like.

I did get a decent uni (Onza 24" Muni) which I’m sure has helped me.

Thank for the good advice guys.

Gild, I’m sure you’ve actually seen me ride as your advice is spot on.

I don’t seem to be able to keep a smooth pedal action… fast slow fast… and I tend to fall at the slow bits. I’ll try and find that override switch :slight_smile:

I’d always want to ride a uni and about 4 weeks ago saw one in a local (Leicstershire, UK) bike shop. After a week both myself and my daughter got hooked and she sort of pinched the uni, so I bought a 20" Trainer from Unicycle.com in the UK.

Just added the KH seat. It makes so much difference :slight_smile:

So it’s off to practice practice and more practice.

Of course my daughter just rides off into the sunset shouting " Come on dad keep up"

Blimey! I saw the thread title and thought someone had sidehopped over a 20 metre barrier! :astonished:

Keep practising. Soon it’ll be the 5 mile barrier. Good luck.

I think I need to practice a lot more for that :slight_smile:

get a coker


Well, as somebody who has watched FAR TOO MANY youngsters arrive at the club, get on a uni for the first time, and be riding around within what looks like minutes, I can empathise. They seem to think I’m joking when I invite them to stand behind my car so I can reverse over them - go figure. :roll_eyes:

Just remind yourself that you have all those extra years of muscle memory of NOT UNICYCLING to overcome and you’ll feel much better. Actually - remind yourself that you are of legal drinking age and do that - it works faster. :wink:


A really good way to get over that barrier and get to ride more smoothly is to play unicycle hockey.

Seriously, there was someone at hockey in London who came along without being able to ride 5 feet, let alone 20 metres, the rate of improvement is much faster when you’ve got something else to think about. It’s also a great way to learn how to mount, as you have a stick to lean on to help you get used to it.

Coincidentally, there’s unicycle hockey in Derby every tuesday, at Darley Fields, whatever the weather. We have all levels of rider, from ‘only riding for 3 weeks at juggling club’ to ‘having played quite a lot of hockey and ridden unicycles loads’. Details of hockey are below in case you’re interested. It’s well worth the trip from Leicester if you’re out that way.


floodlit 5-a-side pitch at Darley Fields in Chester Green Derby. 8.00-9.00pm on Tuesday so turn up at 7.45ish so we’re ready to go as soon as the court is free.
IF you’ve got your own stick bring - we’ve probably got 8 or so sticks at the club but the more the merrier and if you can make sure that er is some form of end protector on the end of the stick to minimise the chance of injury. And if theres a chance that your one wheeled steed can be sporting plastic pedals that would also be a good thing

From Nottingham:
Head to Derby on the A52 when you reach the pentagon island take the 3rd exit the A61 (sir Frank Whittle Way) when you reach the small traffic island next to the Alfa Romeo garage turn left and then immeadiately left again. Follow the road over the bridge and to another small traffic island. Follow this road straight to the end and the pitch is on the right at the bottom of the road.


So anybody is welcome and there’ll be a possibility of a cheeky half afterwards - If you can let me know who might attend with contact details [roland(at)suttonuk(dot)com] then I mail out any further information. and a mobile number so that you can ring if you get lost.

I did it. I got through the 20 metre barrier and can now ride until I hit something. :astonished:

Any advice on turning would be welcome :slight_smile:

it’s official now, that’s one more of us and one less of them

:wink: the best advice on turning was suggested on this forum somewhere by someone
i’ve been dead keen to figure out who because i quote it quite often and want to be able to give credit where it’s due
the advice went something along the lines of
‘ride straight at a wall and don’t hit it
then remember what u did to not hit it and do it again’

turning on a uni is a remarkable ‘knacky’ skill and once u get it, u’ll realise how incredibly difficult it can be to try n explain
counterbalancing and hipsway are but two of the terms used to confuse new riders
get hold of the ‘Search’ function at the top of the page to read thru the reams and reams of threads on the issue
somewhere in there u’ll find an explanation that makes sense to u

i stick with the simplest possible version
it worked for me and if it works for u will save me a crapload of typing;)

while u’re riding along, look in the direction u want to turn (look 90degrees from the direction u’re riding in)
when that side pedal comes over, step down on it just a lil’ harder than u normally would (a bit of trial and error will sort out how hard)
this will cause the uni to twist and u’ll be facing in the desired direction
practise this both ways from the start
one will be possible
one will not
hang in there