I have been unicycling for about 5 weeks now, and the main problem i’ve been having is that i cant go very far on it, i get tired super quick. So i have a question for everyone, how long did it take for you to ride your first mile???

Make sure you put more weight on the seat then the pedals

You will be surprised how fast you may recover if you push yourself past that first 1/2 mile. I have been riding 4 months, and still get tired after riding for a short distance before my body actually gets “in the zone”. Once I pass that point, I can ride for miles on end. I was checking on some of my notes, and it appears as though I was riding 1 mile at about week 6 or 7. The times for riding 1 mile back then were quite slow (close to 20 minutes) including many dismounts and “rest breaks”. Just keep practicing and soon you’ll be rolling out the miles too!!!

Re: Mile

glopal wrote:

> I have been unicycling for about 5 weeks now, and the main problem i’ve
> been having is that i cant go very far on it, i get tired super quick.


First off, everyone learns at different rate depending on age and
natural ability. See Klass Bil’s stats page for proof of this:

Secondly, relax and don’t worry. If you’re riding, you’re doing fine. It
will take time for you to learn to relax in the saddle and as jayjae13
stated “put more weight on the seat then the pedals”. You’re probably
getting tired from a combination of intense concentration and not
relaxing your legs while riding.

I remeber when I was learning to ride it took an incredible mount of
effort to ‘really’ relax and sink down into the saddle with all my
weight. I found that raising the saddle helped to overcome it during
this period of learning. Later, if you desire, you can start lowering
your saddle for Muni or other riding styles. The main thing is to keep
riding and try to relax.

Good Luck!


Re: Mile

About seven minutes. :slight_smile:

That’s the first time I timed it, of course. The old skill levels had you ride a mile in under 8 minutes to pass level 3 (out of 4).

My best ever was about 4:29 (on a 24" race-legal cycle).

In the beginning I was not concerned about distance. I was more interested in learning to turn and mount before I tried to go anywhere.

But about a week after I had “finished” learning to ride (three years after I started), my friend and I headed off to a destination 5 miles away. This was on a Schwinn Giraffe and regular 20", no less! We made it there, but our crotches were destroyed long before that. We’re talking major urination pain! We ended up walking about 80% of the way back.

It took me about one week to be able to ride one mile after learning to ride 50 metres. I found it very simple to be able to ride a mile. With practice it is easy.


There are lots of ways to answer the question. All of them are encouraging!

The first thing I’d say is don’t get hung up on the idea of ‘the magic mile’. You will be in danger of making the distance into an obstacle, rather than an objective. It’s all in the head, you know! ;0)

Look at it this way: you can easily do a speed of 5 miles an hour… very easily. That’s only a bit faster than walking pace for a fit adult. So a mile is only 12 minutes of riding. That’s 4 bursts of 3 minutes, with a short rest in between each burst. Say 1 minute’s rest per interval, brings your total riding time for a mile to 15 minutes.

15 minutes isn’t much is it? I bet you practise for 20 - 30 minutes when you get the chance.

3 minutes is a pop single. Do you have a Walkman? Ride for a track, rest for a minute, ride for a track…

But better than that is setting yourself a goal like reaching the end of the road, or doing a lap of the local park, or once round the lake… something a bit more satisfying and visual than a simple number.

Paula Radcliffe (world’s greatest Marathon runner) said in an interview that when she gets tired on a long run, she settles into counting strides. She knows that every 100 strides is so many yards closer to her goal. You could count pedal strokes.

And for the physical part of the technique? It’s all about relaxation and smoothness. Keep your weight on the saddle, and only use your legs for propulsion. A common mistake is to try to balance perfectly at the end of each pedal stroke. This makes for a jerky, high effort style of riding.

I’ve been teaching/coaching a friend who got into this situation. He’s at least as fit as I am, but he would be bathed in sweat after a couple of hundred yards, because every pedal stroke was an effort. He was fighting the unicycle, rather than working with it.

