Sometimes, after I write something on the forum, I have to take a ride and “put my money where my mouth” is. To clarify, I start all mounts with both hands on the seat/handle. Yesterday I rode on my 24", and on a few of my more poorly executed mounts, I threw one hand up in the air somewhere between mounting and riding.
I am almost a foot taller than many riders on this forum. The largest wheel I ride on is a 26". And my physique is somewhat “top-heavy”. For shorter/lighter riders, hands-out may be necessary, depending on the size wheel.
If you want to practice mounting with both hands on the seat, I suggest:
If you don’t already have one, get a 20". Personally, the 20" has been the base of my food pyramid, the foundation of everything else I know.
Place the 20" on some soft grass. Put the first pedal in the 6:00 position. Hold the seat in front of you with both hands. If the seat is pushing against your abdomen, that is fine. Try holding the front of the saddle with one hand and the back with the other. This will give you maximum leverage and stability.
The correct seat height will put the saddle in a position where you feel the most strength with your hands, somewhere around your core. At this height, the saddle may be too high to get your butt on from the 6:00 starting position of your foot. No worries, the goal is not to sit on the seat.
Now that you’ve re-adjusted the saddle height, mount on the grass starting in the 6:00 position with both hands on the saddle. Lift your second foot off the ground slowly and bring it toward the 12:00 pedal. You will feel your arms working hard to maintain balance as you keep both hands on the saddle. You may succeed in riding 1/2 - 1 revolution in this position, but the important thing is that you’re using the leverage in your arms and the movement of your hips to maintain balance.
Setonix, I am sorry to hear you have limited time to ride. I probably would not have learned what I did without putting considerable practice time into it. There is another danger with having limited practice time; you may be more interested in seeking gratification during the limited time you have, rather than struggling through the humiliation of learning a new technique.
The classical guitarist Andres Segovia, in the preface to his scale studies, said that if a guitarist only had 20 minutes to practice in a day, they should spend that time on scales. That doesn’t exactly translate to the unicycle. With the uni, perhaps a limited practice time is better spent struggling with a new technique. Emerging techniques, those we suck at, IMHO contain the keys to better riding, rather than trying to perfect what we already know.
I am also curious if Gockie can mount with both hands on the seat. I don’t think it’s necessary to be able to do a technique…in order to agree, in principle, that it’s a good technique. As I said above, however, YMMV.