Free, but expensive free mounting.

I have to cry help now, I am learning the sacred art of free mounting and it is not going swimmingly for me.
The expense part is in my biological, crushed well being. I can quite adequately ride the Municycle (24") as a beginner, by lurching off a handy wall etc, but this free mounting is getting me down now. I can easily put the left foot on the pedal at six o’clock, get comfortable in the nether regions, push up and usually get the right foot onto the pedal, albeit briefly, before stepping off each time. This is where the dilemma happens. I just cannot for the life of me simply pedal off. I have watched any amount of movie clips showing the methods people use, but none seems to come easily to me, why? The roll back a bit method failed miserably, the leap onto the pedals was a bridge too far, the twenty past pedal did not work at all, and believe me, I have tried hard… :thinking:
I have just spent an uncomfortable two hours trying, and have gained experience in doing what I have just explained, and just stepping off is the result. Is there something I am missing out on just before I am supposed to take off??
It looks so easy for those who have mastered the art, but me… try as I might, zilch… This is by far the harder between learning to ride, and free mounting. :angry:
Any clues please, pretty please, with sugar and icing on the top, with cherries. :thinking:

Are you trying to do a static mount? Which type of mount are you attempting?

Have you tried the version where you grip the tyre with one hand to stop it reversing? It may not look as impressive but if what you want is the freedom to mount without a fence, it would do the job. Or you can practice with a small block behind the wheel but not holding onto anything, but I think it was you that mentioned using an aerobics step, so you have probably done that.

Also, reading your post again, it sounds like you are mixing two mounts. If you start with the pedal at 6 o’clock, you have to roll back to get into start position. I managed to start directly on the 16" but I’m sure it would be impossibly difficult with the inertia of the 24". If you want to go forwards straight away, you need to be starting with the bottom pedal nearer 7:30/8:00, and either grip the tyre or find the right combination of pressures to let you swing up onto the pedals.

I agree. That sounds like the solution.

If you’re starting with your pedal in the dead position, it will be incredibly difficult to mount without idling experience.

Instead, get your pedal back towards you, closer to 4 o’ clock. Then you have two options, let your body weight depress the pedal and roll the uni under you until the other pedal comes back and you can get your other foot on. This is how I learned but it’s harder to do.

The easier method would be to start in the same position but slightly roll the uni forward so that the crank pushes up on your foot. Feel this pressure and use your weight against it to push off and get your other leg to the other pedal. It’s crucial you get the uni moving forward to counter your body weight.

Also, knowing how to hop will help you save bad mounts.

I am certainly not mixing the methods, simply trying them all individually to see which is the more comfortable for me. I watch clips with people seemingly just stepping on and then, off they go, whilst I stagnate on the twelve/six o’clock stance.
When I have tried the twenty to eight system, I always end up, chin first into Terra Firma, most unseemly!!
I could have howled this afternoon with frustration, my thigh insides are raw now with the many attempts I have tried.
Yes, I did try the block behind the wheel as well Spinning Woman, I came a proper cropper as a result. It would appear to an observer, as though I was attempting to pile-drive myself into the ground using pedal power alone on a unicycle. Basically, that was my initial introduction to free mounting.
Gripping the tyre is again difficult due to my height to be honest. I did try it a while back, but by the time my back is upright again, I am off anyway…
I feel a bit low tonight as a direct result of my failure anyway, but I will try again tomorrow as a matter of habit really. I am too far in not to give up now… !!
I will try the block behind the wheel again, in fact, all the myriad methods available. Sorry to burden you folks with my problem, it was the first thing I thought of doing after my return in ignomy this afternoon…

Another day tomorrow then… thanks !!

Thank you for your reply, I will try it tomorrow I promise, it all sounds so feasible to me, but… I have never done hopping at all, surely I need to be up and riding to do that?? Please forgive an old man’s ignorance… :roll_eyes:

The small comment at the bottom of your post about the Highway Patrol amused me. I watched Broderick Crawford as well back in the day… or is this a different programme??

