How to dismount gracefully???

I agree with Nurse Ben as he is looking through the eyes of a less experienced rider. Probably not doing serious downhills or anything more than becoming solid and familiar on one wheel. As a newer rider that doesn’t have the muscle memory to save themselves from potentially bad landings, I feel it is safer to hop off the front. Coming off the back as an inexperienced rider there IS more potential for them to catch a pinned pedal on their calf and wind up on their back. All I’m referring to potential. Why risk one of the worst dismounting situations when becoming familiar when stepping off the front is so easy and much less risky for a beginner? Please, it’s easy to think of how we do things as more experienced riders who have developed the muscle memory to save ourselves from the many ways we can can land on our head. But consider, even though someone can learn in a few hours and ride on level ground, they don’t have the skill or the muscle memory to feel solid that comes with a lot of experience.

Dismounting with the unicycle in front is not only a Level 1 skill, it’s the only way to ensure that you don’t hit anything with your unicycle as you dismount. (Including innocent pedestrians, or your trailing foot).

And it’s not risky, nor difficult. The mechanism is:

While riding forward, hold the seat. When your plant foot (the one you place on the ground when you mount) is near the top of the pedal stroke, take it off the pedal and step down to the ground while allowing the unicycle to continue moving forward. You don’t need to take your other foot off the pedal until you’re stopped.

Once you practice the rhythm of it a few times, you should have it down for situations where you’re in control and can plan for a dismount.

In situations where you’re not able to prepare, dismounting forwards is still a reasonable thing to do.

Well said. I wish the long-term experienced riders on this board would make more effort to remember how tough learning to unicycle is :slight_smile:

A beginner should dismount/mount/ride in whatever way they are comfortable with. Higher skills wil come with time and patience- there’s no point risking moves that can leave you flat on your back, until you feel comfortable with building up to them.

is a good point (the bit in bold- i’ve never understood the U.S. riders preoccupation with ‘levels’ :))- being able to dismount in front and behind is very useful when riding amongst pedestrians, as, if there is one immediately behind when you dismount to the front, they will get hit by the unicycle as you come down and it goes backwards.

Still, no problem for those who can’t dismount that way yet- as long as they refrain from riding close to pedestrians.

‘Idling’ (staying in one place while the wheel goes forward and back beneath you) is a useful skill to work on for this dismount, as, once you’ve got it solid, it’ll be easier to come off the front, or back, at will.

I am about as far from obsessed with levels as you can get, but in this case I mentioned it because it’s considered a relatively easy skill to learn; certainly easier than riding or freemounting, the other two Level 1 skills.

Idling is a relatively difficult skill; I could ride for over a year before I could even plausibly attempt an idle, and it was probably another year before I was solid at it. To say that you should be able to idle to make it easier to dismount to the rear is like saying you should be able to wheel walk to make it easier to ride backwards.

Free mounting

I notice in your diary,that you are having difficulty learning to free mount. When I was learning, I practised on the grass. I made a small groove in the ground and slotted my wheel into it. This stabilised my wheel and made it much easier. Also I think it’s safer on the grass if you should fall. Keeping a diary is a great idea. It will bring back many fond memories.

Free mounting

I notice in your diary,that you are having difficulty learning to free mount. When I was learning, I practised on the grass. I made a small groove in the ground and slotted my wheel into it. This stabilised my wheel and made it much easier. Also I think it’s safer on the grass if you should fall. Keeping a diary is a great idea. It will bring back many fond memories.

I’d say dismounting backwards is not easier than riding- certainly not for this person, as he can ride, yet can’t dismount backwards.

I agree that idling is more difficult than dismounting backwards.

I find your ‘wheel walk to make it easier to ride backwards’ analogy a little strange, as I don’t see much connection between the 2 skills: whereas, if you learn to idle, it will directly translate into facilitating dismounting to the rear.

While idling is difficult, there’s no reason a beginner whose just learnt to ride shouldn’t get to work on it quite early. I’ve learnt very few skills on the unicycle, as I much prefer to just ride it- for example, I can’t ride backwards, hop for any length of time, ride one-footed etc; but, I can idle really well.

Idling is not only of direct use on the roads (at traffic lights etc), it’s also useful for learning other skills.

That’s because he’s put 10+ hours into practicing riding, and 10+ minutes into practicing dismounting with the unicycle in front.

If you can’t dismount to the rear, working on idling is silly. That’s my point.

So is dismounting to the rear, and it’s about 10 times easier to learn.

I figure I’m around the 8 1/2 hour range.

Just came from 50 minutes practicing. Went farther than ever. Down the fence, across the parking lot. Was able to UPD 360 degrees. Was able to PD backwards a few times, and forwards more times.

It’s easier to catch the unicycle stepping off backwards. I end up doing some kind of ridiculous leg kick when I go off in front.

