Hopping on a unicycle Level 3

My daughter is a level 2 rider and she wants to become a level 3. The problem is that she has to hop over a 4"x4" block. She’s only 7 and has a 16" standard unicycle. What would make this possible for her? Wider tire, more air, less air, bigger wheel etc.? I watch her hop and she only gets it a inch or two off the ground. Any advise would be appreciated, she can do all the other stuff, but she’s stuck on the hopping over a 4x4.

Hi Sideshow,
I’m working on level 3 skills myself at the moment, and for what it’s worth, the video on the IUF website shows Leo rolling over the 4x4, not side-hopping. (http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=10x10obstacle) It looks like he’s doing it on a 20" freestyle, so a big bouncy tire isn’t really needed. There’s no question doing it on a 16" will be more challenging, but I think if she works at it she’ll get it. (She is obviously highly motivated, if she’s already passed the first and second levels.)
Others who are good at this will probably have good advice.
Good luck to her!

I found that lowering my seat allowed me hop hop much higher, I could bend my knees more.

I actually just noticed this on another part of the forum, nice video instuction on hopping. And the first thing he says is to lower you seat :slight_smile:

Bend the rule

I don’t think that it’s fair to expect a child riding on a 16" uni to roll over a 4" obstacle. Instead, make a reasonable change to the requirement – maybe a 3" obstacle is fairer – and go from there. It’s fantastic that a 7yo is riding a unicycle in the first place! There’s no reason to ‘penalize’ her just because she’s small.

[FWIW, all of my kids could ride by 7, too, but none of them was particularly interested in levels.]

They can hop over it. With some practice (it may take a lot of practice) I think it is very doable for a 7 year old. Now the real difficulty is getting a 7 year old to practice something over and over without getting discouraged :slight_smile:

Just start with something 2 inches high and slowly work up to 4.

"Ride or hop over a 10 x 10 cm. obstacle "

Originally it just said “Ride” which led to overly many complaints about being able to bump over such a thing. This was less annoying than the people asking what was the third dimension of the obstacle? To which my reply was alway “infinity”. :slight_smile:

The original USA skill levels, from which the IUF ones were derived, had riders going down a curb and doing other “outdoorsy” things. Intent with the 10 IUF levels was to be able to do everything in a gym. That one little block of wood has always generated the most questions and consternation.

Yes, it’s comparitively bigger to a smaller rider, and for a smaller wheel. The “harsh” response to the complaints is that it’s offered in only one size (no kids’ version), and this is unlikely to change before a current 7-year old figures out how to get over it.

A bigger tire and lower air pressure will make it easier to roll over the thing. A lower seat and “optimum” air pressure (depending on tire volume and rider weight) will make it easier to hop over the thing. Yes, it’s definitely harder for a small rider on a 16" wheel to get over the block, but many have.

The other route you could go is to be not too stuck on those 10 levels. They certainly aren’t the be-all, end-all of determining how good a unicyclist is, especially if they’re only 7. Go ahead and make your own variations. Then she can come back later and hit that 10 x 10 again to pass the “adult” version for all the associated glory. :slight_smile:

Where can I find a list of these levels and the tasks associated with them? I think that would be a great personal challenge.


No mention of level 11 there…

does anyone have a pic of riding with stomach on seat? I wanted to try the levels and got stuck here on 3. This doesn’t make sense to me.

http://polpix.sueddeutsche.com/polopoly_fs/1.1108833.1355627279!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/900x600/image.jpg :slight_smile:

…a couple of years of normal growth ought to suffice. What’s the rush? :thinking:

Ahh kids

always in a rush!

I’m just trying to hop…

On Leo’s page, if you click on the little TV set next to each skill, you’ll get a video demonstration.

Thanks! Page bookmarked.:slight_smile:

Getting over that block is a major challenge for most riders, regardless of age and size. Hopping over it is easier, if you can hop. Riding over it is damned near impossible, but still possible. If I had my way I’d eliminate that skill in the Levels but sadly it’s not up to me.

Yes, lower the seat so your legs have room to spring. Line up the pedals on the block and walk the wheel backward so when you ride there you are pushing down on a front pedal to provide torque up and over the obstacle. Also, if you can, perform a small “hop” motion just before hitting the block to take the weight off the tire. You don’t have to leave the ground, just enough to help the tire “float” over the block.

BTW: if the rider is simple running into the block each time and bouncing off they’ll need to adjust as outlined above or it will never work. It’s a pain but this is a process of learning different ways to do things. Sometimes we have to un-learn old ways as well. :slight_smile:

Just FYI, my page (unicyclist.org), is not the IUF website (unicycling.org).

That’s now at unicycle.xxx. HTML5 valid but currently with some rendering flaws.
It actually has a picture section, with much crazier skills, but for now I rather keep that hidden.

True, there are skills that are common obstacles for progress, which can be demotivating.
Contrary, when making it too easy you remove the fun of having a challenge.
Sadly? Having a panel of unicyclists full of different opinions plus democratic voting is nice, but hey; if i remember well you ignited some change in the IUF (and USA?) levels, the only modification in many years.

Thanks for the correction, Leo. BTW, thanks also for that comprehensive list of skill videos. They have been very useful as I have considered which skills to work on next.

Tru dat, thanks to your help!