I have been practicing on my Torker 24" LX for over a month now a few hours a week, and it is finally starting to click.
Here are my current secrets to my success, most of which I got from this forum!
Lower pressure in the tire (makes a huge diff. for me)
Sit up straight and lean forward all at the same time
Really focus on most of the weight centered and balanced on the seat
Position my feet correctly on the Pedals so my heels don’t hit the cranks which makes me loose balance and fall off
Start between my car parked next to a wall so I can balance with both hands (this helped a lot compared to just leaning on the wall)
Focus eyeson a spot far in front of me
Hands out wide to balance
So I finally went down my driveway took a right and wend own the street a bit. It is funny how only 2 practice sessions ago I could only go like 30 feet max. a few times a session. Now I can go 30 feet maybe every three tries, and I can go 50+ feet a couple of times a session. My biggest issue still seems to be my feet falling off due to poor shoe/pedal placement or leaning to the left or right when starting and falling over. I havn’t had a really bad UPD’s in days and I only had 2 where I fell backward on my butt in the beginning.
It seems like it is beginning to gel. Man my legs are sore, this thing takes more effort to pedal then I thought.
I have really learned a lot reading all the threads on the forums. I am ready for some more advanced beginner tips please!!
Congrats on your progress! You’re doing well. Keep practicing and it will become more natural. In time you will learn to put more of your weight in the saddle and your legs will be less tired allowing you to ride further. For now I’d keep pushing on distance and turns. If you’re feeling adventurous you could try mounting but that can easily wait until you are more comfortable with general riding.
I pushed myself to learn freemounting pretty early on, because there aren’t many poles or whatever to start up from in my neighborhood.
Once you can ride straight for a ways and get decent turning ability, and then add in freemounting, it will be much easier for you to start going on rides to somewhere (like around the block, etc.).
But one thing has already been established: you are a unicyclist!
Hey bluesman - way to go! I had the same day about a month ago
I started a thread “Learning Journal” about 2 months ago and at this point there are 4 of us using it actively as we each progress. You will fit right in as our age range is 40~52. There are a bunch of posts, but you can probably glean some pretty good stuff out of them.
Quick Tip: On your turns if you turn your head and shoulders in the direction you want to go, and focus further out, the turn will come around nicely…
“Man my legs are sore, this thing takes more effort to pedal then I thought.”
Actually the problem is that you aren’t sitting on the seat yet!! Believe it or not.
I found the answer was to keep riding further, it was after I got to about 2km that I really started to ‘sit’ rather then keeping lots of weight on the legs. I used a sports ground with a sand track. But it’s just a stage we go through.
And I still have trouble moving my feet on the pedals too…
The two things that would really hep you at this point would be to start working on mounting the unicycle without the wall and riding further.
Ride till your legs turn into spaghetti. Once your legs are two tired to hold you you are forced to really sit on your seat and only use your legs for propulsion and corrective moves. You don’t realize how much weight you are putting on your legs until you aren’t anymore.
Congrats on becoming a unicyclist! It is a feat most don’t accomplish.
Actually it takes almost none at all. But where you’re at is normal; it’ll take a while for your body to start relaxing and eliminating all the extra effort. Like Sasquatchawanian said, ride until you’re two tired and it’ll help you relax also.
Make sure your seat is adjusted so your extended leg is nearly straight. It is common for beginners to have the seat too low which wears you out quickly.
I’m not understanding the low tire pressure comment. To me that would also cause extra work.
Someone once recommended accumulating several miles total “in the saddle” before working on freemounting. The idea is that you will gain significant skills during that time which will help a lot with the freemount. You will notice you are a much better rider after you have accumulated several miles. This advice worked well for me.
With all due respect to jmille2788 I would not recommend trying to idle until basic riding is down cold. I personally found idling to be very difficult to learn compared to basic riding and freemounting. When the time comes though, idling is a key skill to learn.
What to do next? I would simply try to continue setting new distance records until you can ride as long as you wish.
There you go uniShark. I was thinking the same thing when I read that one yesterday. Went back up to it a few times for another chuckle. Hope Sask doesn’t mind…But I guess Mr. Foss can get away with a little fun eh? (yes, that was an intentional ‘eh’ Sask! :))
Well SUPER G, I took your advice and put 2 more pumps into my tire (don’t want to do too much too fast) and yes it really made a difference in the effort required to pedal distances.
Then I re-evaluated my seatpost length and I felt It could go up a bit so I raised it 1" and WOW it was like the switch was flipped. In one riding session I doubled my distance. The adjustment of the seat post made a HUGE difference. I am really able to put more weight on the seat now!! I thought I had adjusted it to the correct length, but noooooooo. It was like it all of a sudden the uni fit me better and turning and balancing was easier. Thanks for the tips!!
I have to also add that I am totally happy with my $100 24" Torker LX. The quality is good for the money, the seat is comfy and a durable design able to take many hits to the pavement without complaints, and seatpost clamps work well and it seems to take a good beating overall.
Torker doesn’t get the respect it deserves. You can’t beat the quality you get for that kind of money. The only criticism I have about your uni is you’ll have to replace the seat post if you wish to upgrade to a better seat later. Oddly, the CX (cheaper version) does not require changing the seat post to upgrade the seat. I have a Nimbus gell seat on my Torker CX and I love it for freestyle type riding.
All I can say is I have been trying freemounting and man I think it is harder and more dangerous then learning how to ride. My soft and sensitive man-parts have never been put into such a compromising position!!! I have read all the posts of how to do a static freemount but man is it hairy! I have had to go to my 20" and I think that seems to make it easier.
I started with a rollback mount, which seemed a lot easier (and less risky to the man parts) to learn as an initial freemount - although I acknowledge it was still challenging to learn. However, I now use a static mount. Anyhow, I think the rollback is easier to learn first, so you might give that a try. This approach also seems consistent with comments I remembered from John Foss: