Another beginner - Devon UK

Yes, Pashley was a popular make some years ago. (I’m pretty sure John Foss has one in his collection.)

Nice to hear about the new acquisition. Word of advice if it’s a knobby tire – make sure to keep the air pressure up if you’re riding on paved surfaces. That will keep it from “digging in” too much. (can be hard to control) But you will find it rides nicely on un-paved roads and trails.


Day 16 weirdness

Yesterday was strange I felt that every time I just push off I fail on the second pedal of the first revolution, almost like I am training myself to do that. So instead of just going for it I decided to deliberately go for two pedals and then step off. It worked, the first time. The second time my brain caught on to the fact I was trying to slip something past it. But later on I did it again, visualising the two pedals and then step off, and it worked again, once.
The other weirdness is that the next few days are forecast rainy so I cleared a covered area of patio so I would have somewhere dry to practice. I tried it out and fell apart. It was like I suddenly went back to day five. Part of it might be that I was back on the 20" after the previous day’s trial with the 24. Part of it might be that the patio roof is quite low, so maybe by contrast that made me feel high up and insecure. Whatever, it was bad. And now I have a long weekend away at a festival with no practice at all, probably. Though I did put the uni in the car in case it seemed possible.

I have dismissed the 20" completely, it tended to destroy any gain I am making on the 24". Total brain malfunction really when on this learning curve, besides I enjoy the 24" much, much more. Off I went yesterday, and I found myself singing away to myself without any conscious thought about it, superb feeling when cycling away…
Keep at it…

A couple of days off the uni will benefit you tremendously. As you already know, your brain is taking that rest time to put the knew info in the right places. I learned the hard way that taking breaks and some moderation is absolutely necessary when learning to unicycle, especially as we…age.

Also, get ready… you’ll be finding that more than one or two unicycles will find their way into your fold. I don’t part with my money easily… and I had 3 within the first 3 months of learning. My injury was the only thing that stopped the madness.

In general, I think it helps learning to switch up equipment a bit. Even if it slows you down at first, it forces your brain to generalise and draw broader conclusions, which helps in the long run. I resisted buying a tenor uke for a long time because the fret spacings are different from a soprano, but if anything getting it pushed my fingering speed up a notch it only tools few minutes to get used to the 24" after the 20" but it felt like going back to the 20" might be harder. I’m really looking forward to getting home on Monday and trying them both again.

Hows it going?

I still find it really odd changing size wheel! I was going to mention the other time I also do archery and often joke about doing both at the same time!!.

Currently a muni ride is being planned for dartmoor, while it might be above what you can do at the moment it might be a cool way to meet others and such :slight_smile:

Unless theyve built a network of handrails that wasn’t there last time I looked I suspect that’s true, but it would be nice to know where you were gathering and maybe I could come and get inspired!

i’ll message you :slight_smile:

No handrails no but It is always nice to meet others :slight_smile:

I highly recommend meeting other unicyclists! Best way to learn. I’ll hopefully make it to the dartmoor muni ride :slight_smile:

Day 21(elapsed)/17(active)

So, after my weekend missing my unicycle I was back at the skatepark today. Although the secret dream that the visions in my head would have become reality did not actually happen, I did feel I started in a better place than where I left off. In particular, the most disconcerting thing about my last really bad ride on the 20" before I went away was the weird feeling that I had somehow forgotten how to fall off - instead of just stepping off forward or backward I kind of got stuck in the middle and felt like I nearly took some bad falls. Today I think I identified that weird feeling as ‘balance’:):). I am beginning to get longer moments of actually being balanced on the seat. It doesn’t necessarily stop me falling off, but it gives me a few more milliseconds to think about what is happening. I did my longest run alongside but not touching the fence, about 6 pedals, and definitely my longest launch into the abyss; about 5 pedals. And periods of three or four pedals not touching the fence are feeling almost routine. So, getting there!

I totally get the getting stuck in that middle place. Now that I’m back on my uni after breaking my foot, I am just spinning around the tennis courts again on my 20, nothing extreme, just getting used to being back on one wheel. When I first learned to ride, I did everything I could to avoid falling. Now that I’m riding again, I am purposely learning how to dismount unexpectedly (carefully right now). Getting stuck in the middle place is exactly how I broke my foot. So, happy and safe falling.

Day 22/18

Another hour at the skatepark, though at least 10 mins of that was chatting to another 60 yo who was there supervising her grandsons on their scooters. She had cycled from Land’s End to John o’Groats twice - once for her 40th year and once for her 50th and was contemplating doing it again for her 60th. She was very interested in the unicycling. I didn’t make any huge advances but definitely felt more balanced and settled into the saddle, and I improved one pedal on my best ‘launch into space’.

