Free, but expensive free mounting.

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

My 13 yr. old neighbor is the star of his baseball team. When kendama became a fad, locally, he won the all-school competition. This kid is a fast learner. After letting him try my unicycle, last year, he could ride 20 feet after a few minutes. I found a $20 unicycle on CL and gave it to him. He spent about a day working on it. Yesterday, he rolled the unicycle over to my house for me to put air in his tire. After he made a few okay runs on the cheap unicycle, I pulled out my trials uni and lowered the seat. His first run on that one was over 50 feet. Then he decided he wanted to free mount. Within a few minutes he was doing it. After a couple hours practice, he could free mount more than 1/2 the time, and he had ridden over 500 feet.

While he was riding my unicycle, another kid in the neighborhood was struggling on the cheap Sun 20". I asked the talented kid what advice he had for the other kid.

“Just commit.”

What a friggin’ kid thing to say!

On his own, my neighbor mounted starting with the first pedal in the 6:00 position. My unicycle is a 20" with 140mm cranks, so I think that helped with leverage, getting over the dead part of the pedal stroke and starting to ride. He was able to perform a momentary still stand in this position, and this bought him a little bit of time. His seat was a little low (which I think is okay at the beginning); he won’t get a proper static mount until he raises the seat and gets more weight on the seat during mounting.

Regina Wrecks: In my opinion, it’s better to perform a mount slowly but unsuccessfully, than it is to succeed, albeit in a quick and sloppy fashion. Making a mount last longer means there’s more time to think about what you’re doing, more time to get the second foot placed correctly, more time to develop your balance. What I liked about the tire grab mount (I don’t use it any more) is that it slowed down the mounting process; it locked my mass and the unicycle’s mass together, so I would arc, very slowly forward, during the mount.

Good luck!

This is basically how I learned to freemount (static) and it took a couple of weeks of constant practice. At one point I had a bad fall so I found a softer surface, a rubberized track at the local high school. There were some hurdles left out so I used one of those instead of a fence.

It was a much bigger challenge than learning to ride.

Keep up the hardwork.

What worked for me…

Try mounting with good foot and good hand, then next swap to good foot and other hand, then next swap to good hand and other foot, then finally finish the rotation with both off hand and off foot.

Keep rotating these mounts into your riding. It will take a little longer to get it, but when you do all of these mounts will become easier and you will become a much better rider.

This way you will be able to pick up your uni and start riding from any position in any location.
Most people have to rotate the tire, walk to an accommodating location, and use their dominant hand and foot to mount. I feel this leads to imbalance with your body.

Maybe another option is to try mounting with enough force to get upright on the uni but instead of trying to ride just let your body follow through and fall forward and dismount off of the uni.
This way you can start with too much power and slowly dial it back as you get comfortable with the balance position of the mount.

Sooner or later you’ll be mounting with ease. Keep it up.

Quote from Canoeheadted. “Maybe another option is to try mounting with enough force to get upright on the uni but instead of trying to ride just let your body follow through and fall forward and dismount off of the uni”

This is precisely where I am today, I accomplish this with the intensity it warrants. I have done this act with free wheel mounting, and with a lump of wood behind the wheel. Exactly the same result and yes, it does feel sort of comfortable and rehearsed when done many times. I have sat, balanced several times today, with the feet correctly placed on the pedals. Soooo, I like to think I am not that far off launching, but it does not happen yet… !! :(:o

My lawn resembles a ploughed field now, little depressions of the wood with radial tyre grooves, very pretty… !! :wink:

You are doing this on the grass?? No wonder you’re having a hard time! You’ve probably managed a bunch of fully viable freemounts already without even knowing it because the bumps in the dirt made you fall off before you could ride anywhere.

Lean forward and pedal! :slight_smile:

I agree

I’ve been unicycling for a year now and while I can free-mount, I’m not sure what to call the type of mount I do. I think it’s that sloppy “beginner’s mount” mentioned here and elsewhere. When I recently tried learning the roll-back mount, I soon realized I already knew how to do it. The kind of mount I do is similar enough and since I can idle and ride backwards competently, the roll-back mount is like a second nature to me.

It’s the static mount I need to work on.

Anyway, it took me about a month to learn to free-mount so I could do it 9 out of 10 tries. I found that learning to idle just a little(I mean 2 to 3 cycles) helped tremendously(thanks John Foss!).

I’m now vividly recalling practicing free-mounting in the park around 10 months ago and what an epic struggle it was. This was my 2nd or 3rd day of just focusing on free-mounting(I already knew how to ride for a few miles). It was such a struggle I was getting it 1 out of 100 tries or even worse. So this woman walking around the park sees me struggling with the unicycle, and took pity on me and said “shouldn’t you be doing that along a fence?”. She then told me about her 2 amazing teenage kids who are unicyclists and how they learned riding along a fence. So we talked a little more about unicycling, but she just assumed I didn’t know how to ride. It’s just funny thinking about that now considering the progress I’ve made.

Just keep practicing! When free-mounting gets very frustrating, keep in mind that riding and idling can help make it easier.

I always teach beginners to mount with the pedal in roughly 4/5 o’clock position. That way the unicycle rolls under you abit, and if you are lucky, you still don’t have completely vertical cranks, and can go to riding forward easily. I think it is really not critical which technique you use, I had a 7 year old girl in one of my workshops that always mounted with her foot on the upper pedal in top dead center, she had it save to 10/10 times. But from what I understand, you have what I would consider bad practice habits.
Practicing one skill for hours straight is very ineffective. I recommend 15-20 minutes maximum. Freemounting is something you can easily practice by just going for a ride, and everytime you fall, you do 3 attempts of freemounts, if you don’t get it in those, you mount with a wall. Frustration rarely helps.


If you feel impatient and want to learn as quickly as possible, have 2 or 3 of these short practice sessions per day.