Emma's Progress

And so it begins. Emma, my daughter, who is slightly more than a week shy of her 9th birthday began her quest to be a unicyclist this weekend. She is a deliberate and slow learner when it comes to physical activities so she is hoping to be able to ride competently sometime this summer. I have promised her her own unicycle for Christmas if she learns to ride before then.

As a start I put the 9" seat post on the 20" Schwinn at the lowest position. It’s just right for her. Don’t ask, I’m not sure quite how tall she is nor what her inseam is. (Yet.) (Aside: This is when I find out Schwinn’s can really suck. I don’t have a spare saddle that fits the Schwinn style seat post, so to ride it I have to remove the seat post, take the saddle off, put the saddle on the 14" seat post and then put the seat post back on. In other words, I wont be riding my 20"er much this season.)

She gets in position as though she were going to do a standard mount (for her, like me, left foot down) and I stand in front of her. She takes my hands and pulls herself up.

I’ve been having her stand still getting the feel of putting her weight squarely on the saddle and doing a bit of rocking to get the feel of the pedals. Then we’ve had her pedal forward (still with me holding her hands) a few rotations.

So far so good. With learning to ride a bicycle she needed one full season just to get over her apprehension about falling. With the unicycle she has been enthusiastic from the get-go.

I’ll keep posting as she reaches milestones.

Raphael (one excited dad) Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Good Luck Emma :wink: Youll have fun

Best of luck to your daughter! I always envy kids who have parents who encourage hobbies like unicycling at a young age :slight_smile:

Good luck to Emma! I’m 11 now and I got my unicycle 2 months ago for my birthday. Well, I can ride it pretty good now and my best trick is hopping off a sidewalk. So I guess I’m a kid, and I must say that unicycling is my favorite thing to do now! Your daughter will probably have a blast when she gets to ride it.

Re: Emma’s Progress

Pictures, please.

You’re lucky to have one of your children interested, Raphael. Good luck and have a great time. She’s worth the sacrifice of not having your 20" available all the time. It may be the one she falls in love with and you’ll have to give it up anyway.


I plan to do this with my kids. I wish I started unicycling and drumming at a really young age. I’ll be devastated if my kids don’t like unicycling :). Maybe I’ll just have to put up with only having a monkey that can unicycle.


[QUOTE Originally posted by andrew_carter]

I wish I started unicycling and drumming at a really young age.

Blimey hell, I can’t combine Unicycling & Guitar playing at the same time when I was younger. But I wish I did started Unicycling at a very young age like you Andrew too. Even better, I stick with the Guitar when I was young. Good luck Emma! I’ll be Teaching my kids in the future too.


Now that would be fun…drumming while idling on my unicycle. :slight_smile:

How long does it take most kids (around the age of 10) to learn to ride? I know it varies heaps but do younger kids usually pick it up quicker than adults?


Hi Raphael,

all three of my children are into unicycling and I spend some of my leisure time in a unicycling club.
Over the last year I got the impression that 114m cranks (instead of 125mm or 127mm) on a 20" uni make learning easier for children in the age group 9-12. Maybe this might help your daughter as well (tip 1)

For younger children it’s definitely a 16" uni (102mm cranks).

I love to unicycle with my children. I learnt it about 13 years ago and put it aside when I got married. About 18 month ago, the middle one asked about unicycling and since then one after the other got addicted. The latest victims include my youngest son and my wife :stuck_out_tongue:

My daughter (9 as well and the oldest of our three kids) is a slow learner when it comes to physical things (in contrast to the two boys). My wife took up unicycling after our daughter had started. Being in company of an other beginner (tip 2) started some kind of competition and helped my daughter alot.

Keep it up, you won’t regret it!

Hasta luego,

[QUOTE Originally posted by andrew_carter]
Now that would be fun…drumming while idling on my unicycle. :slight_smile:

How long does it take most kids (around the age of 10) to learn to ride? I know it varies heaps but do younger kids usually pick it up quicker than adults?

1: That I nearly going to say that Andrew. I’d love to see Andrew Drumming on his unicycle with a drum kit.

