Avoiding pedal knock-downs

Day 4 in my re-learning process. This time I decided to video tape myself so I could review and see what I’m doing right/wrong and why some UDMs are happening.

Twice now I have had the pedal pull me down. Now that I have it on video I see what is happening.

The wheel exits to the front as if I’m doing a rear dismount. I keep my legs close to unicycle expecting them to drop straight to ground. I end up trying to step backwards as the right pedal gets caught behind my right leg. This results in me doing a slow backwards fall because I can’t step back. I have a collection of pedal bites on my right calve now. (it’s only happened twice).

So, should my reflex be to fling my legs outwards when I’m about to UDM and keep clear of the pedals? I guess for some reason I’m keeping them close to the pedals because my brain is still trying to stay connected with them for control - though at this point I think control is lost…

Ride more. Don’t worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, your brain will figure it out, especially since you’ve ridden before.

Also, I have no idea what a UDM is.

sorry - was trying to use what I thought was the “forum lingo” UDM = Unintended DisMount

I got my acronym wrong…

UPD not UDM… duh…

Practice dismounting. Aim for 10 in a row each of dismounting at an exact spot in the rear w/ your right foot, left foot, front w/ left foot, right foot.

Try lifting your foot from the top pedal first, and put that foot on the ground. Then step off from the bottom pedal.

When you remove your feet from both pedals at the same time, the wheel may move in an unpredictable direction, depending on your position. If you keep the foot on the bottom pedal, the wheel won’t move as much and it will be more stable, allowing you time to put the foot from the top pedal on the ground.

I know you can’t always determine which foot to remove in an UPD, but even just a moment of leaving your foot on the bottom pedal can give you enough stability to do a reasonably safe UPD. The worst dismount though is to remove your foot from the bottom pedal first – that can result in some serious crashes!

The worst UPDs happen when losing control of both pedals, particularly when your butt is still on the seat. The more you practice, the more your feet will maintain connection with the pedals. At some point, you’ll instinctively know which pedal is on its way down to the 6:00 position, and you’ll stay on that pedal, down to the 6:00 position, during a UPD, rather than bailing from both pedals.

I am suspicious of advice telling beginners to put more weight in the seat. This takes the weight off the pedals, which puts the rider in more danger of UPDing. It is natural, I think, for riders to eventually put more weight on the seat. This will come with practice; I don’t think it should be rushed.

That is one way, in general, that you can UPD. I’ve prob UPD’d more than most and there are three times that caused me to UPD (one of them caused a no-footer coast on a Muni ride). None of them were any worse than typical UPD’s.

unibabyguy +1