Do you recall a milestone in your progression that just rewarded you for all the effort learning?

This morning, for the first time, I felt the beautiful feeling of balanced smooth riding on the 29” KH.
Soooo… nice feeling. Progressing from 20” to 29”, I’ve been worried about the extra height, so have been only riding the 29” in a grassy undulation field….it also seams that I put on the KH T bar…too soon.

I took off the T Bar and found that all my 20” unicycle ability transferred across, so much so I ventured onto pavement for the first time and “wow”. Now I’m feeling it could actually be possible to commute to work as I have been hoping.


Oh great! Btw, pavement is really easy to ride on compared to grass. You always know how pavement behaves, you can see everything!
Now just keep riding!
As to the t-bar, if you consistently dismount off the back, then you are fine to put the t-bar back on IMO.

As for milestones…. Lots.
First time riding unassisted.
First time riding to the train station.
The ability to ride up and down ramps
First time doing 10miles/16km rides or thereabouts. Basically, if I could do that, then there really was no issues doing long rides.
Riding all around in southern Denmark on a 36er
First times scoring goals in uni hockey (ok…. Maybe the defence didn’t always try too hard to stop the goals lol) :wink:
Learning to stop and hop.
Learning to idle
Confidence in riding over speed bumps
Confidence going down curbs
First time I realised I could do a particular tightly turning path with up or down hills that I had never managed to do in the past
Off-road single track riding locally
Using stopping and hopping in actual rides for a purpose!
Off-road single track riding on 27.5
Confidence to ride to my front door (there is a street lip, a downhill, a right turn to navigate then somewhat unlevel grass)
Learning to stop and hop bigger wheels (can’t say I always nail it on 29er with 127mm cranks 100% of the time just yet. I’m not far off though. It’s the ride again that sometimes trips me up).

36er freemounting
Transitioning seat in to seat out and vv.


Transitioning seat in to seat out and back is actually pretty easy. If you want a skill you can learn in an afternoon that’s the one.

Freemounting the 36er is tougher, but not too bad. It’s one of those things that’s not hard to do once, but is pretty hard to do consistently.

Backwards is tough. I’ve been trying to ride backwards on almost a daily basis for nearly 3 months now including several days where I did nothing else for two hours straight. Although I keep improving, this still eludes me. My record is about 40m, but most of the time it’s more like 10m. I had thought learning to idle was tough, but it’s got nothing on riding backwards. I can only imagine the practice that goes into learning something like a standing glide.

One Saturday, I decided to just go out for an explore via unicycle.

By the end, I’d gotten myself lost and had to call for a pickup, but I’d travelled over 9 km, and had a fantastic time.

I’ve since gone further but that inspired me and proved to me that I had actually accomplished something as a unicyclist.

I think with seat out, i just have to put longer cranks on and drop the seat a bit!
It was getting stuck between my legs.

If you can ride SIF then you’ve already accomplished the hard part. I do it two ways. The easiest in terms of switching back and forth is to simply ride SIF using the front handle to control the unicycle. This makes riding sif harder, as you can’t muscle the saddle as effectively, but in terms of transitioning back and forth it’s simply a matter of pulling the saddle out front and pushing it back. I started practicing this way because handle saddles have all the decent handholds on the front. The other way I practiced was to grab the front with one hand and then pull the saddle out and grab the back of the saddle with the other hand.

I’m not really sure that longer cranks would make anything easier, but a lower seat probably would.

There are two separate milestones that I regard as the most important for me. The first one is to be able to freemount. It gave freedom to go anywhere without having to think about how to get back on the unicycle if I fell of (which I did all the time, and still do quite often). Then, because I live in a valley, the second most important and really uplifting milestone was when I managed to climb uphill (and run downhill again) and get out of this valley. That gave me the opportunity to go for longer tours and explore the surroundings from a different perspective than I was used to, i.e. from the seat of a uni. A fun part of that was all the reactions I got from people along the route. Very few people seems to be unaffected by meeting a person on a unicycle.


I learned unicycling mostly by myself.
A huge milestone was to finally understand that I had to lift my butt from the seat before taking bumps (well, you have to read carefully this sentence! :toilet: ). It made riding rural trails much easier!

Another one was trying my first 29", after 2 months of practicing on a beginner 20".
I wasn’t able to free mount it at first, but I could ride it, and the wheel size and mass felt amazing. Seemed like no obstacle could stop me.

Previously, I rode for 5 years only in very rural areas and being able to ride in town without the fear of dying to everything that could cross my path was a good thing, but it was practiced over time.


The first milestone I can remember is my first ride on a Schwinn. I guess there’s a milestone before that, which was when my next door neighbor, Chris Vennix, let me borrow his unicycle. There was a kid around the corner who had a Schwinn (24") but it wasn’t out much. I mentioned to Chris how I wanted to learn to ride one and he offered his, for me to take and practice on. For those who have read my posts over the years, it was a typical crap low-end unicycle from the 70s; made with tricycle technology and parts. Solid plastic tire, no ball bearings, tricycle cranks & pedals, etc. I think unicycles like that contributed to a whole generation of people who mostly thought unicycling was impossible because they had tried it before.

The 16" wheel with roughly 3" cranks and resistance from the bearings was crap to ride, and very frustrating. I gave up many times during the roughly six weeks I spent trying to gain control of it.
At some point during that time, my neighbor had his Schwinn out and a bunch of neighborhood kids were taking turns trying to ride it with varying levels of success. When I finally got my turn, in one try, I went at least 50 meters, maybe as far as 100. It was so easy! A “real” proper unicycle with a pneumatic tire, wheel bearings, bicycle pedals, etc.!

Then I handed it off to the next kid, and went back to my P.O.S. uni with more confidence. It fell apart when I started trying to turn left & right on it.

So that’s my first two remembered milestones. The third was “mastering” the 6’ Schwinn Giraffe. Note, this was three years after milestone #2, with ZERO unicycling since that P.O.S. Troxel fell apart. Another neighbor, Brad Nowak (Bradley Bradley) had recently purchased a Schwinn Giraffe. He didn’t own a regular unicycle. Eventually I had to have a crack at it. We were 17 and indestructible, so why not just try riding away from the hood of a car? After much hemming and hawing at the idea, I finally started making attempts to go somewhere. Lots of dismounts, but most to my feet. About 45 minutes later, I had successfully ridden away from the car, which was parked on the street, made a 180 degree turn to bump up onto his driveway, and rode all the way to the back-yard garage, where there was a basketball hoop. I COULD RIDE!!!

Milestone 4: Stupid, Stupid Long Ride! About a week after Milestone #3, Bradley and I headed out on a multi-mile ride to a McDonalds across town, to meet our high school football team on their way back from a very far away game, as they approached being one of the top high school teams in the state. We had the Giraffe, and a borrowed Schwinn 20". Neither of us could freemount the Giraffe. we used posts, poles, someone else’s car, etc. I don’t remember if I could freemount the 20" either. I’ve just stopped to map the distance, and it was about 7 miles (11.2 km)! On that day we learned about severe crotch “discomfort” and painful urination when we finally got there. It was dark, it was cold (November, I think), and neither of us was up for riding back. So we started walking. Less than a mile down the road, my brother happened to drive by, totally by chance, and pick us up!

Beginner tip: Don’t go for a 7-mile (one way) ride if you’ve only been riding for about a week.

Some other early milestones:

  • Freemounting the Giraffe
  • Finding the local unicycle club (Redford, Michigan)
  • First parade, first show (with the club)
    All of this was in 1979-1980.

I didn’t take med 7 miles to uncover that secret :grin: