Gliding tips


I can’t yet glide but I’m slowly getting there. The way I’ve been practicing which I’m pretty peased with and has been fun to do has been this:

  • Be able to ride one footed for a little bit.
  • When one foot is heading down in the stroke, put the other foot on the top of the tyre as you would when gliding. Keep the first foot on the pedal and go down a hill to practice using the one foot as a brake. Try to get this as smooth as possible. You can hear it really clearly so you’ll be able to tell whether or not it’s smooth.
  • Go from this position to lifting the second foot up onto the crown of the frame.

This last bit intimidates me a lot which is probably the main reason why I’m taking so long.

Good luck, and please tell me if you come up with other ways to learn,

i can glide a tiny bit on my 20 but not an inch on the 24x3 so i would say learn on a 20.

What I do is start out with just a couple ww strokes to get some speed going, then I change to 1 foot ww and give it a final push and start gliding. I like to start out wwing cause you are already in the position to glide.
Unlike andrews technuiqe, where you are 1 foot riding and then you have to change your position of one of your legs and there is a whole new balance, this seems harder to me, but keep it up andrew.
The main thing with learning a new skill is to stay with it, and try not to get intimidated, it will just delay you. Most advance skills take many many hours, dont give up. If its possible, practice your new skill untile you can see progress (like a number of sidewalk squares, or wheel rotations), then you have something to build off of the next time you practice. Set goals and break em. Thats what I did.

I am trying to learn gliding at the moment. My technique is exactly the same as Speeeedy’s. Get some speed up with a wheel walk,
change to one-foot wheel walk, give the wheel a few good shoves forward with the heel then glide as far as poss with the centre/front part of my sole on the tyre. You need to be reasonably confident with one-foot wheel walking to do this, methinks.

I’m using a stretch of pavement on the seafront at Brighton, UK. This starts off level then very gradually slopes downwards. I think this helps me to get more distance on the glide.

If you’re passing by and happen to see a unicyclist, it’s probably me. Give me a wave. If you’re passing by and see some people standing around a crumpled figure on the pavement, that’s probably me too. Throw me some bandages.


Yeh, the thing about that is I can’t one foot wheel walk. :slight_smile: Is it a very hard skill to pick up? I can ww for 50 paces now. I must admit, I haven’t actually tried one foot ww-ing.


Yes, I also think 1 foot wwing is very helpful, just for that reason, that your already in that postion with one foot on the crown and the other foot doing the wwing. Cause then all you have to do is let the wheel spin free using that one foot as a brake on the tire, and then you will adjust yourself so that you can glide longer distances. Dont worry it will all come in time.

For me it wasn’t so long after learning to ww that we learned 1 foot ww. My brother learned 1 foot ww before 2 foot ww, yea wierd huh?
I dont know about others tho?

yeah so far i just 1foot ww like a few kicks then glide…

we just got a wheelchair access ramp in our practice space.
its about 6 meters long and i’ve made it withint about 1 meter of the end, i’ve been mounting into one foot ww, do one stroke forward and then try and glide it out.

i need to start practicing somewhere else because at the bottom is a brick wall or a sharp turn.
it is slow progress though i’ve been trying to do it ever since i learned to wheelwalk about 6 months ago.

Today I glided for about 5m down a hill quite a few times!!! It’s such a great feeling and I can’t wait to be able to glide as far as I want. I actually find it easier (at least for the little bit of gliding I can now do) to have the other foot free from the frame to correct the forwards and backwards movement. How many of you guys have found this?

For anyone who is learning the way I am, although it doesn’t sound like there are many, I found that I couldn’t bring myself to get the second foot off the pedal unless I did it one revolution at the most after the first movement.

I love gliding!


Regards the two ways suggested for learning here:

The natural progression is to learn ww followed by 1 ft ww. By the time you get good at 1ft wheel walk you will be doing little occasional bits of gliding just to keep your balance.

Once your 1 ft wheel walk is comin along well I suggest tyring pull gliding. Find a friend or two` to pull you along. Get them to stand facing you and lhold hands To begin with you may need to hold two hands. Start to 1ft wheel walk to get yourself into position for gliding and then get them to pull you along as you try to glide. Having 1 or 2 hands to hold on helps your balance enormously and brakes learning gliding down into another step.

Note that once you’ve learnt gliding the natural way to get into it is straight from riding. It helps considerably to be able to ride 1 footed to do this as you will be momentarily riding 1 footed. Pedal reasonablly fast and as your gliding foot that rests on the tyre comes up to the crown it comes off the pedal and into position. The wheel continues around and as the other foot comes up to the crown on ther other side it too flips into position. Once you get the hang of this it is a really fluid motion. The advantage of going into gliding from riding is that you can get much more speed up than you can with wheel walking which means you can glide further on flat surfaces.

For gliding on a flat surface – or situations where you need some momentum before going into a glide, it’s useful to be able to glide with your non-dominant pedal foot.

I learned to glide by idling on a hill, then putting my non-dominant foot onto the tire, pulling my other foot off the pedal and onto the frame, then kick off.

As a result, I am right foot dominant for all pedal related skills, and left foot dominant for all wheel walk related skills. I don’t know if you can actually chose your foot dominance – for me, it just worked out well. So, I can ride forwards quickly, take my left foot off the pedal and put it on the frame – and for one brief moment, both feet are acting as dominant – then I remove the no longer dominant foot from the pedal and go.

Another tip on gliding – get shoes with a flat, ideally single piece soul. That will help learning a lot. I recommend finding a pair of really cheap skateboarding shoes – expect to eventually have a large hole in one foot, so don’t get anything you wouldn’t mind destroying.