Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

I don’t know if this will help anyone as you’d have to be brand new to be worse than I am, but this is how I’ve done so far. I started off sitting on the uni between 2 hardback chairs. 3 hours of that, in 15 - 30 minute sessions. I thought I’d never learn how to ride - it felt so alien and if I let go of even one of the chairs, I started to fall off. Next I started in the hallway (obviously walls both sides.) 5 hours of doing half, then full rotations, trying to let go whenever possible. Not very successful at first, a little better later on. Then I started to feel like the hallway was not allowing me to progress, because I could not flail my arms to regain balance, the walls were too close. So I tried to ride out of the hallway into empty space. Could not get over the psychological/mind-over-matter of it all - I fell off or jumped off right as the wall ended. I decided that 8 hours was long enough to be intimidated, so am now foregoing the hallway altogether. This past weekend I started at one side of the dining room, holding onto the wall to get going, but just pushing off into nothingness. These were the practice sessions I mentioned in another post - where I was falling off, backwards, a lot. Last night I adjusted my seat a certain way, more in the center (I was putting my butt slightly on the back of the seat before,) and had a breakthrough. I didn’t fall backwards at all after that. I went the entire length of the room, more often than not, only hopping off due to lack of space. I plan on going outside in the driveway once the weather clears (it’s been raining for days,) to progress to the next level.

So, to summarize, if you are just starting out and the advice you’ve been given is “ride, fall off, try again, it’s fun and you’ll eventually get it,” I just want to say from a real newbie’s viewpoint, that these people are actually telling the truth! The first time I made it across the room, I said out loud, “HOW COOL WAS THAT!!” I am now at 10 hours of practice, and what a difference. I can still barely believe it.

go out in the rain, its the mostest fun thing inm the world
i love unicycling in the rain(probs not good 4 the uni, but fun as hell) so in conclusion dont waste any time, go out in the rain


Unicycling in the rain is really fun. For about an hour ago it was raining here (I saw it through the window) and I decided to go out and ride. Then when I had fetched my unicycle and was out there it had stopped raining. Argh. :angry:

Re: Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

YOU GO GIRL! It’s so cool when you get past one of those plateaus. Get yourself to a club if you can. It really helps if there is somebody else around to push you out of your comfort zone.

I had a bit of a hiatus from riding. Life, work and the winter weather got in the way, and Monday was the first day in about two weeks that I got back in the saddle. I did manage my own personal best on the paving - past the end of the carport without either falling off or veering into the uphill bit.

I agree with you about avoiding the rain. I can slip, slide and fall off in a nice dry hall. Goodness only knows what I’d manage on a wet surface!

Keep up the good work!


Well done ladies, congrats to both of you :smiley:

I don’t know if my experience would help but here it is:

I have a walkway to my front door so I lined up the three trashcans we have (trash, recycling, plant matter) and put them at intervals along the walkway all on one side. Once I could get all the down and back I moved them to the street next to the side walk. From there I just rode out until I fell, went back, and did it again. Then one day I took off (15 minutes a day for 3 weeks or so).

Re: Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

Good work digigal1! Of course you should believe people who say that
it’s doable - they are living proof. And now you are too!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

be sure to remove the saddle and simply sit on the seat post. this is far more comfortable - tennisgh22 on the comfort of Savage unis

Sounds like you are ready to move outside. Try a tennis court. The fence around a tennis court is great for holding onto. The court is level and smooth. Also, the fence is long enough that you can get more distance than a wall at home, You get a better feel for turning the wheel. I am convinced that being able to turn the wheel smoothly is the key to this activity.

I pretty much went through your steps a year ago. I also tried poles which seemed not a great help but I found poles useful for one thing. I would sit on the unicycle with the poles on either side of me (in line with the unicycle axle) and use that to work on balance. I just rocked back and forth to get used to sitting on the seat and balancing.

I also used chairs. I could hold onto the chair backs and scoot them along as I turned the wheel. That helped.

I took about 10 hours over a 2 week period before I could ride a few feet.

No doubt about it, this activity is really tough at first but it gets much easier when you start to become comfortable with the balancing and turning the wheel.

Hang in there!!


