How to learn unicycling ?

As much as I’d like to blame the machine, I’m sure it’s me, not the uni. It does happen on my 29" too. I haven’t ridden my 20" outdoors in a while, I just play with it in the house trying out stuff… hopping, idling, and I don’t ride far enough to tell if I’m off. So it’s definitely me. I guess I need more time in the saddle. I don’t want this ‘condition’ to become a hard to undo habit if I can nip it in the bud now. I’ll try your suggestion and if I still ride the same I’ll definitely know it’s me. :frowning:

I had the same thing happen to me when I was learning. A friend told me to try riding in the opposite stance for a while and I evened out.

I found it really tough to try twisting my body to the right when it wanted to twist to the left and still go strait but it worked. I still use the technique if I am having an off day but now get instant results instead of it working over days when I was learning.

another thing that helped was to go for a run and warm up first, in my case it was all about being too tense trying to ride and tensing up asymmetrically.

Hope I helped

Thanks, Saskatchewanian. I’ll give it a try.

Dave, I have exactly the same problem. It used to happen all the time but now only tends to happen when I’m tired.

I think as long as you try and work on it you’ll be fine. The main thing that’s helped me is just to keep practicing. As I get more comfortable with more tricky riding and more distance it happens less.

I try and do what Saslatchewanian suggests too. It’s often hard to do but it helps.

Thanks Gadge and Saskatchewanian,
It’s like I thought, the eternal answer to any uni problem is… keep practicing!
I hadn’t read about anyone having this offset problem so I thought I was weird. It’s good to know you had this too and that it will pass eventually. I didn’t want to think it would get worse and I’d be riding side-saddle next year at this time!
We have an insane snowstorm here in the East today, so no outdoor riding today!

Hey Dave,

I’m sorry - I hate to use the keep practicing line :o but it did work for me.

I have posted about the offset problem before Cure for twisted shoulder on slanted surfaces, it’s not just us!

So far I’ve found that most of time when I have a problem more practice is the solution. But importantly, not just practicing the thing that’s a problem, but trying other things. Often getting better in other areas means I find the problem goes away. As I’ve only been doing this less than a year I can still remember things that seemed impossible only a few months ago.

It snowed in Britain yesterday! Not much and not at my house but did at my girlfriends 50 miles away. Ironic really as we’re going (indoor) skiing tonight.

Have fun.

No, no, no. You’re right! (You misunderstood my reply.) I always use that “Keep practicing” line! I totally agree. It’s the uni commandment. That’s one reason I love uni. Ya gotta pay yer dues. There are no short cuts. (even though I sometimes ask for one!) If it was easy, everybody’d be doing it.
edit: Thanks for the great link. I hadn’t seen it before. Guess I should have raised the question there!

No problem - my reply was a little tongue in cheek.

You’re so right, it’s fun because it’s hard. Even though I tell people that ask me “how do you do that?”, it’s easy, just practice :smiley:

This forum is great as it reminds us we’re all unique, just like everyone else; we all go through similar learning challenges.

Awake! Awake!

Been pretty quiet in here, and this is too good a thread to let die, so here are some observations/ramblings from the summer:

Pedals
I swapped the stock plastic pedals for Odyssey Twisted PC pedals. These are plastic too, but they have molded “pins.” I quickly found out that pedal with pins are are a double-edged sword - while they hold your foot on the pedal, it’s also difficult to reposition your foot. I have to lift up my foot to do it which sometimes means riding one-footed - except that I promptly fall off, so I guess it really doesn’t count.

Tire
The stock tire on my Torker was getting some bald spots so I decided to replace it. The original tire is a 1.95 Kenda K-Rad. I replaced it with a 2.5 Kenda K-Rad. Pumped it up to 60 pounds. Yikes! I was having UPDs left and right. Literally - whenever I made a turn, left or right, and particularly on a downgrade, I fell off. It was like going back in time four months in the learning process. After a few rides I was getting disgusted so I started playing with the tire pressure. Lowering to 40 pounds, I was able to mount and ride with reasonable control. I still had to pretty much learn how to turn all over again though. Spent a lot of time in the parking lot just making turns and using the parking spot numbers as a slalom course. Gradaully, I got back to normal. Now I can ride 50 pounds without any trouble. I’ve also noticed that the wider tire is better on trails. I seem to be able to roll over stones and roots much easier than I did using the 1.95 tire.

