Beginner needing help

Dave Cole wrote:

> G’day all, I am a newbie on the uni (well I’ve had it for about 2 months), but
> am still struggling with it. I was told (from the person who sold me the uni),
> to learn how to balance by rocking backwards and forwards in a doorway
> (holding onto the door jam). Anyway, I did that, and have my balance in the
> forward and backward direction. What is posing a problem is sideways balance.
> I always seem to want to fall to either the left or right. I can stay balanced
> rocking forwards and backwards for about 5 secs before a lose it, and have to
> grab hold of the door jam again.
>
> Can anyone out there give me any advice on how to overcome this prob, or
> better yet, explain a better way to learn??
>
> thanks in advance, Dave
> ----
> davec@jeack.com.au

I’ll give it a shot, since I’m VERY new to this and its fresh in my mind. The
experts will probably have differing opinions, that’s OK.

I’ve read all through the FAQ and the booklet that came with my Schwinn, also
all the tips I’ve found at links, etc. If you can keep the wheel under you
“indefinitely” in the doorway and your balance to the side is the first thing to
go when you let go of the doorframe - - its time to get some momentum,
preferably forwards. The pedals will only keep the wheel under you in the
backward/forward direction, side to side requires “track stand” balance or
momentum. BTW, I’ve no idea if you can do track stands, a lot of folk who havn’t
ridden fixed gear can’t or can only do it on an upward incline. I’m not
recommending that you practice track stands, thats done with the weight on the
pedals, you need your weight on the seat for uni’ing.

There’s a tip in the Schwinn booklet that says to put a block behind the wheel
and practice a sort of “fake mount” by stepping on the rear pedal, moving
forwards and stepping over the other pedal to deliberately land on that foot and
catch the saddle behind you. It seems a little foolish, but I’m learning to
catch the seat almost every time I fall forwards now, and this is a step toward
mounting and riding away.

I’m at the point of being able to ride along a wall about 20ft and “almost” not
holding onto the rail, its more of a psychological crutch right now, I plan to
give it up - “REAL SOON”.

regards,

Reg

G’day all, I am a newbie on the uni (well I’ve had it for about 2 months), but
am still struggling with it. I was told (from the person who sold me the uni),
to learn how to balance by rocking backwards and forwards in a doorway (holding
onto the door jam). Anyway, I did that, and have my balance in the forward and
backward direction. What is posing a problem is sideways balance. I always seem
to want to fall to either the left or right. I can stay balanced rocking
forwards and backwards for about 5 secs before a lose it, and have to grab hold
of the door jam again.

Can anyone out there give me any advice on how to overcome this prob, or
better yet, explain a better way to learn??

thanks in advance, Dave

davec@jeack.com.au

Re: Beginner needing help

Text item:

davec@jeack.com.au wrote:

> I am a newbie on the uni (well I’ve had it for about 2 months), but am still
> struggling with it. I was told (from the person who sold me the uni), to
> learn how to balance by rocking backwards and forwards in a doorway (holding
> onto the door jam). Anyway, I did that, and have my balance in the forward
> and backward direction. What is posing a problem is sideways balance. I
> always seem to want to fall to either the left or right. I can stay balanced
> rocking forwards and backwards for about 5 secs before a lose it, and have to
> grab hold of the door jam again.

Dave, I hope you have already found more success in this area, but here’s some
general advice for all learners/teachers:

The best results seem to come if you learn the basic skills in this order:

  1. riding forward
  2. dismounting in control (when you want)
  3. turning
  4. freemount

(and after all that)

  1. idling/rocking and backward riding (these are good to learn together)

Idling is a lot harder than riding forward. Of course to ride forward, the adult
learner has to make that big mental break from the wall or support he/she is
using to stay alive.

The main problem when teaching kids is keeping them near a wall until they’re
ready to go out into the open (they want to just push off and go without
building a base of riding with a support).

The problem with adults is getting them off the wall, cutting that mental
umbilical cord and going for it! Ride alongside the wall and try to angle away
from it. The key word, “ride”. Side to side balance is covered with small twists
of hips (or big flails of arms in the beginning), but is much easier while
you’re moving.

Have fun,

John Foss reply to: unifoss@calweb.com

Intel does not necessarily endorse this particular method of learning to ride
a unicycle.

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Re: Beginner needing help

You wrote


> From: Dave Cole <davec@jeack.com.au> To: UNICYCLING@winternet.com Subject:
> Beginner needing help Date: 15 November 1997 12:15
>
> G’day all, I am a newbie on the uni (well I’ve had it for about 2 months),
> but am still struggling with it. I was told (from the person who sold me the
> uni), to learn how to balance by rocking backwards and forwards in a doorway
> (holding onto the door jam). Anyway, I did that, and have my balance in the
> forward and backward direction. What is posing a problem is sideways balance.
> I always seem to want to fall to either the left or right. I can stay
> balanced rocking
forwards
> and backwards for about 5 secs before a lose it, and have to grab hold of the
> door jam again.
>
> Can anyone out there give me any advice on how to overcome this prob, or
> better yet, explain a better way to learn??
>
> thanks in advance, Dave

I found when I was learning, that using a corner of a gym was very useful, I
could get on the uni using both walls to help me mount and get balanced before
gently leaning forward and <going for it> across to the other corner of the gym.
I found it good because it stopped me leaning on the wall for support when
riding and I did not crash into the wall (only the floor, you got good at
dismounts too :slight_smile: ) and I could gauge my performance by my proximity to the
opposite corner when I fell off. But, one disadvantage was that an involuntary
dismount too close to the other corner could be a bit nasty |-( so be careful as
you get closer. Having reached the other corner I would use the wall as support
again to turn around ready to return, this gave me hours of fun :slight_smile: I could also
relax for a while in the saddle by letting the wheel roll back slightly into the
corner and preventing any further movement, Hope this is of some help, but the
main thing is to keep trying.

