New riders how is your progress?

As a new rider with no one else around to compare my progress to, I was wondering how other newbies are progressing. How long have you been riding, and what have you accomplished so far?

I am 46 and have a 20” Unistar Torker, have maybe 10-15 hours, and can freemount successfully 75 percent of the time (left foot only). Longest distance (repeatable) without UPD was approx. a quarter mile. I can ride straight or zig zag. Turning to the left is relatively easy while turning right feels a bit awkward, but getting better the more I ride. I can also ride along, stop and continue riding again without UPD.

Hey, after riding for a month and a half my progress stopped, because my unicycle broke. But now it has been 2 weeks more, and this is how I was 2 weeks ago. I made a 16" hop. I can ride with one foot down the street. I cant idle or ride backwards. I can do pedal grabs on to decent sized objects, and can jump down, but i never made to to rubber. I did ride a 24" sun, but Im getting a Summit soon. I can ride as far as i really want without a upd. I havent really tried for distance because i have an uncomfortable seat. I can do a running mount, right foot mount, left foot mount, and a mount where i run, and right away i only put my left foot on the pedals. My right foot goes straight to the crown without touching the pedals.

Hi One on One,

I’m 35, have a 24” German made unicycle (all I know about it that I bought it from a market in Germany and it was quite expensive) which I ride all the time, and a 24” Max Traction back at home a Muni. Have put KH saddles on both of them. I’ve been riding since November of last year, and probably have around 40 may be 50 hours in the saddle, and still consider myself a beginner. So I’m not that far ahead of you. So what have I learnt so far, free mount almost the same as you 75 percent and again left foot only. I can ride for miles and miles only UPDing when I loose concentration or feel tired. I can turn tight circles left and right, figures of eight 1.5m. Only recently have I been able to really stop and then start again, and occasionally I can back pedal a rotation and ride off. Although I took a nasty fall yesterday and scared myself, luckily I wear elbow protectors and wrist guards along with a hat so all I did was bounce, not a single injury but I didn’t like it one dot.

So what am I presently working on? Well I can almost ride backwards continuously down my training run, (that’s 3 metal container which are about 5 ft from the wall of a building giving me about 45 ft to ride along with support either side), but I can’t do it in the open, I just don’t have the confidence. I can just about ride, hop then ride off but it’s an on and off affair. I’d really like to idle but I can’t quite get it, I can feel it work once or twice then I’m falling sideways.

What really made a difference to me was riding lots of circles, both ways, and more the way I felt intimidated by.

So that’s my position. Suppose it’s six months of work. Good luck, my email address if if you’d like to chat MSN


You’re doing terrific gpickett00. I wish that I had started riding when I was a lot younger, but never really thought about the uni back then.

“I can ride for miles and miles only UPDing when I loose concentration or feel tired.” Huthwaite

That’s what usually allows me to “work on” my freemounts.

“Although I took a nasty fall yesterday and scared myself, luckily I wear elbow protectors and wrist guards along with a hat so all I did was bounce, not a single injury but I didn’t like it one dot.” Huthwaite

Helmet and wristguards for me. I had a fall a couple of weeks ago where I was riding slowly and just kind of fell off of the seat. I slid down and landed with my leg wedged between the crank and the spokes.

“What really made a difference to me was riding lots of circles, both ways, and more the way I felt intimidated by”. Huthwaite

I will take your advice and work on my circles. Learning to ride backwards is also next on my agenda.

Thanks, Duane

I’m 16 and have been unicycling for a month or so. I can ride a fair distance, but if I loose my concentration (like thinking about how uncomfortable the seat is!) I have to jump off.

I am working on being able to start without a telephone poll for support. Also on the list is to be able to ride my brother’s 5’ giraffe.

I don’t have a uni of my own yet, gonna take care of that tonight hopefully. Looking to get an older schwinn, like the ones my brothers have.

