Mounting help needed (fwd) - FAQ

This is a post I sent ages ago in response to a freemounting question. At the
time, people thought it was good and detailed advice, so perhaps it could be
inserted into the FAQ freemounting instructions.

Is it clear? Do I need to clarify anything? Responses from those here not yet
expert at freemounting would be welcome, since the rest of you will understand
it more easily anyway.

Tim

FORWARDED MAIL ------- From: tim@lilliput-p.win-uk.net (Tim Sheppard) Date: 09
Aug 95 Originally To: unicycling@winternet.com

>Presently the way I try to mount is as follows:
>
>1) Put the rear pedal low, so that its crank arm is about 30-45 degrees from
> the vertical.
>2) Place the seat between my legs
>3) Step on the low pedal, bringing the uni underneath me
>4) Place my free foot on the free pedal
>
>However, very often I find myself in the position where step 4 leaves me
>static, with one pedal at its lowest position and the other at its highest (or
>perhaps the low pedal 5 deg forward and the top pedal 5 deg back), which makes
>it difficult to get any of the necessary leverage on the pedals.
>
>What am I doing wrong?
>
>Staying on Top, unable to move forward, Scott

I used to have this problem when I was learning. Two things in combination
helped me overcome it.

  1. When I push down with the first foot, I release the pressure slightly after
    it has reached the bottom pedal position. This makes the wheel keep turning
    instead of coming to a dead stop. In other words the foot pumps on the pedal,
    rather than just pressing continuously. However this does mean the wheel is
    rolling backwards not forwards! Which means the next technique is needed…

  2. When my second foot comes onto its pedal, I don’t just rest it there, but
    angle it forward so that my sole is more vertical, and push the top pedal
    backwards as the foot meets the pedal.

Both of these actions make the unicycle come from being in front of you prior to
mounting, to ending up angled behind you after mounting. This is obviously an
unbalanced position, but it’s exactly right for the pedals and your body to be
ready to move forwards. The next thing that happens is that I pump again with my
first foot, which is enough away from being vertically down to start the wheel
moving forward - the rest is just riding.

All this sounds terribly complex and convoluted, but that’s just the language -
it’s a simple natural movement. I’ve not analysed whether everyone else does it
this way, but I suspect most do something pretty similar whether they know it or
not. Once one is skilled this rocking movement can become very small and subtle,
and not easy to spot.

Scott you need to develop the control to be able to relax quickly and
controlledly after pushing strongly on the pedals - this is true for all sorts
of uni skills. If your muscles seize after/in the middle of a strong push, then
you can’t provide any sensitive correcting/balancing effort.

If all else fails, try going for the record at balancing motionless on
the uni…

Tim

=========================================================
Tim Sheppard tim@lilliput-p.win-uk.net Lilliput Press - Publisher of fine
books in miniature England http://www.lilliput.co.uk The Storytelling FAQ is
hosted here

Re: Mounting help needed (fwd) - FAQ

Tim Sheppard (tim@lilliput-p.win-uk.net) wrote:

: This is a post I sent ages ago in response to a freemounting question. At the
: time, people thought it was good and detailed advice, so perhaps it could be
: inserted into the FAQ freemounting instructions.

: Is it clear? Do I need to clarify anything? Responses from those here not
: yet expert at freemounting would be welcome, since the rest of you will
: understand it more easily anyway.

My technique is somewhat different. I sent a separate note to the person that
originally asked, but here’s how I freemount.

I put one pedal in back, just below the horizontal. I then put weight on that
pedal and the seat, such that the two balance each other, and the unicycle wheel
rotates as little as possible. With the other foot, I “hop”, pushing my body
(and the uni seat) up into the normal position. I’m now on top of the uni, with
the pedals nearly horizontal, and the hop should have put me just past vertical.
I put my other foot on the forward pedal, and pedal away. Small hops can be
practiced easily, to get used to balancing the pedal against the seat. It is
also possible to hop over the unicycle and go from pre-mount position directly
to forward dismount.

I believe the book “Anyone can ride a unicycle” details learning the freemount
this way. When learning, a curb or a blocked section of 4"x4" behind the wheel
will make it much easier to learn the hop. In particular, with the wheel
blocked, try to hop over the wheel, expecting to go directly into a forward
dismount. I’ve seen at least two people try this the first time only to discover
themselves mounted and ride away instead.

I see many unicyclists mount this way; I also see many mount such that the wheel
rolls back 1/2 turn before the rider rolls away. The method above is, I think,
slightly more reliable than the roll-back mount.

Robert Herndon