Great thread guys :slight_smile:

Well Done on finding the 24” Spinningwoman
It’s not often that happens.
I have to admit that I think my 20" doesn’t like me :(:frowning: I fall off it more times than any other unicycle and because I’m nearer to the ground on that one, my reactions aren’t quick enough and I end up my bum a lot of the time.
The bigger the unicycle the easier it is to balance I think.

Keep up the good work and more videos please.:slight_smile:


Quote: Alucard…
The bigger the unicycle the easier it is to balance I think.

I am convinced this is the case, maybe not for everybody, but certainly for me. My 24" fits like a glove so to speak… !!

I’m actually back on the 20" for the moment. My experiment seemed to show that it was pretty easy to go from 20" to 24" but much harder to go the other way, and I definitely want to be able to ride the 20", so I’m thinking I will stick with the 20" until I crack it. Plus, (she says muttering ashamedly and ruffling the dust with her foot) I haven’t quiiiite managed to start the ‘Hi, darling, I suddenly realised it was a really good idea to buy a second unicycle even though I can’t ride the first one yet’ conversation, so it is still hiding in the boot of my car. All relationships seem to consist of one person who buys stuff and another person who sees it as their life’s mission to stop them. And I rarely buy clothes or other girly stuff. If I felt I wasn’t going to crack it on the 20" I would switch, but it is feeling very possible at the moment.

Day 23/19

The little kids at the skatepark now recognise me and comment politely on my progress. One asked me today whether I was learning it for fun or for a job! Nice that his worldview includes the possibility that someone might pay me for unicycling I suppose! No advances today - felt a bit frustrated as yesterday felt really good, and because in my head, I can do this - it’s just that in the actual world it keeps turning out that I can’t.

Be patient. My learning process involved a lot of slipping back. It often took me 30 minutes to repeat the successes of the previous day. You mentioned in a previous post your desire to avoid falls. I suggest that, even though you’re only riding a few revs, you start practicing mounts, and you do so on grass. Though you probably won’t be able to ride out of the mount, it will nevertheless develop your balance, and each failed mount will give you practice dismounting on a soft surface where falling only has minor consequences. I experimented a lot in the beginning. It slowed down the learning, but it made it safer, and it set the stage for more learning later on. Good luck!

This is a really important point. Always avoid being put in the position of having an uncontrolled dismount. It is essential to bail out while you still are in control. My worst injuries have been where I didn’t eject myself from the uni and got tangled up with my ankle wedged between spokes and crank.

One of the reasons I recommend against using the clinging to a fence method of learning is that it does not teach the running exit or falling. The ride away into the open method develops these skills right from the beginning so they are well established by the time riding takes off.

I agree I have learned not to ride so far into anything that I can’t get off in a controlled manner. May not be pretty, but I walk away to ride another day. And wear your safety gear. The old bones don’t heal as quickly as they did when we were 12 years old. :astonished:

Good feedback, thanks everyone. I’m doing a mixture - running round the fence, launching off and using the walking poles - but I was planning to start some ‘starting with an attempted mount’ to give me something useful to do on the grass at home. One of the books I’ve come across is Gregg Vivolo’s ‘crash course’ which suggests starting from a curb mount. Unfortunately the step at the edge of our lawn is a particularly nasty concrete shelf that would be very unpleasant to fall back onto, which I find inhibiting, so I’m planning to get a bit of 4x4 or something. But I may just start experimenting with a free mount.

The falling thing is interesting. It makes me realise how little I have fallen in my adult, female, non-athletic life! I remember falling once over the handlebars of my bike in my twenties, trying to stop suddenly and being more successful than I expected. Again from my bike about six years ago when a dog ran in front of me on a canal path. And once in April this year, walking the Camino, tired and sloppy on a very wet path, stumbling and being overcome by the momentum of my pack. With this unicycle thing, I do mostly manage to step off - possibly even too easily, because it is the times I struggle to stay on that I end up actually falling. Maybe once per session I end up on the ground. I’ve been glad of the helmet and the Kris Holm gloves I bought - much more wearable than the skateboard wrist protectors I started with. I don’t really use the fence to save myself from falling - I just push against it to keep balance rather than hang on. Ditto the poles - if I’m going over, they are no use; I just use them for a little light correction and turning. So plenty of coming off practice is being had. It’s the staying on that is tricky.