Help me teach my 7 year-old

> My 7 year-old wants to learn to ride a unicycle. I figured my 24" is a<BR> bit
> too big and I’ve heard that the 20" is easier to learn to ride. I even<BR>
> found a bike shop that can get a 16" unicycle.

I’d suggest a 20" because the bigger the better- i’m 14 and small for my age and
the 20" Schwinn I learned on actually is in need of a longer seat post to make
it fit me- the original was too short. Also, Immediately after I learned to ride
I immediately wanted a larger wheel so i bought a 24" Schwinn. But then i wanted
a lighter uni and a bigger wheel so i got a 24" Miyata. Now I want a taller
unicycle so I hope to get a 5’ or 5 1/2’ giraffe soon. (The list goes on, but
that’s my biggest want right now)

hope it helps- by the way did you learn on a 20" or a 24"? Dennis Marschner
(MiyataUni@aol.com)

Re: Help me teach my 7 year-old

I have a six year old daughter who has been riding since she turned four, and
can ride easily both forwards and backwards. I started her at two with an 8"
unicycle I built from an old tricycle by replacing the handlebars with a carved
foam seat cushion, glued to thin plywood and mounted on a metal pipe… I would
hold her hands, and have her just sit on the seat , trying to put most of her
weight on the seat rather than on the pedals. I would have her keep the pedals
at what I called the “control position” both at equal height from he ground. As
she became comfortable with this, I would have her pedal VERY slightly forward
and backward, just enough to slightly wiggle the unicycle, not even trying a
complete revolution at this time. As she became comfortable with this, becoming
more at ease with larger forward and backward shifts, I finally had her do 1/2
revolutions; going from control position right foot forward to control position
left foot forward, and vice versa. Remember, I am still holding both of her
hands to keep her from falling, and she ALWAYS wore a helmet. The two most
important things about the 1/2 revolution is Not pausing at the halfway
mark;i.e. one foot up and one foot down. this is the position of least control,
and you want to ride smoothly through it. the second is to learn to check your
motion by slightly backpeddaling after the 1/2 revolution to come to a
controlled stop and to keep both pedals aligned horizontally. After the child
becomes comfortable with this, proceed to full single revolutions, again
remembering to never pause , even slightly at the one foot up, one foot down
position, and to briefly back pedal, ( about 1/10 rev) to come to a controlled
stop. I think it is best to practice 1/2 back revolutions at the same time as
forward, and full back revs same as forward. Children who learn this way learn
forwards and backwards at the same time, and have much better and safer control
over the unicycle, even though it may take a little longer. as this becomes
easy, try two revs before checking forward (and backward) motion, then 3, 4 and
many. At this point I often hold just one of the child’s hands, and walk with
them as they pedal, providing less and less support as their balance and speed
improves. soon comes the time for the first solo: some children are comfortable
with just letting go and doing their best; but what worked best for me was to
have my wife waiting to catch her ; I would be holding my daughters hand as she
was riding toward my wife, and encourage her to let go just a few inches before
we reached her, so she would reach out and catch Mama just as Mama caught her.
Gradually this distance increased from a few inches to a foot, then several
feet(I definitely recommend kneepads for this part. I let my daughter decide
when to let go, so obviously the first few hundred times she never did until she
was safely in the arms of my wife. I felt it was more important to not pressure
her, and keep her trust, than risk having her develop a fear of not only
unicycles, but myself as well. ( I did, however, resort to bribery, The first
time she was brave enough to let go for even a tiny bit and rode the last few
inches on her own, we threw a big party with lots of treats to celebrate her
bravery and accomplishments.) Weeks( and many treats and rewards ) later, she
could ride well, and then it was a mater of working on curves, clockwise and
counter-clockwise circles, and figure eights. Many children find one or the
other easier, but for safety and control it is important to be equally
comfortable with both right and left turns. about halfway through this procedure
she outgrew her first unicycle, and I switched to a custom 12" from THE UNICYCLE
FACTORY 2711 N. Apperson Kokomo, Indiana 46901 317-452-2692 I have taught
hundreds of children to ride, some in less than a week, some took almost a year.
I recommend regular practice, several short sessions a day being better than one
long exhausting one. The most important thing, is to be sensitive to your
child’s learning patterns., encourage, but not force, and take everything in
very small steps with lots of rewards at every new level. Not all children need
this, for some learning is reward enough, but i find it frequently helps with
younger children. I personally would rather the process took longer as long as
it stayed challenging, but fun, for the child. There are additional benefits to
teaching your child;not only will it help socially and with self confidence, but
unicycling stimulates the coordination of both the right and left hemispheres of
the brain. This can make the process of learning both math and reading much
easier for the child. There are other techniques which can help if a child is
having trouble learning, or geting frustrated. I will list these tomorrow, as it
is getting late, and I must get my own child ready for bed. Feel free to contact
me further for clarification or any other information. Sean J. Geoghegan wrote
in message <01bd7182$7f3e5300$0569a8c0@asimov>…
>Hi- My 7 year-old wants to learn to ride a unicycle. I figured my 24" is a bit
>too big and I’ve heard that the 20" is easier to learn to ride. I even found a
>bike shop that can get a 16" unicycle. Does anyone out there have any
>experience teaching a child to ride? I’d be very interested in any advice.
>Also, will the 16" be even easier for him to learn on than the 20"?
>
>Thanks for any assistance
>
>–
>Sean J. Geoghegan Powerware Solutions, Inc. sean@PowerwareSolutions.com
>
>If you ever remember how much easier it is to remember something you would
>rather forget than remember than remember something you would rather remember
>than forget, then you can’t forget how much easier it is to forget something
>you would rather remember than forget than forget something you would rather
>forget than remember.

