idling on a unicycle

I have seen many videos on idling on a uncycle right after a person freemounts his unicycle, but I have not seen any where the person is riding along, slows down and then starts idling. Is that difficult to do?
Mike Adams

if you can already idle pretty well than it shouldn’t be too hard to slow down and start idling

Idling is hard. I know it took me more than a year before I could idle and based on what I hear from others, that’s not unusual. If you are learning to idle, step 1 is to practice coming to a controlled stall and going back a half rev. You may be able to reverse again and go forward. If you are like most beginners you will not be able to do it more than one time. That’s fine. Just practice that as much as you like. To work on the stall, just go as slow as you can and see if you can go in reverse for a half rev.

That’s pretty much how I learnt to idle. Ride along, slow down, then stop with one foot (in my case the left) down, pedal half a stroke backwards, then start riding forward again.

Once I got the hang of that, I’d do half a stroke backwards, half forwards, half back again, then carry on riding forwards. And work up from there.

There should be enough idling from the ride in our OTG videos. See this and some next pages: OUT the Game (Super Beginner) - Any Style

Watch movies

While you are watching movies, sit on your uni instead of a chair. You do not need to be paying attention to learn uni balance. Watch the movie and enjoy it. Seat time in the uni is learned in the physical part of your brain , not the mental movie watching part. Seat time is what is important. Change idle couch sitting movie watching time into uni sitting movie watching time, and you will gain physical skills even though you were just watching a movie. Thinking about physical skills doesn’t help much, Seat time is what works.

That’s how I practice stand stills :p. It works

:wink: seen what you done there :wink:

i learned to idle as described here, when riding alongside a wall or rail slow down and as your preferred foot is coming to bottom/a little behind, lean your weight back slightly and there’ll be that sweetspot where you can shift into pedal backward, do half a rev, steady yourself with wall/rail if necessary as you do, and then continue riding forward. doing this i worked up to doing 2r3 half revs back an forth, eventually didnt need the wall beside me at all and now i can idle as i wish :slight_smile: the sweetspot i talk about is kinda tricky to describe when you feel it you understand what im trying to say.

point being, once you can idle well, you can idle well. doesnt really matter if its from mount or riding forward/backward or flying :slight_smile:

i learned to idle like this but be careful because you might wear out your carpet like i did

It’s probably worth investing in a sheet of hardboard to learn on if you plan to practice in front of the television on a carpeted floor.

It took me about a month to learn to idle. I practiced a number of ways. I would sit between a wall and a pole, and hold onto them while I practiced getting the feel for it. Also, while I was riding, I would stall and continue on again as some other people noted. The other thing that helped me to learn to idle was to learn the idle mount. In the idle mount, You mount your uni by pedaling backwards half a rev as you sit up on the seat. When you pedal back that half rev, it puts your weight forward, and then you then take off riding. Also, in my process of learning to idle, I wore out a tire in that one month because one spot on it got bald. If you practice heavily, rotate your tire once a week so you don’t need to buy a new one when you’re done.

(old thread but didn’t want to start a new one)

So this past month I decided I needed to learn to idle. After seeing on the news about the Red Panda’s missing 7’ unicycle, I was showing my family her videos showing her tossing the bowls on top of her head while idling. Just to be funny, I grabbed a bowl and put it on my head and attempted to idle. IT WAS THE BEST I HAVE DONE TO DATE!!

Probably the refocus of keeping my head still to not drop the bowl was key for me. It made me keep the unicycle under me instead of me trying to stay over the unicycle.


(Thankfully I didn’t believe it was the pumps that gave her the advantage)

In some ways it is easier to ride, slow down, and idle than it is to mount and idle straight away. It took me about three weeks to learn, a few minutes most days. Single most important tip is to look at a fixed object in the middle distance.

idling? Here’s tip!

You want a practical advice?

Okay. So, how do you mount? The standard 3/9 O’clock mount?

Well, Rather than doing that, let’s try something different.
The Half idle rock back mount. You know it. The 12/6 o’clock mount.

It will “lead you” to eventually mastering the idle.
Keep on.

That’s because if you try to stay over the unicycle, you will never idle. It has to go back and forth under you, while you stay somewhere in the middle.

So, in conclusion, I will recommend that people wanting to learn to idle should place a bowl (or other object) on top of your head and try to keep it there. :slight_smile:

No, really. No need to look down; you know where your feet are. You need to get the wheel out in front of you (and possibly wait a bit) then roll it back behind you (and possibly wait a bit), and repeat. It doesn’t have to go fast, but it has to allow enough time for your center of mass to take turns being in front of, and behind, the wheel.

So I could just wear a hat. That sure won’t fall off my head even when I UPD :slight_smile:

Idle = Twist and compensate

Keep in mind 2 things:

1.) Pro/expert idling looks like he’s perfectly balanced, head up,…minimal effort

2.) Beginner idling looks like he’s heavy footing, upper body twisting, head and body crouching, back and forth.

If you want to get to looking smooth/perfect…you have to practice through the rough spot. There is no magic technique or focus or groove. It’s just fighting for balance.

Remember when you first learned to ride…it’s no different. Anybody who is proficient at idling has “lightning quick” reflexes, and if he starts to lean he can instantly correctly.
You “guys who can idle” …you know what I mean. The challenge is how do you explain this to the beginners out there? How do you teach lighting quick reflexes?

3 words: practice, practice, practice

That’s what it may look like, but as you get more comfortable with idling you don’t need fast reflexes because you don’t need to make big corrections. Just a little bit here and a little bit there to keep that wheel moving around the “sweet spot”.

Yeah, pretty much that.

I practiced by holding onto a rail or fence, and just working the motion until that got boring. Make sure you do it facing both directions (using the other hand to hold on half the time). To make it more interesting, don’t do it all on one foot. That leg’s going to get a little tired anyway; give it a break. It’s very useful to be able to stop with either foot anyway.

Before learning with my other foot, I’d need to learn to stop and also hop with my non-dominant foot. It seems one of those impossible things. Hopping might be easiest to learn with the non-dom foot back.

Impossible things? This is because you aren’t giving your non-dominant foot a chance. SET IT FREE! And remember, in my description I was doing all the early idling while holding onto something. After you get the rocking motion figured out, then start thinking about keeping good balance and starting to let go.