As a novice, I'm getting there ....

Okay, so far, I have invested about a total 3 hours of practice.
Sometimes, I can only travel as far as two full pedal revolutions. I’ve
noticed when I grab my left hand on the front seat and grab the rear seat
with my right hand, I tend to ride better. If I don’t grab the seat with
both hands and just let my arms loose, I tend to loose my balance quicker.

Is this normal? Or is this to be expected?

The reason I grab the seat is to make sure I don’t fall and let the
unicycle hit the TV (already happen once. LOL) or any other stuff (the
wall has two different tire imprints and I recently used Home Depot flat
paint, which scratches real easily). I’ve been practicing in my living
room on the carpeted floor.

Got syrup?

> Okay, so far, I have invested about a total 3 hours of practice.
> Sometimes, I can only travel as far as two full pedal revolutions. I’ve
> noticed when I grab my left hand on the front seat and grab the rear
> seat with my right hand, I tend to ride better. If I don’t grab the seat
> with both hands and just let my arms loose, I tend to loose my balance
> quicker.
>
> Is this normal? Or is this to be expected?

All very normal!!

I think at this stage it is better to outstretch the arms when riding,
to aid with balance. Soon you will be more refined and your arms will
not play quite as large a role in balancing. But for now, stick 'em out
and use them!

I covered my seat with gaffa (duct) tape because though I thought I might
always catch it, the reality is that this doesn’t always happen (so one
might as well prepare for it!)

Others will chime in, for sure but rather than holding the seat with your
hands, try to get used to the idea of “sitting” on it a bit more (i.e.
legs just slightly more relaxed, and put more of your weight on the
seat…this will alleviate the feeling you have of needing to hold the
seat with a hand). Some folk find that they are sort of grabbing the seat
a bit with their upper thighs too, especially when first getting some
sense of steering/turning. This depends on your seat shape (and your upper
thigh shape).

dude

“pancake head” <pancakes@email.net> wrote in message
news:<CEJ97.59364$v5.9144611@typhoon.austin.rr.com>…
> Okay, so far, I have invested about a total 3 hours of practice.
> Sometimes, I can only travel as far as two full pedal revolutions. I’ve
> noticed when I grab my left hand on the front seat and grab the rear
> seat with my right hand, I tend to ride better. If I don’t grab the seat
> with both hands and just let my arms loose, I tend to loose my balance
> quicker.
>
> Is this normal? Or is this to be expected?
>
> The reason I grab the seat is to make sure I don’t fall and let the
> unicycle hit the TV (already happen once. LOL) or any other stuff (the
> wall has two different tire imprints and I recently used Home Depot flat
> paint, which scratches real easily). I’ve been practicing in my living
> room on the carpeted floor.
>

Try moving outside. I don’t know how big your house is, but you’re
probably not giving yourself the opportunity to get a decent run. You may
do a perfect run from one side of the room/end of corridor to the other,
but then be forced to stop. If you were outside you might find that the
same run could get you 2, 5 or even 10 times further. This would give you
the chance to grab the seat, wave arms around or whatever. Experiment with
your balance over as long a run as you can, you’ll find it much easier to
work out what is happening then. I know when I first started I had a
tendency to lean to one side and that made things more difficult, maybe
you are doing this too and your seat grabbing is preventing you from
leaning and putting you off balance.

Have fun!

Graeme

Yes! I agree with you and all of things that happened to you seem to have
happened to me (i.e., leaning and counter balancing). I feel the living
room is becoming a smaller and smaller playground. About a dozen times
already, I forced myself to halt from riding any further because I would
have smacked into the wall. If instead I was outside, I could have easily
ridden further (maybe another 2 to 4 full pedal cycle at least).

Right now, I “almost” feel confident that I now can go outside - I just
don’t want people to laugh when I fall down, as the indoor living room
will shield me from anybody staring or watching me fall over a million
times. But that’s the wrong attitude, I know. I’m going to have to get
over that, lest I’ll never get to know how to ride a unicycle. Since I
really, really, really, want to learn how to ride my unicycle, I think
eventually I’ll get over my phobia and practice outside with my neighbors
watching. It’s going to eventually attract attention anyway - because once
I become a good rider, I’ll be riding at the park and I know the process
of riding a unicycle will attract strong attention. :slight_smile: Hopefully, it will
attract females attention, too! <big grin>

Got syrup?

“Graeme Dods” <dodsgr@my-deja.com> wrote in message

> Try moving outside. I don’t know how big your house is, but you’re
> probably not giving yourself the opportunity to get a decent run. You
> may do a perfect run from one side of the room/end of corridor to the
> other, but then be forced to stop. If you were outside you might find
> that the same run could get you 2, 5 or even 10 times further. This
> would give you the chance to grab the seat, wave arms around or
> whatever. Experiment with your balance over as long a run as you can,
> you’ll find it much easier to work out what is happening then. I know
> when I first started I had a tendency to lean to one side and that made
> things more difficult, maybe you are doing this too and your seat
> grabbing is preventing you from leaning and putting you off balance.
>
>
> Have fun!
>
> Graeme

Also, Carpeting is hard to ride on for beginners. another reason to try
the outdoors.

