I don’t really remember. That was 3 1/2 years ago. I do remember how awkward it was though. Every new skill seems to be a challenge.
If I remember right, I did not even try to freemount for several weeks after I started riding. I wanted to get reasonably secure in my riding before I started learning any “tricks”. Afterall, if you can’t ride, how much good is a freemount? I think it probably took a dozen or so tries to get my first freemount. Then a dozen or so more tries for the second freemount. It was probably a week before I was freemounting with any consistency (certainly not making every try but more than 50 percent.)
Keep in mind that every time you try to freemount puts you one step closer to mastering the skill.
Hang in there, the more you ride the easier it will become. Once you get comfortable with the concept, you will be able to relax and ride long distances. My distance limit is however far I can get in about 20 minutes. Then I have to dismount for about a minute to rest my “seat”.
Welcome back, Wheelrider! Hope you enjoyed your trip.
Free mounting for me only took one evening to mostly conquer. However, I have to qualify that by saying I went a long time trying to freemount and just couldn’t get any kind of a consistent mount. Then I found out about the club in my area (MUC) and visited one evening and they explained the static mount to me and showed me how to do it. I was able to freemount that night.
So for me, having someone show me how to do it made a huge difference (thanks Tommy). Had I seen this forum at that time, it might have helped as well. I like the description I saw elsewhere here that compared a static freemount to putting your foot on someone’s stomach and jumping over them without putting hardly any of your weight on them. That was an excellent description and I’m sure I will use it to help teach others to freemount.
Ok, I have been riding for three months now and no longer get as tired. For anyone new to the hobby I like to share my experiences.
I found several thing that were causing me to get tired.
1 - I was putting too much weight on the peddles as some time my feet would slip off because of the slightest bump I would go over knock the unicycle from under me. Now I fine that if I apply more foot pressure and lean backward slightly when negotiating a good size bump with no problem. Otherwise, I use very little foot pressure on the peddles. Used no more foot pressure than required to turn the peddles.
2 - I was leaning forward instead of sitting up straight which made the uni much harder to balance and control. So, I was working too hard. I did not realize that I was not sitting up straight until a non-unicycling observer told me. I had a fear of falling backward so I would lean forward. Lean forward only to start moving, than sit straight up.
3 - I would let the uni fall to far forward, resulting in have to peddle harder to bring it back upright. also, I would lean forward to make the unicycle fall forward instead of peddling slower to make this happen. Balance the unicycle by pedalling faster and slower rather than leaning forward and backward.
One last tip when I first start unicycling I did not ride my 24 inch unicycle as fast as I could walk.
I focused on control not speed.
Now I can ride for about two miles and I am no ware near as tired as I was just three month ago in just 400 feet!
Note: I still have a long ride to go as I only was able to free-mount about ten times since I have riding. Thank God for curbs, poles, trucks and
other crutches to keep the fun rolling.
Here’s a photo of what a “slight bend” of the knee looks like when adjusting the seat. Some recommend less bend than this photo shows, however, I’ve found this amount of bend enables the rider to stand up on the pedals more easily to reposition his/her butt in the seat when it starts to ache. It also allows certain mounts and tricks to be performed a bit easier.
Man, I have so much respect for those learning after their teens, (not that I have any less respect for the teens). I learned how to ride when I was young, free of responsibility, and fearless. I am so glad I learned basic riding back then. Learning to ride after 30, 40 and 50… Wow, that is brave.
Even knowing how to ride, when I picked up riding again at 49, I was sore with a short ride.
This thread has a lot of good information. I really wish a unicyclist lived near me to help me work out this seat height.
We cut several inches off my new AX-29. When I sat on the seat it still seemed pretty high with only a very slight bend in the knee so we stopped cutting. I didn’t pay attention to it at the time but I believe now that I was not using the ball of my foot but the arch.
After taking it for a spin, a non-unicyclist (but someone very familiar with bikes) told me that it appeared as if I was putting too much weight on the pedals and needed to relax more in the seat. I think he was right and believe I probably did this because I was nervous about sitting up that high. Nervous? Ok… i was scared
Anyway, so the next day after riding several miles my knees were really sore. I wondered if they were sore because I was putting too much weight on them or if the seat could possibly be too low.
I saw a short video of today’s ride and was shocked to see how much bend really is in my leg. Seems like way too much.
So here is my question… what about foot size. I have large feet. Um… really large. So I’d like to hear opinions about this.
If my seat is too low, raising it might help with the knee pain… but then it might be too low to comfortably use the arch of my foot or adjust myself in the seat while riding.
And Xtor, how is the riding going now after several months. The insights you gave on this thread were very helpful.
I am doing much better now, thank you; I can go for miles without becoming any near a tired. I can free-mount the 24 inch uni with no problem but it takes me a few trys on a 29 inch.
BTW I also, have an AX-29 and have BIG FOOT feet (size 13). Aside from the fact that the pedals seem like a postage stamp under my foot, I does not have an effect on my seat height.
I do not beleive that we should be pedaling with the ball of our feet and not the arch, though I sometimes do.
Also, when I first started to ride for a few miles my knees were sore also, but that to passed:)