Difficult beginnings

i’m starting to get frustrated.

Due to foot and mouth I’m not allowed out on the trails MTBing which is my first
love. luckily this gives me some free time to get to grips with riding my uni.

The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.

I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I usually start with
my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem to pedal
any further.

Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
expect a surge foward in ability soon?

I’m a very experienced road and MTB rider so it’s not like I’m not used to
having a bike between my legs…

Thanks,

jon.


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Re: Difficult beginnings

Don’t give up! Learning curves (and learning techniques) are different for
everyone. I sure can’t claim to be an expert, about all i can do is get on and
ride…i was very young when i learned to ride, but i remember spending many
hours trying to get the first full revolution of the wheel. For me, the wall
method never worked…i found myself leaning toward the wall and never really
learning to balance. I just had to grab something to hold me up until i was in
the saddle, and try to peddle off. Eventually i got that first full revolution,
then the rest seemed to happen much more quickly…sorry i can’t offer more in
the way of tips, but i think the bottom line is just keep trying!

Don’t look down! Chuck

Jon Wyatt wrote in message …
>
>i’m starting to get frustrated.
>
>Due to foot and mouth I’m not allowed out on the trails MTBing which is my
>first love. luckily this gives me some free time to get to grips with
riding
>my uni.
>
>The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.
>
>I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
>than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
>been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
>balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I usually start with
>my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem to pedal
>any further.
>
>Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
>expect a surge foward in ability soon?
>
>I’m a very experienced road and MTB rider so it’s not like I’m not used to
>having a bike between my legs…
>
>Thanks,
>
>jon.
>_________________________________________________________________________
>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

Re: Difficult beginnings

On 14 Mar 2001 00:19:12 -0800, samur2@hotmail.com (Jon Wyatt) wrote:

>The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.
I’ve heard saying that learning to unicycle takes ten times as much as learning
to ride a bike (remember?).

>I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
>than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
>been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
>balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I usually start with
>my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem to pedal
>any further.
That was where I was after 6 - 8 hours, too. But in my case it was a lot further
than when I started: clinging to a wall rack in a gym, using both hands,
sweating and making uncoordinated movements.

>Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
>expect a surge foward in ability soon?
I never made a surge forward. What helped me in particular was holding the hand
of a walking friend, and loosen the contact as much as felt safe. I could safely
ride on my own only after some 20 hours, which I think is slower than average.
I’m 47 y.o. From what I’ve seen, people who are cautious or prudent take a lot
more time than our fearless brothers and sisters. It’s a matter of daring and
believing, to a significant extent.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “encryption, Arab, Alamin Khalifa Fhimah”

Re: Difficult beginnings

Jon,

I would like to affirm what has already been said, be patient it will happen.
One of the common problems with people who ride bikes a lot and then learn to
unicycle is that they do not put weight on the saddle. This is ok for a bike but
not for a unicycle.

Good luck

Roger


The UK's Unicycle Source <a href="http://www.unicycle.uk.com/">http://www.unicycle.uk.com/</a>

----- Original Message ----- From: “Jon Wyatt” <samur2@hotmail.com> To:
<unicycling@winternet.com> Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 8:06 AM Subject:
Difficult beginnings

>
> i’m starting to get frustrated.
>
> Due to foot and mouth I’m not allowed out on the trails MTBing which is my
> first love. luckily this gives me some free time to get to grips with
riding
> my uni.
>
> The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.
>
> I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
> than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
> been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
> balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I
usually
> start with my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem
> to pedal any further.
>
> Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way?
Can
> I expect a surge foward in ability soon?
>
> I’m a very experienced road and MTB rider so it’s not like I’m not used to
> having a bike between my legs…
>
> Thanks,
>
> jon.
> _________________________________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

Re: Difficult beginnings

Jon Wyatt wrote:
> i’m starting to get frustrated.

Hang in there, it gets better!

> The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.

Most estimates I’ve see say closer to 15 hours. I know it took me toward the
longer estimate. I didn’t track the hours exactly, but I practiced for two weeks
straight, at least an hour a day before something “clicked”.

> I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
> than when I started.

That sounds normal to me.

> Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
> expect a surge foward in ability soon?

If I was any indication, you can expect a surge forward at some point. It may
not be as soon as you expect though. For me, I pushed off of a car one day and
was very surprised to find that I didn’t fall off after about 4 revolutions as
usual. I rode most of the length of a city block! Then remounted at a mailbox
and rode back. I couldn’t do it that morning, but I did it that afternoon.

Greg


“Wow, I didn’t know being a super hero could be so painful.”

Re: Difficult beginnings

Whast IIRC?

Re: Difficult beginnings

On 15/3/01 4:50 pm, someone called Trev suggested:

> Whast IIRC?
>
>
“If I recall correctly”, IIRC :wink:

Trevor Coultart (Anecdotal and/or amusing quotation currently unavailable)

Re: Difficult beginnings

oh ok

Re: Difficult beginnings

Jon–

With the initial help of first two assistants, and then one, everyone in our
family learned to ride quite quickly: At first, two other people walked along
side of us as we rode and we held on to their forearms for balance (more lexible
than shoulders). After a session or two, we all (even the most fearful of
falling and physically uncoordinated) graduated to just one assistant, and after
about 4 days (about 1/2-1 hr per day) were able to make increasingly longer and
longer solo forays from a starting place (a wall, post, building, side of a van,
etc). Keep trying…The real secret is perserverance. If my husband and I can
learn to ride at almost 50, so can you! Our learning curve was much steeper than
our kids’, but now we can freemount, ride long distances, and contribute
occasionally to our unicycle club’s weekly unicycle polo games (what a hoot!).

–Tracey Sherry


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Re: Difficult beginnings

Jon, I can only speak for myself, but I felt exactly like you do until all of
the sudden I could ride. From one moment to the next there was a complete
change. My brother and a friend of mine could tell you almost the same thing. As
to learning curves, I learned in a week; but I have a friend who rode approx.
20’ in about 3 hours! That was spread out over three days but it still was
amazing to me.

Jeff

On Wed, 14 Mar 2001 08:06:45 -0000 “Jon Wyatt” <samur2@hotmail.com> writes:
>
> i’m starting to get frustrated.
>
> Due to foot and mouth I’m not allowed out on the trails MTBing which is my
> first love. luckily this gives me some free time to get to grips with
> riding my uni.
>
> The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.
>
> I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
> than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
> been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
> balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I usually start with
> my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem to pedal
> any further.
>
> Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
> expect a surge foward in ability soon?
>
> I’m a very experienced road and MTB rider so it’s not like I’m not used to
> having a bike between my legs…
>
> Thanks,
>
> jon.
>


> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
>
>


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Re: Difficult beginnings

>From: “Roger” <Roger@unicycle.uk.com> To: “Jon Wyatt” <samur2@hotmail.com>,
><unicycling@winternet.com> Subject: Re: Difficult beginnings Date: Wed, 14 Mar
>2001 22:28:39 -0000
>
>Jon,
>
>I would like to affirm what has already been said, be patient it will happen.
>One of the common problems with people who ride bikes a lot and then learn to
>unicycle is that they do not put weight on the saddle. This is ok for a bike
>but not for a unicycle.
>

Thanks Roger and thanks everyone else who has given me some advice.

After it had been pointed out I noticed I wasn’t putting all my weight on the
saddle and it definately helps now when I concentrate on it.

Also , moving away from the wall when I set off seems to help too, I went
further today quite a few times than I have before (about 4 metres).

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again.

jon.


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Re: Difficult beginnings

On 14 Mar 2001 05:32:56 -0800, tkwsherry@hotmail.com (Tracey W. Sherry) wrote:
>you! Our learning curve was much steeper than our kids’, but now we can

Linguistic comment: Tracey and a few others have the axes reversed on the
learning curve plot, compared to what I’m used to. For me, a steep learning
curve is when you learn fast. English is not my native tongue but I think the
confusion may stem from the word “steep” being used in the USA for “difficult”?