-Max A. Dingemans

pancake head wrote:

> Yes! I agree with you and all of things that happened to you seem to
> have happened to me (i.e., leaning and counter balancing). I feel the
> living room is becoming a smaller and smaller playground. About a dozen
> times already, I forced myself to halt from riding any further because I
> would have smacked into the wall. If instead I was outside, I could have
> easily ridden further (maybe another 2 to 4 full pedal cycle at least).
>
> Right now, I “almost” feel confident that I now can go outside - I just
> don’t want people to laugh when I fall down, as the indoor living room
> will shield me from anybody staring or watching me fall over a million
> times. But that’s the wrong attitude, I know. I’m going to have to get
> over that, lest I’ll never get to know how to ride a unicycle. Since I
> really, really, really, want to learn how to ride my unicycle, I think
> eventually I’ll get over my phobia and practice outside with my
> neighbors watching. It’s going to eventually attract attention anyway -
> because once I become a good rider, I’ll be riding at the park and I
> know the process of riding a unicycle will attract strong attention. :slight_smile:
> Hopefully, it will attract females attention, too! <big grin>
>
> Got syrup?
>
> “Graeme Dods” <dodsgr@my-deja.com> wrote in message
>
> > Try moving outside. I don’t know how big your house is, but you’re
> > probably not giving yourself the opportunity to get a decent run. You
> > may do a perfect run from one side of the room/end of corridor to the
> > other, but then be forced to stop. If you were outside you might find
> > that the same run could get you 2, 5 or even 10 times further. This
> > would give you the chance to grab the seat, wave arms around or
> > whatever. Experiment with your balance over as long a run as you can,
> > you’ll find it much easier to work out what is happening then. I know
> > when I first started I had a tendency to lean to one side and that
> > made things more difficult, maybe you are doing this too and your seat
> > grabbing is preventing you from leaning and putting you off balance.
> >
> >
> > Have fun!
> >
> > Graeme

> I just don’t want people to laugh when I fall down
After having a week or so to practise in a nearby deserted tennis court I
moved house and the only place to learn further was outside the house.
Before the move I had only made it across the tennis court a few times so
I was in no way a confidant rider. As there was nothing to lean on I had
to come to grips with freemounting while never being entirely sure that if
I even managed to get on the (@#%&*^) thing I’d be able to ride away.
Needless to say I was falling about rather a lot. The neighbours curtains
would twitch for a short time but I think they soon got bored of watching
me not get very far.

It’s all well and good for folk to have a little snigger but remember -
while you’re out there learning to do something that is very hard to begin
with, the sniggerer is likely stuck inside and probably only taking a
fleeting look at you before sitting back down in front of the TV again. I
did, however, get a lot of great feedback and encouragement from more
active people who could appreciate the effort being put in to something.

It sounds like you’re ready to step outdoors so go for it. You’ll get the
learning buzz that much sooner and it did my self confidence the world of
good so hopefully it’ll do the same for you.

Cheers, Neil

It’s kind of funny, I’m just learning to ride, and I figured everybody
would be in hysterics over my feeble attempts to ride. Actually, the
neighbors are all rather impressed with my hard work (though it has had
only limited results), even the ones I figured would peer out from behind
their curtains with untold frequency. They’ve all been very nice. The
little kids are the best. They seem to be awestruck that anyone would even
think of riding this insane contraption (have to admit, I sometimes agree
with them!). ----- Original Message ----- From: “Neil Dunlop”
<n.dunlop@kildrummy.co.uk> To: <pancakes@email.net>;
<unicycling@winternet.com> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 8:02 AM
Subject: RE: As a novice, I’m getting there …

> > I just don’t want people to laugh when I fall down
> After having a week or so to practise in a nearby deserted tennis court
> I moved house and the only place to learn further was outside the
> house. Before the move I had only made it across the tennis court a few
> times so
I
> was in no way a confidant rider. As there was nothing to lean on I had
> to come to grips with freemounting while never being entirely sure that
> if I even managed to get on the (@#%&*^) thing I’d be able to ride away.
Needless
> to say I was falling about rather a lot. The neighbours curtains would
> twitch for a short time but I think they soon got bored of watching me
> not get very far.
>
> It’s all well and good for folk to have a little snigger but remember -
> while you’re out there learning to do something that is very hard to
> begin with, the sniggerer is likely stuck inside and probably only
> taking a fleeting look at you before sitting back down in front of the
> TV again. I did, however, get a lot of great feedback and encouragement
> from more
active
> people who could appreciate the effort being put in to something.
>
> It sounds like you’re ready to step outdoors so go for it. You’ll get
> the learning buzz that much sooner and it did my self confidence the
> world of good so hopefully it’ll do the same for you.
>
> Cheers, Neil

On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 13:49:01 GMT, “pancake head”
<pancakes@email.net> wrote:

>Right now, I “almost” feel confident that I now can go outside - I just
>don’t want people to laugh when I fall down …

I found that practicing in a public place was great. Everyone understood
that I was learning, and even though they didn’t know how to unicycle,
they offered me lots of encouragement which helped me to go twice as far
as before. Someone even offered me a lean on their shoulder, but at that
time, I was more happy just going for it.

I’m lucky that my next door neighbour caught me unicyling recently and he
already can (but he doesn’t have his own unicycle), so we’ll do some
practicing together from time to time.

Stick at it, and thanks for the encouragement; I have some time now so
I’ll see if I can get more than 5 yards or so.

Cheers,

Jim.

You are correct, I think all of us at one time or the other felt a little
odd. You will get used to the stares and comments as time goes by.

My favorite comment was when I was learning to freemount. I had ridden
into work by using signs and what not to as mounting fodder. On the way
home I was bound and determined to free mount.

A fellow was watching me “fall” for several minutes when he walks ups and
says “I hope you do not have very far to go”

Keep at it, good work so far.

Joe

> Right now, I “almost” feel confident that I now can go outside - I just
> don’t want people to laugh when I fall down, as the indoor living room
will
> shield me from anybody staring or watching me fall over a million times.
> But that’s the wrong attitude, I know. I’m going to have to get over
that,
> lest I’ll never get to know how to ride a unicycle. Since I really,
really,
> really, want to learn how to ride my unicycle, I think eventually I’ll
> get over my phobia and practice outside with my neighbors watching.
> It’s going

pancake head <pancakes@email.net> wrote in message
news:hNT97.331432$lq1.69540880@typhoon.austin.rr.com
> Yes! I agree with you and all of things that happened to you seem to
> have happened to me (i.e., leaning and counter balancing). I feel the
> living room is becoming a smaller and smaller playground. About a dozen
> times already, I forced myself to halt from riding any further because I
> would have smacked into the wall. If instead I was outside, I could have
> easily ridden further (maybe another 2 to 4 full pedal cycle at least).

I was the same way when I recently re-learned how to ride. I could go
10-15 ft. on carpet, but the first time I went outside on good terrain I
went 50 ft before I got tired and had to stop. I was very surprised. You
ought to try it outside at least once. If you’re in Austin, try the south
end of the LBJ library complex on a weekend. Lots of flat ground, places
to mount, and nobody around.

> Right now, I “almost” feel confident that I now can go outside - I just
> don’t want people to laugh when I fall down, as the indoor living room
will
> shield me from anybody staring or watching me fall over a million times.
> But that’s the wrong attitude, I know. I’m going to have to get over
that,
> lest I’ll never get to know how to ride a unicycle. Since I really,
really,
> really, want to learn how to ride my unicycle, I think eventually I’ll
> get over my phobia and practice outside with my neighbors watching.
> It’s going to eventually attract attention anyway - because once I
> become a good
rider,
> I’ll be riding at the park and I know the process of riding a unicycle
will
> attract strong attention. :slight_smile: Hopefully, it will attract females
> attention, too! <big grin>

It gets lots of attention, even when you’re not riding. A few young women
have appeared interested and impressed with my riding, but it’s mostly
kids and teenagers who have talked to me about it. Some of them want to
try it, and some won’t try it after I offer it to them. You’d think that
reckless teenage boys would have no hesitation in trying it, but that’s
not always the case.

My perception is that people want to see you ride, even for a short
distance, and they don’t care if you fall off. I think a lot of people
have never seen anyone ride a unicycle in person, and they’re just
curious about
it. They don’t have the judgement to know who’s good and who’s not. A
few kids have asked me whether I ride in the circus, and I’m not
that good.

> Okay, so far, I have invested about a total 3 hours of practice.
> Sometimes, I can only travel as far as two full pedal revolutions. I’ve
> noticed when I grab my left hand on the front seat and grab the rear
> seat with my right hand, I tend to ride better. If I don’t grab the seat
> with both hands and just let my arms loose, I tend to loose my balance
> quicker.
>
> Is this normal? Or is this to be expected?

From one novice to another, I have found in about six hours training that
riding a unicycle is about balance and hopping mental barriers.

As stupid as it may sound, you need to not only sit on the unicycle but BE
the unicycle.

I hold my hands outwardly for balance.

If you have a fear of where you and the unicycle may land, you are
retained by a mental barrier.

> I’ve been practicing in my living room on the carpeted floor.

I have found in my meager amount of training that textured surfaces are
harder to learn on. I tried on soft ground and then carpet. But i really
started to learn when I started riding on tennis courts and/or cement.
This was a tip by a seasoned unicyclist in my area.

Derek

He’s right about surfaces. Smooth pavement is best. I started on a semi-smooth area, and when I went to a better one, it was like driving a luxury car! Just cruise!

I got the hang of riding with about 4hrs worth of practice. I think a big step to getting over the mental barriers is to make note of how you fall off the uni. You’ll notice that there’s only a few ways that it will fall once your balance is lost. First thing you learn is where to step off when it slips.

Next, you try riding again and when you fall, make note of what you might have done to lose control (not enough leaning, too much). Then tweak things from there. At this point, you’re not afraid of falling off since you know what that feels like and how to avoid getting hurt.

I find that with this tweaking approach, you’re building a big checklist in your mind of what you need to do to get on and go. But the list is made slowly and with such small steps that much of becomes natural.

-Darrell Royter