+1 on the tire (tyre) grab mount. It is not very sexy looking, but it gets the job done. It has the benefits of: 1. putting the pedals into an optimum starting position. 2. stabilizing the unicycle. 3. Slowing down the mount. 4. allowing you to get a good foot position on the second pedal. The tire grab mount makes a nice transition to the static mount.

I agree with Killian; the 6:00 starting point makes it difficult to ride away. But … that doesn’t mean you should abandon this technique. Keep in mind that, if your method of determining seat height is based on performing the 6:00 mount, then your seat may be too low.

Static mounting is hard, period. Keep practicing. Experiment adjusting your seat. I like your 6:00 approach; I think it’s safer to learn that way. You might try rolling the unicycle an inch forward from the 6:00 position, to incrementally work your way toward a static mount. I had a book which advocated carrying around a small block of wood to use as a mini backstop while mounting.

Good luck!

The most unpopular and least welcome free mounting advice on this forum but I’ll say it anyway: Keep learning to ride your unicycle. Don’t beat your head (and other body parts) against a wall. The problem is less knowing how to do it and more having the riding ability to do it.

There are two key skills that you need: Quickly getting lots of weight on the saddle to counter-balance pedal pressure, and recovering from being badly off balance and pointed in the wrong direction so that you can ride away from mediocre mounting attempts, not only perfect ones. These will come with time and experience. You’re a beginner and that’s ok. In the mean time, I suggest getting over feeling bad about using assisted mounts and riding many miles. In six months you’ll wonder what the big deal was about it.

Hi Regina Wrecks.
It sure is a bummer, especially as you are trying so hard.

Have a quick look at this vid, between 20 secs and 30 is enough. Have a look at the comments below the video. I try and describe it. Try and aim to go up over the front, not just the seat, Then after a few tries aim to land on the seat. I wonder if it would be any easier if you lowered your seat.
Also what pedals have you got ? Are they grippy, but not scary full of pins ready to rip your shins. another idea off the top of my head…how about kitting yourself out in all the safety gear you can think of, so nothing will hurt and have a few stern words with your unicycle and tell it that ‘‘you will not be beaten and like it or not that unicycle is going to be freemounted’’

( a bit like where Jake Sully freemounts the leonopterex)

oooops, here is the link to the video. just skip to 20 secs or so…

Hopping is probably the second easiest skill to learn besides riding itself. Begin by trying while already on the uni and holding onto something.

That said, it’s not necessary, just makes things easier.

As far as the Highway Patrol sign line, I actually borrowed it from a Neil Young lyric that I thought was cool in the song ‘Mideast Vacation’.

As to the show itself I cannot comment.

I have virtually every safety item needed to encompass my rather spartan attempts at mounting. I have just watched the clip and once again, I am left breathless at an expert doing the job well. The very essence of what I intend to do eventually, is ride on grass, along a beach pathway near here. Granted it is a decent distance, but a challenge nonetheless.
Again, I will try the same approach tomorrow as your clip shows, and thanks for your support. I will get there I am sure, but obviously, not today.

By the way Alucard, who is Jack Sully??? I have no idea… :thinking:

I have all the gear as you can see, I have lowered the seat until the leg angles are similar to yours since this clip was taken. The cranks are 152mm, standard fare at the moment. The pedals are bog standard too. I can almost guarantee the same distance that you see each time now, but… I look so ungainly when mounting, you have to admit though on the clip, and I want to so much move away and try out other places. Yes, I want to run before I can walk, but that is me unfortunately…

I agree, but that’s how everyone starts when they learn freemounting in the open. Key point here is that if you’re fed up with freemount practice, hold onto the wall or fence, and start working on idling.

I’m going to recommend against that one. Many beginners figure out non-vertical starting positions, but in most cases the crank goes straight to vertical as soon as you put some weight on anyway. That’s why I call early freemounts “beginner mounts” because they start with one pedal at the bottom, a moment of awkward balancing (this is what you’re working toward) and then, if you get your center of mass ahead of the axle, riding away.

