giraffe mounting problems

Had my Torker giraffe for few months and STILL can’t mount it!
Watched youtube videos of running-mounts but I can’t get close to mounting it.
Is there an easier method? Getting discouraged here. :frowning:

I can’t freemount my giraffe yet either but I’ve got some good links:

Here’s another good write up on freemounting:


I’ve assumed you’re asking about freemounting. Am I wrong? If so, I can give good advice on mounting with the aid of walls etc… There is definately a nack to just getting on one period.

Super G, yes if you have any additional advice on mounting a giraffe; I’d appreciate it! I don’t know how that guy mounts the 7ft giraffe w/o falling off! :astonished:

OK leadpan, I went out and did a photo shoot just for you. Here is how I mount my 5 footer with assistance from various things:

Pic 1. I open the overhead garage door in my shop and place the giraffe as shown so the wheel is in the V between the overhead door track and the wall. The seat positions in the V as well so that neither the wheel or seat can move sideways. The pedals are placed horizontal with the one I’ll step on first placed so that it drives the uni forward into the V. I then mount as follows:

  1. Left hand holds the seat, pushing it forward; right hand grabs the overhead door track.
  2. Right foot on the wheel.
  3. Left foot on the pedal.
  4. Right foot on the pedal.
  5. Sit down.
  6. Get situated comfortably.
  7. Continue holding onto the rail as I use an idling type move to point the uni outwards.
  8. Lean forwards slightly as I let go and begin riding.

Pic 2. Same concept but using a pole mounted on the side of a school. Use the V that exists between the pole and the wall.

Pic 3. Same deal but using a fence and fence pole.

Pic 4. Mount in parades using my U.S.V. (Unicyclist Support Vehicle) pole. The pole has a cut-out for the wheel and wooden contraptions for keeping the seat from moving sideways.

Last but not least, tennis court fences are great because they are tall and you can grab them anywhere with your hands. Unused tennis courts are great because there are no cars to worry about.

Hopefully that helps. Please follow up with some success stories.

Wow! Thanks for the photos, it really helps visualize what I need to do! I will practice it now! :slight_smile:
SuperG, you sure got LOTS of uni’s!


Your welcome!

“Lots of uni’s”? I consider it a good start! There’s a Schwinn giraffe sitting on the floor in pieces waiting for me to decide whether to put it together and ride it or hold off and chrome some of its pieces that don’t look so hot.

So yeah, I’ve got 7 uni’s.

I got a giraffe fairly recently and shot some video last weekend of static and rolling mounts:

After I had it about a week and a half I rode in a Fourth of July parade. I did a rolling mount right at the beginning of the parade (after a UPD) and got huge applause from the crowd. But that was probably because it took me about five tries!

Don’t get discouraged! Keep practicing! Here are my suggestions. First, redefine success. Obviously you want to be able to free mount the unicycle but even if you practice for an hour or two and don’t manage a single mount you are still making progress! You are improving your balance and making the little changes necessary to make a successful mount. Second, practice both static mounts and rolling mounts. Just like with a short unicycle I found that at first I was able to do a mount when everything was perfect, but those perfect situations didn’t come around very often. With more practice I was able to recover when everything wasn’t just right. Now after I’m warmed up I can do either type of mount around 4 out of 5 times (and I’m still practicing!). My rolling mount is a bit methodical, however, and I want to be able to do that more naturally.

Static mounts: Get up to the seat! If you’re not there yet, this should be your goal. Forget pedaling. Visualize getting up there in one swift motion. If you can do this every time then you can consider what to do once you’re up there. I usually push back with one foot (the left in my case) and then go from there. Just practicing holding your balance on the seat is a big help.

Rolling mounts: I line up the right pedal with the crank and start with it perpendicular to the ground (straight down). I take an exaggerated step with my left foot (I raise it a little higher and it’s a little shorter than the following steps). I take two big steps (right-left) and then leap off my left foot. I try to leap in an arc so the pedal comes up under my right foot about parallel to the ground. Once I’m up there I’m usually at a bit of an angle and I pedal with my left foot backwards to get up perpendicular to the ground. With more practice I’m finding my jump doesn’t have to be as high as it was in the beginning and can recover from more obtuse angles (as long as I don’t lose traction). The trick for me was finding the right combination of steps and pedal start location. I experimented with different ones and once I found something that worked tried to duplicate it every time precisely. If the pedal is underrotated you have to work harder to right the unicycle and if it’s overrotated you can’t press down on it to backpedal (or you miss it completely which can be funny). Pull up your shorts and watch for any loose flaps of clothing! Bike shorts are a huge help! Basketball sneakers, too!

Obviously I am no expert, but let me know if you still have problems. You can do it!

Keep your head up, it is much less problematic than mounting unicorns. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d beg to differ. Those mounts look very smooth and well-executed. Well done.


Great job! You make it look easy. The videos and tutorials make a great addition to this thread too. Is that my practice exercise you’re doing at the end of the 2nd video?

Thanks for the compliments! It definitely looks easier when you edit together only the successful mounts. You should see the blooper reel! Yes, that’s your parade practice exercise at the end. I wasn’t able to do it well enough in the actual parade I rode in, but hopefully I’ll be able to next time. For the Fourth of July parade I kept going in circles when the parade stalled and was very glad when it was finally over.


Nice video. I probably was misleading about the exercise I made up. To me its just an exercise in general, not necessarily for parades. I just elaborated on this skill from level 3 of the IUF skill levels:

  • Come to a stop, pedal half a revolution backward and continue forward.

I call it “2 steps forward, 1 step back”. It of course helps with idling/backwards type stuff plus general stability. I believe in the past you had emphasized full rotation idling which I now do alot. In fact, I now find that more fun than regular idling.

Free mounting a 7’ giraffe

Nice! I never got a video of anyone freemounting my 9-footer. Now I’d probably be chicken to do it. I never had it up to 100% success rate; probably around 33%. In the 80s. :slight_smile:

I recently acquired a Torker giraffe. So far I have only mounted it from a ladder. I’m ready to try the static mount but a bit chicken on the running mount. The guy I got it from made it look real easy. :o

photo 4.jpg

The running mount is all about timing. Experiment a little to see how many steps you want to take and what pedal position to start in. I think it’s crucial to have a high arc on the jump so that you’re jumping up and coming down to the pedal rather than jumping to the pedal. I start with my feet together, take three big steps starting with my right foot, and then jump nice and high. I got a Torker giraffe off craigslist and found the tire skipped on running mounts on concrete and had to replace it with a better one so be wary of that (if that’s the original tire for me).

A few running mounts on 6’ ers at club night.

Last year one of our guys decided to learn the running mount on his giraffe. As is typical a bunch of the others followed him around until they got up the guts to try it themselves. Now we have about five people who can successfully do the running mount! Personally, I’ve been chicken. I guess I should suck it up. In the words of Pele “be a man, just do it”. :o

This topic title just keeps making me think wrong things:

Clearly I’m not thinking about unicycles enough.