Since I have finished the help files for unicycling levels #2 and #3, I am going
to jump back to level one, and cover learning to ride forward. My plan is to
collect a variety of methods, put them out for a vote, and present them in order
according to the ratings. I include two methods below to get us started, but I
would be glad for any more that people would suggest. Also, if you don’t want to
write a whole method, but would like to add general hints, you can, and I will
list them separately from the methods. An example there would be to clap or sing
while riding to take you mind off of the unicycle.
>From the Unicycling FAQ:
This comes from a posting by Robert Bernstein(email@example.com): I am a big proponent of the getting friends to help school. I do not like falling down! I learned by the MIT Unicycle Club method:
Get two friends to stand on either side of you and get up on the unicycle with your arms around their shoulders. 2. Sit up straight; look straight ahead; weight on seat, not on pedals. Rock the pedals to get a sense of balance. Get the pedals level; this is when you are in control. 3. Pedal half turns then stop. Then full turns, two turns, etc. Doing multiples of half turns (from pedals level to pedals level again) is harder than continuously pedaling, but keeps you in control. 4. Switch to holding on to your friends' wrists. 5. Switch to holding on to one friend's wrist. 6. Go off and use a wall instead of your one friend. (If you can't find a wall and a flat surface to ride on then continue with one friend, but let go as much as you can. Ed.)
Steps 1-5 should not take more than an hour (perhaps in 10 minute sessions).
The thing I liked about learning this way is that I never hurt myself in the
process. I have used this technique to teach a couple of dozen people.
For some people, the get on, fall off do-it-yourself cycle works best. It's a matter of personality!
>From the Juggling Information Service:
Glen Raphael says:
I advise people not to start on a wall. Leaning on a wall throws off
your balance. The best way to start to unicycle is to get two chairs and
place them back to back a couple feet apart. Put the unicycle between the
chairs as shown:
| === | | Y | | | |
±—+ U ±—+
| | U | |
| | - U- | | U | | U | |
The chair backs should be at about waist level when you are on the unicycle.
In that position, you can brace yourself against the chair arms for support
as you sit upon the unicycle. Practice stepping forwards or backwards off the
unicycle just letting it clatter to the ground a few times (tape the seat
first so you don’t scratch it up) and you’ll know how to stop without killing
yourself. Then, practice just pedalling forwards and backwards in place a
half rotation or whatever you can do while still holding on to those chair
backs. Do this until you feel sort of comfortable on the thing, until you
don’t feel like you are about to fall forwards or backwards as you do this.
(Falling sideways will take care of itself. Don’t worry about it.)
When you get up enough courage, just pedal forward just like you did in the
forward-and-backward-in-place exercise, but let go of the chair arms and keep
pedalling. Flail your arms around wildly (I mean this). When you start to
fall over, step forward or backward off the unicycle letting it clatter to
the ground. Return to start. Measure your progress in how many feet you
travel before falling/stopping. When you can do thirty feet, you can go
REMEMBER TO FLAIL YOUR ARMS AROUND. That’s the most important part. If you
keep your arms at your sides you will never learn to unicycle. As soon as you
let go of the chair, put your arms straight out from your body and do what
comes naturally. You will find with time that you can use your arms to steady
your balance, throwing them one way to get your body to lean the other way.
But until then, just flail. Scream if you have to to get in the mood, but
flail. That’s an order.