Is that the best way to do it? Not by any means. But the alternatives, not counting using a curb or block, are all harder so that’s where people tend to end up. What I recommend based on your descriptions, is to start at 6:00, but then get your other foot in front of the top pedal and pull it back. Rather than trying to pull it back 90 degrees and riding away, just pull it back and step off with your other foot as the wheel gets behind you. Practice this until you get comfortable and are doing it consistently.

Then, go for the ride-off. When you pull back the top pedal, your goal is to get it a little bit behind you, which gives you the impetus to pedal forward. If you’ve pulled the pedal back to anywhere near horizontal, you have lots of pedal range of motion to work with; the most common error is trying to ride away before the wheel goes back enough. It has to go back PAST the balance point. Not a lot, just a bit. With practice you will be able to feel that spot. Then ride away.

To improve on this, practice those idles and also practice riding slowly.

That first mount in the video (I didn’t watch beyond that) was a textbook example of a proper static mount. Your starting pedal is back. You “oomph” yourself up and over the wheel, allowing your body mass to get ahead of the center of mass, and ride off.

The hard part about that mount, is learning how to hold that back pedal steady while you start the mount. Rather than try to balance the forces, all you really need to figure out, is how to hold your leg in that position while the pedal pushes back against it. Just don’t let your knee bend.

This is a better way to mount, but a little harder to learn than the “beginner” mount I described above. It should be your goal for later, after you can mount by other means.

Once you get going, you’re riding like an old man. But you are not an old man. Old men don’t ride unicycles. So be proud! sit up straight. Your bent posture says that you are waiting to fall off, and are tensed up for it. Don’t worry, if you sit up straight you’ll still fall off anyway, but you’ll look a lot better until that happens. And, you’ll start going farther.

You can practice the position while riding along that wall, if necessary. Just keep reminding yourself not to stick your bum out. When you’re sitting upright you can feel it; like the weight is passing down your spine, through the seat and through the axle to the ground below. It makes controlling the motion of the wheel much easier.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun, and be aware of all the progress you’re making. Most people your age don’t even allow themselves to consider learning the unicycle, but you’re doing it.

I recommend starting out with a curb mount until you can do it reliably. It takes out the rolling backwards component and lets you focus on moving forward.

Then get some understanding of the forces involved in UniMyra’s static mount video..

Then use the top of a fence to brace your forearm while attempting the static mount. Over time you will rely less and less on the support of the fence (then later, signposts) until you can freemount.

Also, there is some good stuff on freenounting in dudewithasock’s learning thread which you might have forgotten about if you weren’t at that stage when you read it. Plus, notice how long it takes him to get it decirte otherwise being a quick learner.

Free mounting looks easy when you see someone else do it. When you try to learn it, it can seem impossible. Keep at it and you will get it, and then it really will be as easy as it looks.

I can tell you that I didn’t learn to free mount in 2 hours. It took me at least a week and still after 1.5 years I am not 100% on all wheel sizes.
Learning to free mount is one of the most frustrating parts. Personally I prefer static freemount, but for a 36" it takes too much energy and a rolling mount is better.
All I can say is : keep at it. Try the various kinds of free-mounts : static, holding the tire with your hand, kerb mount or rolling mounts. Also if you have a slope, it will be easier to mount on the downhill side.

Thanks all of you, the inspiration gleaned from you make me try harder to accomplish the skill. I am currently, this morning, tearing up my damp lawn, striving valiantly to learn the gentle art of free mount (static). The nearest success is with the lump of wood behind the wheel. Amazingly, I held the balance, totally stationary for many seconds whilst just sitting there. It was so different, I forgot to try pedaling.

Yesterday was a most depressing experience for me, after an exhilarating week on the unicycle learning curve, then to fall at the next, seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
Believe me, I am having a real hoot learning usually, but yesterday was not a fun day…

Sorry to have been all gripy and self obsessed, I feel much,much better today knowing a problem shared is halved etc etc… thanks