Can anyone ride a unicycle?

Luckily, you don’t need to be very coordinated on a unicycle, but good general balance and good core tension helps.

Yes, more than a few give up before they get there. And a very small amount doesn’t seem to learn despite staying at it for a long time. That wouldn’t prevent me from saying that unicycling is very achievable for a majority of people.

I always say that unicycling isn’t hard when you compare it to a lot of other (skill based) hobbies, it’s just a very tricky initial learning curve that makes it feel very tough. To become halfway decent at playing instruments takes a long time too, but you tend to feel a lot more “linear” progress there

With kids, I would say around 6 hours of practicing time until they can ride for 30 meters or so, but there is a decently large spread. Adults tend to need a fair bit longer. I think kids are a lot more used to falling, practicing and failing, while adults need a bit more time to get into that mode again.
Just be prepared to fall a lot. Luckily, most falls are completely harmless and simply landing on your feet, I’m mentioning it more so you know not to be discouraged.

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I asked Chat GPT:
“Can a blind person with no legs ride a unicycle?”
the answer was quite encouraging and addressed the main points with consideration… gulp!

What about this analogy, which I thought of while riding my KH36,

Jet fighters, with their swept wings are inherently unstable aerodynamically… I understand (maybe wrong) that it is the multitude of adjustments from onboard computers that allow the agile manoeuvrability of the aircraft.

Similar to riding a unicycle with our biological computers and muscle actuators?

Anyway, when people ask me ‘That looks like hard work!”
My standard return line is:

“Once you get it, if feels like floating”
and I do actually feel that way now, after a couple of years riding… I just love the feeling!

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Now that I can ride a 36er, I can say that the 36” experience is different than any other size. They are all different, but when on the 36er I still feel like I’m riding, rather than “driving”. I compare it to a horse. I tell the horse to go over there, and he does, kinda, but ultimately does his own thing, and I am the one that adapts to the horse. As we ride together more, the horse trusts me more, and listens to me better.

On smaller sizes now, I tell it what to do, and it does what I tell it to do. The unicycle is dependent upon me for every cue. This doesn’t apply to my fat tire monster chopper unicycle. That beast still has a mind of its own sometimes, and like the 36er, I “ride it out” and make it change direction once “I am in charge”.

In the end, @Unicyc , I agree with you. There isn’t anything that compares. Like a toddler that realizes how great it is to walk upright (and later run) rather than crawl, I love feeling that exhilaration on a unicycle when “it’s all clicking”. I have so much progress to make to get to your level on the 36”, but look forward to it. I’ve seen your progress since you bought your 36”, and tracked your modifications, and I can understand how you might feel like you are floating when you ride at speed with your aero bars.

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That describes it perfectly. Like standing on a magic carpet.

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A decade of Stand up paddleboarding in choppy seas may or may not have given me some degree of balance ability on the 36er.

I’m actually regularly enjoying hill climbing with the Aerobars and 110mm cranks on the KH36.

I can really lean forward and also pull up really hard on the bars trying to attain that magical balance point for each grade %. My current limit is 13% grade. Average grade of 9% being just comfortable. I’m getting a real sense of satisfaction from extending that.
I’m inspired by Martin Charrier and that guy that had a video riding up the switchbacks in North America…I was trying to find his video to get his name.
Check out my recent strava elevation graph riding the eastern suburbs of Sydney, near Bondi Junction.

With commuting. When on a nice smooth stretch of road, I’m starting to feel comfortable just concentrating on steady Cadence… Leading to sustained higher speeds.
For me, the floating feeling comes from the see-saw effect of butt at back of seat, hands at end of Aerobars pushing forward (allowing weight/ unweight either side of the seat front (pivot point). To me it has a really forgiving balance envelope with the “fail imbalance situation” being to weight the back, effecting a slowing in speed.

Good timing to be getting my confirmation email from Florian for delivery of my 125mm schlumpf hub by end of May.

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“Anyone can ride a unicycle”, as long as you are persistent in the learning process, because most peeps generally can’t learn it in a day or a week. I got into unicycling when I was 39 years old. I was getting bored of my life and wanted to do something new. I had read somewhere that anyone can ride uni as long as you don’t give up, because it does get frustrating and I took up that challenge. It took me 3 weeks of training 2 hours each evening and now, nearly 8 years later, I am still very much enjoying it.

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Well? Did you get a unicycle, at least?
You got to do that first.

Better to be a unicyclist that “gave up”.
Than someone who “never started”.

…slammm

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Maybe you can find some unicyclist near you in that map and once you have started you can register yourself on it :wink:.

Well I never got one before winter last year. This year I plan on doing it however. A fellow is selling a 20" “Club” unicycle on the way to my inlaws. We are driving there in a few weeks and I have arrranged to pick it up. I figured for $50 I can’t go wrong, and I here smaller wheels are good to learn on. Super interested in long distance riding with bigger wheels, but need to crawl before I try to run…

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A Club unicycle will be a great starting point for your journey!