It’s great to hear other’s experiences! Thank you all for sharing :slight_smile:


I have been riding for 4 months, it took me 2 days to learn to ride as far as i wanted. I can idle as long as I want I can ride along like 10cm walls and almost along the rails of train tracks for a bit, I think I could do that if I didn’t have a buckled rim and two bent cranks where the pedals attach to the crank. I can ride backwards as far as I want, I could ride one footed for about 15 rotations but gave up after that because I have a really weak knee and it was causing pain. I did a 3 and a half foot drop to grass yesterday and imagine I could do one to concrete aswell. My freestyle unicycle doesn’t share the same opinion 3 foot to 3 and a half foot drops have buckled the rim, majorly bent my cranks where the pedal attaches (my friends hate it when they ride my unicycle, because theirs isn’t skunted) and I’m also bent my seatpost. I could also probably go higher drops with a fatter tyre, mines like 1.85 or 1.8 inches or whatever a freestyle usually comes with.

This made me think through my abilities. Haven’t done that in awhile. It’s good to note progress, no matter the magnitude.

I started riding in October of '03, so I guess I’ve been at it for about six months. It originally took me about four days of constant work to be able to ride forward, steer and freemount reliably.

Over the last six months, I’ve learned a lot, mostly in spurts where I spent a couple of days (constant work) focusing on one or two skills. I tend to get incredibly absorbed in practice - often for hours on end. I think this is what best accounts for some of my ‘rapid’ progressions. Also, I ride the uni to class every day, with a backpack on. Nothing cements a trick such as one-footed riding better than being able to do it with a heavy, shifting load on your back.

Mounts (all with either foot forward):
Standard freemount, hop mount (seat in or out), suicide mount, side kickup mount, one-foot mount (one foot on tire/fork other on pedal and into forward one-foot ride)…

two-foot forward, one-foot forward (either foot, fully able to do figure-eights), two-foot backward (did a figure-eight yesterday!), stairs (max set to date: ~17), idling (one foot, either side), frontspin/backspin, some seat-out…

Hopping (either foot forward):
seat in sidehops, seat out sidehops (~1.5 feet in height), forward hops (enough to get over curbs and do 180 degree hop twists), wheel hopping…

Working on:
everything (but mostly wheel walking)

I’ve been riding a 20" summit for about two months. My first unicycle was a 20" torker, which began having crank problems soon after I started hopping…

Hey everyone,
Ive been riding for nearly 3 months, i dont know how many hours i have but i ride everyday, this is what i have managed to accomplish: Hopping (including with 180 spin), riding down stairs, idling, riding backwards, one leg riding, drops (120cm highest ive bin) and some Muni riding.

I started about the time gpickett00 did - so I have been keeping an eye on his posts (and others) to measure my own skill. Seems like I have been working on the opposite skills. I can idle with either foot, ride backwards “more smoothly than forwards” and most of my time has been spent on rough-terrain and DISTANCE. I have cranked out over 230 miles. Oh, and duaner taught me how to work on speed - a needed skill because everyone here still seems faster than me.

This week, I worked on hopping and can reliably hop up a curb and such. I currently have no “direction” because I really need to work on equipment (I have been going through tires rapidly and other issues).

Today, I played Uni-Hockey for the first time - and had a blast!!! I hope the guys do that more often. I may practice it on my own. AFTER those games (about 3 miles of actual riding) and after everyone left, I was able to do a “routine” that I daydreamed of: 5 pedals forward, 5 idle right, 5 pedals forward, 5 idle left, 5 pedals forward, 5 hops, and then 10 back, and (the hard part today) ride forward again!

I have wondered “why am I unicycling?” What is my direction with the sport? What is my goal? To impress others? To impress myself? Both? To ride as well as I do on a mountain b*ke? Make a video? What . . . ?!

