I learned how to ride forwards in 3 days, no joke…don’t you think 2 hours would get me somewere?
Steering control is the most important thing, because you can’t do much of anything else until you have good control over where the wheel is going. Wide turns are done by leaning in the direction you want to go. Sharp twists are done by using the inertia of your upper body to twist the wheel underneath you with your hips and legs. Many turns are combinations of the two. That’s about all that can be explained in words; it’s all reflexes, just like walking. As with everything else in unicycling, the only way to learn it is to do it over and over and over until your body figures out what it needs to do to stay on the thing. The mind is a hindrance; turn it off.
Don’t focus too much on idling until you learn how to steer pretty well, especially with the inertial body-twist type of steering, because you are actually steering constantly as you idle. Balance a long stick on your finger, and see how in order for the stick to remain upright, the bottom end has to move around more than the top end does, in all directions. As the stick starts to tip, your finger has to go beyond the balance point in the same direction in order to correct the imbalance and keep the top end more or less stationary. You have to move your uni wheel around underneath you in the same way that you move the bottom end of the stick. The forward/backward dimension is pretty obvious; the side-to-side bit is the tricky part. People who are learning to idle have a tendency to just rock back and forth, and topple over sideways within a few seconds. To keep the wheel under you while idling, you need to make the same directional corrections that you have to make while riding forwards (and backwards); you’re just doing it over very short distances in alternate directions. You also need to be in control of the repeated reversals of the wheel rotation. I think it does help to start with the single-idle thing, what Rob referred to above as “ride half pedal backwards then forwards again.” Being able to ride backwards at least a little will also help. If you can ride forwards, reverse direction for a few revolutions and then go forward again, you’re halfway there; you just need to make fewer and fewer revolutions in each direction until you are down to half-revolutions.
I was a bit odd in that idling came rather easily to me for some reason. I could idle pretty comfortably before I was able to freemount with any consistency; this is probably why the rollback mount is still the only one that I can do every time.
Wow! Thx for the help! That helped a lot!!
weeble’s a great teacher. He taught both my kids to ride and more other people than I can count.
MUNIFREAK, i have serious doubts that you can idle at all. thats my word.
That’s a great way of explaining those skills, do you mind if we quote you for www.unicycle.2ya.com?
Be sure you’re not mistaking me for someone else, heh… The TCUC runs classes here which have unleashed numberless hordes of unicyclists upon the world. I’ve helped out a bit over the last couple of years, but quite a few more experienced people have been doing that for a lot longer than I have.
When your turning drop your inside shoulder and lean into it a bit, keep your weight forward and look to where you wanna go.
Just one question…do you think skipping dinner and unicycling 'till 9:30 PM is healthy?
For some reason I have always been able to do the leaning turn to the left but have to do the horrible “scrunchy tyre” thing to turn right. Recently I have been really concentrating on making my right turns smoother, and find that if I lean my hips (and therefore the uni) in to the turn but my upper body away from the turn it works!
(Actually, it may be that my upper body is simply staying where it was rather than leaning away from the turn)
You know this already, but being experienced at unicycling and being good at teaching it are not necessarily related. My second son, who was 6 at the time, started out learning from people who were more experienced than you. But he showed relatively little interest in learning until you patiently showed him how to do it and patiently walked him around the gym for quite a while until he was ready to take off on his own.
actualy i can idle. it was on of the first things i learned, but now that i have ben uniing for a couple years i found that its not too important…thats what i’m trying to say.
Well, this is what i do…(accually i can idle, but very horribly) me and my friend go downtown and wait in lines on our Uni’s and ppl take pictures and do things that tourists do, so, i just wanted tips for getting better o.O
Thanks, and go ahead if you want to, though after checking out your site (nice!) I think your video says it all, probably more effectively.
some things take more than 2 hours to learn… practice dude… you know what it looks like… now emulate.