how hard does it get?

i have been riding for a while now and i can do lots of stuff but the thing that is getting me very frustrated would be riding backwards? how do you do it?
thanks sean

Re: how hard does it get?

It’s a lot like riding forwards, just very awkward. Practice is the key. It’s very much like learning to ride all over again, and it will take at least as much time (from my experience at least). The “lean forward and pedal like hell” idea works in reverse when learning to ride backward.

It’s going to take time and the most important thing to remember to have fun while you are doing it. That’s what it’s all about.

Warning: I was learning to ride backward when I got my first dose of hard pedal to shin contact.


Re: how hard does it get?

I’m just learning to ride backward, and can usually go three to seven
revolutions before falling. I have not been frustrated learning this
skill, but I put in a lot of time (and some frustration) learning to
idle before trying to go backwards. Someone here recommended the
super-idle (idling with an extra 1/2 revolution each direction) as a
good step towards backwards proficiency, and I’ve worked on that
enough to get bored, but not proficiennt. At this point going
backwards seems just as rewarding.

Oh yeah, there were a couple of people who had hard falls learning to
ride backward. I’ve been keeping my speed under control and haven’t
had any trouble.

Good luck!


I had a weird problem when I was learning to ride backward. Once I started backward, I COULD NOT STOP. Anyone else have this problem?

I finally learned to always practice riding backward toward a hill. Therefore the hill would slow me down and I could then go forward. Otherwise, I had to fall to stop any backward ride.

Sorry I don’t have any good recommendations for you. Just keep on practicing. It will come. --chirokid–


backwards was the first trick i learned (after going forward). its really quite simple; it just feels difficult cuz your legs feel akward doing a motion that is new to them.

contrary to what might have been said in an earlier post, i believe that trying to go backwards up a hill is near impossible for most beginners. your pedals might get stuck in the 12 & 6 position, so you can’t get any leverage to keep going.

i didn’t start out from holding onto an object like i did when learning forward. Instead i just rode forward, did one or two idles, then started going backwards. i think its too hard and maybe even bad practice to push off from something stationary to get yourself moving.

dont go really slow, unless your going slightly downhill. otherwise you want to maintain a normalm, comfortable speed.

can you idle? how well? maybe best to learn this first. i think i was at a disadvantage for learning backwards before idling.

dont look over your shoulder; just find a straight road without cars to practice on.

maybe learn on grass if you constantly fall backwards…one back fall on the tail bone is REALLY painful and could discourage you from trying again.

if any of this was unclear or doesn’t seem to help, just ignore it. these are all just ideas from personal experience. many ppl probably disagree with some of the stuff i’ve said.


I found I managed to learn through trial and error. I have a fairly long hallway and i was sick of turning around at one end and just decided it would be simplier if i could ride backwards!

I found hallways were a good place casue you could keep in a fairly straight line and the walls were helpful too:D

I would definately have to suggest finding a wall to push off. That’s what worked best for me. Good luck.

I must respectfully disagree with you Tennis; on almost every point. I learned backwards the same time as idling. idling did come before backwards but not by much.

It is definitely like learning all over again because what you are doing is building up muscle memory that is different from what you have already learned.

Keep at it. Backwards is a very practical skill. When I am trying something more difficult and I mess up, I can often ride backwards out of it rather than UPD.

I found that riding my unicycle to school backwards, while eating breakfast, listening to music, and reading a book is fun. (Only if you are durable, on an abandoned sidewalk with no unexpected obstacles, and you don’t fall off.

I had the same trouble with stopping and the same trouble with going too fast.

When I was beginning to become somewhat proficient at backwards, I was trying it in an empty parking lot at night when I became over confident and went to fast. I lost control and did a complete backwards summersault out of which I ended up on my feet. The hydration pack and helmet made this an enjoyable experience and a cool trick rather than a trip to the hospital. I have not tried to repeat it.

Commuting helped me to ride forwards better in general and it also helped with backwards.

My vote goes for pushing off of something. I felt that I could get control of things better to start.

