how soon after you got your first unicycle were you able to idle?

I could already idle. And freemount.

It took me about a year and a half before I could even ride my uni after I bought it. Once I was riding (freemounting and riding 1/4 mile without UPD) it probably took 2-3 months before I got idling.

But I’m old and slow :stuck_out_tongue:

I learned in this order: ride, free mount, idle. I think all of that took about 3 months. Idling was the hardest part.

2.5 years, because I didn’t really need it.
I learned in this order: ride, freemount, hopping, ride off-road on the MTB trials.
Just recently learnt idling while just fooling around with the trials uni in the backyard.
I found it quite hard.


Learned to ride in 1961…50 years ago. Still can’t idle, don’t plan to learn.

If I exclude the year I had the uni before I first started trying properly to learn to ride, then 7 months and counting. Can freemount 6 different ways (not necessarily all reliably!) hop either foot forwards, hop up and down kerbs and ride off road, but idling is proving hard to get. I normally do some practice every time I ride, but it just isn’t happening - should I try and practice for more than the 5 minutes a day I normally manage?

about a week or 2

Practice watching TV

Idling is a tad boring. When I am out riding around, I ride around.

Still balancing, and idling are fun to do while watching movies. You don’t need to pay sharp attention to learn physical skills. Saddle time is key. Keep the trials uni in your living room. Think of it as a different chair.

3 years and counting. I guess I just never got around to it. I find it excruciatingly boring.
Ever since I got my unicycle I never took much interest in tricks or trials or anything of the sort, just distance. I became proficient at free mounting to the point where idling was a useless skill, and I’d rather spend my time riding than practicing idling, a skill impractical for use on my 36er, my primary unicycle.

Like several here I mainly ride my unicycle and have little interest in learning tricks.

Idling is one i did learn however, as it’s usefull when you need to stop without dismounting, for example, at traffic lights.

I learnt many years ago and the main thing I remember is that i spent a lot of time practising idling whilst holding onto a wall/support and making no progress whatsoever.

Then I forced myself to practice it in the open with no support and, that seemed to be the key, as I started to progress within the week.

I never did learn to ide on my weak side, but, having recently aquired a small wheel uni (20") i plan to work on that as part of my goal to learn to ride backwards.

Incidently, I’ve recently found another use of idling for outdoor/distance riding: the first mount I learnt was the ‘rollback’, but, when I got into distance/muni/outdoor riding, quickly abandoned it in favour of the jump mounts where there is no rollback.

One niggling thing about that mount though, is that the mounting foot can land on the pedal slightly off, meaning either a dismount or jiggling it into position while riding.

So, around 6 months ago I realised that using a rollback mount and going into a idle prior to riding off, meant that the foot was usually placed better, and, if it wasn’t, it was way safer to adjust it while idling that while riding.

Since then, I’ve pretty much used the rollback to idle mount all the time.

As a final tip for learning to idle, in addition to forcing yourself to practice it in the open without support, I’d also suggest riding forwards, then lean back so the wheel goes forward while your body stops, do a single idle (rock wheel back, then forwards again), and then continue to ride forwards.

The key is, before you stop the wheel, lean back slightly, as that leaves you in the right position to bring the wheel back underneath you to perfrom the idle.

Alternatively learn to ride one footed, and use that to reposition your foot! I can’t yet, but can lift my foot off for part of a rev., which is enough to reposition. Personally my rollback mount is also still fairly flaky (though seems to have improved recently with idling practice), though even if it was solid I reckon I’d want to static mount most of the time when riding muni as you can do it in less space.

Thanks for the idling tips though - I do keep thinking I should just try in the open, but then getting started is hard.

To an extent idling is very similar to one-foot riding in terms of repositioning the foot, as, when the foot’s at the top of the idle stroke you can lift it slightly and replace it in the right position.

It’s interesting to hear that your rollback mount is improving with idling practice- I do think that the two are complimentary and working on one will help with the other, after all, the rollback mount is basically one cycle of an idle.

learned to idle ~40 years after learning to ride a uni. Took much of one summer of trying nightly to idle, but well worth the effort.