Bad fall and trying to learn

First, trying to learn to ride a unicycle is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, except for maybe as a shy kid in school trying to get a date for homecoming. I’m not making a whole lot of progress. I usually pedal down with one foot and that’s it. Yesterday I did finally make one full revolution of the wheel but that was it. I’m going nowhere.

I was supposed to be on vacation next week and was going to do a practice blitz and hopefully get somewhere by the end of the week but we have too many people out with injuries or what not that I got postponed until the end of September. So it won’t happen.

I’ve fallen a lot but yesterday was the first real spectacular one. I wound up flying off face forward and sliding about 3 feet. I am thankful I was wearing safety equipment or my hands and knees would have been a bloody mess. As it was, nothing was hurt but my dignity. Three of my boys were out watching. None of them came over to see if I was okay or not. My 6 year old did say from his bike, “Dad, are you alright?” You should see the skid marks on my wrist protectors (or whatever they’re called). They don’t look new anymore.

And the seat on my uni will definitely need to be replaced once I learn to ride. I’m getting close to having to get out the duct tape to use on in the mean time. I wish there was another rider around to that could help me out but, alas, there is not. So I will keep plugging away and falling until I get it.

Keep working at it; a lot of things with unicycling seem impossible at first, including riding for the first time. Crashing spectacularly probably means that you’re doing pretty well, actually going for it instead of just bailing out when you’re imbalanced. Eventually your body will just get it. Good luck!

I think you’re trying too hard. Just flow with it and it will come more easily, and this kind of thing won’t happen until you really get into the juicy stuff.

What kind/size uni are you learning on? I just finished uploading a new tutorial (“Coker-Torial”) on free mounting a 36er, but you can pretty much apply it to any size uni. I’m just waiting for the video to be ready to view in the video forum and then I’ll post it. Keep us posted on your progress! Uni begins at 40! :sunglasses:

I have a 20" made by Gravity Industrial Designs. I bought it used. I think it’s just a basic uni- nothing special.

Keep at it! Hooray for safety gear!

It sounds like you are trying to ride straight away

Whatever floats your boat, but I don’t recommend starting that way.

Better to find a place with a long wall next to smooth pavement. Don’t worry about trying to balance. Drag your hand along the wall as you go for balance.

You want to get used to pedaling smoothly with no coasting (darn bike instincts !)

Just sitting on a uni is odd. Once you are used to sitting on the uni and pedaling smoothly for a while, you can start drifting away from the wall a bit.

Most (well, me and a friend I taught), didn’t need the wall by the 3rd day.

But until then, the wall is a great aid to learning to pedal smoothly, and get used to the weird front back balance thing you have to do with the pedals. The wall eliminates the need to learn side to side balance at the same time.

Once you get used to pedaling smooth and keeping yourself centered front to back with the pedals, the side to side balance thing is just like on a bicycle. So once you are pedaling smooth down the wall, it’s not to hard to keep that feeling going as you drift out from the wall a bit. That’s it ! , you’re a rider !:slight_smile:

Learning Balance

I learned to Unicycle at the age of 34. Took me about two weeks to learn cross the basketball court regularly, to more weeks to turn with proficiency and another month to freemount. I did all of this on my own without help. I just went for it and never used a wall.

I have since tough a number of people how to unicycle and I find that it help out a lot if the new rider can sit on the unicycle holding onto a wall or pole and lift first the front foot off the pedal and then the back foot off the pedal and then both feet for just a fraction of a second. This teaches balnace and a feel for center of gravity.

Good luck and keep with it. It is a great feeling unicycling!


I liked using a long rail best for learning (you can push or pull yourself to/form the rail, but w/ a wall you can only push).

Everybody learns at different speeds, on average it’s 15 hours over 2 weeks. It took me a lot longer, 40 hours over 8 weeks (largely do to the paralysis in my lower legs, glutes, and hips & my fear of injury).

You might want to get a few diff lengths of cheep cranks. W/ 150’s on my 20" learning to ride backwards was a lot easier, do to the slower top speed, my seat was a bit lower to the ground, I had more tourque, and it was easier to step off w/o falling, all making it a lot less scary & I could get away w/ more before a UPD. People who I’ve taught found it easier for learning to ride w/ 150’s over the 127’s.

Riding my 16" w/ 125’s was even easier, but didn’t turn well at all.