Desperate for Help

Ok well I’m on my 4th day of practicing the unicycle, and I am having virtually no luck.

I still can’t ride more than, oh, 1-2 feet before I UPD.

During those 1-2 feet, I swerve like crazy.

At least 25% of my attempts at riding WITH my support end up in a UPD.

I tried just pedaling like crazy like someone suggested to me, and that only results in an even quicker UPD.

My saddle guards are already a huge scratched mess.

I would think that after 4 days I could do a little better than this, but I don’t think I’ve progressed at all since the end of my first day.

Is this slow progress normal? Should I keep just practicing the way I am? Any random tips?

Your progressing about as fast as I did, if that makes you feel a little better. :slight_smile:

It sounds like your stopping with the pedals vertical. Make sure to put virtually ALL of your weight on the seat!! This way you preserve your forward momentum and you can roll through the vertical-pedal-position. Also be sure to sit straight up on the seat. I think that’s basically all you need to remember, though someone will most likely tell you to look straight ahead and not at the ground. (personally, that never helped me)

Keep practicing.

Put all of your weight on the seat, sit up straight, look forward, and go. Eventually something will start to click and you’ll get it.

Spudman beat me to it and already covered the bases. Oh phooey.

Oh yeah, well don’t give up. It’s pretty obvious, but if you give up you won’t do it. If you don’t give up you will get it. Pretty simple, eh?

Now that you mention it, I think that may be my biggest problem. I just sort of start putting my weight on the pedals and half-standing half-sitting without realizing it…maybe if I work on that (and start looking straight ahead instead of at the ground), I’ll progress a little faster.

And actually, it makes me feel a lot better that you progressed about as fast as I am. :smiley:

Everything aside, practice. You’ll get it.

Wait, so you have been registered here since september but only had a uni for 4 days?

For tips, i would just say keep going, if you are making any progress at all you will learn soon enough.

This might sound a bit metaphysical, but it helps me, I’m learning to wheel walk right now and I feel like a complete beginner all of a sudden:

Breath slowly. Visualize the action (including keeping the wheel going round and round. I know, it does sometimes get stuck on part of a revolution), eyes ahead and level, feel your center and keep the uni underneath it.

You’ve probably seen a lot of the hopping and thrashing videos on the forum, put that aside for now and think smooooooth. Focus. Balance.

This might sound contrary to much of what it said here, too. I learned to idle before riding. Just back and forth with one hand lightly on a fence, then letting go. Once I did that I practiced one rev forwards one rev back. Gradually less clinging on the fence then I was off, wondering what I should do when I got to the end of the driveway!!

Don’t worry about your seat getting messed up. Better it than you, eh!!

Took me two weeks to get down the driveway so you know…

You’re doing well.

Well, if it makes you feel any better, you’re learning way the heck faster than I did. I only got to practice on Monday nights (didn’t have my own uni), and it took me two and a half to really learn how to go about 20 revolutions. Then I got my own uni, and practiced insanesly for about two weeks until I got it. Just remember the Gregor clan motto, Perseverando, which means “persevering” in Latin. Practice, practice, practice, then practice more. You’ll get it. If I can do it, anyone can. :roll_eyes:

Butt on seat.

I remember having the same issue when I was learning. Not getting my butt on the seat. I remember saying to myself as I would mount:“get up on the pedals, sit on the seat, and pedal.”

I’ve been riding for a couple months now, and I’m still learning new things every time I ride. Be patient, and keep at it. It’ll come.

just like diving… only picture good thoughts… clear your mind of failure… and sucess will come


Didn’t expect this many replies. Thanks to all of you for the support. I will most certainly not give up, and will keep right on falling and getting back on. :smiley:

Inspirational picture for dudewithasock

Here I am practicing coker idle by my refridgerator with my sock puppet!

And yes, my kid thinks I’m nuts when I ask him to take pictures of my nonsense.

Blake withasock.JPG

NEVER QUIT! Quiters will get NOTHING out of a lifetime
Besides if it was easy, everyone would be on 1 wheel :wink:

keep at it. I was at it for a total time span of two months, because i could never get my hands on my own uni. I borrowed a couple family friends’ unis, and then got my first one from my aunt, and its seatpost was like 3 inches long and it hindered me a lot. Keep at it.

you might try using ski poles when you practice

Many have already said weight on the saddle, look ahead, smooth, circular pedal strokes. One important thing is that you learn from mistakes. That said, make mistakes. Don’t step off when you’re about to fall, keep going until you fall off. When you start to fall, learn to correct. Afterall, when you’re riding a unicycle you’re constantly falling and correcting.

To make sure your weight is on the saddle, adjust the saddle height correctly. When you are sitting on the saddle with your heel on the down pedal in its lowest position your knee should be straight. To learn, maybe an inch lower will help. Each time before you launch, look ahead, remind yourself to settle into the saddle and do it, and remind yourself to make smooth pedal strokes. Then ride until you fall.

Re: Desperate for Help

On Sun, 27 Nov 2005 17:11:03 -0600, dudewithasock wrote:

>Is this slow progress normal?

Looks about normal. You can read about learning time of others, and
even use an Exel spreadsheet to predict your own learning time (before
you can ride 50 metres). Go to

>Should I keep just practicing the way I
>am? Any random tips?

Hopefully some useful tips for you (especially from the freely
downloadable booklet “Learning to Unicycle” by Andrew Carter and me),

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“erectile function trumps public image - David Stone, commenting on the importance of seat comfort”

Why do you think they invented the self-timer function on cameras?

Very true, untill recently someone on the forum had this Lance Armstrong quote in their siglines:

They just paraphrased it to:

And on an even more basic level, just breathe.
It sounds odd but a lot of people will gulp in a lungfull of air and hold it while they attempt a feat of some (real or imagined) difficulty.
Unless you’re taking part in a breath-holding competition, there is almost no activity in this world where holding a chestfull of breath is going to help you. Doing that causes your upper body to be stiff and immobile and especially on the unicycle where you need micro-movements and -adjustment of your upper body to help with balance, this doesn’t help.

Sit on the uni.
Hold onto your support.
Take a couple of calming breaths and imagine yourself riding away.
Focus on sitting on the seat.
Focus on looking at the horizon or a door on the house across the street or a tree in the distance, anything, just make sure you’re looking up and not at the ground.
Focus on turning the pedals over smoothly.
Focus on taking one more breath and when you’re about 3/4 the way thru breathing it out, ride off.

And don’t worry too much about pedalling as fast as you can. Riding a unicycle is a very controlled activity. Trying to pedal too fast won’t really help you.
Keep it controlled.

And breathe.

Don’t panic. If you’re frustrated with yourself and the uni right now, take a break for a day or so and then get back to practicing. The most important is not to give up entirely and best way to do that is to have fun practicing.

Dude, That was me after 70 hours of practice. Just keep practicing. Some of us just need to work a little harder at it than others. I’m doing pretty good now. Started at the end of July and I’m up to a mile of paved riding before a UPD and can complete a 5 mile loop before my legs cry for mercy.