Hills
When going up hill and turning, I tend to stick my left arm out ahead of me, bend it at the elbow, and flail so that it looks like I’m stirring a pot of stew. Looks goofy, but it works for me. (Of course, should I happen to ride by a crane operator, I’m going to get a load of steel dropped on me.)

General riding
It’s amazing what regular riding can do. I average about an hour, four times a week, which for me is about six miles per ride. The only real limiting factor on how long I can ride is derriere fatigue. I am continally surprised how my balance, turning, fine directional control, and pedaling efficiency have increased. This has happened without any specific practice, just riding. I can ride up to 7 mph without much effort (though concentration is a must). I can ride up hills with a lot more control and a lot less effort. I can ride over rocks and roots where only a few months ago a stiff breeze would have knocked me down. Still can’t idle, hop, ride one-footed, backwards, etc. I can mount and ride, and that’s about all. That suits me fine - I wanted to learn to ride a unicycle and I’m riding a unicycle. And the fun I’m having, well, you all know what I’m talking about.

So, what’s everyone else up to?

That’s a great catch-up post, Blot. Thanks. There’s nothing special in my neck of the woods. Up until the snow and cold weather arrived last week, I was only riding around the paved bike paths in my neighborhood and not getting on any rough riding surfaces or hills. I also measured my distance and found that I was only doing about 10-12km a week during October and November. A bit disappointing but it’s better than nothing.
It’s almost 1 year since I was first able to ride and it has been a wonderful year! I can’t describe how much I love uni!
Some of the Ottawa guys found an auditorium that we can practice indoors once a week. I’ll be going there as often as possible. I’ve cleaned up my basement and have started riding around on my 20". I figure I can work on doing sharp turns, idling, freemounting, etc. I also threw junk on the floor to ride over for fun - everything from clusters of electric cables, random boards, some fencing material, pieces of lattice, etc. I expect to come out rolling come the first days of Spring and do some serious Muni next year!

Blot, I feel for ya on the flailing! My flailing is very unsymmetrical. Left arm goes in a sort of a sidearm baseball pitch manoever over and over while my right arm kind of rotates from the elbow and points to the space station in a John Travolta disco thing. I wonder what would happen if a videotape of me riding and flailing was replayed in front of a symphony orchestra a la conductor. What would that sound like! Hmm, maybe a video idea there!

Hey guys, not much happening here…

I am still trying to learn riding backwards. Sometimes I can do 4 full rotations (on the 20") before I fall off. I can now idle on my 24" QUAX Muni with 3.0" Duro Wildlife tyre and 137mm cranks - that was quite a challenge because of the heavy tyre and relatively short cranks.
Other than that, I am working on my fitness to be faster during the marathon. Again I am trying the 114mm cranks on my 29" uni, but mounting is very difficult, and since I broke my right hand 5 weeks ago or so when I fell off after 22 km, I am a bit anxious. At one point I need to make a decision whether I will stay with the 114 mm cranks or go back to 125 mm for safety reasons. Speed does not differ very much, it is around 15 km/h for the full 42 km distance. But the butt-pain-factor :roll_eyes: is higher with 125mm cranks. Speed needs to go up to 17 - 18 km/h until May, so I can finish the Marathon in 2h 30 min, and that would be easier with 114 mm cranks.

It is just a pity that the weather is so bad and cold. I can not really do a marathon distance when it is freezing, it should be above 10° C at least to have some balance between sweating and cooling. Under a warm jacket I simply get wet and that is very unpleasant, plus the cold nose and chin …
Just as a goodie, I am participating in a funny competition called “Eat it up”. You need to eat something on the uni. The next person needs to eat the same plus something new and so on. I did levels 6 and 7, we are currently at level 10.

