Getting very very frustrated.

I just started unicylcing a lil over a week ago. When I first started Id just get in between 2 cars and get myslef on the unicycle, then justlet go of the cars and see how far I could go. I’d be able to stay on for about half a second. I eventually, throughout the next 2 days worked that up to being able to go 30 feet 1/10 times, then worked that to 10/10 times. And one time I went 70 feet. But, the last couple days, I’ve been doing horrible. I can go maybe 3 feet, and either fall forward(this is right before i start going forward uncontrollably fast) or just unconrollably turn to the side and then fall off to the side. now this makes me extremely angry. I have no idea what the problem is. I just walk away from it for a while, and then come back with a clear head, not angry, and tell myself, I know i can do this, I mean, I already have. But after 20 tries I keep falling right back off after 3 feet which leaves me violently mad, ready to throw my unicycle as far as I can. I know getting frustrated obviously doesn’t help, but I can’t help myself. I know i’ve already been able to go 70 feet, and falling after 3 feets inevitably leaves me pissed. It’s starting to make me think that I just can’t unicycle, and I really wouldn’t like that because the time I was improving was very fun, enjoyable and addictive.

I know a week isn’t long, but it has been over 15 hours of practice. I want to eventually be able to get a 36 inch one and ride all over town, and get a mountain unicycle. But, If i keep getting discouraged and frustrated, I know that won’t happen.

So…what exactly could my problem be?

to correct a forward fall motion you either pedal faster a little bit to push the uni bk under you and you tilt back as well to compensate.

If you got to fall to the side, turn into the fall and pedal out. Don’t forget to use your hips.

If you going BUC been told the workshops are great at improving your uni’in at whatever lvl you are.

Your problem is probably that you’re trying too hard. It’s better to be relaxed than tense, and it’s better to be strong than fatigued. If you’ve gotten 70 feet, you’re pretty close to having it all; you just need to let it come to you.

If you’ve done 15 hours in a week, you’ve probably had some pretty long practice sessions. As your body gets tired, your technique deteriorates and it gets harder to do anything. And if you go back and do it again the next day, your muscles are probably not recovered from the unfamiliar work the day before.

I would advise taking a couple of days off, then going back and consciously thinking about relaxing, putting your weight on the seat, looking at the horizon, and see what happens.

An important skill for learning anything on a unicycle is the ability to overcome frustration.

Thanks for the quick advice, and yeah, I guess ill take a couple days break even though I don’t want to because it’s so highly addictive.

But usually when I’m falling forward It’s because im already pedaling extremely fast. Like, Ill start going…then start falling forward a lil then Ill start pedaling like mad while im tilting forward and just end up falling off. It’s kinda hard to explain, I’d need to a video to show you, but unfortunately I dont have any recording device.

Keep trying. Thats all you really need to do.

and when your riding have ur hands out in the air for balance and dont hold ur uni seat, if u fall just let the uni fall… and look straight ahead. and when ur riding and u might fall dont just dismount, stugle and wave ur hand crazily for balance, dont dismound till u ABSOLUTLY have to…

Keep at it. Sounds like you just haven’t put the feeling into miscle memory yet. You’ll get it!

It took me two weeks to learn, it takes some people two months. If you can already do 30 feet, then you are close to getting it down. Keep it up! Read the learning section of the unicyclopedia for some info on what causes you to fall off different ways. Link is down there in my signature.

Actually what you’re experiencing - thirty feet one day, three the next - is pretty much normal. You’re still in the early learning stages, and your ability will vary greatly from one day to the next. You know you can ride the thing, because you’ve done it. You just have to program your body with the reflexes that it needs in order to do it consistently, which comes by doing it over and over and over and etc. Stick with it, do a little every day, don’t push it too hard if you get frustrated, and the three-foot days will gradually become fewer and farther between.

Be sure that your seat is high enough, your tire isn’t too hard (twitchy) or too soft (mushy), sit up straight, all the usual tips.

Your problem is that you get discouraged and frustrated (I highlighted your problem above). It took me a few weeks to get as far as you. Consider yourself lucky. Progress isn’t linear and consistent. It will come. With patience and practice. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun. If you fall into the trap of being angry, you will never stop being angry. Because once you learn to ride, you will be angry because you can’t quite get the hang of idling. And once you can idle, you will be angry because wheel walking is hard to learn. You will never run out of new things to learn. And therefore new opportunities to (not) get upset with yourself. (Yes, I do understand the special frustration that comes with not being able to ride. If you have trouble idling or hopping up stairs, at least you can ride the damn thing.)

