Is practicing on a carpeted floor a bad idea?

I’ve heard of people practicing their unicycling on lawn because it offers a softer surface when you have a UPD, but what about carpet?

I’ve got a nice, object-free wall in my apartment that’s about 22’ long, but the floor’s carpeted and so increases the rolling resistance on the wheel.
(we’re not talking Shag or anything, just your usual, run-of-the-mill apt stuff).

Is this going to bite me in the “arse” later on when I move to a hard, smooth surface, like asphalt?

It’s just so darn nice to be able to practice in private where nobody can see me making a fool of myself during the early stages. :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess it really depends what you mean by “normal” carpet. If it’s like shagged except a lot shorter, then I’m sure it’d be fine, but anything where it sinks down and forms a crease like a quilt every few inches, I think it’d be a little difficult because you’d keep getting stuck.

If you really only want to do this to avoid embarrassment, just practice at night. I did that until one brave day I ventured out in the daylight, and I got lots of compliments.

Should be fine as long as it’s all one texture or surface, not rising up and down with patterns and such.

Only thing I would be concerned with on a UPD on the surface is rug burns :slight_smile:

Much more painful than road burns at times, depending on where they are on the body.

(I’m trying really really hard to keep this a clean family atmosphere post with this one)

Good luck, and just remember, we’ve all fallen at one point or another, it’s those who refuse to get back up are the ones who lost.

also remember that your uni could go flying… farther and harder than you think.

carpet is a little harder in my opinion, when you switch to concrete it should make it easier, not harder : ) . . . even though it’s physically harder, not. . . nvm, this is a circle.

You mean you don’t have shag carpeting in your house? Oh, okay, your in-law’s house. :slight_smile:

Shag would probably be easier to ride on that most carpets. Sounds ridiculous but I think it’s true. Carpet is strange to ride on because the nap (I guess that’s what you call it) tends to keep pushing your wheel to one side or the other. As you ride along on it, the fibers bend over and whichever way they bend your wheel shifts. This is true even on low-pile industrial-type carpet, and even on astroturf. It really sucks to perform on!

That said, it should be fine for learning the basics; that is, the part where you’re holding onto a support and not trying to ride in the open yet. About 100 times better than most grass, because grass is usually lumpy underneath.

Eventually you’re going to have to ride outside though, so prepare yourself! And yes, beware of unicycle-shooting-into-wall syndrome. Or dismounting-too-close-to-wall, which can cause the same result. I did this by accident once, trying to explain to someone why they don’t want to ride all the way to the corner. I made a hole in the super-weak sheetrock!

Carpet will be harder than concrete to learn on but not a lot. I learned on the laminate flooring in the kitchen. Once you can go a few feet go outside at night, this improved my skills a lot. I could ride accross the kitchen (10’) but after two dark and rainy evenings outside I could do 120’. When I practiced on the road i got compliments off strangers.

Yeah, I’m only half-kidding about the vanity “thing”. Using my living room floor is just a heck of a lot more convenient than finding a smooth, flat place to practice. The parking lot outside really doesn’t have any level ground, and the closest park is miles away.

Also, because of my old back injury, and the fact that I’m finding this a very jarring experience, it’s nice to know that if I should overdo it, I’ll be inside my apartment when/if it happens, and not somewhere far away. :wink:

I would avoid this all together if your uni goes flying which mine has many a time it could hit the dry wall and F… umm mess it up. Man I hate dry wall taste bad too! Also want if it goes further knocks over your urn with uncle Bobby in it then both you and uncle Bobby will be on the floor. I learned to ride using a hand rail on a side walk it is much easier. I find grass and carpet to be miss leading it looks level but then has bumps. You can easily judge side walk or asphalt. Or another good one I used was my truck just kept going around it one way then the other. Hope this helps besides your riding for your pleasure not for anyone else so who cares what they think!

Of course, the real danger to riding indoors is that you may give in to the temptation to unicycle NAKED! :astonished: And you know what that leads to…

Level 11 unicyclists?


I started on BerBer (sp?) carpeting in my basement a few weeks ago but have taken to going out at night and practicing on harder surfaces. Sometimes I feel like it was better to get the balance and a little movement down on the carpet, but now I am confined by acutally wanting to (and happily being ABLE to) go further with each try. I can attest to needing a very clear space and watch out for your walls, mine now have some interesting tire marks and dents in the drywall from my earliest attempts.

Good luck!

Yeah, it would suck just a little to punch a hole in a wall. So far my dismounts have been pretty tame, with my being able, more or less, to control the direction the uni takes when I fall.

I didn’t practice at all today, even though I promised myself I’d spend at least an hour a day on the darn thing!

I need to get this down!! :slight_smile:

It’s good to take a day off sometimes. Sometimes you can take several days off and go back and be amazed at what you can do. Keep it up. Let me know if you ever want me to bring my 26" around to practice. Pick a place that is comfortable for you to play.

Thanks, H (don’t know if you want your name used here):p, having someone knowledgeable around for tips and pointers might be fun. :slight_smile:

I just did a HUGE hike yesterday, and neglected to stretch, so taking a few days off is not a luxury, it’s a must! :smiley:

It’s okay to use my name. Most of my students refer to me as “The M-Balmer.”

Let me know when you want to go out and play.

I need to get out on a hard surface with a nice cyclone fence to grab onto. This smooth wall just isn’t good for gripping. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks, but I should probably wait 'till I can at least balance for longer than three seconds.

I just practiced outside last night, and it was a lot easier… right up 'till I ran into a tree with my head… Fortunately I was wearing a helmet at the time. :stuck_out_tongue:

Next time I’ll look up instead of at my feet.