New guy here, just got my Torker LX, was able to get to the end of the block after just an hour of practice. Problem is that I seem to keep veering left, and have to keep correcting. I can’t turn right at all, but can make multiple revolutions to the left. Wierd, eh?
Zoolander (character in the movie) got pretty far in his career without being able to turn left. Looks like you’re way ahead of him!
You’re doing about 100 times better than I was after one hour (I didn’t have a “real” unicycle then), so give yourself time. Something you’re doing now is making you trend to the left, and if you’re riding down the street the camber in the road could be a factor as well. Concentrate on turning to the right and you’ll find your “center.”
if you’re continually veering to one side, it may be the curvature of the street you’re on. if not, sometimes (especially when learning) you just keep going to one side for a little while. try riding in your driveway to avoid curves. you’ll learn to go straighter with more practice.
I was recently helping a noobie learn. She could ride ok, but was veering left and couldn’t straighten out. Without telling her why, I set her up to ride 50 yards to a tennis ball placed on the ground. I placed her facing that ball, with a wall 5 feet to her left. (This was in a gym). She rode straight to that ball with no veer at all. We did that about 6 times. Then put some objects down along the way for her to weave through, swerving left then right then left then right. Another 6 times. Problem solved. In other words, make it impossible to swerve left and you won’t.
Thanks for all the advice and the kind words. I too thought the camber of the road was causing the problem, so I tried riding on the opposite side of the street, which really didn’t help any. I also have adjusted the seat height to where it is as suggested. I’m not really swerving left, just trending left as John suggested. When I try to turn right, I just lose my balance, while I can make left hand circles (big ones) all afternoon, or at least until my legs pump up and I have to dismount.
I’m working on my free mounts, and can get into an idle, but need to work on turning the idle into forward motion.
I guess that we’ve all been there at some time.
First thing to do is to deduce whether the problem is a human factor or a machine issue.
Turn the seat through 180 degrees and see what happens when you ride it like that. This is essentially riding the unicycle backwards so that the wheel is rotating opposite to usual.
If you get no change then it’s probably your influence, but if you find yourself veering right then it’s a machine/tyre problem.
Sometimes turning the seat 180 degrees will cause the pedals too unscrew themselves from the cranks (notice how the Left pedal is threaded in the opposite direction as the Right pedal)
I think it’s a good idea to have a target to ride towards. I remember when I was learning to ride (a year and some months ago) I used to pick out spots on the ground about 10-15 feet ahead of me, and ride towards them.
Turning the seat 180 is good for a test but don’t leave it like that. burjzyntski is correct. We’ve have pedals come off in parades. Embarrassing.
Try slightly twisting your chest right for right turns or left for left turns. Reach forward with your left hand for a right turn and vice versa. Aim your stermun at the direction you want to go.
You might still be a little stiff when you ride. One thing that helped my kids is to practice loosening the hips. Try riding forward and moving your hips like a hoola dancer. You should swerve back and forth. It should help you relax. Make those flowing water hand/arm gestures. Be carefull that the grass from your skirt doesn’t get tangled in the wheel.
Some turning-advice that worked for me.
Look in the direction you want to turn and when that side’s pedal comes over the top, step down on it with a little more oomph that usual.
This should initiate the turning-momentum. The turn is complated by your body movements.
You get better at all of that with practise.
And as long as it’s fun, it doesn’t really count as practise.
How did you get into learning to ride?
Our previous main-Alaskan-people were Jason and King MuniMan, his 6-then-7 year old son.
Haven’t heard from them for a while.
Well, let’s see… many years ago, (30 or so), an acquaintance used to ride all over town on a uni, and everyone thought he was crazy, but I always had that little spark in the back of my mind. Last week, during our Independence Day holiday, one of my neighbors broke out his new uni that he had just recently got, and he offered to let me try it. I ordered one the next day, and it has been all down hill since then!
when i first started i was so mad to realize i kept going to my left (which meant i’d go off my driveway and onto my lawn). suddenly i realized the driveway was slanted so i started to go on tarred roads and such. took me forever to learn to go right but don’t worry. keep trying and you’ll get it. i know that sounds so cliche and frustrating but it’s true.
Last night I was able to make some pretty feeble right-hand turns, and it took some effort. The lefts are still very easy, but I can go fairly straight now. I’ll have to work on it some more. I tried free mounts for a while, but keep getting stuck at the balance point, and can’t get started moving forward, and wind up tipping to the side. Oh well, I guess I can’t complain, after spending only about 4 hours total on unicycling.