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “encryption, Arab, Alamin Khalifa Fhimah”

Re: Difficult beginnings

On 14/3/01 9:54 pm, someone called Klaas Bil suggested:

> On 14 Mar 2001 05:32:56 -0800, tkwsherry@hotmail.com (Tracey W. Sherry) wrote:
>> you! Our learning curve was much steeper than our kids’, but now we can
>
> Linguistic comment: Tracey and a few others have the axes reversed on the
> learning curve plot, compared to what I’m used to. For me, a steep learning
> curve is when you learn fast. English is not my native tongue…

To me, a steep learning curve simply suggests “there’s a lot to learn”. Applied
in a business sense, the implication is that it needs to be learning quickly in
order to succeed in your job.

Trevor Coultart (Anecdotal and/or amusing quotation currently unavailable)

Re: Difficult beginnings

You are correct. This is actually question#7 on an introductory psychology test:

http://www2.gasou.edu/psychology/courses/dewey/ch07mcq.htm

RE: Difficult beginnings

Hi Jon,

Yup - the foot and mouth is a pain in the posterior. I’m in Shetland where
there’s no reported cases as yet and there’s not many signs up but the unwritten
rule still keeps most areas off bounds :frowning:

Frustration is, I’m afraid, part of the game. That said - the frustration level
makes it all the more rewarding when something clicks and you make progress.
There’s lots of hints and tips that can help learning to ride but they’ll vary
from person to person. Some of the most common ones include:

Put your weight on the seat and not the pedals. This takes a lot of the strain
off the legs and leaves them to the job of helping control the unicycle. When I
was learning I had the seat slightly too low and it wasn’t until I raised it a
bit that the penny dropped for me about keeping my weight on the seat. When
you’re sitting on your uni and either leg is extended straight down (balls of
your feet on the pedal) to the lowest point your knee should be slightly bent.

Sit up straight and look ahead. This helps put the weight on the seat and also
helps balance - if your gaze is focused on something on the horizon rather than
2 foot in front on the ground life is a bit easier.

Speed also made a difference for when learning. For ages I was going for
control. When I started pedalling faster, staying upright became a whole lot
more real. As a general note on speed… If you feel yourself falling forwards
you need to pedal slightly faster to push the uni up and in behind you. On the
other hand if you feel yourself falling backwards you need to slow the pedalling
action to allow your bodies momentum to bring you forward and back over the
wheel. These faster and slower pedalling actions, in reality, only take place
for a very short time but it’s something your body has to learn to do and get
the feel of.

Um… sure there’s probably more but it really does come down to practise. The
learning curve is a steep one unless you’re extremely lucky / gifted. I’ve put
some of my own learning experiences in the web @ http://wobbling.unicyclist.com

Cheers, Neil

-----Original Message----- From: samur2@hotmail.com [mailto:samur2@hotmail.com]
Sent: 14 March 2001 08:07 To: unicycling@winternet.com Subject: Difficult
beginnings Importance: Low

i’m starting to get frustrated.

Due to foot and mouth I’m not allowed out on the trails MTBing which is my first
love. luckily this gives me some free time to get to grips with riding my uni.

The ‘experts’ say 10 hours riding time to learn to ride IIRC.

I must have put in 5-6 hours or so now and it feels like I’m no further on
than when I started. I still can’t ride further than a couple of metres. I’ve
been trying along side the side of my house so I can lean against the wall for
balance. I lean forward, start pedalling and off I come. I usually start with
my left foot forward, manage two pedal strokes and then can’t seem to pedal
any further.

Any advice of different techniques. Is it normal for it to be this way? Can I
expect a surge foward in ability soon?

I’m a very experienced road and MTB rider so it’s not like I’m not used to
having a bike between my legs…

Thanks,

jon.


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