Need help with figure eight

So I’m trying to learn to make sharper turns so it will be easier for me to do a figure eight. 90 degree angles aren’t a problem for me although doing them repeatedly in tighter areas is (9ft or less). Anyways, I was wondering how you guys manage these tight turns. At first, I was naturely trying to lean into the turn (which is what I do to turn on the street or sidewalk or whatever). However, when I try to make the tighter turn my pedal scrapes the concrete and I still don’t get tight enough. So then I figured I would try to turn using 90 degree angles, but I get tired from the repeated effort. Am I on the right trail or am I going about this all wrong? Any advice would be much appreciated.

If you’re riding a 20" with long cranks, pedal hittage can get annoying. I used to use 125s though, and I got used to that. Leaning is the correct method though. Slow it down and you don’t have to lean much at all. Also, to keep the pedals off the ground you can lean more at the waist, to not tilt the unicycle as much.

To develop smooth circles, practice using markers, such as riding within a parking space. Start larger if you need to, and work your way gradually smaller. Try to ride in a continuous circle, with even pedal action. No stopping or jerky motions. If you’re making those 90 degree things, that’s like a stopping motion. As you go round and round, you’ll start to feel the necessary motion for a smooth circle. Then go smaller. Pretty soon you’ll be spinning!

Oh. To complete the 8, go the other way. Don’t forget to practice your circles in both directions, and spend more time on your weak direction so they even out.

It’s —…
(Sorry, ignore me. Just couldn’t resist).

To stay on topic, I find the hardest part of a tight figure-8 (like you have to do for the level tests) is not the small circles but the sudden change of direction in the middle. I agree it’s quite easy to hit the pedal on the floor though - I do it quite a bit on my 20" with 127mm cranks (I usually ride bigger wheels where this isn’t a problem, so haven’t developed the techniques to prevent it).


John Foss,

That’s great advice. I worked on that tonight and quickly gained awareness of a good body position to use for smooth turning. That helped me alot.