Newbie - experiences and questions

I just got my first unicycle last night. I am 40 years old, the biggest kid in my house!!!

Anyway, I spent about 1 hour last night practicing - about 50 minutes trying to mount un-assisted in any way. I thought this would be the way to learn. I had a few quick mounts and maybe rode for 2 feet, but not much luck. Thats OK though, it was only my first hour. The other ten minutes I asked my daughter to stand by me so I could lean on her.

Then today, I spent 3 solid hours practicing. Between yesterday and today, I must have about 800-1000 mount attempts. I am getting slightly better. Then the last hour today, I spied my huge 90 gallon Garbage can sitting by the Garage not doing anything. I decided to move it down by the sidewalk. I put one hand on the can and then mount the unicycle. This works pretty well. Within 10 minutes I could go about 10 feet. Then about 1/2 hour later, I made it 20 feet and by the end of the third hour, I was going about 200 feet. Only problem now is, I need to walk back to the garbage can to get back on. Need to practice mounting more.

I find I lean forward pretty much and my butt sticks out in back. Should I be more vertical??

Any helpful advice would be great. I am NOT GIVING UP!!! I WILL MAKE IT AROUND THE BLOCK!!!

By the way, it is a Torker LX, 24". Fairly decent for the $70 I paid for it. So far the protectors have kept the seat from getting torn or damaged.

Thanks for any help

More thoughts

I forgot to include earlier. All my time was spent mounting, riding, etc, no talking no drinking beer. I was sweating like a pig.

I ride a recumbent about 3000 miles a year, so my legs are in good shape, but at the end of the 3 hours today, I could feel that they had a work out. I rode 30 miles on the recumbent this morning before I practiced the uni!!

Way to go, dude! (how’s my American coming along?)

I learned to freemount before riding too, and it was only when I found this forum that I found out that most people learn to ride before freemounting!

Keep at it though, you are making great progress. Sounds like you got a decent learner uni too.


Hi there -

You are doing great. I hear you about needing to know how to freemount once a certain amount of progress has been made - you get stuck in the middle of nowhere without a launching pad! My nice boyfriend sometimes comes along beside me & makes himself available as a launching pad as necessary. But freemounting is the way to go.

I had my third extended practice session today, and successfully freemounted twice in a single 3.5 hour session. I probably made 100 or fewer attempts. My only advice is what I’ve heard from others - don’t give up, just keep trying. You will get it.

I think the amount of progress you’ve made in the time you’ve been practicing is great. You will keep going further, and it will get easier (that’s what I’m finding). I’m now going up hills, through 18" gaps between parking barriers. Just need to keep practicing those freemounts.

Have fun!

Dude, you’re doing awesome! I’m the same age as you, with the exact same machine and you learned way faster than I did. In a few weeks (or less) you’ll be doing freemounts at 50% and 5 mile rides.

Re: Newbie - experiences and questions

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 15:22:57 -0500, “n9jcv” wrote:

>I find I lean forward pretty much and my butt sticks out in back.
>Should I be more vertical??

Yes, the consensus is that your upper body should be upright.

If after 4 hours of (intensive) practice you can ride 200 feet, that
is quite good. Visit <> to
find out ‘exactly’ how good.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“The more you think, the less you have to do. - Leo Vandewoestijne”

Wow! That’s great progress. I learned to ride a few months before turning 40 myself and I could ride around the block before I learned to freemount. I used street signs, trees & whatever I could find to launch me then. To minimize leaning forward, try to look up and not down. Goodluck and keep us posted.


Klass, thanks for the talent meter, I used it and sent you data.

Everyone else thans for the suggestions.

Jawnz - I find myself looking about 5-10 feet in front. I am trying to look farther away. Today I did sit upright more than yesterday, but still I looked hunched over.

Today I started to put more weight on the seat. Once in a while I find that I am up completely straight and my speed just picks up like crazy.

The inside of my thigh is very sore from trying to free mount so much so I did about an hour of riding and mounting with the garbage can. I did wear bike shorts, and it is not chaffed, but just tender from the seat slapping it everytime I tried to freemount.

I am looking forward to the time I can go all the way around the block, my kiddies on their bikes and me on my uni!!!

How long or how difficult is it to get to the point where you can rock back and forth and not fall. I still am not able to do this.

So far only one or two falls that were not on my feet. I stubbed my big toe once. I wear my bike helmet and gloves.

My dream is to learn on the torker and then get a 36" coker. That looks sooooo cool!!!
Thanks everyone


I’ve had my uni for exactly 3 weeks today and i can easily rock back and forth (idling) with my left foot down all day. My right foot is still odd but i can do it about 20 times normally. So the simple answer is not too long. I can hop up curbs about 25% of the time too :slight_smile: I just started that today so I’m off to a good start.

