Sorry, long post ahead!
I’m a new member here, also new to unicycling. I’ve had an interest slowly developing when I picked up on longboarding and riding the ‘wave board’ a while back as I had an interest in ‘obscure’ things to learn to ride. It kind of waned and kind of came back when my brother got a Fixed Gear (Fixie) bike. About a week before Xmas, I was at a local bike shop that specializes in fixie bikes as we were picking up a part for my brother. Looking around, I saw a lone unicycle with what seemed to be a reasonable price (Either $120 or $160) as the shop carries high-end stuff. I told myself, one of these days, I’ll probably wind up getting it but not now.
New Year’s Day, I’m at a local thrift store looking for a small entertainment center for a game room when I walked by the bikes. Alone on the rack, I spotted a unicycle. I nabbed it and made the purchase, was like $27 bucks. It’s a Schwinn 24-incher from probably the 70s as I did some research on it. It has the cottered cranks and the uni was actually in some decent shape. Some surface rust, the whitewall’s now a little more of a ‘creamwall,’ felt a tad dry when it was deflated. It holds the air though so I’m happy.
I actually moved the seat up 1 notch higher than in the photo. When I got it, the seat was at the second to lowest position.
Now onto riding this thing. It was a bit scary at first, and I felt like my legs were tiring out quite fast. I noticed that the seat was too low so I maxxed the height out so my leg’s just about fully extended at the 6:00 position. The first week, I’ve just been familiarizing myself with it, mounting and getting off, and hanging onto the side of my bed (it’s one of those Ikea loft beds) and rolling back and forth. A couple days after doing this, I would let go for a few seconds to get a feel for it and finally took it outside for the first time. I rode about 20 feet after several tries. I seem to average about 10 feet before I ‘let go.’
Now, we are finally seeing some rain in the SF Bay Area so I’m again stuck inside. Due to limited space, I figured I’d try working on idling. Now, I have several questions, since I can’t exactly ask a youtube video:
First off, I know the Schwinn’s a classic, it’s a tank despite a single bolt holding the split flat frame together, it uses outdated components (cottered cranks), and has proprietary parts from what I’ve read. This is a 24 incher, and measuring my inseam, I’m at the minimum inseam recommendation for a 24. Would you say this is a good uni to learn on? I don’t see myself really doing hops, jumps, or anything like that. I plan on more of just cruising around, maybe some simple ‘freestyle’ stuff when I get brave…otherwise, just cruise around, maybe try yoyoing at the same time.
I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with keeping my forward/backward balance but seem to be lacking big time on side-to-side balance. How can I eliminate this? Just keep doing what I’m doing and hang on, let go for short periods and see how long I can keep going?
Also, I’ve noticed 1 youtube video showing the long process of hanging on to a chair, sit on it for short amounts of time for a few days, then do 100 reps of rocks on each foot, then finally take it outside and begin actually riding it. Other videos I noticed just jump right into grabbing a friend or fence and begin riding. Being new to this, I’m a bit confused. Should I work in riding or idling first or does it matter? Does it matter to work in both simultaneously or should I concentrate on 1 first?
Sorry to bring all these questions at once.