Had my first unicycle trip today!

After spending 7 weeks only on the training grounds, I finally got enough courage to take my 24" trainer for a spin around the neighborhood to visit my grandma who lives about 3 km away. Took me about an hour to get there and another to get back. And I’m exhausted. :tired_face: Also, I have a bloody shin from a couple of gone-bad free mount attempts.

On the way there I thought: What could be more annoying than to ride downhill?

On the way back I found what it is: Trying to free mount uphill. I guess I need to start working on a rolling mount or something.

Also, I never realized how uneven the terrain is around my home. It’s nuts, sloping away up or down in almost every direction.

But it was a great fun. :grin: I know I should probably rest tomorrow, to get at least one unicycle-free day in the week, but I doubt I’ll be able to resist the weather they promise.


Seems like a huge accomplishment! Now that you’re able to cover longer distances, you’ll find new and interesting places to ride. I wouldn’t waste too much time trying to learn to mount uphill. Try mounting at a 90 degree angle to the hill, then turn. I rode with cheap, soccer shin guards for my first year of unicycling. Something to think about, if you don’t feel like full leg armor.

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I do a neighborhood ride like that on most days, and I switch up my ride occasionally to make it more challenging. I don’t usually take a day of rest unless I’m feeling under the weather or have something that prevents me from cycling, but I do find that the day after a hard ride I’ll be weaker and won’t be able to ride to my full ability and that after a day of rest I’ll usually be riding my best.

I like to find all the little dirt trails and alleyways and incorporate those into my ride. It still ends up being 2/3 on pavement, but I get a little muni in there too.

Keep at it, I think you’ll find it’s a lot more fun than just practicing in the same old places.


One thing I like about unicycling is that the 3km between you and your Grandma’s can potentially be many different types of rides.
Try mixing it up and ride slightly different lines (if you can) along your route. Try different cambers, sidewalks, roads, grass, etc… (if you can)

Of course throw in alternating using both hands on the saddle and start learning to dismount off the back.

Oh, and learn that rolling mount because you need it. Though I bet you won’t need it on the hill for very long as your lungs and legs catch up.

Pretty cool to hear how enthusiastic you are.
Keep it up… literally.

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Uphill mount😂 I ran into that same problem the other day. It was not something I had thought of until I was stuck walking up the hill after many failed and stubborn attempts. I feel your pain!!!

I can barely do a slight uphill mount after months of practice and forget about an uphill mount on a steep slope. It ain’t happening.

It gets even worse trying to mount and then ride muni on a steep rocky uphill. Nothing quite like trying to muscle your way through fist sized loose rocks and over larger bumps with your foot in a less than ideal position and starting with no momentum.

I’ve been riding 3.5 years and still will mount uphill only if it’s very slight.

Ok, so I couldn’t resist the weather today and went for a short ride. It sort of went out of proportion and I’ve went around 17 km on my uni today. I’m exhausted, knees (lower quads) hurt like hell, but it was worth it.

I still have some work to do on my free mounting skills, but now I usually have problems only at the beginning. Afterwards, my free mount success rate is like 20% or something, except uphill, but I am getting better there as well.

Thanks for the tip. I still can’t do a proper 90 degree angle turn, but I will start to practice it soon. First, I need to perfect my uphill and downhill skills, so I can ride around all the paved paths in the vicinity. But after that, I will focus on this.

Will do. Interestingly enough, I feel more comfortable riding on a slight incline upwards. Don’t know why, but I feel more stable there and can attain and sustain highest speeds. I guess it’s because the uni stays a bit behind me in such places and I just need to pedal harder. I had some long incline in the second part of the trip and was afraid of it, but it was a breeze. I was doing around 8-9 mins/km even though I currently cannot go further than 300 m in single go and so end up mounting rather frequently.

Yeah, I don’t bother on steeper slopes. On the slight ones, it’s not so bad already. 1/10 of the time I land it properly and then the failed attempts no longer matter as I’m riding.

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This is pretty amazing. About a month ago you posted about making slow progress and barely being able to ride and now you’re freemounting on hills and riding 17km! Whatever it is that you’re currently doing, its obviously the right thing for you.


Yeah, no, it’s not amazing yet, not really, but thanks :slightly_smiling_face:. I still suck at riding and at free mounting. I have huge issues with going downhill and uphill as well, and even tiny curbs are my bane. Those 17 km are mostly due to my reasonable physical shape and the fact that I tend to push myself when tired. But I’m getting there, just need to practice the things I suck at and pick them off one by one.

Tomorrow I’m going to a very intimidating (but perfectly unicyclable, imo) hill and I’ll be practicing riding it up and down and mounting with 90 degree free mount in the middle until I’m reasonably good at those things. I fear the downhill part, but it has to be done, I guess.