What helped him was confining his riding to a small area (we’re lucky - we have access to a hall for half an hour a week in the winter) and challenging him to race around the perimeter of the room. This took his mind off the distance, and gave him the immediate challenge of not letting me overtake him. He got into riding fast and smooth. Then when we went back out onto the trail, he found himself fairly easily doing half mile ‘legs’ and 4 - 5 mile rides.

Stick with it.

For the record, I think I was doing mile-long rides (with stops and falls) within a month or so of learning to ride. I made little progress with my riding for several years, then last year I got into unicycling as a sport in its own right. Within a year, I have reached a stage where riding for an hour/10 miles without stopping is easily achievable on a good surface. If I can do it, you can. Stick with it. Keep us up to date with your progress. :0)

Re: Mile

glopal wrote:
> I have been unicycling for about 5 weeks now, and the main problem
> i’ve been having is that i cant go very far on it, i get tired super
> quick. So i have a question for everyone, how long did it take for
> you to ride your first mile???

I started learning on a Friday evening and rode the 3.5 miles to
university the following Tuesday morning. I had the big advantage that
I was already very fit before I started.

In what way do you get tired. Achy legs? Overheating? Sore
undercarriage? Lack of energy? If you can find the limiting factor,
then you can start thinking about improving that aspect of your fitness.
If it’s just a lack of energy then it might be worth looking at your
diet, perhaps increasing the proportion of complex carbohydrates,
perhaps taking a cereal bar or an energy drink with you whan you ride.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( )
Recumbent cycle page:
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Re: Mile

On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 16:16:07 -0500, glopal
<> wrote:

>I have been unicycling for about 5 weeks now, and the main problem i’ve
>been having is that i cant go very far on it, i get tired super quick.
That’s normal. Keeping your balance initially requires jerky movements
and causes tense leg muscles that work against each other, simply
because you’re not yet good at it. With just practice, without any
mental effort at all, this will get much better, to the point where
‘just riding’ is more relaxing than walking.

Repeating one important advice: it helps to make a conscious effort to
have your weight on the seat. Maybe a more effective way of saying the
same is to try ‘unweighting’ your legs.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.

When starting a new exercise your body is not used to, such as running, cycling, swimming, unicycling or even something as bizarre as archery, your body needs time to ‘train’ itself to use the muscles needed.

This isnt limited to your body learning which muscles to use, but also the changes reguarly needed between muscles. For example, rock climbers have a thing called ‘quickfire’ muscles - they can provide great strength for short periods of time before rapidly applying power to another muscle. In this way, rockclimbers are contantly using different muscles and their body needs to be able to switch between these fast. As you become a better climber your body adapts itself to this format.

In road cycling, you learn to isolate your legs - a good cyclist should not be moving from the waist up, allowing most of the energy to be used in the legs, where it is needed the most. In unicycling, when you learn, you expel a large amount of energy moving parts of the body that dont really need to be used. As you get better, this will ‘calm down’ and you’ll be able to put your arms by your sides and save energy by not waving them around for balance. You’ll also learn to keep a contstant balance and stop using your midsection to contantly adjust you (it will still happen but be easier and not as noticible).

As your body gets used to the muscles used in unicycling, it will better adapt to this form of exercise and be easier. Somebody who is fit, healthy and strong will obviously find that their body adjusts quicker than others when starting a new physical activity.

Ive been racing bikes for years now, and decided I should add running into my fitness program. Now I go for a 5km run each morning around the campus trails. I found that running uses totally different muscles and ‘combinations’ of muscles to riding, and it took about a week of solid running for my body to adapt to this new form of exercise.

I have been told by a good road cyclist to stop running though, he seems to think it will damage my riding as it will develop the wrong muscles. But I think as long as I keep riding the distances I am (at least 40k’s a day if I can) thats not a problem.

For me I just kept pushing myself farther and farther.
I found that the high I got from just pedaling down the sidewalk just took me off to wherever i can go