My newest skills and what I want to learn

My newest skills since lockdown

Ok, so I started riding Sept 2017 so now I’ve been riding 3 years.

In the last 6 months, I’ve gained these skills:

  1. Idling left foot - that’s good on smaller unis now. Taking my right foot off and idling left foot only seems to work on my basic 20”.
  2. Hopping - left foot back and left hand on handle is my strongest combination. Still needs work on unis over 24” though. But I can stop and hop in circles, and side to side. To be honest, hopping was surprisingly easy and quick to pick up in comparison to idling!
  3. Curb drops are generally good - I could do curbs before but with a lot of fear and I’d always avoid it
  4. Some ability to move my foot on the pedal (I do need to think about it though)
  5. Much improved muni skills, but it might also be due to the uni :slight_smile: And I think the muni skills definitely help the general riding skills!
  6. Some backwards ability, I did one short session a week ago and it felt surprisingly good, didn’t need to necessarily hold a railing after a short time. I think there’s a good chance I will have it nailed soon. I realise backwards is a good skill to have when playing uni hockey
  7. Half decent mounting of medium sized unis (27.5 and 29”) though I think shorter cranks will frustrate my mounting ability on these
  8. Improved uni hockey skills! But unfortunately I’m still not as fast or nimble a rider as some :frowning:

What needs work:

  1. Mounting uphill. And I wish I could mount effortlessly/make it look easy
  2. Hopping on bigger unis
  3. Backwards!
  4. I want to be able to ride and hop seat in front
  5. I want to be able to hop onto pallets
  6. I have some ability to idle right foot down, but not quite 25 in a row quality
  7. Why not learn to ride 1 footed
  8. Riding uphill! Some people are waaaayyy stronger than me at it.
  9. I want to do more muni / off-road Unicycling, just because I think it’s the best bang for buck for improving skills

I wish I could even master those 8 skills you have!
Well done, love reading you.

Thanks Pierrox. I think I’m not particularly amazing, but I am happy to gain skills beyond just riding.
A good muni though is so much fun! And I’m lucky, there’s a National Park off road trail I can ride just near where I live.


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Gockie, I think your backward riding skills will improve as you practice idling. Try increasing the size of your idles until you ride a full revolution backwards. Large idles let you practice momentary still stands at either end of the idle. And still stands increase balance, so in difficult climbing conditions, you can slog half pedal strokes and will not have to rely on momentum. Basically, my point is that all skills are related; learning one skill will help you with another.

I have already blathered on about how SIF skills helped me transition to riding both-handed with my muni’s bar setup. It is interesting you say that muni skills help with your general riding. While I don’t disagree, I tend to think more about how 20" skills have helped with my muni riding.

Kudos for playing uni hockey, Gockie. I’m pretty sure I’d suck at it, as I am a lumbering oaf. Maybe if the strategy was to knock others over, I could probably do that…

My new-ish skills are riding backwards in the four-points posture, including sketchy backward figure eights. I recently learned how to pirouette, which is totally intense and sometimes results in my being thrown to the ground. Like other skills, I practice it both left/right, clockwise/counterclockwise. I continue to improve at wheel walking, though my progress is pretty linear. I practice ww exclusively on the grass, because I prefer not to have a bad fall.

Thanks for your post, Gockie. It was thought provoking about what I can personally do to improve. One general thing I need to do more of: Pick deliberate lines, whether necessary or not. Some conditions demand that I pick a specific line, but that shouldn’t stop me from doing it in other conditions. I have succeeded in riding more than 100 feet on a curb 6 inches wide while maintaining the “four points” position. This is super intense and twitchy, but not dangerous. Perfect for a middle age rider like myself.

Keep practicing!


Ta :slight_smile: I got riding 2 hands on handle long ago, so that’s not an issue. But riding SIF is a whole other ballgame because there’s no saddle to use to help.

For steep uphills, one young person uses his hands on his thighs to help push his legs to pedal… I tried it, and it doesn’t feel so secure. So that’s something for me to work on. And yes, i’m sure still standing ability will help with those steep climbs.

You are possibly right, good 20" skills help with muni. I guess both help each other :slight_smile:

Great work on the piroulette, not too many people can do it.

Re: Hockey, it just seems to be the most regular thing people do here in Sydney! We have good outdoor weather most of the year, so what we tend to do for catch ups is either hockey, or irregular distance or muni rides.

I was wondering if it would be worth it to have a 20" for learning too. I made my first uni a 24" thinking it would be more “usable” size. But learning the basics has been far more difficult than I expected, and I wonder if I would have been better off starting with a 20 to make learning easier/faster, then moving up once getting the technique on the little one.
I see craigslist has Torker 20’s for sale fairly often, maybe it would be worth it to pick one up if a good deal comes along.

Ride both your 24 and a 20 :slight_smile:

I think using a 20 is really good when you have a bit of spare time and you are waiting around, very easy to put in the car and take anywhere. Hopping and idling are not so hard to learn on a 20" (relative to other wheel sizes).
And freemounting on a 20" is relatively easy.

True, but not if you have just stepped off a 29 with 110 cranks! Second session on the 20" today. Lesson 1, static mount without sending unicycle flying backwards! I’m back in the same basket ball court I was in years ago learning to ride my first unicycle, this time learning to ride again.

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If you were using a 26" Muni or something bigger, a 20" would make a significant difference. Between a 24" with a road tire/rim and a 20", the difference isn’t all that big. At least for basics like idling, riding backward, mounting etc.

Just rollback mount :slight_smile:

That’s good to hear.
Somewhere on the old forum several months agoi saw mention of a spreadsheet analysis of surveys of several folks’ time spent learning on unis of different sizes, and it had concluded a 24in took about 30% longer to learn on than a 20. I figured small price to pay, for a more “useful” size… “so it takes me 20 hours instead of 15”

Now that I have had it for 8 months and still can’t freemount, 8 months X 70% is sounding like a pretty enticing time difference! :grinning:.

I also learned on a 24in. I never even rode a 20in - I knew from the beginning that I want to cover some distance and even a 24in sounded very small.

IMHO you can only count the time you actually spent trying to freemount. I’m sure you didn’t try for 8 months without any breaks. :wink: