A few unicycling questions (Learning)

Hey all!
I’m learning to unicycle, and I just have a few questions.

I’ve been mounting on a wall, and then holding someone’s hand while riding. I can pretty much unicycle by myself.

My problem is, when I mount on the wall, and try to move forward by myself, I start pedaling before my upper body can catch up. I seem to not be able to get started…

Any and ALL advice would be appreciated, even if it’s not about the question above. Thanks!

Hi Liz and welcome to the forum. :slight_smile:

What springs to mind is…are you holding onto the wall for dear life and not letting go when you ought to, try and time the two movements together. Don’t look at your feet, just look ahead.:slight_smile:

And once you’ve mastered that …think BOS …Bum on Seat. I’m surprised you’ve had question that unanswered for 10 hours now :astonished:
Must be good uni weather today :smiley:

Yep, you’re sat on your seat, think BUM ON SEAT, take the weight of your whole body on your seat, don’t try and carry your weight with your legs, which then presses down to your pedals. Wiggle your arms out to your sides.

There are some great threads on here…and tons of help and advice.
Go look at …
Learning journal…
How to videos…

and for inspiration and “WOW” go to the “pictures of your latest ride” thread.


What are you, a picture frame?

To go forward, you gotta get your body weight forward past the balance point. It’s hard to do that when you’re first learning because it’s instinct to be cautious and leaning forward feels risky.

Try to make a conscious effort to lean forward a little bit as you start pedaling. See if you can step down in front instead of behind next time you come off the unicycle.

It might be helpful to push off the wall so you are overbalanced and will fall if don’t move the unicycle to get back under your centre of gravity. You need to then “catch yourself” with the unicycle.

Think of it more as trying to keep the unicycle under your centre of gravity instead of trying to stay balanced on the unicycle.

Thanks you guys!

I realized that I wasn’t sitting on the seat all the way, and putting most of my weight on my legs.
I’m starting to get better at not hanging on the wall for dear life. (Thank goodness)

There was a moment when I thought I would never get better at unicycling. 0_0

As others have mentioned, you need to get your weight in front of the axle to mive forwards, and, when I’ve taught beginners, encouraging them to push off slightly often helps.

It’s useful to understand why weight needs to be in front of the axle.

When riding a uni, somewhat counter-intuitively, you’re never balanced on it- your weight is never perfectly over the axle for any length of time- if it is, you fall off.

When riding a uni, you are never ‘balanced’, but in a continual state of falling off, and, correcting that fall.

So, as you ride forwards, you’re falling off the uni, towards the direction you’re going in, and, pedaling forwards to bring the uni back under you: which never fully happens as you then put your weight forward and repeat the process.

As encouragement to get your weight forwards, be conscious of the fact that falling off the front of a unicycle is almost always not a problem- usually you land on your feet comfortably- falling backwards is often not so pleasant: so, get your weight forwards.

Another safety tip: if you’re falling off, then fall off- do a nice clean dismount and let the unicycle caltter to the ground away from you.

Being too fixated on staying on a falling uni is bad- injuries more likely that way- the very last thing you want when going to the ground, is the unicycle beneath you.

As you get better, you will probably start to grab the seat as you fall- if in doubt, avoid that at the beginner stage- again, it increases the risk of the uni being around you as you go to ground.

Yeah, I can definitely sympathize. I call those moments “yesterday.”

Now there’s a lesson I could stand to relearn. For me the process seems to be:

  1. Have enough success for long enough
  2. Fear starts to fall out of the equation
  3. In my zeal to stick something I forget to get off of a sinking ship
  4. Have a bad landing
  5. Fear reintroduced to the equation

Repeat until something is learned.

I’ve used all your guys’ advice, and I’m starting to be able to do it on my own! :slight_smile:

I also found finding a point on the wall (we’re inside a gym, as I’m part of an actual circus) helps.

Also, I’ve been listening to music and singing, and for some reason that helps too. (Don’t know why…)

This is a particular problem I’m having with learning to ride backwards (apologies, I’m no longer a beginner, but it was recent enough I remember what it was like - shortly you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve progressed). I’m sitting here right now with a very sore tailbone, and reckon next time I try I’ll be putting some padding there - falling backwards hurts, but you have to lean backwards to go backwards and I don’t seem to be able to cleanly get off the uni when I start to fall as I did when I learnt to ride forwards. Maybe it’s that I’ve forced myself to stay on a bit longer as I was bailing too early and my jumping clear instincts just aren’t so good any more.