Level 5

I am now starting on the level 5 skills. I can already do several of them, and
most of the rest look like they will just take practice, but I have no idea how
to learn one of them, wheel walking. I would be quite happy if someone would
like to put together a skill file for this, or just send some hints.

Thanks, Beirne


Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
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Re: Level 5

Beirne Konarski <bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu> wrote:
>I am now starting on the level 5 skills. I can already do several of them, and
>most of the rest look like they will just take practice, but I have no idea how
>to learn one of them, wheel walking. I would be quite happy if someone would
>like to put together a skill file for this, or just send some hints.

Great to hear you’re taking on level 5 now!

First I’ll say something about the current differences between USA and IUF
Achievement Skill Levels. Then let’s dive into learning to wheel walk!


First, why is “Wheel Walking” in level 5 now? It used to be in level
6. At its last business meeting, the Unicycling Society of America, Inc. voted
to move “Hopping on the Wheel” from level 5 up to level 6 and move “Wheel
Walking” from level 6 down to level 5. This change affects only the USA
Achievement Skill Levels. The IUF Achievement Skill Levels have not
changed, so “Hopping on the Wheel” is still in level 5 and “Wheel Walking”
is still in level 6. So now we have two conflicting Achievement Skill
Levels, USA and IUF.


Learning to “Walk the Wheel”, the next to a wall method:

Getting into position to “Walk the Wheel” next to the wall:

  1. Mount the unicycle parallel to the wall with one arm stretched,
    touching the wall.

  2. Ride along the wall until the pedal next to the wall is straight up.

  3. Lean toward the wall, placing more pressure on the wall with the
    outstretched arm. [This stabilizes the one’s position to make the next
    step easier.]

  4. Move the foot on the top pedal to the top of the wheel with the back of
    the foot actually on the frame as well. [The foot being on both the wheel
    and the frame at the same time, tends to keep the wheel from moving in the
    next step.]

  5. Carefully, move the foot on the bottom pedal to the top of the wheel. This
    foot can also be placed partially on the frame, if that is more
    comfortable. This is the foot that will become the pushing foot first, in
    the actual wheel walking steps (6-7) below.

“Walking the Wheel”, next to a wall:

  1. With the “pushing” foot, push the wheel forward, moving along the wall,
    touching the wall with the outstretched hand frequently to maintain
    sideways balance. (If this is the very first stroke, the other foot
    remains on the frame, letting the wheel slide past it.) Otherwise, the
    other leg is stretched forward, and its foot must be lifted up and moved
    back toward the frame.

  2. As the foot pushes forward about 12 in., the leg straightens and the
    front of the foot must rise up off the wheel, but the heel remains in
    firm contact with the wheel to the end of the forward stroke. Continue
    touching the wall with the outstretched arm to maintain sideways balance.
    The the front of the other foot just begins to make contact with the
    wheel right next to the frame and becomes the pushing foot in the next
    step. Go to step 6.

Suggestions or hints:

Walk the wheel along the wall with an outstretched arm as far as possible. Turn
around and walk the wheel along the wall in the other direction.

Using the wall for “support”, allows one to learn forward - backwards balance
without worrying about sideways balance. A possibly better “support” than a
wall, is a friend or two holding one’s hand on one side or both.

A pushing stroke should be 12-15 in. on a 20" wheel. There should be several
inches between the feet whenever they are on the wheel, since both feet are on
the wheel at the same time only when one foot is starting its stroke and the
other is ending its stroke. To achieve a long stroke, start the stroke with the
toes as close the frame as possible; as the toes push, the rest of the foot can
actually slide across the frame until the heel slides off the frame onto the
wheel. Doing this actually allows to add 6" to the stroke vs. placing the foot
flat on the wheel just in front of the wheel.

Once comfortable wheel walking along the wall, try veering away from the wall,
and next try wheel walking 45 degree away from the wall immediately.

Once comfortable wheel walking in the open, one will want to learn the
transitions from riding to wheel walking and back again.

Hope this helps!

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com