Getting off the wall

Hi, I am new to this, obviously. Anyway, I bought a unicycle last week and have been practicing along my garage wall. I mount from the open gate by the back of the garage, and with my fingertips can now manage the length of the garage(about 3.5 full rotations) without landing on my butt anymore. I have a 24" uni and set the seat at almost full leg length from seat to peddle. I go slowly with no regular speed. As in almost stopping a few times. I had my son stand on my other side and it was a little smoother holding his hand instead of the garage wall. As I take off I am leaning with a straight back and all. What can I do to get smoother from one stroke to the other? I am sorry this is so long. I am really excited about learning to ride.

Basically, as you learn and get better, your strokes will be alot smoother. Starting out, I was choppy at best till I managed to ride around a bit. Pedal as you would a bicycle. Only difference is you have one wheel (minus giraffes)…and no handle bars (unless you have a T7 or something similar)…and no chain or gears (again, minus giraffes and gunis)…and no brakes (muni excluded)…and no reflectors (unless you want it to be pretty)…or those pom-poms sticking out the handle bars (nifty!), too. You should see it smooth out in time, and probably won’t notice unless you are OCD about it.

Just keep at it and before you know it, you will be asking about the difference between a 29er and a coker (36er). And welcome to the club!

I would start letting go of that wall and pedal without assistance. YOU MAY FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STARTING AT SQUARE ONE BUT AS SOON as you get one rotation without help you will find you will get more real fast. Stick with it. You will be riding in no time. The key to success is perserverance.

I’m not sure if you already know this, but try not to think too hard… Look straight into the horizon and be sure not to stare at the ground :smiley:
(This really helped me)

What worked well for me is that i put my tire up against the curb, so the tire was on the street, and the back of the tire is touching the curb. i would then just mount it, and see how many revs i could get before falling off… i did this for about an hour or two each day, and learned how to ride consistantly in 5 days. It’s smooth sailing from there. Keep at it. Hope to see some videos soon!

Thanks for replies

Hi all,
thanks for the replies. Another question: All of my falls (thank heavens only 3 bad so far), have been with the wheel going out the front. These have caused the peddles to nail the back of my lower calves pretty hard. I can live with my butt hitting, but the back of my legs hurt. Any tips?

Do your pedals have pins on them? If so… Maybe you can get leg armor like these ones that I found really cheap but they only have it in Small and extra large…

And if you get hit in the shins you can wear soccer shingaurds :smiley:

ps. you may also want to wear gloves or wristgaurds for falls

i started riding about 3 months ago and i went and used the search engine and found a bunch of imformation about all this stuff and i leanred that none of it really helps (some do though) and ive come up with unicyling is like sex you can watch all the porn you want (unicycling videos) and read all the “How to’s” but the best way to learn is by just doing it, :smiley:


Thanks NKahler, I do wear gloves. The garage wall is not smooth and it helps when I land. :astonished:

Look for a longer piece of wall to ride along. The best is a tennis court or other fence with pavement next to it. Ride along the wall/fence until you get bored. Then start veering away from it.

We adults tend to overthink this stuff. Don’t. Try to approach it like an 8-year old. You fall off (should be onto your feet most of the time), think about which direction you fell off, then go again.


Today I taught a 14-16 year old kid to ride in UNDER 30 MINUTES with this method.

After about 40 minutes, he was riding well over 100’…

I was just telling him what to do to ride, while I was doing manuals on his BMX because I think it’s fun to see people learn to ride a Unicycle.

ride your uni a bit faster

if you try to ride faster, you will see that you and your uni get a bit more balanced. its like a bike: to ride VERY slowly is pretty hard.

try on you are on the right way…


If you’re falling off the back, you’re not leaning forwards enough (statement of the obvious :slight_smile: )

Most people hardly ever fall off the back in normal riding. Think of riding as a process of pedalling to keep the wheel under you to stop you falling off the front.

It sounds as if you’re not going fast enough - a brisk walking pace is a good start.

Try to find somewhere flat with a railing alongside it. That way you’ll get some rythm to your pedalling and have the confidence to let go - maybe for a fraction of a revolution at first, but later for longer periods. Also, go both ways along it so you don’t rely on one particular hand supportng you.

And keep practicing :smiley:

Focus on keeping your weight on the seat.
Choppy pedalling is quite often a sign of having too much weight on the pedals.
The foot then seems to stop as you get to BDC (bottom dead center).
This can cause you to have a UPD (UnPlanned Dismount, we are unicyclists, we don’t fall off, we have UPDs, FYI).
To ensure you have your weight on the seat, get on the uni, hold onto the wall, get the pedals parallel to the ground and ‘almost’ try to lift both feet off the pedals simultaneously.

And if you aren’t 22 anymore, a pair of wrist-guards will do you no harm during the learning process (and beyond).

Welcome to the unicycle.

PS: How tall are you?
Where are you from?
If you can find riders in your area it might help to speed up that learning process just a smidgen.

A few people I’ve taught did not actually sit on the seat, and most of their weight was on the pedals… meaning it was hard to get smoother strokes, and when they came off, the pedals would smash into their legs due to all the weight they had on them.

I found it much easier to looks at the ground to start - I don’t know why though. I think it may be because if you’re looking down then you can see whats going on :smiley: I think people look down when they learn to skate too, maybe it’s a confidence thing.

i had a nasty scrape on my calf. now i prevent that by wearing soccer shin guards backward. 661 also makes ‘ankle biters’ that have saved me some pain!

My specs

GILD asked my size, location etc. I am 5’8", live in Salt Lake City, Utah and am 47.
Hope this helps for any future tips. I will be back, am going outside to bruise myself. :o Jeff

Dang, Dang, Dang

I read the great advice you guys gave. Thanks, I really am putting too much weight on my pedals. I think this is shifting my weight back and making me land on my rump. I just came back in after a few UPD’s (Unplanned Dis-Mounts). Well, I really do not lean forward enough. Thinking about the weight more on the seat and less on the pedals has thrown me back to step1. I only fell backwards once. (I know sport a bandaid on the right elbow). But now I am back to only 2 or so rotations with the wall. Help! :thinking:

Just keep trying. You don’t need to focus to much on having your weight on the set right now, because after you learn you will be able to switch to that easier, so keep some weight on the pedals, and some on the seat until you are proficient enough to keep it all on the seat.

Don’t follow the wall either, push off from it, and ride away from it, that way, when you fall, you don’t rely on something to grab onto, and it all comes down to you.

I only learned this past summer, so I understand your pains. As many before me have hopefully already stated:

~It may not make much sense now, but, you will learn to keep most of your weight on the seat. Not because it is the right way, but because it actually amkes things easier.

~Also, it is better to fall forward then backwards. So if you feel you are falling backwards too much, lean forward to a point that you may think would be too far, and then lean back until you figure out what works. (I know that wording didn’t come out right, but hopefully you get the picture.

~Looking straight helps, I’m not sure why, but it does.

~Learn to get on, and fall off forwards. This is important. You will be doing a lot of this, might as well do it safely.

~The idea is not to keep yourself over the wheel, but to keep the wheel under you.

~FINALLY and MOST IMPORTANT You have to WANT to do it. You have to really BELIEVE you can learn how. With this kind of attitude, this desire, you can learn at least 10 times faster than someone who could care less about what he/she is doing.

Welcome to the World of Unicyclists,