Leaning on the support

Hey all,

Have had my first 2 uni’s for about a week. Got a 24" and then decided to buy a 20" so we could have 2 of them for more than one person to ride.

So I’ve been learning on the 20" in my basement in an area that’s about, I dunno 10 feet long. It’s not long enough but I’m learning while leaning on the wall with one hand while I pedal. If I’m lucky I can get a half revolution out of the wheel before I fall off or have to stop due to space constraints.

My question is, I know I shouldn’t be leaning on the wall but I don’t feel comfortable letting go of it just yet. Will my body eventually decide that I don’t need the wall or is it something I need to tell myself “no wall” and prevent myself from reachign for it?



I would say you are fine using the wall. Eventually you will probably get tired of using it (it will get boring), but I don’t think it hurts anything. You might end up with a tendency to fall or turn in one direction. To prevent this keep switching which side the wall is on. Keep at it, unicycling is well worth the time it takes to learn.

Thanks for the reply! Good to know I’m not hurting myself. I was doing it some more just now and took notice that I’m kind of slanted on the Uni.

if the “I” is the wall, and I’m the slash I’m kind of like this:

I\ but not so extreme. This will go away with time?



I am all for using whatever method works best for you to learn to ride. Generally it’s very helpful to use a wall for the first little while to get the pressure you need to put on the pedals right, before you can start learning side to side balance, which is the really tricky part. Any bad habits you might pick up in the real beginner stages should wear off once you get better, and if they do remain, I’m sure that training yourself off them is entirely possible, though an unlikely scenario.

So the best advice I can give you when you’re learning is to keep trying! I don’t know how many times I pushed off from my front patio before I could even get my feet over the top part of the wheel. All it takes is patience.

of course, having fun while your at it doesn’t hurt either :smiley:

Thanks a lot. It makes me more comfortable to know I’m doign it right.

Sorry for all the questions, but the more I do it - I see something I think I could be doing wrong.

When I’m riding, the hand that’s not on the wall, is on the seat, holding the unicycle. Like I said I can get a half revolution, while holding it. However, when I try to go with that hand off of the seat sticking out to keep balance, I feel I have less control and I can’t do the revolution.

Is this common?



first of all, don’t worry about the questions, that’s what we’re here for :slight_smile:

From what you’re telling me, it sounds like you should just try getting on while holding onto your favourite support and trying to get the cranks level. After you get this down, try just rocking back and forth gently to get a feel of how much pressure is required to move the wheel under you, until you’re very comfortable with it.

The seat on a uni will twist back and forth a lot, especially for a beginner, and in fact just feeling the movement of the seat really helps in keeping balance. When you’re beginning, you don’t really have a feel for how much you must counterbalance your pedal strokes to keep the seat from twisting to side to side.

More than likely, however, you’re just as well keeping at it the way you are, and eventually you’ll find you don’t need the hand on the seat to keep you going. You’ll start to learn the delicate balance, which is really learned more by your muscles than by your brain.

Just give your body time to learn what it’s dealing with, and it should begin to adapt the more you try.

I suggest that you leave the wall as soon as you are able. My daughter learned to ride in the house. She used the wall for much longer than was necessary just because it was there. As soon as I took her outside away from any support, I noticed a huge leap in her progress.

So use it as long as you really need it. But you need to move away from it sometimes to test your true ability and progress.

Mostly, have fun.

Well, just for the heck of it, ill tell you how i learned. When I was learning I tried the wall, but just couldn’t let go.

I set up 2 chairs back to back, held on tight, and pedaled backwards to get the unicyle under me. This was on the grass. I put the pedals in the horizontal position, and just let go, flailed my arms like crazy to balance, and checked how far i got. I quickly learned to fall on my feet. In aobut a day, I was able to get about 10 feet on grass. Now that I could land on my feet, I set up the chairs on pavement and did the same thing. It was wobbly, but I could go pretty far. Easier than on grass. I just kept doing that, soon i dind’t need chairs, and just use a wall or a chair to mount. Once I could stay up until tiring out, I worked on turning and freemounting. I also found out its really easy to rride over curbs, you just sorda go. Right now Im working on going backwards, so I pulled out the chairs again.

Anyway, I started with a wall, but it just didn’t work for me, and I picked up the chair tip here. So give it go and see what happens, maybe you’ll like it better. I just felt like i made a lot more progress.


I learned when I was a kid on a picket fence.

Letting go, once you can keep the wheel underneath you, is really a matter of mental focus and comittment to the action. I just dealt with the same thing learning to freemount my 36" coker.

Every mount where I baulked, I didn’t make. If I just jump up, cleanly and without the hesitation it happens, and feels smooth

I think there’s a bit of zen involved in unicycling, honestly.

Great you’re learning. It’s an important life skill as far as I’m concerned. I still have a feeling that I’m doing something impossible for the average mortal every time I ride although I know that’s not really the case, the feeling is there!

Keep at it!

Hi, Mike.

I initially pictured you on the other side of your basement, like this…


but I guess you have a table or something over there that gets in your way.

Everybody learns differently. I was a big baby and used a railing for a long, long time. I think a railing is best, because you can’t grab ahold of a wall, so you tend to lean against it (I’m guessing, because I never tried a wall). With a railing, you can grab it if you need it (and it helps whichever way you are tipping). Eventually, I weaned myself from the railing, but by that time, I wasn’t using it for much anyway.

Good luck!

Well my method , which worked wonders for me and 3 of my friends,

step 1. is to use the wall for your first days of practice, once you are able to get on the uni and sit pretty well and stable on the wall, use that for about a day or two untill you are able to ride say 3-4 revs.

step 2. find a trash can, stick, post, anything that you wont be able to ride with and start with that, and practice with that, while doing this dabble with freemounting.

step 3. once you are able to ride abut 10+ revs fairly consistantly take away all means of support, and make yourself learn how to free mount, it will be frustrating at first, but you will learn much faster how to free mount.

  • note all time depends on learning speed.

Now I am not saying this is the right way, but all three of my friends including myself became a level one with no more than a week of practice, and one became one in 4 days, so id try it out my way for kicks and if you dont like it than go back to your normal way to learn.

Happy riding!


this is pretty much exactly what my friend and i did to get the hang of it, except we had 3 trash cans set up with a bit of space between them and we would just try to ride off the end, after practising a bit with wall or another person helping along.

i’d reccomend not trying to go TOO fast… i was using a wall for a bit and tried to ride off the end once and took a pretty nasty spill… just let yourself work up to it

Try different things. Poles, chairs, walls, trash cans, people. Use whatever works. As you get more comfortable with riding, you will be able to let go of whatever you are holding onto.

If you have access to a tennis court with a chain-link fence around it that is also a good place for early practice. It is flat, very smooth and you can hold onto the fence.

Hang in there. Good luck

Everybody learns differently and at different speeds. Kids usually learn faster than ‘oldies’ like me.
It took me a month to get over the fear and I didn’t learn anything until then.