So long as you can control your speed you’ll be fine, just let the unicycle go if you need to. The real hazard is when the unicycle starts to run away from you and you can no longer control your speed. At least that’s been my experience.

Yeah, I feel like it would be good to perhaps practice dismounting off back first. But I guess, I’ll just go for the downhill practice and just try to go slow to teach the muscles how to brake smoothly.

Whenever you plan to do a regular dismount, try to dismount off the back. It might take a while to get ingrained in your brain, but that’s ok.

It also looks really cool, ideal for when 500 bicycle riders are watching.

Occasionally I pick up my kid from school by unicycle and then we need to walk back home. Most times I get off the back of the uni when I arrive at the school but other times I am a bit stressed with all the parents standing there and then I can’t find the right rotation to have my balance right and then I hop off the front. It is the same as when I want to ride and slow to a hop. Then it can take 2-3 rotations before I have the feel to stop into a hop.

Yeah, at my training session today I decided to do so, but soon after starting to ride I’ve come to the conclusion that stepping of back of the uni is not even outside of my comfort zone, but right in the there’s-no-way-I’m-doing-that zone. I will have to learn it supported first and then transition into unsupported attempts. I think I’m gonna combine it with learning how to idle, it seems sort of a logical combination. I think with my current rate of progress, I’ll get to learning it within a month or so.

In any case, I’m very comfortable with dismounting off front, even downhill. I just sort of brake, topple over the top of the uni (or backpedal a bit to put it behind me, in case of downhill dismount) and gracefully land on either of my feet (sometimes even on both of them at once), catching the back of the seat with my right hand.

What’s outside of my comfort zone, but perfectly doable is the downhill practice. The hill is very intimidating - map data show it’s about 16% gradient, but it’s smooth and paved. By the end of the practice, I managed to go about 3/4 of the way on my best attempt, so I think, in few more days I’ll be doing it more often than not. My legs are strong enough to handle it, so it’s just a matter of teaching my brain to activate the proper muscles in a proper intensity with proper timing. The biggest problem now is that I tend to go down sort of jerkily - in a step by step motion, which induces a lot of wobble that is hard to handle.

But I haven’t fallen a single time - just couple of times I got an uncontrolled UPD when I landed on my feet, but didn’t manage to catch my uni. There are not many paved hills around that have a gradient as steep as this, so I believe that after learning to go up and down this one, I’ll be pretty much freely unicycling around all the paved paths in the neighborhood.

The ride home after this was more or less a breeze, with my longest distance without an UPD being like 350 m. Could have been more, but the road ended there with a pretty high curb, so I PDed there. I think tomorrow I will pressurize the tire to it’s maximum pressure allowed, to get a bit smoother ride. I also think I’ll need to get a bit longer seat post, as I’m using the maximum height allowed, but feel I could have it couple of centimeters higher for smoother ride and less tired quads.

Dismounting off the back really isn’t half as scary as you think. You let the unicycle go forward and simply step down. Practice with a support until it doesn’t feel so weird.

It’s way more graceful and low impact than a front dismount. I’ve even done a few UPD’s where I was applying the brake while descending a hill and ended up just slowly lowering both feet to the ground. while the unicycle continued forward. It looked like I was intentionally freewheeling it, but I was really just trying not to fall.

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You should learn to dismount off the back, especially if you are to ride a uni with handlebars. And it’s much more elegant and appears to be fully controlled if people are around you. It mightn’t matter really for a 20 or 24" uni, but it’s recommended for larger wheels.

As for idling, I didn’t get that for ages… 2.5 years. Though I went through long periods of not trying to work on it.

Hopping is an easier skill, at least in my opinion.

Yes, I will eventually get to it, but I wanna be able to ride well enough first :slightly_smiling_face:. I like to work on one thing at a time (now going downhill) and move on to another thing once I’ve learnt the previous one reasonably well. Now my priority is to be able to ride around the neighborhood without the need of dismounting due to hills. After that, I will move to learning dismounting off the back, and after that to other things.

Yeah, hopping would be pretty useful. Unfortunately, I have a trainer uni with 90 kg load capactity and a cotterless hub. Since I’m 79 kg, I don’t think learning to hop is a smart idea until I get a more resilient uni. I’d like to buy a 24" MUni with an ISIS hub soon, but they won’t be in stock in Europe until July, so I have to make do with what I currently have, trying not to break it.

Furthermore, I hope that by July, gyms will have been opened for some time already. I plan to update the weightlifting routine I had been following before their closure, to include Olympic lifts (clean & jerk, and snatch), which should be helpful for learning stuff like hopping or riding down curbs, as they include a significant explosive strength component and some vertical jumping. Currently, my vertical jump is a joke, which is not a good thing for hopping, I suppose.

So, I have till July to learn how to ride well and with enough of systematic practice, I could perhaps learn to idle as well.