i have tried about a thousand times to ride backwards, and as of yet never managed atall. any tips or hints?


Idling and riding backwards are two closely related skills, and it’s good to learn them together.

I found it was best to find a really smooth floor (I found a juggling club that used a gym) but a good smooth car park or drive will do.

Now, ride forwards and stop with one pedal down. What will happen is that the pedal will rise slightly past bottom dead centre just because of your momentum. That is good.

Allow your weight to be ever so slightly behind the uni, then push that pedal down so that the uni passes beneath you and you can regain your forward motion.

What you’ve done now is almost an idle.

Build on this sequence: ride, stop, rock back, ride forwards.

Eventually, you’ll get the confidence to:
ride, stop, rock back, rock forwards, rock back, ride forwards.

And so on.

As you get more and more confident, you will find yourself able to rock back more confidently until the pedal passes all the way through bottom dead centre and almost up top top dead centre.

It’s the “almost” that’s the difficult thing!

Eventually, you’ll find that you are idling for short periods (3 or 4 pumps of the pedal) and one time you will suddlenly let that pedal go all the way over the top and you will have pedalled backwards for almost a wheel revolution. This is a major hurdle crossed.

From here, it’s just practise, practise, practise. I found it useful to ride up to an obstacle and stop and ride backwards 2 or 3 wheel revs before stopping and riding forwards.

So you’re aiming for 3 steps forwards, 3 steps backwards, repeat.

Build from here.

And look at something fixed in the middle distance. Your brain works better when you’re focussed on something specific, a reasonable distance away.

For riding longer distances backwards, you need to keep snap-changing your focus to something nearer every 5 - 10 metres.

Good luck.

i did what mike was suggesting. and learned idiling and backwrds ridding at the same time. maybe i suck but it took me a month before doing them both consistently and that’s with regular practice. oh yeah, a frustrating month. frustration is involved big time. but i was determined and that won out over frustration. then i was in the zone.

have fun,


Use the same techniques you used when learning to ride. A wall/fence, someone walking next to you, etc.
Something that REALLY helped me was just remember to keep your feet on the pedals. No matter what. Riding backwards is a new feeling, so you don’t know what it feels like to do it right. You just step off because you think you’re falling.

this might help, not sure tho

when i was learning (which was not that long ago) a huge trouble i had was the transition from backwards to forwards (which made it impossible for the “one revolution-stop, another revolution-stop” technique. so if yer having this same trouble, i’d advise you to just practice the transition by pushing off, pedaling one revolution max backwards, then trying to go back to yer push off point. if yer noot using an object to push off from, FIND ONE!! this may be a source of your frustration, as its almost impossible to learn to ride backwards from a freemount (at least until you can go 2 full revolutions from a push off point.

good advice i found this to be the case also when learning

Thanks! I’ve been having trouble with this too. I’m already better thanks to this.