Freemounting was still a bunch of falling over sideways. I think “part” of “problem” is that I AM used to using the fence. I have the luxury of getting on and hanging out for as long and slow a time as I want. I say “problem” because it’s only been three weeks. But I’m uncomfortable doing the quick controlled step on and go. The static hanging onto the wheel mount I got a bit farther in that I was able to start pedaling. But not a full revolution, much less three, or ninety nine. I find it hard to not lean the calf on the frame, but when i do, I fail more spectacularly.

The roll back mount got so hilariously frustrating that I was sitting on the grass laughing at myself for a particularly funny fall over.

I do try to enjoy life. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anddddd Jazz Hands! He needs a top hat. And one of those canes.

I could ride for six months before I could freemount; at one point I got so frustrated learning it that I gave it up for a couple months before going back to it. In the interim I had been riding in pedestrian areas, and learning to ride slow and in control wound up helping my freemount once I tried it again.

That’s to say, don’t freak out about it; freemounting is useful but riding well is more important.

The only time I tried to dismount off the back, I fell onmy butt and almost hit my head. I can do a very controlled forward dismount, while grabbing the rear handle and controlling the uni. That’s what I’m sticking with for now.

Practice riding. Then practice idling, as you practice idling you will become very proficient at all the dismounts. UPD’s tend to be forward, I prefer PD’s to be backwards. I dismount with the uni in front with controlled dismounts. I would also say leave the fence alone now, it’s holding you back. but that’s just M.H.O.

Yes and no. The smart beginner doesn’t use cheese grater pedals when learning to ride. And remember the topic here is beginning riders, presumably on level, paved ground.

On the contrary, most of my MUni dismounts are to the front. To me that’s a “regular” dismount as it’s the simplest to do. But any planned dismounts I do on my 36" (or giraffe or big wheel) are to the rear. I use the brake on my 36" to lower myself slowly to the ground.

But Nick’s facial expression tells he does not prefer it! That picture is a classic example of what Nurse Ben described above; the UPD where your foot gets in front of the pedal. Not my favorite–especially downhill!

Please note that the initial advice to the OP from this long-term rider was to not worry about graceful anything yet. Then, since he had asked, I described what was meant by “Dismount gracefully to the rear”, as found in the USA/IUF Skill Levels. I did not intend for him to start practicing that, but I may not have been clear there.

And I do remember how tough it was learning to ride. I should seek out a group of other people who learned on tricycle-technology crap-unis with nylon bushings for bearings, tiny, wide cranks and hard plastic seats. Not to mention hard plastic tires. :slight_smile:

As others have written, do not press yourself to learn to dismount backwards until you can ride forwards fairly safe. I began unicycling when I was 48 years old and found it really hard to learn the backward dismount. Try to ride slower and slower and when you are almost at a standstill, then lean back much more than you find comfortable - and put down the back foot. The leaning back feeling was kind of scaring as I remember.

Good luck with your uni-learning - :slight_smile:

Best regards,

I’m far from being a “long-term experienced rider” - have only been riding for 18 months, which is probably less than anybody else commenting, and certainly short enough to remember what learning was like. I learnt to dismount with my wheel in front of me within a month or two of learning to ride - can’t quite remember whether it was before or after learning to freemount (I suspect after, as I learnt to freemount really early, before I’d ridden more than a couple of hundred metres in one go). It’s really not that advanced a skill - far less advanced than idling which it took me almost a year to get. Maybe not something to be spending time on right at the start, but well worth thinking about as soon as you get to the point where you are regularly getting off the unicycle intentionally (rather than always with a UPD).

One thing that will help big time is knowing you will get it eventuly

It’s the way I always dismount, whether I am riding a 20 or 36 or any size in between.

Slow down, hold the handle, come to a halt with one pedal down, almost as if you are about to idle, then step down gracefully off the back with the uni in front of you.

More graceful, less chance of dropping the uni, and no danger of the uni hitting anyone/anything behind you.

:smiley: Yep. And I’ve got eight/nine months until the snow comes back!!!

My preference and general MO is to dismount off the back. That was until yesterday when I did so and broke my ankle.

I won’t be dismounting with the wheel in front again. For 8-10 weeks.

My advice is don’t break your ankle.

(Longer explanation: Muni session in local woodland. Working a particularly rooty and rocky section and having a blast. Approached an unusually large and challenging root and realised there was just no way, so pulled up to it in a controlled fashion, came to a total stop in control with pedals level, and stepped gently back in my own time. My left foot missed the ground or most of it anyway and went over badly, I screamed mildly (more like a yelp) and (somehow, it’s a bit of a blur) managed to throw my weight off it before it completely collapsed. Throw my weight onto my right foot, that is, which also landed badly (Rock? Root? Hole? No idea) and it did go all the way over, causing me to scream quite loudly (but not swear). After sitting down for a bit and examining things (mostly my ankle), I thought I’d ‘got away’ with ‘just’ a sprain and walked gingerly about half a mile back to the car, then drove home. Decided to go to A&E as a precaution and was surprised to learn it was broken. Soft injury, if I’d been hurtling down the trail and a UPD sent me flying, would I feel better about it? Probably not.)