One night, I got determined after much failure, and decided that I would push off the wall 100 times per night until I could do it. My kids were doing it, so I knew it could be done. To my surprise, after only about 20 tries I went about 20 ft. and felt myself make a course correction while doing so. Then I KNEW it was doable, and within another 20 or 30 tries I had gone 100 ft. Soon thereafter I was able to change direction without using a wall, and I’ve been improving ever since! More than anything, like everything else having to do with unicycles, just keep trying!

However you learned to ride forwards, try those methods for riding backwards. Using a wall or a fence worked beautifully for me.
Also, try going slightly uphill, then you can lean back further without falling over.

I’m learning at the moment too. I can pretty much do it now, but when I first started, my problem was that, not being able to idle, suddenly pushing backward on the pedal would make the unicycle turn to one side, and once that happened I couldn’t regain a straight line.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that people learning to ride forwards usually have more trouble with one of two problems, but rarely with both.
Some people have trouble with forwards and backwards balance, they find the unicycle disappearing from underneath them.
The other problem is side-to-side balance. The speed of a bicycle effectively removes this as a problem, but a beginner on a uncicyle is significantly slower than that, and side-to-side comes back into play.

Bringing all this back to going backwards, a lot of people say that learning to go backwards is like learning to unicycle all over again. Except that you can already do backwards and forwards balance, albeit not incredibly well going backwards. This brings you back to the problem of side-to-side, and how much you lose the balance when you actually start the pedals turning the other way.

I practiced actually riding backwards from pushing off from a wall, but for going into reverse from going forwards, I think it helps a lot to be able to idle a bit, although not necessarily brilliantly.

relax your hips
i’m serious
that’s the key that i picked up from a discussion about peter tosh’s unicycling exploits
someone mentioned that they learnt how to ride backwards while listening to tosh’s music and mentioned that it’s impossible to have stiff hips while listening to his music
i tried it and it worked
relax your hips

and to avoid chirokid’s problem, where u get going backwards but u can’t stop, learn to control the backward movement
dont just throw yourself backwards and pedal like hell
u can hurt yourself
learn to ride from position of stability to position of stability
that will eventually help u ride backwards thru crowds of people because u’ll be able to look behind u and change direction at the drop of a hat
to achieve this, it really helps if u start your backwards learning process by riding forward, going one pedal revolution backwards, and then forward again
next time do two
and three and so on
maintain control all the time
just imagine u’re john ashcroft or something


enjoy the practising
keep us updated


ya thanks guys. i tried again last night and i made it somewhat far but i do the same thing when i first started riding forward. when i pedal my legs push down so hard that my unicycle jus goes side to side till i bail again. well ill ttyl ill try this again.

o ya i guess this is bad but what is idleing?


o ya and this would be my uni if ud like to take a look!!:slight_smile:


Re: hey

staying on the spot (on the unicycle!) by pedalling part of a revolution backwards, the forwards, ad infinitum

Re: hey

two things
one is that that is an indication of not putting enough weight on the seat
your legs are still carrying too much of your body weight
u need to relax onto the seat and just use your legs to roll the pedals over as smoothly as u can
keep that in mind while u practise

the other thing is that if u find the uni swerving side-to-side while u’re riding, u’re not quite leaning far enough forward
if u’re too upright, the uni will respond by swerving like that
just lean another 1/8th of an inch forward and the ride will smooth out nicely

Backwards onefoot wheel walk

Working on this trick and it’s difficult to stay in control without the other foot as a stop and go method any tips, or is it just the amount you lean back? Laters

Wheel walking

Uhh i cant even wheel walk at all yet

how do you learn?I tried for a while but fell of backwards pretty hard and gave up.

wheel walking

First of all, let’s not hijack this thread.

Second of all, wheel walking is an advanced skill. I don’t reccommend even trying it until you can comfortably ride one footed, idle one footed, backward, ect. These skills are not required for wheel walking but they are all far easier for me. I have been riding for over four months, have learned the above skills and can still only dream of wheel walking. Don’t listen to me as an expert as I cannot wheel walk. I am in search of the same info.

If someone could redirect the both of us to a good wheel walking thread, that would be great.