This series can be a good starting to point to help you learn

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The simple answer is YES.

It takes practice, with a good dose of determination and pig-headedness, but it’s worth pursuing.

Hope you take up the challenge.

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I reckon if someone can ride a bicycle, run up and down a flight of stairs, and walk for a short distance over rough ground with their eyes closed will have no trouble learning, given the right unicycle and an area like a basketball court to learn on.

And some of the top riders in this forum could probably still ride a unicycle even after a leg amputation !

But it is 2024, so I gave a fairly long prompt to chatGPT, and got the following:

Certainly! Given the scenario where a group of 12-year-olds is to be taught unicycling, and the goal is to maximize the number of successful learners while ensuring safety and appropriate allocation of teaching resources, here’s a structured approach to achieve this:

Preliminary Screening

  1. Health and Medical Evaluation:
  • Medical History Review: Collect information on any medical conditions that could make unicycling dangerous or impractical, such as epilepsy, severe osteoporosis, significant balance disorders, or severe visual impairments.
  • Physical Examination: Perform basic health checks focusing on muscular strength, coordination, balance, and reaction times. This includes simple tests like standing on one leg (eyes open and closed), reaction time tests, and coordination exercises like touching the nose with eyes closed.
  1. Balance and Coordination Tests:
  • Balance Board Test: Use a balance board to assess the student’s ability to maintain equilibrium.
  • Proprioception Assessment: Conduct exercises that test the body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location, such as having students walk heel-to-toe in a straight line.

Dividing Students into Groups

  1. High Likelihood of Success Group:
  • Criteria: Students who demonstrate strong balance, coordination, adequate muscle strength, and quick reaction times.
  • Method: Based on the balance and coordination tests, identify students who excel in these areas.
  1. Needs More Teaching Time Group:
  • Criteria: Students who show some difficulties in balance, coordination, or reaction times but do not have any disqualifying medical conditions.
  • Method: Students who perform moderately on the tests and require more practice and personalized instruction.

Teaching Methodology

  1. For the High Likelihood Group:
  • Focused Training: Provide more advanced techniques and challenges to keep them engaged. Introduce basic riding quickly and then move on to tricks and advanced maneuvers.
  • Peer Support: Pair these students with those in the needs more teaching time group for peer-assisted learning.
  1. For the Needs More Teaching Time Group:
  • Basic Skills Emphasis: Focus on foundational skills such as mounting, dismounting, and short-distance riding. Use training aids like handrails or support from a partner.
  • Incremental Challenges: Gradually increase the difficulty of tasks, ensuring students build confidence and competence step by step.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use encouragement and positive feedback to build confidence and reduce anxiety.

Safety Measures

  1. Protective Gear: Ensure all students wear helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
  2. Controlled Environment: Begin training in a safe, enclosed area with a smooth surface, free of obstacles.
  3. Supervision: Maintain a high instructor-to-student ratio to provide adequate supervision and immediate assistance when needed.

Continuous Assessment

  1. Progress Monitoring: Regularly assess students’ progress and adjust teaching strategies accordingly.
  2. Feedback Loop: Create a system where students can provide feedback about their comfort levels and difficulties, allowing for a responsive teaching approach.

Encouragement and Motivation

  1. Celebrate Milestones: Recognize and celebrate each student’s progress and milestones to keep them motivated.
  2. Inclusive Activities: Incorporate fun, group activities that promote a sense of community and teamwork.

By following this structured approach, you can effectively weed out students who should not start the course for safety reasons, divide the remaining students based on their likelihood of success, and provide tailored teaching that maximizes each student’s potential to learn unicycling.

Well the deal fell through on the Club unicycle (another person beat me to it). So I am scouring classifieds for another one. I don’t want to spend piles of money on one until I know its something I can learn and want to do all the time. I was looking at a Kobe unicycle on Amazon, but for $115 I am not sure if they are any good.

Hey Flybu,
I have a better idea.
Try to find a unicycle rider in your area. Maybe thru this site. I know “we” are rare only 1 in 10,000 are active riders. However, catch one of us and you might be able to “borrow” a 20" beginner unicycle.

Actually, I can almost guarantee you that any active unicycle rider owns at least 3 unicycles. I have two and I would gladly let anyone in my local area(LA, 90640) who is interested borrow my 20" Torker, and free private lessons if you can put up with me.

So, if you are truly interested in riding a unicycle rather than bargain shopping focus on hunting down a local unicycle rider.

…slam

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I live in central Canada (Saskatoon area). I have never seen anyone on a unicycle before even. Which is why it has been hard finding one. There were a few for sale last year that I should have bought. The guy who I was talking to lived 2 hours away, but he sold it before I could get there. I will just keep looking.