Getting bored

I’m pretty new to unicycling but getting bored just riding around. Anyone have any ideas on what to learn next? Or is there simple tricks I can learn to make things interesting?

Chris Huriwai has playlist called UniQuest, where he teaches everything from learning to ride the unicycle to intermediate level at flatland and street.

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Well, how much can you do right now?

Do you wear full protective gear?

How’s your free-mounting?

…slam

Start small. Get riding down well. Freemount is the first ‘trick’ all riders should learn. It lets you ride anywhere without requiring assistance to get on and ride.

The uniquest videos linked above are good. IIRC Eli brill had some videos as well.

Welcome to the wide world of one wheeled riding. It truly is a blast.

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I can freemount easily (still working on idling and going backwards), I can turn sharp corners, modulate speed on up and downhills, and can go on trails (if they aren’t too rough for my 20 Inch road-unicycle).

I think you are ready for a new unicycle.
Something a little larger like a 24" with fat tires. Just that 4" taller frame and fat tires will change your experience. Now you have something that will feel different again, but not anything like starting from scratch. So, the challenge again is to work on your balance, response and reaction time to match. You already have the base skill, but now it forces you to calibrate and fine tune everything.

That in itself is a challenge that some people enjoy. Doing the same thing but with different methods and tools. Does this madness remind you of anything, like when you first tried to learn how to ride the damn thing?

Ofcourse, this might feel like a waste of time for some. Some people just want to go to a big wheel and hit the bike trails.

However, there are a few that like to just master simple skills and tricks like idling, bunny hopping, curb dropping, SIF, backwards,…etc. That’s me and I also like to ride on rough terrain, grass and uphills where you are forced to take things half pedal at a time. Pump, Pause, Balance,…repeat. I am never bored or lacking of refining the tricks that I can do. (Especially, my left side telling me to learn everything that I can do with my right foot down).

Let me know what you want to try. Maybe you tried but failed. I will go more into details if you are interested.

…slam

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You may want to get a larger wheel unicycle and explore some distance riding.

I’ve been trying to find a large wheeled muni but most mountain unicycles are exspensive. But I am interested in learning what I can on my beginner unicycle. Recently, I’ve been working of keeping a tennis ball in the air with a racket while unicycling. That helps me focus on reflexive unicycling. Do you do foot-plants at all? And what is SIF?

Okay, I can tell. You are getting bored with idling.
(“…bored now…” Willow Rosenberg)
So let me ask. How good are you on idling?

The 3 basic levels for idling:
a.) Beginner: Mainly, shuffling your foot back/forth rapidly with “heavy” force on the down pedal. Also, using quick radical hip twist motion to arrest falling to one side. Also, the snake hands help you balance.

b.) Intermediate: Now, you can rely on leaning upper body forwards and back for a controlled rocking action. You still rely on heavy “bottom foot” and “twist” to get out of trouble. This uses a lot of energy, so you can’t go more than say 30 idles.

c.) Advanced: No more rocking. No more twisting. You have the finesse to accurately rely on your “top foot” as the main control. Not only push that top pedal fore/back, but you can accurately apply “equal” or “offset” down force on each pedal for balance. If you start falling to one side, you simply apply counter force on the pedal to correct. This leads to the next trick. SIF.

SIF = Seat in Front. Is it possible, to ride a unicycle without sitting on it.
I don’t mean standing up. I mean standing off the saddle and “behind it” and holding with your hands. Only feets on pedals. This isn’t me, but a guy trying to learn.

There are 2 ways to learn:
a.) Holding a wall or rail: which is first thing to do, because just “holding” your saddle is tremendous work.
b.) Next, learn to idle in this position. Not as hard as you think if you are “advance” regular idle capability.
c.) Finally, learning to pedal forwards. This can be learned by doing both “holding” a rail and also “working that 2nd step” from an SIF idle.

BTW, do you notice this guys unicycle. It is what they call a “trials” unicycle it is 19 or 20 inch with “fat tires”. That combination gives you tremendous control and ability to do tricks. If you have a beginners 20" with skinny tires it will be 2x as hard to do any tricks.

Any questions…slam

I have to admit, I can only idle for about 3 seconds. I lost patience. I’ll keep trying to get better at it though. I didn’t know the proper name for SIF but I have tried it a couple of times. Do you prop yourself up on the seat or just hold the seat out of the way for SIF? Would it be bad if I skipped a 24-inch tire and went to a 26 inch tire?

IF you “upgrade” from 20" to 26" size unicycle “and” use that to learn stunts. I would applaud you for it, and harass all the Level 5 stunt riders(Chris Huriwai, Mr. Brill,…etc.) to try to do the same.

Yes, if you are determined go for it. Just know it’s always easier on small wheels.

So, let’s talk about the idling:

Beginner method:
a.) Lay down “tremendous” weight on the bottom foot. This acts to keep the unicycle down like a pendulum.
b.) Now, “add” a little force with the top foot to get the unicycle going either forwards or back, but always maintain weight on the bottom pedal to “reverse” whatever motion you create. So, back/forth/back forth…
c.) Balancing(fore/aft): Now, this “should be” easy/kinda instinctive, if you can ride a unicycle you got it. Plus, you are manipulating this with the “back/forth” idling motion. Start to add some upper body motion and try to synchromize.
d.) BAlance(lateral); Now, this is a new weird feeling. Trying to use/throw your body side to side for balance is not fast enough. Try this. From “bicycle technology” if you are falling to the right side, then you twist the handlebar to the right to stop that fall. Same with a unicycle, but no handle bar, but instead use your “hip”. Fall to the right > twist the unicycle to the right. Left? same thing. Twist left. Don’t just turn your body. A lightning quick but controlled twist from your hips.

Ofcourse, everybody who tries to learn idling “should know” to grab onto a pole, wall or something, while learning. Get used to the back/forth idling motion. Faster you rock back/forth the more stable it seems at first.
Let go for one or two idles, but grab hold again. Eventually, you will get it and feel confident to completely let go.

When you do, then that “magic” feeling comes back. You know like when you first “got it” on the unicycle. Trust me.

…slam