I’ve always been a big kid at heart. Fortunately, my wife understands this and even encourages it at times.
For my birthday I was surprised and pleased in equal measures to become the owner of a unicycle after wanting one for a couple of years now.
So today, very excitedly, I took my first tentative steps. Or should that be rotations?
Ok, I knew this was going to be hard, but this hard?! Just as well I love a challenge.
My first hour has consisted of shuffling along the wall. But even after this hour I have noticed an improvement. Small, but definitely noticeable. All in all, with all my bones still intact, im pleased with my first attempt.
I was where you are 2.5 months ago and now I am off doing 10+ mile rides over the hills out in the country, I have ridden through 1 foot of snow and a foot of mud which would have seemed impossible when I started.
My personnel advice is get all your weight in that saddle and off your feet (the hardest) thing to naturally do and also to get away from the wall as soon as you can. as it will actually hold you development back more than you think. Once you can pad along a wall, push off and go for it
There is a good thread here where I and several others started posting our learning progress and there is some fantastic advice in there.
Just keep riding, Unicycling is all about practice oh and having stacks of fun!
Mark, congrats on getting a uni!
Some people are riding within a couple hours, but it took me several weeks before I could ride a few rotations in a straight line. The effort is absolutley worth it - stick with it, don’t give up, and enjoy the learning process.
Thanks for the comments. Cant wait till I can actually call my self a unicyclist.
Today it rained almost all day.
It did break for about half an hour. I went out with the intention to practice, but somehow got side tracked helping one of the kids with something.
When finished I got on the uni and 5 minutes later it commenced the raining. Never mind.
My initial fear, just from my first day of practice, seems to have reduced. So it’s not all bad.
Gloves for sure, I always wear a helmet and I was really glad that I got shin guards early on. It rains a lot here too (especially lately) and when I was learning, my feet seemed to slip off a lot. My shins suffered until I got the guards
Tell me about it. I have some nasty foot-long scars on my shins and calves from 36er accidents. Metal pins on the heaviest pedals I’ve ever seen can really ruin a practice session! They just go right in and slide down and around. Almost like being cut with a dull, broken knife by your ex-wife
Which direction are you falling off the uni. Coming off the front or the back? If you are coming off the back you may need to lean forward a bit.
Side note: I was told to always fall off the front when I was learning, so that’s what I did. It wasn’t until much later, long after learning to ride, that I discovered it is safer to dismount off the back, stepping off the back as you slow down.
Still I’ve got to think that coming off the front is a good habit when learning to ride because coming off the front means you were likely leaning forward (not leaning forward can be a hang-up for some). Others will chime in if I’m incorrect in these assumptions.
Good luck. I just bought a uni for my wife and she’s taking her first steps? or is it revolutions? into becoming a unicyclist. I learned in this order:
Learn how to get off safely - one constant in unicycling… if you get on you’ll eventually have to get off, whether you want to or not Might as well learn to do this safely since you’ll be doing it a lot.
Learn how to ride - start out holding on to something or having the tire against something to prevent it from rolling off during every mount attempt.
Learn how to get on (free mount) - Seems like a natural progression. No sense in learning how to get on until you can actually ride off once you succeed. Better not attempt to ride until you’re sure you can get off the thing safely.
Hey, took me a LONG time to get the basics (well in my mind)
Day 1 - 2 handed clenching to the fence for life
day 2 - same…
day 3 - started to only use one hand to grapple the fence but it was a tight grip with tons of second hand help…
Day 4 - started to role at a crawling pace with one hand always touching
day 5 - started to skip gaps 3-4 feet
day 6 - started to ride off the wall 10 feet ish (very inconstant)
Day 7 - maybe 3 goes at 30’ and a lot of fails… 4 more weeks of practice distance is no issue, dropping curbs, hopping free mounting all easy =D
learning gets exponentially easier, learning hopping is way easier then free mounting was, it all comes in stride (hehe) id take you out for a ride with me but your across the pond >_< Watch my first video on youtube and you can see my girlfriend starting to learn, she has 2 ish weeks over the past 7 months.
Maybe - but if you’re going to UPD you’re much better doing that off the front - 99+% of the time you’ll land on your feet, whereas IME a UPD off the back lands you on your bottom (to be fair I very, very rarely UPD off the back - mostly when trying to learn riding backwards, which is the main thing holding me up with learning that). To be honest, I’m not sure I even see the big deal with going off the front in normal conditions - when under full control I always dismount off the back, but sometimes when stopping suddenly I still land on the front (a planned dismount, just not necessarily under full control), and it’s not a big deal to land on your feet and catch the uni saddle with your hand behind you.
