How long did it take you to learn?

How long did it take you to learn riding a unicycle?
Fill out our questionnaire and contribute to science!


Claudia Stehr from Germany and Klaas Bil from the Netherlands are both unicyclists with a keen interest in statistics.
They are working together in this research project to find out how long it takes to learn riding. And especially, how that time is affected by age, gender, wheel size etc.

(Forum oldies may remember a similar project Klaas did in 2003. The current project aims to extend the existing database with new responses and a few additional questions, as well as to firm up the statistical processing of the results.)

We would appreciate your participation. Regardless of whether you learned a long time ago, or just recently. And feel free to pass on the link - the more responses, the better!

Pick your preferred language:
Questionnaire in English:
German version:
Dutch version:

You may respond anonymously if you want. We won’t publish any individual data anyway.

Thank you very much!


Filled it in!

Slight question though, how do you deal with the anomalies that will arise by answering questions 6 and 7 (how many hours and total duration)?
For example, person A is practicing for half an hour each week for a duration of 4 months and will answer these questions with 8,5 hours and 17 weeks.

But person B tries for 1/2 hour, then puts the uni back in the garage for 17 weeks and then practices 8 hours straight, at the end of the day being able to ride the same 50m’s.
He will also answer with 8,5 hours and 17 weeks.

Yet the actual intensity and focus can also be completely different between those people. Maybe person A was constantly chatting with friends while person B had laser like focus…

1 Like

I don’t think my experience fits in to the questionnaire, but I thought I’d mention it in this freeform place -

I learned when I was a little kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, and then quit and completely forgot about it. When I bought my “first” uni at age 50, I was up and riding within half an hour or so - I thought I was a natural!

But then my mother reminded me that I had learned to ride all those years ago. I didn’t remember, but my body did. So that’s my contribution to science - whatever you learn sticks with you, basically forever!



I think you raise two different issues.

One issue is that for person A the practice is evenly spread across the whole period, but for person B it is uneven. I think that in general, the most likely scenario is that practice time is more or less evenly distributed. So perhaps person B will realise that he is the odd one out, and make a remark about it in the comments box.

The other issue is about how intensely one practices: with laser focus or being super relaxed about it, and anything in between. Indeed this might result in a different total practice time. But we wanted the questionnaire to be reasonably short - not everyone likes to fill in a a lot of details. If anyone feels inclined to state something about their focus during practicing - again, the comments box is their friend.

And then how we deal with such varied comments in the processing is yet another question :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks, that is an interesting observation that your body ‘remembers’ after such a long time. I think for the purpose of our project we would be interested in your initial learning, but apart from your age at the time I figure that you totally forgot about that. :-/

Well, with every statistical analysis, there are always the outlier points, now aren’t there! :wink:

Filled in.
It’s been a while since I learnt and there was no learning journal but I gave my ballpark numbers :yum:

Sorry for skewing the numbers by learning on 2 sizes within my 50m goal :rofl:

1 Like


That is perhaps different from most, but not skewing anything. There is variation in reality, and that’s what we’re interested in :slight_smile:

1 Like

Now I also filled in the questionnaire.
Best regards,

I’m more interested in the fact that you completely forgot you had learned to ride at age 8 or 9. What else was happening in your life at that time? Any major distractions, changes or traumas? Most of us really had to struggle to figure out the unicycle, so it’s something we are likely to remember, unless we learned at a pre-school age, where less memories seem to stick.

Or perhaps you were a natural; you learned relatively easily. I’ve noticed over the years that people who pick up the unicycle without a lot of struggle don’t seem to appreciate it as much, and often don’t stay interested. I recall a guy from the Redford Unicycle Club around 1983 or 4, I think his name was Archie Rich. In the course of one season, he went from struggling new rider, to doing a performance at a Mini-Meet that included juggling on the uni, and lots of tricks. But soon after that, he was on to other things, and it was like he checked the unicycle (and juggling?) off of his bucket list. He was somewhere between 9-12 at the time. I wonder what Archie is up to these days?


Back in the day (the previous forum at least) there were several threads devoted to this topic. Are you able to mine that data? I know I have found it difficult to navigate across the two versions of the forum.

Edit: I forgot to say that I filled out your questionnaire . Good luck and thanks for undertaking yet another statistical endeavor.

Thanks Sanne!

1 Like

In 2003 there was a ‘big’ thread about this topic, started by myself for my first research on this subject. These data I do have. After 2003, I got about 30 responses to the same question set, submitted through my unicycling website. Although the original question set was slightly different from the current one, we will make an effort to integrate these older data in the current project. They total about 90 responses.

But no, we are not trying to mine other threads. I think the data, apart from difficult to extract, will be quite random. I mean, while many will state the learning time, most of the related data (wheel size, crank length, hours per day, other sports, age and more) will be missing or at best haphazardly present. Not worth the effort to incorporate, IMHO.

And thanks for filling out the questionnaire! I think you are among the (few) people that answered the original questions in 2003 AND the current questionnaire. If I’m curious, I might want to compare them :slight_smile:

Hello all!

The questionnaires for this research project are still open. (See original post to learn more about this project.)
If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to fill out the questionnaire in the language of your choice.

French, Spanish and possibly Japanese are coming up.

This questionnaire is for anyone who can ride 50m on a unicycle. I bet that you belong to that target audience, if you are reading this. :slight_smile:

We’ve had a great turnout already, over 500 responses worldwide, see the heatmap. But we still very much welcome additional responses! The more responses, especially from underrepresented countries, the better our results will be. Thanks!

1 Like

500 responses may seem a lot, but surely there are a few thousand unicyclists in the world. How many active members are on this forum? Im sure there are also many who don’t know this forum or have been in any facebook uni groups.

French version of the questionnaire:

1 Like

Filled it in :blush:

Thank you Dino!

1 Like

I completed this week.

I’ve posted about it before: Claudia Stehr and myself are conducting an investigation into how much practice time people need to learn unicycling, and what factors affect that learning time.
To date we received about 700 responses on our questionnaire, which is already way above our initial expectation.
Early October we plan to ‘freeze’ the dataset, and start the statistical processing. Every response received before then broadens the database and improves the results. So you still have a chance to contribute!

The picture is the heat map of where the responses so far have come from (as of September 2).
Is your country light-coloured or even white? Or do you want to contribute (regardless of country) and haven’t done so yet?
Then please click the link for the language of your choice. Answering the questions is fun to do, and helps our project! Thank you!

Questionnaire in English:

1 Like