Finally starting to idle

For the first time today, I was finally able to do single idles while riding forward. It has taken me 6 months, but I finally feel like I am making progress in my riding again.:slight_smile:

For those who are still learning, the breakthrough for me finally came by riding towards a wall, stopping within touching distance and then attempting to idle. The wall gave me the confidence to reverse the first time. Once I could do it in front of the wall, I was able to make the transition to doing it while riding anywhere.

Next, I am trying to combine multiple idles, as per everyone’s suggestions and also trying to do full revolutions backwards (to learn to ride backward).

Patience pays off for those of us who are not so young that we pick things up in a day or so.


Congrats, Mandell! It’s good to see that your perseverance has paid off.

Your idea about riding towards the wall sounds like a good one. I will have to try that. Did you ever try practicing your idling in a doorway? I’ve tried that a few times, but I’m not sure if it does much more than scare the cat.


Congratulations! That first idle is always such a great feeling, and it only gets better.

Riding towards a wall, huh? That’s how I learned how to turn, but I never thought of that for idling.

I still cant idle well i can but it doesnt look so good even though i can ride one foot with either feet, hop about 8" and do a sketchy ww. I just cant seem to idle well i’ll try the wall thing it sounds good.

Re: Finally starting to idle

On Mon, 29 Mar 2004 17:33:51 -0600, “Mandell” wrote:

>Patience pays off for those of us who are not so young that we pick
>things up in a day or so.

Patience, and perseverance of course. Congrats on the first idles!

I am in the same boat as you, taking ages to learn new skills.
Fortunately, practicing is fun!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I think profile should make some stronger 145mm cranks - Ryan Atkins

I don’t have a good doorway to practice in. I tried in a narrow hallway, but kept running into the wall as I “walked” to one side or the other. I also tried next to a wall or a fence. This built up the basic feeling, but didn’t really give me any idea how to transition from riding to idling.


Thanks for the encouragement.

Sounds like you are going several+ cycles then. I got “stuck” trying to control the sideways walk too. Suggestions:

  • saddle centered (not pressing on one thigh more than the other)

  • pay attention to how much pressure is on each pedal

  • to walk back the other way, try: adjust pressure on one pedal or the other, or shift the saddle to one side or other

  • hips level

  • weight on the saddle (much less work)

  • practice lots (don’t stand around chatting, idle)

When I started learning to idle, I learned in my basement using a piece of nylon webbing hung from the ceiling. I made the webbing (a heavy rope would work too) about shoulder height. I would hold the webbing with one hand and would switch hands often to keep from being dependent on one hand/side for balance.

The webbing would swing back and forth so I had to do more adjusting with the uni and my body. But it still gave me enough help to keep me from falling as often. I think this set up helped me a lot to get the feel for idling. I also used this set up to ride in a small circle around the webbing. This helped a little with trying to learn tight turning, but not as much help as with idling.

After you get comfortable with idling with the webbing, then put less pressure on the webbing, hold it with a finger and a thumb or try to hold up the webbing so it is slack.

One important warning… If you start to go down and really pull hard on the webbing, it may spin you around in a quick spin. It can get pretty wicked so step off when you get into an awkward position.

As always, practice both feet from the beginning. Right foot for a little while and then left. It’ll give your leg a rest too! I also used this set up to help me start into 1 footed idling.

Good luck!