Fear of pedaling?

I have developed a strange habit of stopping even if I’m feeling balanced, and it’s always on the down stroke of my right foot.

Even if I’ve done a few rotations, at some point my mind thinks my right foot is going to slide off the pedal as it’s coming down so I just step off.

Any suggestions for getting over this?


Check your saddle height, go as high as you feel comfortable. Keep as much weight on the seat as you can. And above all keep practising and it will all come good.
Good luck and have fun, Joseph.:slight_smile:

GM, are you used to flat pedals on a bike?

I’m in the process of teaching my 8 year old daughter how to unicycle I noticed that she had the same problem as you explained. She would go about 2-3 rotations and then just stop pedaling, even though she wasn’t falling. As with you, she was always in the bottom of the stroke. This is what helped her:

  1. She looked at her destination/goal, making sure that she wasn’t looking down.

  2. She counted out loud each 1/2 stroke.

  3. She made sure that her back was in-line with the seat post.

Remember, unicycling is 85% persistence and 15% balance. Keep it up and you’ll get it.

I hope this helps.

I had that problem when I first started. Counting my pedal rotations out loud helped, and then trying to get a higher and higher number helped me focus on continuing to pedal.

It could be your brain used to riding a bike and coasting after a few pedals. I had that problem at first. I had to retrain myself to not attempt to coast :smiley:

Thanks for the replies.

Alice - Are there pedals that aren’t flat? Never seen any before.

I’ll try counting outloud.
Can’t coast. Must keep pedaling.


I mean lacking any foot-retention device.

Think not of balancing over the wheel but of pedaling to keep the wheel where you need it, slightly behind your center of gravity. You may not be leaning forward far enough.

If the slip is on the downstroke rather than when vertical it may be adapting to cranks.

With a bike crank (165-175mm) your feet make a much bigger circle. When transitioning down to unicycle crank length you may be being betrayed by the muscle memory of the longer crank and push the leg out further than it needs to go. This would lift your foot off the pedal and thus make it slip.

Best way to fix the problem is practice through it. If you need to, go back to holding a wall/railing and focus only on the pedal stroke until you are happier.

I just tried 170s on my 36er and had the opposite problem.

This sounds like the standard beginners’ problem… :slight_smile:

I remember saying to myself " pedal pedal pedal … " to prevent it back when I was learning.

It’s not a technical problem, just a head problem, like most riding problems I have … :roll_eyes:

Solution is obvious, ride one-footed with your left foot only!