Annoyingly enough, I didn’t come up with an answer. (I am the type that doesn’t like doing unless there IS a goal. And so with that situation, I have just enjoyed reaching little goals. I am pretty sure I have been inspired to work on 1 foot this week. And I am sure I will get all obsessed over it, and learn it (both feet this week). Then, I will tell a few people “hey I can 1 foot.” Finally, I will wonder why I tell people I reached another goal - or what I will do when I have reached all of my goals. The biggest thing I want to do well is a 180 off a small set of stairs - land and ride off backwards. It really goes no farther than that. Then what?

The cycle will end someday. There will be no more goals. I will eventually be a “good” rider (in my own eyes). And like other “projects” I do, I will probably have no more desires - save one:

I am sure that I will always want to ride with good people. onefiftyfour, Dave Orchard, duaner, BigWheelTex, etc. Maybe one day I will also get to play street hockey (or something) with Dan Heaton, Kris Holm and Darren Bedford. These are men I have met and I continue to be impressed with them - not so much by their riding but by their character.
We need more women.

That was the magic I have felt in unicycling today.
The magic that will continue after the magic of learning grows faint.
I only get to be a newbie until the next social newbie comes along.
Hopefully by the time that time comes . . .

I would classify my progress as slower than I’d like it to be.

I have been riding since 22 Feb this year (the day after I got the uni) and currently have 9.5 hours in the saddle. I know that’s not much but I work full time, have 2 kids (14 and 4) and am a single mom. The EX takes the kids every other weekend but I have so much stuff piled up to do practice time is hard to find. My brother (who stays with me) is a great help. He’s also over 6 foot - the perfect height to support somebody on a coker!

I know I’d be better if I practiced more, but I hang on to the little victories. I’m doing better than I ever thought possible. I feel so light when I step up into the saddle now, as opposed to the dead weight I was when I began. I have so much more confidence in my abilities. A fall that once left me a shaking wreck now finds me leaping back into the saddle so as not to waste any practice time.

I hope to be riding unsupported by the end of the week. If I am Dave (GILD) owes me a beer. If I’m not I owe him one.


Jayne, you are at a massive disadvantage. I learnt on a 24” and then rode a 20” a little some time back it was way way easier. A Coker (can’t remember what tyre size that is) which is just way too difficult for myself to even consider riding and I can ride my 24” okish after six months. Your riding may be slower than you like but when you’ve finally sussed it you’ll be able to ride them all easy.

One on One: Sounds like you are right on track, or a little ahead of the game. Starting at age 46 isn’t an easy task. I started at 41, two years ago. If you remain interested in unicycling you will likely find the challenges and achievements never stop coming. Just a few words of advice:

  1. wear pads. The first few months will be much less painful, and you will likely be more confident to try things.
  2. read the skill levels, and ask plenty of questions here. The lower skill levels may look boring, but they include and important variety of things you should try.
  3. try to remember your progress, and look for improvements to encourage yourself. Most skills are combinations of many subskills, all which can be improved. While you are practicing a skill expect to seem to get nowhere at first, but over a few days things will improve.
  4. follow your own pace. It sounds like you don’t have too many other unicyclists around yet, but us oldbies can get injured easily and we don’t heal too quick. (Excepting Iron Man Harper)
  5. find and befriend other unicyclists. This is the biggest help of all. Even if you practice alone most of the time, unicyclists are a special breed.
  6. have fun!

I know what you mean by heading out on your own. I started riding on my back deck until the deck got too short. It was a nice safe place to learn, handrails and no spectators. Then I found a secluded tennis court where I took my 5 and 2 year old kids to ride their tricycle and 2 wheeler on training wheels. That was a good place plus I had the 2 kids for security.

Next I finally bit the bullet and rode down the side street near my house. I was a bit nervous about riding a unicycle in public, but I survived and now I actually look forward to cruising down the road. I’ve had positive comments from people that I stop to chat with.

I give you a lot of credit for learning on a Coker expecially with your distractions. The only thing that might make it more of a challenge is if you try doing it while blindfolded. Keep up the good work. You’ll get there.