Rocking back and Forth - Idling

Gobd, It sounds like you idle with one foot at 6 and the other at 12.

I was trying 3 and 9 o’clock.

What is the best way to idle?

Welcome to the club, man!
I’m 44–I have not rode the uni in 30 years, but I finally got one last May, and I’ve been having a blast since. I had to totally re-learn. It’s good to see that you are going for the freemounting right away–I was wall-stranded for a long time!
I have a 29 inch wheel (nimbus MUni, Yuni Frame, I’ve just put a hookworm tire on it)
I am embarrassed to say that my freemounting is still crap after all these months. In fact, it took me a really long time before I could go 50 feet–slow learner I am, but with no complaints. The exercize is great–I feel great and everyone tells me that since I started the uni thing, I physically look a lot better and (yikes!) younger!
When I ride along the west side highway, everyone smiles.
It’s sort of like belonging to a special club of people who can fly (I mentioned this today in another post, that riding the unicycle is like flying a few feet off the ground.)
Rock on with the one-wheel!

Re: Rocking back and Forth - Idling

I do. I was watching a Kris Holm movie earlier today and he idled at 3 and 9 like you do.

According to 3 and 9 is correct. I tried this way after watching the movie and it does seem like it leaves you with more control and it’s easier to hop from that position.

So now I guess I have to learn to idle again.

Re: Newbie - experiences and questions

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 21:17:56 -0500, “n9jcv” wrote:

>Gobd, It sounds like you idle with one foot at 6 and the other at 12.
>I was trying 3 and 9 o’clock.
>What is the best way to idle?

The standard way of idling is oscillating around 6 and 12. This is a
basic skill, still takes time to learn but not too difficult.

Idling around 3 and 9 is called ‘horizontal idling’. It is a more
advanced skill, useful for idling in a small space, and for setting
you up for a next move, e.g. a jump.

n9jcv, it sounds like you could benefit at this stage from reading
“Learning to Unicycle” by Andrew Carter and myself. You can grab a
free copy at <>
(towards the bottom of the page). It describes idling and other basic

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“The more you think, the less you have to do. - Leo Vandewoestijne”


Thanks Klass for the book, I will read it!

Re: Newbie - experiences and questions

Congrats,you got on it quick. It took a long week before I rode a
1foot.Almost 6 wks. later I can ride till my legs quit.Ive practiced
almost daily on 20 and 24in. unis .I learned riding first ,with the aid
of golf irons,and long hallways.In the end on the street with a single
golf club.Looking up or ahead was the best advice I recieved.
Freemounting–I practiced every session ,spreading groups of 4 or 5
throughout my riding practice .Starting after getting up there took
till the 2nd-3rd week.A week ago my misses were left, right ,or
overshoots mostly. Now the minority misses consist of ,1-landing
2-after 2-3 strokes either my ass,2nd foot, or unit are not perfect and
I bail.At 48 the unit is not priority.Sometimes inflight corrections of
the not right foot are made then a stab at standing and fixing the rear
is possible.Do women have problems with their pee-wees not being “right”
on the saddle, causing bailout? Beware ballsurfing, when 1 of your legs
locks straight down and you ride on your bag until the uni scoots out
from under you.You can either roll on to your rear or launch off that
locked leg to save your little buddies…When you start to nail
freemounts its kinda magical.Not looking down, is again very good
advice.I started with the peddle almost straight down,now its sneaked
up to 4:30 or so.Good luck finding video on fmounting.Please keep us
posted and again ,congrats.


Re: Re: Newbie - experiences and questions

I recently learned (or should I say, I got the guts to do) the “in-flight correction” of my butt and foot placement. Even this small accomplishment feels terrific. Something else that just came to my very slow-learning self is that I often had no momentum on a freemount to actually pedal once on the uni. A couple of weeks ago, I tried to do an exaggerated forward movement with the hand that’s not holding onto the seat (think of, for lack of a better example, the way a standing long-jumper’s arms move right before the jump.) That little extra motion has improved my freemounting from 10% to about 50%.

So now, my whole rural road is my uni practice area! I can hear a car coming from a mile away. The road is about a mile long; probably got halfway to the end today without bailing.

Incredible progress for such a short amount of time! You’re in danger of creating a unicycle widow family!! I’m a 41 year old who has picked up the old unicycle for the first time since I was 16 and everything I knew is back. I’m converting my old Schwinn to a Muni and am studying the tips and techniques here:

They’re really thorough and helping me tons. I’m setting the goal of taking my Muni to the Tetons next summer for some trails that I’ve only ever done on my bike before.

Another huge benefit of this is my kids get such a kick out of it. I have hopes of getting them up on one wheel.

Congratulations on the riding and thanks for the excitement and enthusiasm you’ve expressed and are generating in this thread!