RE: Help me teach my 7 year-old

Learning (Mr. Learning?) wrote:

>I have a six year old daughter who has been riding since she turned
four,
>and can ride easily both forwards and backwards. I started her at two
with
>an 8" unicycle I built from an old tricycle by replacing the handlebars
with

Excellent instructions for teaching small children. And the first paragraph’s
instructions work for riders of any age. This was very similar to the method
used by Bill Jenack, founder of the Unicycling Society of America. He also
taught people forward and backward from the beginning.

>unicycle, and I switched to a custom 12" from THE UNICYCLE FACTORY 2711 N.
>Apperson Kokomo, Indiana 46901 317-452-2692

Please note the new area code for the Unicycle Factory (and all your other
friends in Kokomo):

(765) 452-2692

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone

RE: Help me teach my 7 year-old

>Have you tried to ride this “unicycle”; i taken you’ve gone on a test ride?
>Nothing 'gainst the workmanship but may not be rideable. I could never ride
>those Sears unicycles…so i tell folks it’s not always them.

I don’t recommend riding it either because it might not then be fit for the
child to ride. But it is true that the combination of nylon bushing (or worse)
bearings and very short crank arms are the two reasons why tricycle parts are
not well suited for unicycles. Both additional leverage, and a smooth-turning
wheel are important, especially during the learning stages.

John Foss (learned on a Sears piece of junk, but not after many weeks, and
many give-ups)

Re: Help me teach my 7 year-old

I made a small (10inch?) uni for my 3 year old out of the front end of a
tricycle and an old seat. (We started by replacing only the handle bars with a
uni seat… but that was more dangerous than the uni) He’s almost 5 now and sits
on it for ages but never rides it. He’s not learnt I think because of the small
wheel and especially the cranks are very short.

My 7 Year old is riding a 16 inch uni short distances but again I think he will
do a lot better when he’s big enough for the 20inch. Hmmmm… now might be a
good time to put longer cranks on the 16inch and see if he does better. I wonder
if he will notice?

I may be about to get into trouble :slight_smile:

cheers Harold

Harold Jarvie hjarvie@iconz.co.nz Wellington New Zealand :slight_smile:

Re: Help me teach my 7 year-old

In a message dated 4/29/98 5:55:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
Unilady@aol.com writes:

<< Have you tried to ride this “unicycle”; i taken you’ve gone on a test ride?
Nothing 'gainst the workmanship but may not be rideable. I could never ride
those Sears unicycles…so i tell folks it’s not always them. >>

Yeah- check out my story about learnig to ride on one of those unis with
“airless” tires!

http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/tales/funi.html

Mike UniChef@aol.com http://members.aol.com/UniChef/unichef.html