Is it OK for me to post here? I’m brand spankin new lol. I still have a broken arm so staying in the hallway. Its only 5 feet long. I can ride that. Trying to ride backwards and idle/balance a bit. Not too good backwards, maybe 2 pedals lol. Thats it for me. I’ve only had the uni 4 days I think.

When the doc gives me an OK, would a sidewalk next to a building be good to learn?

A sidewalk next to a building would be a great place to learn, just remember to go both ways so you don’t get used to leaning only one way.

Welcome to the forums

just curious, whenever i DONT use the wall, i wobble from side to side when i ride. is this normal? makes it hard in a narrow hallway. i get the cast off monday so maybe in 2-3 weeks after that I can ride.

yah I was all over the place when I was learning. I could be going one way then the uni would just make me turn another direction. Took me a while to be able to keep it on a sidewalk.

its odd, more eager to ride the uni then skate. i wish i knew how to guarantee i wouldnt fall on my arm cause im so ready to ride it!! i just dont want to mess it up since it was broken a long time. for some reason, my sucky uni i got is a lot of fun just messing on it! being a little out of control is actually cool for me lol.

Happy New Year - I am still alive!!

Hey blot, BurnerDave, hugo, saskatchewanian and all others posting here and who also supported me so much in the beginning.

I wish to apologise for disappearing completely this fall - I’ve now posted a summary (see my Training Journal™ - link in the signature below) of my activites up to the end of August and I will follow up with more about what I did in September (before I stopped riding for the winter, due to a number of reasons which I will get back to in my next post).

New Year’s greetings from Norway!!!

First post in 2009!!!

Hi again - I see that I am not only clinching the last post of 2008 but also the first in 2009 :smiley: hehe

I’ve completed the second post in my training journal (see signature - Training journal while learning to unicycle) now, so I am up to date with all my activities since I got my Coker on 2 June this year.

My last ride so far was on 10 September, and in those roughly 3 months I did 18 separate sessions of unicycling, logging a total of around 30 hours in the seat or trying to mount, and covering about 19 km total while riding, increasing my continuous runs from around 3 meters to 500 meters.

I’ve accomplished the skills listed in my signature in italics, and I now need to work on becoming even more stable at riding so that I can take on distances where there are no possibilities for assisted mounting, while also working on freemounting of course.

I also have the same “illness” as BurnerDave mentioned, that I tend to twist a little, usually with my left shoulder forward. However, I did try adjusting my seat and I found that if I twisted it sufficiently then I would push my right shoulder forward instead.

What I’ve found is that it is hard to find the exact spot where the seat is perfectly aligned with the wheel, and I might just have been systematically misaligning it by aiming with one eye closed, or something like that. In any case, if anybody has a good tip for how to make sure that the seat is fastened with exactly the correct angle each time you change it, I would be very appreciative! (And I do that a lot, since I have to assemble/disassemble the uni quite often, and/or adjust the seat height.)

I would also remind you that I have the Nightrider coker with a built-in long-distance riding handlebar, which complicates aiming when adjusting the seat because it partly blocks the view of the tyre.

I probably should buy a regular seat but I spent so much money on it and the shipping is so expensive that I would prefer waiting until I can buy a new uni along with new spare parts, to save on the shipping.

Hi Lillestrom,
Happy New Year!
I just read your latest journal postings. You sure are making progress. Winter is keeping me indoors for the next few months but there is a gym that is available to ride in once a week. I’ll use my 20" there and at least be able to ride around in circles, and practice different freemounts. My goal for this year is to be able to do Muni.

Yeah do that. It is the ultimate fun.

A little late, but Happy New Year!

My goals for this year:

  • Get stronger for Muni :roll_eyes:
  • Win the Marathon (I am dreaming - haha!:o) Honestly, I want to finish the marathon in 2h 30m
  • Ride backwards
  • Hop on one (better 2) Pallets
  • If there is a chance, pass IUF skill levels 1, 2 - and possibly 3