Now that I’m to the point where I can ride a little, my greatest limitation as a new unicyclist seems to be that I work my legs so hard against each other, that I’m huffiing and puffing until I’m worn out and have to dismount after only 50-100 feet. I keep trying to relax and put more of my weight on the seat, but every time I do, I loose control and either UPD, or else tense up to regain it.
By way of background, I got some experience riding holding onto walls in a tiny office last year when a co-worker purchased an amazon special on a whim. But I only seriously started trying to ride in free space a week ago, after dropping in on the NYUC’s gathering and then picking up a 20" Torker off Craigslist on the way home. I’m lucky that my current office has enough space to ride circles once I figured out how to balance a bit, but it has been an extreme fatigue challenge to do more than one loop at a time. Finally, tonight I managed to do two consecutive laps a few times, but I still feel like I’m fighting myself, and making progress more by building strength than by riding more efficiently.
How do I stay in control while working my legs only to move, and not against each other with what is effectively a death-grip on the pedals?
I know neither the saddle on the Torker CX 20, nor having the seat tube at it’s limit are helping things, and an upgrade is in my near-term plans, but I feel like it should be good for more than the minute or two at a time I’m currently managing.
I also notice that in many videos and even live watching I’ve seen people sort of having distinct “steps” to their cadence, while (at least by feel, I have no video of myself) I think I’ve been trying to spin the pedals more smoothly. Which is preferred, and why?
Apologies if this has been covered before - I’ve lurked for a few days and read a lot of threads, and haven’t really seen this discussed in specific. I’m sure a big part of it is going to be to just keep on practicing, but from past activities I’m a big believer in practicing “smarter” and not just “harder”.