Trevor Pearce-Jones

Trevpj@globalnet.co.uk Devizes. Wiltshire. England.

Re: Beginner needing help

>Can anyone out there give me any advice on how to overcome >this prob, or
better yet, explain a better way to learn??

Try holding onto someones shoulder as you ride forward. Once you’re comfortable
with that, try holding onto something (street lamp, chair, mailbox) and riding
strait away from it without suport.

hpoe it helps, OneWheel83@aol.com

re: Beginner needing help

In article <19971119.091145.551983.NETNEWS@AUVM.AMERICAN.EDU> JohnX Foss
<JohnX_Foss@ccm.fm.intel.com> writes:
>
> Text item:
>
> davec@jeack.com.au wrote:
>
> > I am a newbie on the uni (well I’ve had it for about 2 months), but am
> > still struggling with it. I was told (from the person who sold me the uni),
> > to learn how to balance by rocking backwards and forwards in a doorway
> > (holding onto the door jam). Anyway, I did that, and have my balance in the
> > forward and backward direction. What is posing a problem is sideways
> > balance. I always seem to want to fall to either the left or right. I can
> > stay balanced rocking
forwards
> >and backwards for about 5 secs before a lose it, and have to grab hold of the
> >door jam again.
>
> Dave, I hope you have already found more success in this area, but
here’s some
> general advice for all learners/teachers:
>
> The best results seem to come if you learn the basic skills in this
order:
>
> 1. riding forward
> 2. dismounting in control (when you want)
> 3. turning
> 4. freemount
>
> (and after all that)
>
> 5. idling/rocking and backward riding (these are good to learn together)
>
> Idling is a lot harder than riding forward. Of course to ride forward,
the adult
> learner has to make that big mental break from the wall or support
he/she is
> using to stay alive.
>
> The main problem when teaching kids is keeping them near a wall until
they’re
> ready to go out into the open (they want to just push off and go without
> building a base of riding with a support).
>
> The problem with adults is getting them off the wall, cutting that
mental
> umbilical cord and going for it! Ride alongside the wall and try to
angle away
> from it.

If I may add some emphasis ? YES !

I’ve been toddling along the wall of the gym, using the “ballet bar”, gradually
loosening my grip, then moving my hand up the wall and only touching it. I was
getting along OK, but when I finally got to the door - the damned thing was OPEN
! This was fortuitous (sp ?) since I was faced with the need to let go ENTIRELY
for the HUGE gap of 3ft (-:

(I think toddlers do this when they cling to furniture) I crept up to the
opening and tried to lean forward across the door opening to catch the opposite
jamb, that put my weight ahead of the axle, which made me pedal to keep the
wheel under me. Well, whaddya know ?, this thing ISN’T pedalled along at all.
You move forward by getting ahead of the axle, by weight shift, then getting the
axle under you again, by pedalling.

I’ve done a few “launch 'n lurch” manouvers across corners of the gym, but it
all starts to come together when I ride away from the wall. I found that riding
off at 20 or 30 degrees was OK, one of my biggest fears now is that I’ll wimp
out as I leave the wall, grab for the bar and bust a wrist going down )-:

A couple of other things while I think of them a) grabbing the seat as I bail
out seems to help me land on my feet more. b) when I know I’m going off the back
I step back with the REAR foot, which makes the cycle shoot forward even
quicker. Similarly, when going off the front it is “natural but not recommended”
to step forwards with the foot that is already forwards. Somehow I have to step
forward/backward with the backward/forward foot as I bail.

enough rambling, lets do it

Reg

> The key word, “ride”. Side to side balance is covered with small twists of
> hips (or big flails of arms in the beginning), but is much easier
while
> you’re moving.
>
> Have fun,
>
> John Foss reply to: unifoss@calweb.com
>
>
> Intel does not necessarily endorse this particular method of learning to
ride a
> unicycle.
>
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>
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> Connections Pty Ltd Date: 15 Nov 97 17:15:57 +0500 Subject: Beginner needing
> help Newsgroups: rec.sport.unicycling From: Dave Cole <davec@jeack.com.au>
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Re: Beginner needing help

juggler@deltanet.com (JAG) writes:

>
> JohnX Foss <JohnX_Foss@ccm.fm.intel.com> wrote:
>
> >The best results seem to come if you learn the basic skills in this order:
> >
> >1. riding forward
> >2. dismounting in control (when you want)
> >3. turning
> >4. freemount
> >
> >(and after all that)
> >
> >5. idling/rocking and backward riding (these are good to learn together)
>
> That’s funny. I can do skills 1,2,4 and 5 fairly well, but I still suck at
> turning! Talk about wildly flailing arms and spastically twisting bodies…
> you should see me go around a sharp corner!
>
> …JAG

I found my turning improved greatly by leaning into the turn with my hips and
out of the turn with my upper body. It still takes a lot more energy and effort
than riding in a straight line though.


As I was walking through the woods, I came across two roads and I, took the one
less travelled by, and got completely lost. Adaptation of a poem, Chris
Fiddyment.