I just lent my kh20 out to a friend’s 14 year old who never rode before. The kid sent a video of himself some 4 hours later practically free mounting and consistently riding a few feet at a time. I know the kid and I’m certain he never touched a unicycle before. All I can say is wow. Before lending it I forgot to adjust the seat post for his height so he’s actually doing this at a disadvantage. I can see from the video that the unicycle is way too high for him. Needless to say I’m going to stop by tomorrow adjust the seat and train him to be my Muni partner. I will say that apparently I inspired him by doing a demo of my 20, 27.5 and 36er at the camp my kid goes to. This kid is a counselor at camp.
Oh and he’s also almost idling which as I remember took me quite a while to master some 35 years ago when I learned
slow learner here
Are you just trying to make us slow learners feel worse Come on!
That is impressive, maybe he was a unicyclist in a past life.
He really could become a great unicyclist if he wants to
I think we all can learn this fast, but it’s usually the mental block that prevents us from learning faster. Young learners are usually more daring, due to the fact that they have had fewer encounters with Mr Pain than their older counterparts.
I learnt basic riding after about 2 hours of practise, also on too high a saddle due to misleading recommendations from a guide that established saddle height relative to the ground rather than leg reach (which of course varies with crank length and saddle geometry). Consistent free-mounting only came together after about 15 hours’ riding, while idling is still not even on the horizon. A lot of skill eventually come to us naturally by trial and error, when we are naturally ready for them. For example, when free-mounting my uni I noticed some times I roll back a bit, often as far as one full crank turn, and then start pedalling forward. Sort of feels like idling, and I’m sure it will eventually click into place of its own accord.
A lot of these things don’t actually take that long to learn if we focus on one thing exclusively for one or two hours every day. I started riding exactly one month ago from today, and back then the only thing I was able to practice was “riding a few metres without UPDs” so basically that’s all I did until it materialised. But now that I have the basics down, I spend most of the time having fun riding and only occasionally practice a bit of free-mounting or this and that. I really should set time aside to develop specific skills, and then treat myself to “fun riding” afterwards. I see there are official “unicycling skill levels”, maybe it’s a good idea to write those down as a checklist in ascending order of difficulty and just tick them off one by one.
But, honestly, I have no plans to become the world champion. I see myself as a leisure unicyclist and, as such, a relaxed learning curve can too be a ton of fun!
Good for him
( Who on here says… That’s one more of us and one less of them :D)
Indeed! I always wondered why some people recommend setting up the saddle so the back of it is even with the belly button. I think that works for freestyle riders with shorter cranks, but fails for a lot of other people.
Actually the the younger brain can’t think far enough ahead to evaluate the outcome of a situation, it’s also why kids get into trouble a lot, they can’t connect the possible outcome of a situation to trying something. It’s mostly brain development. They have discovered it takes until the age of 25 for your brain to be fully developed.
But you are definitely correct about the mental block holding us back, I would be much better at certain skills if I didn’t always chicken out at the smallest things, I guess that is my survival instinct.
It’s a fascinating topic…how people learn hard skills. Unicycling is particularly interesting because of the high barrier to entry.
I do think there are people with natural abilities, but it’s hard to separate things like enough time, motivation, confidence, experience etc.
Anyway, this kid is now idling, going over curbs, riding in circles and free mounting comfortably after less than 4 days, plus he’s working full time at a camp.
I haven’t really been involved at all. I am going to stop by tomorrow and help him with backward riding and take him on some rougher terrain.
I feel sorry for him, having it all come so easy, he probably won’t get much satisfaction from learning it without putting 100’s of hours
What I have found is that people who learn to ride very easily are less likely to “go deep” and stay involved in the sport. I remember a kid that came to the Redford club one summer (1982 or so). I still remember his name, Archie Rich. He learned really fast, from scratch. after a few months he was doing lots of tricks and juggling while riding (which he had also recently learned). But by the end of the season he moved on to other things. One theory was that he didn’t feel like he was challenged enough, but another theory was that he had so much natural talent, he wanted to try the “next” thing, and the next, etc.
It seems to me that the people who really get involved in this sport had to struggle to learn. Not much of a theory, since that is most people…
For years I have offered that as a rough guide to seat height for beginners. This assumes you are riding a “regular” uni on level surfaces, with a common beginner-type crank length. Mostly it’s to say to the newbie that if your seat height is not roughly at belly button level, it’s probably too low.
Beyond the learning stages, that metric is far too simplistic to be of much use.
That’s a really interesting story John. Hmm never thought about it. Perhaps it’s like when your parents always give you everything, so you don’t value it as much.
I was not a natural and am still not. It takes me forever to learn new tricks and when I was a kid it took a month for me to learn to ride and a broken finger. But I still love riding, and still feel like I “earned it”.