Okay, now that the lecture is over (sorry, I don’t have much sympathy for FAST learners like you)…

Maybe you could find a railing or a wall to ride along. Use the railing when you need it. Some people would call this a crutch. But to me, it gives you a longer in-the-saddle experience. Instead of speeding out of control and falling off, you have a momentary grab of the railing and then you are balanced again. You will therefore ride in control for longer periods, thus training your brain and reflexes for longer periods of time. Otherwise, you spend more than half your time falling off, walking back, and climbing back on. That time is effectively lost. It does not help you. Subtract all that time from each practice session. How long are you actually on the unicycle and riding? Don’t have a railing? How about a person or two to walk along with you? (to aid your balance and give you encouragement)

Re: Getting very very frustrated.

On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 18:35:14 -0500, Derek52287 wrote:

>But usually when I’m falling forward It’s because im already pedaling
>extremely fast. Like, Ill start going…then start falling forward a lil
>then Ill start pedaling like mad while im tilting forward and just end
>up falling off. It’s kinda hard to explain

I think that was a clear description. If at some point you’re falling
forward, you should indeed pedal faster to get the wheel back under
you. However, if you don’t do this vigorously enough, you keep falling
forward and pick up speed in the process. So it sounds like you’re

About your ‘general’ problem: many people have reported a fall-back in
abilities. Especially in the early learning process like you’re in
now, but also later on. tholub’s advice was very good. But whatever
way you tackle this (rest days or not etc), rest assured that even
though you’ll have temporary set-backs, it’ll get to you soon enough.

You may want to visit
for some additional advice, specifically the “Learning to Unicycle”

Maybe someone has had a go at your unicycle and tampered with the seat hight? when i was learning i felt that a perfect seat hight was very important. It’s worth a quick check to see.


I found learning in a tennis court really helpful as you can use the support of the fencing and also have the freedom of the court when things are going right and it gives you the chance to learn to turn corners too. It just gave me that feeling of having a ‘security blanket’, the longer you can sit in the saddle the better you get the feeling for the movement of your body and the bike, there is nothing so infuriating than having to walk back to the beginning to start again! Goodluck and keep the wind in your wheel. :slight_smile:

hi derek

imo your very right to spot that the problem may be in your approach mentally to riding. However don’t despair!!:slight_smile:

if you would like my honest opinion about what’s going on, i’d say that i imagine metaphorically and literally speaking, you are trying real hard, but you are like someone who is trying to go too fast too soon.

if you are about to go uncontrollably fast, slow down- there’s no rush to get anywhere. If you are going down a hill, don’t power the pedals, control them so that you ride slower

umm… oh yes one of the things that i find tends to help me is to keep reminding myself to sit/stand up straight, even now when i’m trying tricks instead of “normal” riding.

Check for seat post height- i’ve found that you have to work harder when it’s low if your looking to ride distance

how exactly do you generally fall when you fall to the side ? once i get a better mental picture i might be able to give some more tips…

um… oh yeah don’t give up- we have off days, we have on days- it happens to everyone- perhaps this is your first- why, you’ve only been cycling what- a week! it’d be a shame to chuck it in because you have one off day.

i’ve had it before when it feels you’re doing worse than you’ve done before- my last was a couple of days back. Watch some videos- that seems to help- once you get an eye for good shape, mimicry becomes easier. Find a role model- currently i have 3 - Amanda - she’s local-ish to me and she’s got great poise, go-for-it-ness and she’s got a fantastic personality; Xavier - who’s a little further away, but he’s got good ‘attack’ and a real nice fluid style; and Shaun of syko productions who has a (imho) certain kind of clinical precision to his tricks. these are my faves, but there are tons of good riders out there for you to choose from and aspire to ride like or model yourself on to start with. you may grow out of it, but i think it helps to begin with.

anyway good luck
hope you feel better soon :slight_smile:

I’ll start going, and then the direction I uncontrollably turn towords I’ll also start leaning towords, which results in quite a painfull fall because I try to avoid stepping on the wheel.

Thanks for all the support and advice all, I guess i’ll just quit bitchin and get out there and learn it, and be proud of the fact that i’ve learned this much already.

the way i see it, if you can go 70 feet than you can go 700 feet. the first few feet are the hardest, after that it should be pretty smooth

Make sure the seat is straight

When I was first learning the same thing happened to me. ( falling off to the side) I noticed that my seat was a little crooked, and it was making me lean to the left. Once I corrected the seat, the problem went away. Just keep trying, you will get it. It is all in muscle memory. You just need seat time that’s all.

Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!!! Seven weeks into it now and I’m still learning. Sometimes I go 200 feet, sometimes two. I’m going to get it one of these days and so will you. I have faith. :smiley:

Make sure you keep your back straight, that helps quite a bit.