Finally got started...

Maybe. check your tyre pressure. Very low tyre pressure will cause your uni to self steer and you will cycle like a drunkard lol! It will also sap your energy.

Hope this helps.

January 2014 (8 months since starting)

Been making the best of the wet weather at the weekends by trying to learn to jump and idle on the 20” trials uni. All my normal fields and tracks are bogged down with mud or flooded so car parks are all I’ve got.
My riding off pavements is pretty solid now although, interestingly, after first learning to ride straight off (orthogonally) when I came to riding off at an angle, as you might when riding normally, it was like learning the skill again! Funny how your brain quickly gets in the way when doing something new.
Finally managed to ride over some super high speed bumps and am jumping sideways about half a metre (both left and right). Jumping up onto a pavement is still alluding me although I know it’s just a mental block rather than an issue getting the unicycle up there.
The idling isn’t really progressing so I also introduced stationary stands today to try and find something I can achieve…I’m doing these standing up at the moment but quickly find myself doing little hands-free bounces to stay upright! My approach with idling has been to ride forward a bit then to try one idle before riding on (or UPDing as I’m doing). If I can manage one I can start building up the number of idles before moving again.
I did have a quick go at trying to ride backwards today but found it very hard on the 20” wheel…I did it a few months back quite by accident on the 24er and it seemed easier so I might try again with the bigger wheel.

Anyway…I’m starting 2014 with a tonne of skills to learn :roll eyes:


Have you checked that your bearing caps are tight, and have not worked loose?
A few weeks ago I was all over the place trying to ride a straight line, and couldn’t understand how bad I was compared to the previous ride.
Turned out the bearing caps were very loose creating wheel wobble within the frame.

Swinley Forest

It was my birthday yesterday so I took the day off and took advantage of a rare dry day in the British weather and headed over to Swinley Forest about an hour or so from where I live in the county of Berkshire (pronounced bark-shire for our US friends :slight_smile: ).
Despite my face I’m actually quite excited to be here…:smiley:

The forest has a number of mountain biking trails laid out through it so I started with the easiest which is probably designed for kids.

It was actually quite a rough trail with a lot of small climbs and descents which I found really challenging. I was exhausted after this comparatively short run and retired to the Woodland Centre for coffee!

Although the kids trail had taxed my skills I couldn’t leave here without trying a medium skill mountain bike trail. I took a stab at the Blue Trail which was really, really tough with jumps, banked corners and more substantial gradients. I managed about a kilometre before I found myself on all fours, exhausted to the point of vomiting. I found a fairly flat cinder path back to the car park and called it a day. I think the whole trail is about 6km or so.

I’m such a light weight…I did have a good day though and it’s given me an idea of just how much work I need to do on my stamina. I made up for the exertion by going out for a birthday meal and consuming 2000 calories of food and drink!

Thanks for the idea…I did take the time to check over all my unis for spoke tightness, bearing caps and seat fixings. My seats were a bit loose so I’ve tightened these up to see if the seat was twisting a bit and causing me issues. I must get out on the 26er to see if I have the same problem again.


Happy birthday!
Stamina is one thing, but the other one I noticed is that as you get better, you waste less energy in being tense and flapping around a lot.
Having said that, I went for a ride with very experienced riders, and it was amazing to see them gliding around, effortlessly whilst I was huffing and puffing and sweating to try to keep up!
So it’s a combination of stamina and better use of energy.

Good job staying with it, Uni Lateral. I like those ride report maps. And I see that you had another longer one today.

I found during my muni rides that if I managed to go two or three hundred yards without UPDing, it was better to stop and find a log or something to sit on for a minute or two. It really is hard work, and as Pierrox notes, having to fight to stay on due to out inexperience can only make it harder. And it seems to compound itself, with getting winded and wobbly-legged increasing the work rate.

I need to get back out there myself one of these days. The days are getting longer now, enough to notice the difference.

The coolest part about this is in about a year you are going to be able to look back on this journey and see how far you have come. Congrats again on the fantastic UCR(Strava - Unicycle Club Ride).

On a completely different note at least you get to return tired and beat up to that beautiful Land Rover 110. Very Nice!:smiley:

Day 365

So, my first year anniversary of learning to ride a unicycle…or more precisely, a year ago I was trying to stay atop while hanging onto a chain link fence wondering how in gods name anyone ever learnt to do this. Well, if you’re just starting out and reading through some of the learning journals on here then let me give you an idea of where you might have reached after a year…your milage may vary of course :roll_eyes:

A year on I can ride on the rough and smooth with equal confidence although I’ve never quite felt comfortable holding the seat…still have my arms out there somewhere…

You can expect to have mastered falling off but still excel in doing it very badly when there’s an audience. You will ride without incident for weeks but the first time you hop on ‘just to show someone’ you’ll face-plant hurting a wrist, knocking your head or raking the pedals down your shins…basically which ever bit of padding you’ve omitted to wear, thats where you’ll injure yourself.

