A little positive press for unicyclists

I’m a newcomer to the forums, so I am not quite sure I’m doing this right. But I thought y’all might get a kick out of a column I wrote for today’s Modesto Bee newspaper about learning to ride.


I can relate to this story. I am currently in my 7th week of riding and managed this week to free mount. Now I need to increase my distance, and learn to idle… and I am 49 years young!!! I have now gone from 4 wheels to 2, and finaly, to 1 and I love it!!!:smiley:

Great article! Makes me wonder what happened to the family that bought my very first unicycle from our garage sale… Keep overcoming those struggles (with the unicycle!), it’s worth it.


I liked your article a lot and it’s refreshing to see one written by someone who can actually ride. In particular, your paragraph beginning, “You’ve got to want it,” struck a chord. So many people believe that riding a unicycle is about balance. It’s not. It’s all about determination. I also found your “leaning left” quip to be particularly humorous, albeit pointedly accurate. I take it we won’t be seeing a follow up article entitled Learning Pistol Shooting While Riding a Unicycle then?

That would give a new meaning to drive-by shooting!

Great Article!

Its exactly what we go through, learning this crazy thing. The bumps and bruises, the failures that lead to successes… Nice job!!

Thanks for the reaction!

I appreciate all the feedback, especially that it comes from people with so many different skill levels.

I’m trying to get the hang of freemounting now, and after that I’ve got learn to idle. No guns for me - but I’m going to try balancing an umbrella on my fingertips one of these days when I get a little more confident.

Nice article dday!

You are freemounting already?!
You should talk to Darth Elevator over on Just Conversation.
You and he seem to learn the next new skill at about the same rate of speed! (FAST!)

Congratulations on a super article and great progress!

Freemounting, not

No, not freemounting yet. But I’m watching YouTube videos and trying to figure it out.

I enjoyed your article. Thank you for writing it and posting.

Have you put yourself on the map? I believe there are some other unicyclist in central California if you were looking for company.

Keep up the good work.


Good write up Dan. I’m 56 and in Central Cal, in Delano CA. PM me for address and come over.

Nicely written, tight and sparse, I like it.

just spotted the map link, staring me in the face. Going there now and will add myself. Thanks for the tip, Scott ttocs

Great article! Welcome to the sport. I have to ask if you ever came to the Modesto Cycling Festival, held in May every year since I was first invited, around 2000 or so. I used to do a show there every year, in between the BMX Ramp/Freestyle shows. Good times! Very rare that you find a sponsor that actually wants a show focused on unicycles!

I just read a post earlier tonight from another guy in Modesto. Also there used to be a whole unicycle club in the area, but not sure if it’s still going. Drop me an email for contact info.

great article…but freemount from now on! if you can’t get up, then don’t ride it. once you CAN get get up, you have the entire concept basically figured out already.

IMO definately not yet. But when you get up to ~ 25+% success, great for boosting your consistency.

Great article. Pretty soon you’ll be getting a Muni :wink:

Not really boosting consistency…just controlled falling that delays the practicing of the skill of utmost importance…freemounting…THEN riding.

So basically, two different answers from two different people. hope that settles it all for you. :smiley:

just to let the new guy know why i’m saying to keep going with the freemounting.

hey dday…picture leaning on a fence to try riding. then as luck would have it, you pedalled 100 meters, a fantastic milestone! A beautiful woman sees you at the end of the ride, and runs over to tell you how wonderful you are at that thing.

Then you realize the closest thing to lean on is 45 meters away. The you try unsuccessfully to freemount under this new pressure…it’s always harder to freemount in public when you are learning…now you are becoming very tired after the repeated unsuccessul freemounts.

You tell the beautiful woman to wait for you as you run 45 meters to the only way you will possibly mount that thing…by leaning on a tree…you ride back to where she was standing, but instead of her waiting to greet you, there is a note on the ground.

You bend down to pick up the note. You move the rock that she used to weigh it down with so the wind wouldn’t blow it away. You read what it says. It says ‘You’re a loser!’

You turn around, dejected, and walk past the tree at 45 meters. You walk past the fence in another 55 meters. You stop at the garage. You begin to open the door to put away your unicycle. You look at it. You instead go behind the shed, and toss it into the tall grass.

My recommendation is to freemount until you can ride it. It teaches you so many skills that you will rely on when you can actually ride it.

That’s one of the reason’s why I say practice mounting and get it to 25+% first. Also you may never get to where you’re going if you don’t let yourself leave until you get a successful freemount.

Once you get a mount w/in a few tries, make yourself do two. Remount every intersection, tree, or telephone pole. (see signature)



Your note has kicked my freemounting campaign into overdrive. My new regimen is to start my day with at least five freemount attempts.

And after any UPD, I’ve got to try to freemount.

Hoping this works!