Learning steps - did you follow a certain order?

I know the default answer will be “it’s different for everyone and you should do what you are comfortable with…” - that said, just curious what steps others went through…

for me, right now I can ride 300-1000ft at a go. But, I have to use something to help me mount (pole, sign, railing, etc). I’m guessing I should try using a curb to mount first before I try free mounting…?

So, for me it would be

  • mount assisted
  • ride assisted
  • dismount without face planting
  • ride unassisted
  • mount with curb
  • free mount
  • practice surface changes (uphill, downhill, curbs, bumps, etc...) [/LIST]

    are there others out there who just went from riding to free mount practice without using a curb and such?

  • Across the street from where I lived when I was a kid was a church with a large parking lot. I learned by using those parking lot curbs. I never held on to anything, I just kept launching off those curbs. It took about 3 days, 30-45 min each to be able to travel 25 yds or so. After I was comfortable riding then free mounting was next. I don’t remember how long that took.

    To me hanging onto things can be a crutch that slows down learning, you’ll never be able to ride until you…let go.

    That’s my two cents and I’m sticking to it.

    Hi wfcentral :slight_smile:
    Lots of unicyclist freemount from curbs. I have the curb to the right side of me rather than behind.

    I’m not very good at leaning on street furniture and letting go. :frowning:

    I learnt to freemount on slopes.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 18.25.59.png

    The only time I held onto anything was when I first was trying to get comfortable just sitting on the unicycle, distributing my weight, etc. From there, I went right into free mounts.

    I started in the middle of the winter and was only able to practice in the basement of my apartment building because of all the snow. I would stay down there for hours at a time, practicing free mounts before I could even ride forward. For some reason, it just made sense to me to learn to be able to mount it before I could ride it (whether assisted or not).

    The basement was very small, filled with obstacles, and didn’t have stretches that really went for more than 10ft. Because of this, I had to learn to ride with precision from the very beginning. When the snow finally melted and I was able to ride outside, I was amazed at how comfortable I was mounting, riding, turning, etc.

    The hardest part of free mounting/jump mounting/static mounting is overcoming the mental block that makes you hesitate and approach it with fear. Pad up and fall a thousand times, it’s the only way.

    That’s what I always tell everyone!

    I never used a curb, but did learn to ride before learning to mount. My first free mounts happened on the day I got a seat for my uni that didn’t spin around in its socket. Idling was the next thing I started to work on- about 6 weeks later…

    I used a step as a back stop at first and quickly progressed to smaller backstops until I was just using small bumps in the sidewalk. A slight decline always helped.

    I lost my nerve once when I fell sideways and hurt my knees badly. Got knee pads and then found a rubberized track at a nearby high school for practice. I’d put one of the track hurdles on one side and lightly touch it if I started to fall to the side. I tried not to become too dependent on mounting aids though. Took me a few week to learn how to static mount.

    For me there were only two main steps but I could add a couple later ones that came naturally since I was riding around town after the first two.

    1. Ride in a straight line
    2. Turn
    3. Freemount
    4. Up and down curbs

    I didn’t use anything like a curb or a tutorial when learning to freemount, I just kept jumping on the pedals until it worked.

    I ordered a unicycle, then watched videos while I was waiting for it to arrive. Some guy from a circus performers’ school made a video teaching people how to ride by learning to idle first, with something to hold onto. Once I got the unicycle, I practiced idling a lot.

    Long story short, the idling method did ‘not’ teach me to idle or to ride forward. Practicing that technique was nevertheless worthwhile. For beginners, bad falls happen when they lose contact/control of one or both of the pedals. The idling exercise, for me, evolved into a range-of-motion exercise on the pedals; I was training myself to keep both feet on the pedals through through the range of motion around the 360 degrees of the pedal stroke. Spending all that time holding on the fence, going slowly forward and backward…probably delayed me riding forward, but I also am guessing it helped me avoid some bad falls later on.

    I practiced the curb mount a tiny bit, but then moved quickly to practicing self-mounts, which were a struggle, but time-well-spent. Practicing the jump mount on soft grass helped me manage some of the intimidation of riding. My first uni was a Torker 24", and the tire grab mount worked great on that.

    My advice to beginners: take the “20 hours to success” principle with a grain of salt. I worked very hard to learn unicycling, and it took me more than 20 hours. Every rider has a different expectation about what it means to be “riding”. For me, I decided that, once I could travel around the 1/4 mile loop of my neighborhood sans UPD, then I was riding. That took about six weeks of daily practice of 1-2 hours.

    I learnt to ride across a rough grass lawn from a kerb start before I ventured out. Having learnt on the grass I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was on flat concrete.

    I built up my skills until I could ride most places on the footpath and suburban streets. Up and down the kerb ramps but not straight over the kerb. (That is my next goal.)

    Static free mounting then came slowly but surly after a very reluctant start. I have it pretty reliably now after sixteen months but I still can’t do it on even a small up hill.

    Unicycling involves so many small skills that I only tend to focus on a small proportion of them on any outing. I don’t think there is any specific order and we each tend to follow what we find most interesting. In the end, most of us aspire to being able to do it all.

    I found that many skills are connected to the ability to do a momentary still stand and reorient the rider’s weight. I sometimes do a bit of hopping about and still stand practice on my smaller unis.

    I learnt in the kitchen at home wheel went through dishwasher door
    mount came last
    my buddy learnt to mount first and ride after

    I took video of each session of my learning-cycle (no pun intended) I could ride a few hundred metres before I went out to practice mounting. Here is the video of the first mounting session

    well - that is quite inspiring… I was thinking this morning that I have developed “rider’s block” - I’m proficient enough at riding that I’m afraid to start trying something that means possibly falling again… (at 50 I’m not crazy about falling). However, seeing your video - DANG you were not even wearing protective gear… and you seemed to land on your feet all the time.

    What size wheel is that? Mine is a 26".

    It looks like you keep the back pedal much lower than other videos show - I prefer that actually… I think that is how I did it when I was 17 and learning…

    I started on a 24" from Unicycle.com. As a complete learner this was quite big enough for me. I remember as I eventually stared to ride off unassisted down the road how odd it felt to not have handlebars (like a b*ke) in front of me. I was simply ‘floating’ down the road but couldnt look down at the unicycle without falling off! Haha I didnt land on me feet all the time! Small falls like pulled-muscles and cracked ribs were par-for-the-course. The fractured pelvis took the wind out of my sails. All that was because of enthusiasm without ability.