Following the idea of ‘dudewithasock’ from 5 years ago, I am going to keep a journal of my experience learning to ride. Thanks for the great idea! Also, thanks to ‘steakfarm’ who is also new to this community for the recent post that got me thinking, and to ‘scott ttocs’ who added the link to the journal from ‘dudewithasock’.
First, a little history and some key learnings so far;
I am 46, but this is not my first time to try to learn. I have actually tried several times here and there over the years, the first time when I was 12, then again at 20, then at 36 (this is when I actually bought a uni, not just tried to ride someone else’s), then again earlier this year.
The first uni I bought was a 24" Avenir. Little did I know that it would be hard to learn on this size. I am 6’3" and the seat post was too short, and the saddle was terrible. But I had no one to learn from and I did not search the web much 10 years ago. So, I gave up and the uni sat in the garage for almost 10 years before I met some young kids riding uni’s one day earlier this year and decided to give it a try again.
I made a little progress, but was still on the 24" with terrible saddle and too-short seat post. So I went to the web to see what I could learn and discovered this community and a few other resources. I found a 20" Torker CX in the local classifieds for a good price so I picked it up. Then I found a good deal on a long-enough seat post on e-bikestop.com, and much nicer saddle (Velo) on the same site.
Key Learning #1: A 20" wheel is quite a bit easier to learn on
Key Learning #2: If the seat post is not long enough you may never learn to ride.
Key Learning #3: The saddle makes a huge difference. If you can’t afford a Kris Holm the Velo is a good deal, at least it seems great for learning so far.
So I spent some time on it last night, and will again tonight for at least a few minutes, just getting a feel. Though I have tried a few times in the past I am counting this as my real beginning because I finally have a unicycle size, height, and saddle that will actually work for learning!
We have hard wood tile in our entry and main hallway, and they are a great place to spend time getting used to things. If your wife/mother/roommate/etc. will allow it I recommend some time inside as great way to get the feel of the uni. I also spent a little time in the garage and driveway last night - I used the FamVan as my support in the garage until I got to the end and then tried to ride out onto the driveway.
Key Learning #4 - This works pretty well, but having another car in the driveway is not so good - it is surprising how it gets in the way1
I downloaded the Klaas Bill and Andrew Carter guide and it had some great ideas that I am going to use. I also purchased the online-download book ‘Ride the Unicycle’. It recommends not using any support from walls, rails, fences, etc. But I think I like the other ideas better for now until I am ready to free mount.
So, this is a long initial post, but hopefully it will be helpful to someone else as they learn. I will keep posting until I feel like I can ride well enough. Until then it will be nice to have the journal to keep me going. Thanks in advance for the support, encouragement, and tips. I know I am not the oldest ever to learn, so that is cool too! I will use the emoticons to signal how well each learning session went.