Finally, I learned how to Idle

Hello to everybody,

I’m just happy that I finally learned how to Idle
I just want to share my experience and
thoughts about Idling. I’m not saying that this is
a tutorial on idling, It’s just what I think how I did

So here it is;

********* IDLING **********

Remember your power position? This is the position
where the pedals are in horizontal position.
In idling, One should be able to limit the power
position to more or less 45 degrees. From now on
I’ll call this the limited power position. In this
limited power position, we can rock back and forth
in just a short distance.

When you are falling to the left, twist to the left.
When you are falling to the right, twist to the right.
It does help me a lot to twist to the left when I
raise my right hand and wiggle it to the left.

This means that one must be able to do the twist while
rocking forward or backward from the limited power
position. So the twist I think is coming from the hips it
helps when it is in proper timing with the feet pushing.

Left foot idle is when the left foot is down and is
most of the time controlling the idle.
Right foot idle is the other way around.
But this is not always the case, when you are already
comfortable idling you can always use both feet in
controlling the idle.

At this point of time, one must be able to so stop
(freeze) for a second when “needed” in the limited
power position to give you time to check your

As of this writing the longest idle I made on my left
foot is 56 or until my left foot gets tired while only
7 to 13 idles on my right foot. I’m doing better when
the pressure is 0.95 bars = 13.77 psi and jerky when
the pressure is as low as 0.7 bars and as high as 1.1

I hope this could help…

You could check my video here:


Hi ru60hz

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been trying to idle for ages and just can’t get it :frowning:
Maybe your video will help:)


Thanks for the idling post

I second that… I started to make a concerted effort to idle at the beginning of the year. I am better than when I started, can get a couple of rocks, but no where near your ability. Thanks for the inspiration from another mortal (so many of the posters in this forum are rock stars, you wouldn’t think there were any noobs).

So, how long did it take you to get the hang of it once you put it on your wish list?

Either way, you just passed the third milestone in unicycling… riding, free mounting, and the toughest of them all, idling.

Congrats on learning to idle, ru60hz.

I myself started riding in February 2011, but started primarily riding a 36er shortly after, so to me, idling did not seem very important. Around christmas time, I bought a 29er for Muni, and about a month and a half ago, I decided that it was time to learn to idle. After about two weeks of work, about 20-30 minutes a day, I was able to idle like a pro (maybe not quite like a pro:D). Several weeks later now and I am also getting pretty good at riding backwards.

Congrats again!

That means you’re a Rock Star!!!:smiley:

Well, I think it’s about 9 months. It is already on my wish list since march 2011
then I stop riding at the end of april due to summer heat here in Jeddah. Started
riding again mid of November 2011. Last December my co-electrician went on vacation so I was shifted to night shift. The best time for me to practice idling. Just before December is finished I already got the hang of it.

Congrats on the idling! I remember when I just learned to idle, I was twisting, turning and really covering some distance back and forth. Granted, I was on a 24 inch and not a 20. Within just a few days of idling (and a full day of practice) my idles became smoother and my rocking became more subtle and relaxed. I can now idle 'til my feet feel like they’re going to fall off, though I have had moments where I rocked a bit too much, nearly throwing me completely off. In terms of timeframe (Sorry, I don’t mean to brag, I apologize if I seem to come off this way) but I’ve been attempting idling since I got my uni at the beginning of the year. So, you can say that after a couple months of working on it, I nailed it. I was actually a bit shocked as idling seems to take some time to learn. Actually, I can thank the rollback mount for being my gateway into idling as that’s what got me into the motion.

Here’s one of my first idle sessions.

Notice the flapping arms and the sketchy control. It’s smoothed out a lot since, only taking about a week or so. Now, I idle before riding to ‘warm up’ my legs and get into the groove.

You’ll also notice that your arms will do less flailing and eventually you’ll be able to keep your arms down at your side. I tend to swing my arms a bit as though I were walking, feels natural and relaxed to me. I do however want to get my arms used to being able to do something ‘unnatural’ while idling, without losing control…this could be (and will most definitely be) throwing a yoyo, looping it, etc…just need to get the brain to multitask and keep the legs in its rhythm.

Lastly, not sure how it was for you but for me up until recently (last week) my right leg was doing all the work, putting a lot of strain on my feet. I’m now finding myself concentrating the weight on the saddle and have both legs almost evenly working…my right foot (6:00 position) is still the main ‘drive’ leg but the left leg is there to assist so I don’t burn myself out so fast and strain my knees like I did 3 weeks ago.

Thanks for sharing your first idle sessions. In my case, on this passage I started my idling practice, It helps but not much because you really need space to turn, twist and space for your hands to swing for balance.

So I decided to start the idling from free mount,
just needed more patience now because I will be
mounting and dismounting all the time. Unlike
when I was on the passage, when I feel i,m
falling down, I’ll just hold on either sides.

In my opinion, it’s hard to practice in a small room.
There should be ample space in front, back and
sides. Actually when i was still starting, I
almost turned 360 degrees on this room. And when I
see that I’m getting too close on something I dismount

Oh, well. For me my left leg was doing all the work the
one on the 6:00 position but on my later sessions my
right leg learned to cooperate and that’s the time I
was able to idle for a longer time.