Baby's First Un-assisted Freemount

All,

Well, today for the first time, I decided I was just gonna spend a half-hour or so trying to figure out a way to get some kind of freemount going (pardon me if I am using the wrong term). I had only tried for about 1-2 minutes on 1 or 2 other occasions and decided to wait until I could ride.

So, after cycling about 45 minutes in front of my house (streaming live unicycle footage coming soon, I hope), I made the choice to start practicing.

Inside of about 20 tries, I got off my first real freemount! Yay!

On the previous times I tried, I couldnt do the standard freemount (and still can’t) because I could never keep my starting foot light enough and jump up onto the other horizontal position quick enough to get a horizontal stance.

So, what I do is:

  1. stand behind the unicycle with it facing away from me
  2. make sure the pedals are even and horizontal, with the right pedal towards me and the left pedal away
  3. snuggle the seat into place (no comments)
  4. lightly place my right foot on the right pedal
  5. spring up as straight as I can, while pushing down on the right pedal, so that the unicycle starts to roll back under me
  6. place the left foot on the left pedal about the time it nears vertical (as the weight on the right pedal is rolling through the down position)
  7. let the back-roll continue under me, and then very slightly behind me, just long enough to let my right foot roll under to a bit of a down-and-foreward position (with the left pedal up-and-back)
  8. use the leverage I now have (on the right foot down-and-foreward pedal) to start riding normally

OK, I know it sounds like I have mastered this, but indeed I have not. After about 30 minutes of practice (much of which was spent isolating the different movements in the above until I could do it), I was up to maybe sticking 1 in 10 tries … above statistical error, but not much higher. :slight_smile:

Whew

I managed to pull off about 15+ freemounts (or whatever you call what I did) during my practice, and I even have a witness! Chris happened to drive by when I was doing it. Too bad too, cause I was gonna master it without mentioning it and then just zip make him drop his jaw. Sadly, he caught me practicing. :slight_smile: Heh!

Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just wanted to put it out here as kind of a personal milestone (I never thought I’d be able to freemount, or whatever).

Also, maybe my description will help someone else who is learning. Maybe not.

Thanks,

Lewis

One of the guys I ride with mounts like that, where he lets it roll back
a quarter rev or so and then starts pedaling forward. I’m wondering if he
adopted this technique from mounting his Coker and giraffes, where he had
to pedal the uni under him quite a bit and the momentum kept it rolling
backwards slightly before he got it rolling forward. My take on it is
that if you’re not doing shows or mounting on the edge of a cliff, do
whatever works best for you. When I first started freemounting the pedals
were almost vertical, but now I do it with the pedals horizontal. I found
it was easier to start pedaling with the pedals horizontal.

John

Animation wrote:

> All,
>
> Well, today for the first time, I decided I was just gonna
> spend a half-hour or so trying to figure out a way to get some kind of
> freemount going (pardon me if I am using the wrong term). I had only
> tried for about 1-2 minutes on 1 or 2 other occasions and decided to
> wait until I could ride.
>
> So, after cycling about 45 minutes in
> front of my house (streaming live unicycle footage coming soon, I
> hope), I made the choice to start practicing.
>
> Inside of about 20
> tries, I got off my first real freemount! Yay!
>
> On the previous
> times I tried, I couldnt do the standard freemount (and still can’t)
> because I could never keep my starting foot light enough and jump up
> onto the other horizontal position quick enough to get a horizontal
> stance.
>
> So, what I do is:
>
> 1) stand behind the unicycle with it
> facing away from me
>
> 2) make sure the pedals are even and horizontal,
> with the right pedal towards me and the left pedal away
>
> 3) snuggle
> the seat into place (no comments)
>
> 4) lightly place my right foot on
> the right pedal
>
> 5) spring up as straight as I can, while pushing down
> on the right pedal, so that the unicycle starts to roll back under me
> 6) place the left foot on the left pedal about the time it nears
> vertical (as the weight on the right pedal is rolling through the down
> position)
>
> 7) let the back-roll continue under me, and then very
> slightly behind me, just long enough to let my right foot roll under
> to a bit of a down-and-foreward position (with the left pedal up-and-
> back)
>
> 8) use the leverage I now have (on the right foot down-and-
> foreward pedal) to start riding normally
>
> OK, I know it sounds like
> I have mastered this, but indeed I have not. After about 30 minutes of
> practice (much of which was spent isolating the different movements in
> the above until I could do it), I was up to maybe sticking 1 in 10
> tries … above statistical error, but not much higher.
>
> Whew
> I managed to pull off about 15+ freemounts (or whatever you call what
> I did) during my practice, and I even have a witness! Chris happened
> to drive by when I was doing it. Too bad too, cause I was gonna master
> it without mentioning it and then just zip make him drop his jaw.
> Sadly, he caught me practicing. Heh!
>
> Anyway, sorry for the long
> post. I just wanted to put it out here as kind of a personal milestone
> (I never thought I’d be able to freemount, or whatever).
>
> Also,
> maybe my description will help someone else who is learning. Maybe
> not.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Lewis
>
> –
> Animation
> Posted via the Unicyclist Community - http://unicyclist.com/forums

I think that’s called a roll-back mount. That’s the one I first
learned also. I was surprised how easy it was for me to
progress into idling after doing those mounts. You have
the backwards motion down, and then you just need to
practice the forward motion.

