Back to basics??

Hey guys,

As some of you know I am cycling across the country for charity in August. I have touched on this in this thread but wanted to chat about it a bit more.

My balance has taken a hit since I broke my ankle and didn’t unicycle for about a year. I have never been able to idle for long periods and can only go backwards for about 50m at most.
Do you think it would be beneficial for me to go back to basics and learn to idle, one foot idle, go backwards?

‘Beneficial’ is relative. Would you think it’s beneficial? I didn’t bother learning any sort of ‘tricks’ until after I was already riding forward for miles upon miles without any UPDs… I don’t think learning to idle/one foot/backward would have benefited me in that at all…

yeah agreed. i guess it could help in certain situations. but it shouldn’t make a difference really.

One-foot and backwards will not help you at all in terms of riding long distances; I wouldn’t bother putting effort into them if that’s your goal. Idling, on the other hand, is very useful for riding distance, so it would be a good thing to work on. And if you do it with your injured ankle on the down pedal, it’s great physical therapy.

Basically agreeing with the others. But if you’re interested in learning those skills for general riding, yes they will be very beneficial. Idling and backwards are “core” skills of unicycling, yet it’s amazing how few expert riders can barely ride a smooth circle backwards!

One-footing skills can help you in loss-of-pedal situations. This happens to me more in MUni situations where your foot gets jarred off the pedal, but can happen in road riding as well. If you don’t panic, you can regain the pedal without even having to stop.

Yeah I just started practicing one footed skills, and I really mean just started, maybe 15 minutes of practice so far, and I can see how it will really help me keep my cool if I lose or need to adjust my footing while doing muni.

when i used to ride distance frequently, there was one day i decided i was going to get idling with 125mm cranks on the coker down consistent. practiced for an hour maybe, and got it consistent…but i didn’t like it at all…i just find idling a coker with short cranks a complete waste of stamina. i would wind up tired really quickly idling the coker. i suppose you could always get better, but i’d rather just ride around in circles while waiting at a stoplight or whatever. or just step off. but i can freemount easily so this may be a hassle for someone else. but i like to step off anyway because i get saddle soreness pretty quickly during distance riding.

Thanks for the tips,
I think i’m going to learn to idle just for something to get under my belt. I’ve been trying since I started, but got bored waiting in one place. I will learn on my 20" on grass to not wear my tyre out.
Think going backwards it a something I will get to at some point, I keep trying but not getting there just yet
One foot, I can do it for one cycle but then fall off. I have missed a pedal a few times and managed to stay on, managed it today on the 29. I wont spend too much time on it, but will try it out in the garden in the summer while I’m out!

It will be easier on pavement. The less resistance there is to swiveling the tire the easier it should be to learn. While it wears the tire it is also the primary method of maintaing side to side balance. This is why the IUF skills list actually defines a limit to how far you can wander while idling. When learning you are likely to find your self zig-zaging side-to-side quite a bit. Hard to do on grass, leaving you falling to the side while the unicycle lags behind.