I have just gotten my first double-wheel uni, courtesy of the Twin
Cities-area member Don Bursell. He no longer required its services and put
it up for sale.
Well, it arrived today and was ready for its first taste of New York
sidewalk by 9pm. I had to realign it once but it was good to go in no time
One problem is that it’s a double 24" wheeler, so I’m pretty high up. It’s
basically like trying to learn uni all over again, only on a giraffe which
pedals backwards. I am nervous about taking my hands off the fence.
Luckily there is a perfect fence for learning right on my block.
Question 1: How long has it taken you to learn, you double-wheelers out
Q 2: How many of these unusual unis are there in the US? Does anyone know
whether there’s another on the East Coast?
A3: Any interesting stories about learning to ride or riding?
So far I’ve been able to go about 85 feet WHILE HOLDING ON TO THE FENCE in
under a minute.
I recently learnt to ride one of these beasts (20" though). Not terribly
but I have managed to ride away from the wall.
> Question 1: How long has it taken you to learn, you double-wheelers out
Initially I got nowhere. I remember clinging onto a fence with both hands
bascially pulling myself along that way. My shoulders really hurt after a
Then I read Andrew Feldhaus’ experiences. He used an alley so there was a
wall or fence on both sides of him. It’s amazing what a difference this
Using this method it took around 6 hours, spread over a week or so, to gain
the confidence to ride out into the open.
I am able to ride quite confidently along a wall using just fingertips for
Once I feel that I have the rhythm right, I can leave wall. I suppose I must
have ridden about 50 metres or so without support (on a lovely smooth
Sadly I haven’t found the time to practice for months, so I haven’t improved
any. I’m finding turning pretty hard. And free-mounting? Forget it!
> So far I’ve been able to go about 85 feet WHILE HOLDING ON TO THE
> FENCE in under a minute.
I doesn’t seem like it now, but it does get easier.
It took me one practice session of around 2 hours to learn to ride a double wheeler. The entire time I was thinking: “this feels impossible, this is much harder than learning to ride a unicycle for the first time”. The reality was I learnt to ride a double wheeler in about a quarter of the time it took to learn to ride a normal unicycle. It felt longer because I was so used to being able to ride that the “I can’t do this” sensation was emphasized.
I learnt using a nice tall fence and like Arnold my shoulders were killing me by the end of the session. I was really gripping that sucker to stay upright and the fence did some damage to my hands. I would recommend wearing gloves when learning to ride a 2 wheeler. The extra weight of another wheel and the height conspire to make it quite difficult to hold on to a fence. To begin with you often end up with most of your weight supported by your arms as your legs forget which way they should be pedalling.
The main thing is perseverence. Keep trying and you’ll learn to ride sooner than you think.
I learned to ride one in about an hour, with a fence on one side and Al Hemminger spotting me on the other. Add more time if you don’t have a spotter. This was in 1982, and I can’t remember what size 2-wheeler it was. That’s the problem when your friends have a 16" and a 20". The smaller wheels definitely help, because the cycle is lighter and it’s quicker and easier to get back on.
Mark Schaefer learned under the same conditions in about 45 minutes.
The simplest way of learning to ride one is to take out your brain and put it in backwards.
If you don’t have a brain surgeon handy, then you have to turn your brain off. What makes you crash is when your reflexes take over. Getting the thing going is a matter of supressing your normal unicycling reflexes and not letting them out. Every time they get out, BAM!
Later that summer, Ken Fuchs and I competed Pairs at the USA Nationals on 24" 2-wheelers… and won! The act was pretty bad by today’s standards, but it was funny. We managed to turn a series of mistakes into what appeared to be a planned result. Two aliens from the negative universe, riding unicycles we “Constructed especially to compensate for Earth physics.”