Lewis,

For those that can’t perform a ‘free’ mount, what would you say is the most important aspect to implementing the steps you’ve outlined, or impediment? Did something besides experience/comfort/confidence/quardination happen that was key? Those same actions have been repeated in spoken and written word to many beginners- coming fresh from learning the skill, what actualy helped?

Christopher

Chris,

The thing that helped me the most was to totally ignore trying to mount until well after I could ride.

Using a street sign hundreds of times to crawl up onto the cycle, that helped with steps 1-4.

Steps 5-8 all come from “recovery” situations. In other words, by riding tons and tons, I have increased the range of circumstances from which I can “recover” from a disaster. I also did a lot of slow riding. The slower I ride, the more I tend to fall, so the more often I have to “recover” from disaster. Eventually these “recoveries” seem to become technique.

So the bottom line is that by getting my general riding skills up, I learned to recover. My mount is only possible for me because I know how to recover from weird situations.

Jumping up onto the cycle is an “abort from falling off” situation. There is nothing more to it, except that I am turning that behavior into a dependable approach that I can duplicate.

Therefore, I recommend you learn to ride before you learn to freemount.

The things that I personally have under my belt now (it was just last night that I learned to mount unassisted) are: mounting using a sign/rail/pillar/wall, curb mounting, forward movement, 90 degree turns in both directions, the ability to slow down and speed up at will, the ability to handle gentle slopes (up and down), the ability to handle brief steep slopes, the ability to power over sidewalk cracks/rises of an inch or less in height, the ability to ride over short grass and firm dirt with minimal to moderate uneven spots, the ability to be going full speed and grab on to signs to turn around quickly or stop, the ability to transition between different types of terrain even when turning, the ability to recover from odd positioning or awkward placement or awkward speed, and ability to adjust my feet on the pedals while moving, OH and of course, the ability to get off quickly, to fall in a controlled manner, and to tumble out of the falls that need a good tumble.

I don’t know if anybody else would need to be able to do any or all of those, thats just where I was at when I managed to freemount. It could be that a lot less is required. I would say that 75% of the above list are skills new to me within the last 7 days, so it is very possible that I could have freemounted without a lot of these on my side. Many of them, including the mount, may come from some more simple requirements.

It came down to just being familiar enough with the cycle to be able to make myself “Stay On Top,” as John Foss would say.

That reminds me … the turning point in my riding happened when I did my best to implement John Foss’ (and others’) advice to put my weight on the seat. After I could do that, things became easier.

My next goal is to get my success rate on my new mount up from 10% to 90% or more by refining the recovery (steps 6-8) until it is a maneuver.

Again, sorry for the long reply. I tend to ramble and over-analyze.

Lewis

Congratulations Lewis! I can only imagine what this accomplishment feels like, but it must feel awesome. Thanks again for being an inspiration to us newbies. :slight_smile:

Cherie

I enjoyed your analysis. Very useful for those of use who are trying to teach.

Joe

> Again, sorry for the long reply. I tend to ramble
> and over-analyze.

On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 10:11:55 GMT, “Import Car Fan”
<dsholt@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>I think that’s called a roll-back mount. That’s the one I first
>learned also. I was surprised how easy it was for me to
>progress into idling after doing those mounts.

For me it was the other way around. I learned the roll-back mount
naturally as soon as I could idle somewhat. It felt a lot easier than
the standard mount. So much, in fact, that I can also do it with my
weak foot. (I thought I’d never be able to freemount with the other
foot!)

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“Sayeret Golani, Verisign, BEVEILIGING”

All,

Thanks for all the kind words and tolerance (I’m wordy sometimes).

As an addendum, I have now managed to tighten my mount up a little. Instead of starting with “horizontal pedals, right pedal back” I am starting a little more into the motion than I usually start, more with my right pedal back and down. In fact it is more down than back. I discovered that I can essentially do the exact same type of mount through a smaller range of motion, so less energy is used, and the coming-together of components of the move dont all have to be as exact.

Still, the more exaggerated initial form really helped me figure out what I was doing.

My mounting is up to 1 in 3 now (after I get warmed up). Woot!!

Lewis

On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 15:27:22 +0000 (UTC), Animation
<forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Therefore, I
>recommend you learn to ride before you learn to freemount.
I think most people use this sequence. What’s more: I think one cannot
freemount without being able to ride. I.e. if you mount but fall off
before you’ve ridden, the mount is to be considered unsuccessful.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“Sayeret Golani, Verisign, BEVEILIGING”