Apologies to Alucard for the toe shot again :o)

You’ll have increased your stable of Unicycles. Remember all those questions you asked about the best size for XYZ…a year on you now know you need one of every size…minimum. Don’t get me started on seats/crank lengths, etc.

In the early days riding to the end of the drive is exhausting and the end of the street might as well be another country. Believe it or not, it does get easier and although I’ve not quite made it to double figure distances yet I’m not far off (in kilometres). Once you’ve got the basics under your belt its just a question of riding, riding, riding to build up the muscles and stamina.

Unicycling is lesson in perseverance and in demonstrating how bloody minded determinism can enable you to achieve whatever you want. Every time you do something new you know you’re going to fall off and it’s going to hurt. Even more commendable is that, after doing it anyway…and falling off and hurting yourself…you’re going to get right back in the saddle and do it again. And probably a few more (dozen) times more before you stop falling off and master it. It’s amazing how scary a curb is when you’re approaching it to ride off for the first time. The flip side…smiling your arse off when you pull it off…

I think the most important part of my learning has been having someone to learn with…

Well, maybe not Oscar, he’s been a pain throughout, waiting patiently while I spend 5 minutes mounting and then dropping his tennis ball in front of my wheel or running along side with a branch in his mouth which he then sticks through the spokes.
I would have loved to have had someone local to learn and practice with but, instead, I’ve had the great community here on the forum who have guided, encouraged, informed and commiserated in equal measure over the last 12 months. I love you all.

Day 1 (ish)

Day 365 (ish)


Hey UL, Great write up :slight_smile: Totally True!
Apart from toe pics :roll_eyes:
Happy First Anniversary :smiley:

Yes, very nice write-up. Much congrats on the anniversary. I’ve also been grateful for your virtual company and support during my first year. And well said about those “best size for XYZ” questions.

Quote of the day! :slight_smile:

Happy universary! Hope there’s many more years to come :sunglasses:

Decided to forgo the normal longer ride in favour of working on skills.

  • Riding off curbs…check.
  • Riding up steep inclines…Mmmm, could do better but had some success.
  • Riding down steep inclines…if I can blot out the fear, easy. Most of the time I bail though.
  • Hopping up curbs…check. Tough but I succeeded. Need much more practice.
  • Riding up a curb…fail. I bottle it every time.
  • Coming to a stop and then continuing…check.
  • Hopping on the spot left foot forward…check.
  • Hopping on the spot right foot forward…Mmmmm, much more practice needed.
  • Riding backwards…fail. Hoping to work on slowing to a stop and then develop that into starting to go backwards.

How do people master riding up a curb…I’m struggling to get over that natural fear of face planting.


Ride up to the curb and pull up like you are going to jump it, just leave your tire on the ground.

i really like reading these progress threads. full of tips and encouragement. it’s nice to read about the experiences of learning while they are still fresh in the learners mind. it’s also very interesting to see someone go from clueless to fearless, one revolution at a time. nice one!

Very nice job on your journal! I just stumbled upon it just this morning.

Hello Unilateral. As your tyre makes contact with the curb, lean forward as if you are cycling up a hill and put lots of pressure on your forward pedal. If you fail then just step off the front.

Hope this helps

P.S. I enjoy reading your thread. It’s a good honest diary which is helpful for other unicyclists.

It helps a bit when learning to align your cranks in their most powerful position at the curb. Then roll the wheel back to where you want to start. That way when learning you can always go up with your cranks in a good spot. I found that if I did that and then hit them pretty fast I could power through the bump without too much practice.

Don’t get over your fear of face planting, it would be an unsafe thing for a unicyclist to do. :wink:

Sorry, off topic. Is face plants for reals?? When I first began, I landed on my wrist twice. Second time, pretty fast, and was painful enough for me to get out of bike gloves to wrist guards the next day. I would think our hand then to elbow reaction would always somehow be fast enough before our face meets concrete, no? :astonished:

JacobSpera would disagree: (Sorry for bringing such an old thing up, it is in my mind forever!)

I have never face planted from a unicycle myself.