Going down hills on a braked, freewheeling unicycle

On Wed, 27 Sep 1995, Jason Richards wrote:

> Consider a wheel with a chain ring that is fixed only in the forward
> direction, but will freewheel when spun backwards (i.e. much like that of an
> uggg… 10 speed bicycle wheel with only the lowest gear) and assume that this
> wheel has a drum brake or a coaster brake (i.e. within the hub).
> If I wanted to race down a VERY LARGE hill, then I (theoretically) should
> be able to stop pedaling forward, ease back on the brake (assume that the
> brake was engaged when back pedaling) and control my decent (and balance)
> in this manner.

I’ve done this on a mountain bike, just pop a front wheelie, then balance down a
hill on the brake. Entirely possible, and fairly amusing. However, the general
tactic when about to lose balance is to let off the front brake and let the bike
drop back onto two nice stable wheels. On a uni this option doesn’t exist, so it
could be a fairly choppy move to do.