Total n00b. Bought my first unicycle about a month ago and have been having a blast falling down, crashing, getting laughed at…you know, the usual beginner experience. Thought I’d jump on the forum just to get some inspiration and maybe ask occasional questions.
After putting in the requisite 15 or so hours of practice, I can ride in a straight line for about 1/3 of a mile and do big, wide turns–that’s about it. My goals by the end of summer:
free mount with confidence
turn tightly (both directions)
actually go places
My first question on the Forum:
I still feel like I’m riding with my knees, but today while consciously trying to sit back and take the weight off my feet, I actually felt like I was properly “sitting” on the uni! It felt amazing. So, do proper posture and weight distribution just evolve over time? Any tips in this area?
I was originally prompted to try the uni by Terry the Unigeezer. I watched his videos and my jaw dropped–it looked sooooo fun! At 52, I’m also a geezer.
I’ve been keeping a little video diary of my attempt to learn unicycling. Here’s a practice video from earlier this week, made by my bratty nephew who was running after me with the camera:
He he, you might want to consider changing your name though You won’t be a uni newb in a couple of months , you’ll be up there with the likes of Mr P and Mr H
You’re doing great! I’ve watched your vids, pretty impressive for a few weeks riding.
There is lots of advice and help on here. Most are far better qualified to give advice than me. But, I’ll pass on two pieces of advice I’ve found really helpfull.
First is to ride as if ‘being pulled up by your hair’
Second think BOS! Bum on seat, bum on seat, bum…
Third, practice, practice, practice
I reckon you’ll acheive all your goals pretty soon. There are some very helpfull vids on you tube. jojoxie put a good link in a few weeks ago on the ‘‘learning jounal’’ thread.
Glad to see you wearing your helmet, and it’s pretty brave of you wearing sandals.
Please keep us all posted on your progress.
(wishing I’d given more thought to my username!:()
Welcome. Looking great. I never have had much luck in sandals though, even though I run barefoot. I use Vans for unicycling, they seem to work best for me. The kind with laces.
I’ve been riding since '85 and am just getting back into it learning the tricks all these whipper snappers are doing. It’s a blast. Very gratifying to work on a physically demanding skill and get from nowhere to somewhere.
…yeah. you know, I do feel better riding in my regular shoes. thx.
Hey, here’s a question for anyone:
I came across this video the other day and it completely changed my view of the potential of the unicycle for practical transportation. It’s a simple video…just a ride of maybe 5 miles, filmed by a cam mounted to the back of a lead bicycle. The rider is obviously very comfortable on the uni, and his handling skills are as good as those of any regular cyclist. I raced bikes for years, but this guy really impressed me. The video is long, so you might want to skip around. The course starts out on mountain trail, moves along a beach-side walking path, through suburbs, etc., and includes fast downhills, long climbs, traffic, etc.
He seems to be riding a regular 24" uni, but I’m guessing he’s moving along the flats at a fairly decent clip. Amazing.
OK, so the question is this: In relative terms, does this level of skill represent the upper echelons of unicycling? In other words, is this guy as totally “uber” as he seems to a n00b like me, or is this level of riding common?
He looks okay but not great. Good riders would have no trouble with that rocky section at 6:55. Really good ones could jump that log at 2:50. If you keep practicing, you’ll eventually be at least as good as he is.
Oh, you’re totally going to do those. You’re doing great already - my first two weeks were much more shaky than yours. I’m a noob too and it took me about that long to learn how to free mount at all (a prerequisite to my learning to ride around here; nothing to hold on to in my neighborhood) and the two weeks following free mounting showed almost no progress.
Just keep at it. A couple of weeks of Bum-On-Seat and you’ll really feel the difference - probably much more than you did yesterday. You’ll be amazed.
I didn’t have any luck with the “pulled up by your hair” trick, but maybe that’s because I don’t have any!
I did find that I had to concentrate on how much I was leaning forward and backward as part of normal travel (based on pitch of the road) before I really started getting it “right.” And I can say that every week, I realize I’ve gone farther toward BOS; this morning I felt really good on a couple of downhills that would have killed my knees a week or two ago.
Dang! Thx, aarons. Good to hear. Of course, the idea that I might someday feel as comfortable on the one-wheel as I do on one of my bikes seems ludicrous at this stage, but then when I think about how bizarre it felt the first time I threw a leg over a uni, I never would have believed I could make it even as far as I already have. Cool!
Thanks for all the great noob advice–it really helps, especially the bit about “Bum on Seat.” Turns are feeling better and I can ride longer without getting tired.
Today an office buddy, CK, joined me for a quck workout after picking the spider eggs out of the spokes of his vintage Schwinn uni, which he hasn’t ridden since the 80’s. I talked him into getting back on, and I’ve been downloading wisdom from his brain…hahaha: the guy hadn’t ridden in decades, but he jumped on and rode away like a meister! Cool. Here’s a pic of his ride, and a not-very-exciting video of the parking lot fun. Thanks again!
I’ve been seriously considering a 29" with a brake, mostly to lessen the knee strain. I’ve got a good downhill on my way to the train and I’m thinking it’ll become a problem eventually. But yeah, BoS helped a lot!
Hey there, I’m new to the forum too, and a beginner unicyclist. I’m starting out with a Coker 36 inch and 125mm cranks. It was slow going at first, and has been about a month since I started. Yesterday was the flash of enlightenment though. I straightened up, loosened up, and almost all my weight went into the saddle. I found my legs weren’t doing all the work, and hardly had to pedal. It was more like the uni was peddling my feet, and my feet were going along for the ride, applying pressure when needed. I was gone for hours going all thru the neighborhood. It’s funny how balled up in frustration the learning process can be, then one day…Boom! you take off. Cheers, and happy unicycling.
Nicely stated Leevolver! Isn’t it beautiful how the mind-body connection works? You work real hard, then take a break and BAM you get it. I have been working for weeks on Walking the Wheel, then I stopped for a few days, got back on and broke my record.
It is very true. When riding on flats and downhill, it should feel that you are merely along for the ride and your feet are just barely touching the pedals. A great feeling, no?
What YooNeeNoob said here is spot on. I’ve been riding with my legs/knees for about a month–and they’re sore!!! I would free mount, get to the end of my street, but then bail out. Not due to balance, but because my legs were on FIRE. After seeing a few pictures of myself, I noticed that my frame was pointing back and my upper body forward, making a bow shape. My legs were picking up all the slack of balance. Gonna give my body a rest for a couple days, then hit it hard with a fresh mindset.
Once my butt became dead weight it was like magic! Simply one of the greatest feelings ever.