To MonkeyMark - plenty of beginners’ tutorials on here, but the crucial thing is to spend enough time on it, even if it is really frustrating and you feel you’re going nowhere. 15 minutes a day is barely enough - I’d recommend at least half an hour every day. It might seem like you’re no better at the end of a session than at the start, but after a few days of decent practice you’ll find that miraculously it does get easier.
Just about to pop out for another half hour or so. See if i can stop coming off the back.
To aracer - I know at the moment I’m not putting enough time in. At the moment things are quite difficult. My wife and I have 4 kids, 2 of them young (1 1/2 and 8 month). Between work and them there is little time, but I am determined. Over the next few month the youngest should become a little less demanding, he cant quite crawl yet so cries as soon as you put him down for more than 5 minutes.
Ok, a little update here and some advice required too.
Just been out for about 50 mins, deffinately doing better.
Instead of gripping the wall for dear life, i’m now touching it every rev or so. That weight on seat thing really makes a difference.
Just at the end i managed about 7 pedal pushes into no mans land, no wall touching, very pleaased.
Anyway, i made some observations whilst out.
I think i need a longer seat post. With it right out (about 1 & 1/2" left) my leg is not that close to straight. From ankle to knee would be at about 30 degrees to verticle. I find it hard at the top of a rev to the point i seem to move my knee and hip out to help it over, this seems to pull me to one side. If i put the seet higher it feels better but then theres hardly any seat post left so it twists too easy.
I also need to find some budget padded cycling shorts as my boys really dont like it after about 10 mins. Never had to buy cycling shorts before, any suggestions?
A productive evening all in all. So i’m pretty pleased really.
Yeah, guess I should have clarified. I always UPD off the front (unless going down something really steep) but I had taken that notion a step further to where I always purposely dismounted off the front as well. Loads easier to just step off the back.
I don’t think it matters so much for smaller wheel sizes but once you sit up higher and higher it’s much easier to step off the back than to come off the front.
I think the recommendation is that you need at least 2" of seat post in the frame. You may need to get a longer post.
How are you sitting in the seat? I hope you aren’t sitting on ‘the boys’. You’ll want to have them safely out of the way/forwardish before putting any weight on the seat. I don’t use cycle shorts - I don’t know how the padding in them would work out - I just have a pair of tight boxers to make sure nothing is loose when it comes time for me to make contact with the seat. If nothing down there is secure I usually have to take a little extra time after mounting to ensure everything is situated before putting my weight in the seat.
I dismount 90% of the time off the front, it is way easier to run off the speed going forward then stepping backward… that said hills are the other way… i have had severe dispumtons on the front and they are SCARY you pick up tons of speed and head in a un intended direction… its scary…
“junk pain”… this is no laughing matter… it would have me in tears in minutes…
step one - Buy a Kris holm seat (the price of seat will be repaid in joyous hours of no pain)
step two - bicycle shorts
step three - the manual re locating of the junk to provide appropriate placement
as you get more comfortable riding you will be able to re position while riding.
here is my latest video at 1:30 it shows the panic of a forward dismount down hill
No i’m certainly not sitting on them
I make sure they are out front, but its still bad. Think its just due to it being a budget uni. Seems the seat curves upwards quite a bit at the front which sort of nips em. And i have nothing to compare it to but i can easily feel the plastic body under the seat padding.
When i know i’m going to stick with it (though i am determined) then i may get a KH seat as i have heard so many good things about them. First i want to try to get some cycle shorts, just know nothing about them so far so will have to have a look around.
So i need to have a look for a longer seat post ( not sure how long (im 5" 10), may get the longest and just cut down to suit. Will a normal pipe cutter cut a seat post or does it need a little more?) and some shorts for now. Will a normal pipe cutter cut a seat post or does it need a little more?
A pipe cutter should be fine or a hacksaw.
As for cycle shorts, Halfords do some cheap ones. I bought a pair last summer and now I wouldn’t ride without them. I don’t know how I survived so long without!
Sounds like you’re progressing well. If you only need to dap the wall every now and again I’d say its time you took the leap and started going away from the wall.
Have a watch of this video. Sounds like you’re almost there, but you might pick up some additional tips