Encouraging progress

Tonight I went out on the 20, specifically to practise a few ‘skills’ in a deserted car park.

After many years of only occasional riding, last year I set myself two objectives: learn to mount with my ‘wrong’ (right) foot down; and learn to idle.

Many hours sweating away learning to idle later…

Tonight I was practising one footed idling, with the free foot NOT on the fork crown… and noticing what a relief it was to get my foot ‘safely’ back on the crown after a few idles. It reminded me of my brief and inglorious rock climbing career (I’m afraid of heights) when someone told me, ‘If you try enough times to make a difficult move, the narrow ledge you keep going back to will start to feel like a dance floor.’

And on my way back to the car, I took a 1/2 mile short cut, in the dark, on a 20 with a smooth tyre, across icy puddles and patches of frozen rutted mud… a route which less than a year ago, in daylight and dry conditions, was enough to make me think, ‘Wow! I’m glad I bought this 26 inch MUni, it will go over almost anything!’

So two lessons here for the next crop of beginners: practice makes progress, and you will suddenly realise how much you’ve developed; and the skill and experience of the rider is more important than the spec. of the machine.

Re: Encouraging progress

I always find that really weird… when you go back to a trail or obstacle that you remember giving up or or having a really tough time on, only to find that it’s a fraction of the challenge it used to be. In some ways it’s disappointing… “I came all the way out here for that?” … but then you realise what a difference so little time makes…

Phil

Mike,

Congratulations on your progress! I’ve only tried a tiny bit of one-foot idling with the free foot off but it was enough to realise how hard it is. As you will be able to read in my latest thread, yesterday was my 1st real muni ride. I suppose I started myself off on a difficult track but it was more fun that way. There were quite a few drops with neither smooth ‘take-offs’ nor smooth landings that I couldn’t do and I’m just really hoping that I will make as much progress with my muni as I have with other unicycling. I really want to be able to ride these technical, rocky single-tracks soon. Muni’s great fun.

Andrew