Ain’t it cool? I started off holding onto a wooden step-ladder in my parents garage and seeing how far I could get. Did ok, then I hit outside, which was a gravelly slope down to a dirt road. And I couldn’t steer, so i’d often end up on the lawn. I actually was muni-ing before I could freemount :wink:
In the past year, since I started seriously riding, I’ve become a 100% uni addict. I was a little despondent about winter, then I found out that uni is a year round sport. My non-knobby skinny tire gave me more traction then my knobby mountain bike tire, so snow was not much of a problem :slight_smile: Now it’s been a month since my uni broke (when you weigh 200lbs, don’t do 10-mile rough-road riding on a $70 Cyclepro that’s designed for 120lb riders…) and I’m going through withdrawal… :’(

I was new to this once about a year and a few months ago.I have now moved into muni and trials anywho… i would neva have been able to learn like the guy at the top did i started in my door way but i got bored very quickly and moved on to riding around the kitchen and with in a day or so went down the road with a friend a uni and the diabolo v. good day we managed to get a few feet and we got ok for a few days riding!keep at it it’s great even once that magical feeling of first riding go’s away,i still get it while coasting and gliding and most muni and after a nice trials line any who good luck anyone just starting.If i had one bit of advice it would be buy 661 4x4’s and a helmet don’t wait until you hurt your self then think you need one!

I agree with this. I’ve only been riding about 2 months now and when I got to the point where I could ride 20 or so meters I was getting a bit cocky and going too fast to run out of a UPD. I came off the front and fell and as I rolled I smacked my (helmeted) head on the concrete. I still felt I bit loopy for a minute or two.

Protective gear

Definately get helmet and pads… oh wait, I don’t have pads, and I don’t wear a helmet… Well, you should anyways… As soon as my new uni comes in I’m getting the pads, and wearing my helmet… I’m really looking forward actually to kneepads, I scraped both my knees several times last fall, and my girlfriend is getting sick of buying hydrogen peroxide…

Re: Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

On Wed, 26 May 2004 13:05:52 -0500, “thinuniking” wrote:

>i would neva have been able to
>learn like the guy at the top did

digigal1 is a gal.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

be sure to remove the saddle and simply sit on the seat post. this is far more comfortable - tennisgh22 on the comfort of Savage unis

Re: Protective gear

Spenco 2nd Skin is magic stuff…

Re: Re: Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

Yes, yes I am.

I bought lizard skins after the first few days, and they have saved me from shin and calf bangs more times than I can count. When I brought my uni to a friends house for her to try, it’s the only padding I thought was absolutely necessary. But I also have wrist, knee, & elbow guards, plus a helmet, once I start to ride outdoors.

Re: Re: Experiences of the non-bendy-youngster newbie

o sorry i never looked into it well anyways i could not learn how she learned anywho unicycling rocks buy a muni!

Make sure you have grippy pedals. The ones with metal spikes work pretty well.

I went for a ride on a unicycle with indoor freestyle pedals and couldn’t get anything done. It wasn’t even raining at the time but there were infrequent puddles in the parking lot. I stepped in one and my wet shoe slipped off the pedal as if it had been greased.


Unicycling in the snow is fun too, you stay warm, and the weird looks people give you make it interesting too… I tried it in the parking lot at work as a joke during a snowstorm in december, and it worked so well I ended up uni-ing through the entire winter. Figure a 15lb uni + a 200lb guy on 3 square inches of rubber is pretty good traction, and that was a smooth road tire…
New Hampshire dirt roads during mud season are a blast as well :smiley:

Cool picture, evil-nick. You do in fact look extremely evil.

I don’t know if it’s the angle of the pic or what, but it looks like you’d barely be able to touch the pedals on the downstroke? Like you’re almost fully extended with the pedals at horizontal.


Nope, just the angle… The camera washed out some detail from all the snow reflecting light :wink: Usually, I was mostly standing on the pedals, the powder covered up the detail of the ground, so I couldn’t always tell what I was about to ride over, usually ruts from the car tires :wink: Actually, that’s the best out of the 30+ pics my gf took of me that day, most of the other ones either had me falling, or making it look harder than I want it too, but that pic is enough to impress my friends and scare my enemies.
The hard part is really getting on the thing, 'cause the wheel slips out on the snow before you get the weight over it… I ended up using a jump technique that lands me on the pedals without moving the tire. It’s ugly, but it works. I’ll have to try “pretty” static mounts when the new uni comes in…