Yesterday I got to practice for about an hour, mostly on turning. I was able to do left hand circles. Once I got my first circle, I got into this groove thing and just kept going in a circle. Was very cool. Still working on the right turn.

My left foot freemount is now at about 90-95 percent successful.

You know, that could be a good idea! It’ll make it harder to worry about falling if I can’t see the floor. :wink:


I’ve been riding just under 4 weeks now. I’m cleaning long (a mile or so) moderate technical singletrack on the downhill and some short uphill sections. I’ve begun to stick the odd bunny-hop on the trail, and when I stick it, it feels awesome so I can’t wait till I’m hucking big drops.

I just go a real MUni right before this weekend and the 3" tire makes such a difference. Deep sand and loose rocks are not near as hard now. Almost feels like cheating.

I’ve been riding until I can barely walk then I take a rest day and start riding again.

OK. You guys all make me sick. I always knew that I was balance challenged but this it rediculous. I’m 49 and I’ve been at it about 6 weeks now on a Torker 20" almost every day. Sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes an hour. I’ve lost track of my total time but I’m estimating a bit over 20 hours now. I still feel incredibly lucky if I go 10 meters without a UPD. And a freemount is but a distant dream. :roll_eyes: My normal riding session consists of hanging onto a pole or a fence, riding 7-15 pedal strokes in a relatively uncontrolled left hand circle with arms flailing and then losing my balance. Then I walk back to the pole and do this again, usually about 100 times and then go home, sweat soaked and frustrated. Still, I’m VERY determined to figure this out. I’ve got a friend who rides at about level 3 and he’s watched me and can’t figure out where I’m going wrong. I want to be able (someday) to do some serious distance riding for fun and fitness but I gotta be able to get across the damn tennis court first!! :angry:

I wouldn’t feel too bad about your progress if I were you. I put in my first 30 hours in less than a week, and immediately thereafter began riding to classes. When I work on learning a new skill, that’s pretty much how it goes - I have intense, long (4-6 hour) sessions until it clicks, and then use the skill as much as humanly possible in everyday riding.

The other big help is riding the uni everywhere. That can take some guts at first - especially when faced with the possibility of falling off in front of people you don’t know. If you ride all the time, you gain confidence and get over it. The more confident I became with my riding, the more I rode in more crowded areas.

Re: New riders how is your progress?

On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 14:57:14 -0500, “underdog” wrote:

>I’ve lost track of my total time but I’m estimating
>a bit over 20 hours now. I still feel incredibly lucky if I go 10
>meters without a UPD. And a freemount is but a distant
>dream. :roll_eyes:

Underdog, don’t dispair! Everyone learns in their own pace. You may be
learning a bit slower than average but not abnormally so. Just keep
practicing and easy riding will come for sure! And see the practicing
as a fun thing in its own right, not as a tedious process required to
become something.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

Clearly a system of 1/14 and 1/16 is not decimal - Mikefule on the English weight system

Thanks Entropy and Klaas Bil. Words of encouragement are always appreciated. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be posting when I hit that magical 50 meter mark.:slight_smile:

Underdog you have amazing determination for a guy our age. One suggestion that I can offer that helped me before I was making any distance further than 10 feet is to lower your seat down a little bit. I was making my first attempts in the local tennis court and not getting any distance, when my father in law, whom has never even tried a unicyle in his whole life said, “you should lower your seat down, it looks like it’s too high.” Well, how could I possibly take advice from someone who doesn’t know the first thing about riding. Reluctantly, I lowered the seat. The very next attempt, I rode about 30-40 feet. Not only was it easier to get on the unicycle, but for some reason, I was able to ride it. I’ve long since raised my seat back up to the original height. The couple of sessions with the lowered seat really helped get me going.
Also remember heavy on the seat, light on the pedals. Good luck, keep us informed.