2: Andrew! kids do Quickly pick up unicycling fairly quickly than us Adults. Some may disagree with that but that’s fine by me. Say if you teach a 5year old He/She will pick up easily. I wouldn’t push them to quickly as they still young enough to learned. I just dug up a article on the Hyder Twins from an Old Australian Post Magazine and now I found a website on them. The Hyder Twins in Darwin. It’s the answers to the Marsh Twins to me. I’ll get the website on Thursday Andrew and you can have a look at them.


i’ve taken my djembe (west african style drum) on the uni
i quite enjoy idling to the beat of music and it was quite nice to make my own music while idling
a nice, small set of bongos would probably be ideal if u want to try this

Cool. I’ve got a djembe too. It’s beautiful and hand-crafted. How were you holding it? Were you just playing one-handed? I’ll have to give it a go. Here’s a photo…


djembe - angled 1.jpg

good looking drum!
i managed to slow it down so i could play with both hands and have time for some frantic handwaving inbetween
with my focus on learning to idle and juggle, i’m getting quite a bit better at idling with my arms folded helping me to free my arms for all sorts of fun activities while idling
drumming among them
i wore it slung over my right thigh (i idle right foot down) and it hung in a perfect position
i have a sling (a black velvet rope if u must know) tied around the base of the bowl and thru the webbing holding the skin tight
slinging this over my shoulder makes it possible to play-and-ride

Re: Re: Emma’s Progress

I badly need a digital camera. My family has become very lazy regarding taking photographs. We haven’t even developed our rolls from January when we were at Disney World. I will try to take some along the journey to her becoming a unicyclist, though.

Indeed, I agree. This Saturday Emma and I are going to the Juggle This II, the NYC juggling festival. It is a wish of mine that we’ll be passing clubs together whilst idling someday. There’s hope.

And yes, I’ll gladly forgo the use of the 20"er to get her riding. :slight_smile:

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my debt to those who’ve gone before me including Steve the Cuckoo, Jason of the North, and Franz, parents with good fortune to have kids into unicycling. Thanks guys, for the inspiration!

Oh and thanks to all the younguns, too. When I was learning at 16, I never met anyone younger than me who could ride.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Fantastic! My 9-year-old, Maggie, wants to learn to ride this summer, too. We’ve been talking about it since last fall and she knows it will be really hard, but she’s really excited and ready to start.

I’ll be giving up my 20, too, and I might just get another saddle and post for her. Can’t bring myself to make her ride the Savage saddle, although it was good enough for me (back in my day, arrr…).

I’l have to print this thread to show her - maybe she and Emma can compare notes!

Good luck!


Thanks Tim. I sent you a PM with Emma’s email address in case Maggie wants to drop her a line.

Now you’ve given me a thought about my saddle problem. When I got my Savage giraffe I got the Viscount upgrade, but Unicycle.com sent the Savage saddle along anyway. I could take the Viscount and attached it to the longer Schwinn seat post and then all I’d have to do would be to switch seat posts when I wanted to use the 20" Scwhinn. But then I’d have to use the Savage saddle when I ride the giraffe. Hmmm, how bad can it be?

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ


A couple of weeks ago I tried some devil sticking while idling. It was lots of fun but I’ve got to learn to not rely on my arms for balance.


For a short ride, not bad, especially if you don’t sit too much. I’m still learning, so there’s some diagnostic value in the pain - I’m always acutely aware of whether my weight is on the saddle. Of course mine is 20 years old, beaten up and covered in carpeting (my Dad’s fix when my brother and I trashed it learning).

Give it a try, at worst it’ll give you an interesting horror story to post!


Why not buy a second seat? A Viscount, Semcycle, or even Kris Holm will fit the Schwinn post. Viscounts are cheap, Kris Holm’s are comfortable. Put the second seat on the 14" post.

Better yet, get a unicycle for yourself… :slight_smile:

Re: Emma’s Progress

On Wed, 26 Mar 2003 02:23:28 -0600, andrew_carter
<andrew_carter.kw38n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>How long does it take most kids (around the age of 10) to learn to ride?
>I know it varies heaps but do younger kids usually pick it up quicker
>than adults?
I’ve been going to a unicycle club for about a year when I was
learning to ride and do a little bit of freestyle, hockey etc., and
then infrequently a couple more times. From what I saw I can say:
generally, kids around ten pick up much quicker than adults. Maybe
about twice as fast. Also, old adults pick up generally slower than
young adults. Easily another factor of two, depending on age.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

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