Newbie learning tip

Ok, so I’m still learning. And yeah, I’m using those ski poles that so many people have told me to dump. But they really help with the mount in the middle of the parking lot. Otherwise, I was going to bring a step ladder to hang onto. And they give me more confidence…or a crutch depending how you think about it. But I digress.

Here’s my tip…

I made huge progress when I found a slight uphill incline. The resistance really seemed to help me out. In reverse…a slight downhill, I pick up speed easier, lean back more…have the uni slip out in front of me, etc.

Getting the hang of the slight uphill also makes my troubles with downhill seem less daunting.

My two cents worth…from an old man that’s trying to get this down…

not bad,you really should get rid of the training poles…there dangerous…fall poke an eye out etc.

uhhh ya good,going keep it up…don’t quit although it’s just like a bike you never forget but you do get a lil worse…protect them shinzz!!!

i know people say that about never forgetting how to ride a bike but having unicycled for a while and not being near a bike in a couple of years i had forgotten how to ride, i tried riding the bike back underneath myself like i do my unicycle and f*ckin fell off!!! ahahahahahaha …



Drop the poles. I learned by using a wall to get on. After I got some balance I would lean forward and then start to go. I tried the ski poles and hated them.

I never even thought of using anything but the wall, and when you thing about it anything besides a wall or fence is dangerous. Also, the poles will probably just slow down the rate you learn. Get rid of them.

How I learned to ride, and how I teach others to ride

Hills can do wonders for folks learning to mount. Mounting slowly downhill on a steep hill can teach riders how to keep their pedals from moving during the mount.

I have found that the easiest way to teach others how to ride is by using what I refer to as the “Twist Method”. Each and every pedal stroke is accomplished by a ~20 degree twist of the wheel. As you push downward with your right foot, you force the wheel to the right, and as you push down on the left pedal, you twist the wheel to the left. This takes some force, using your hips, arms out to each side for wind-up, and forcing the seat by using your thighs.

If this doesn’t make sense, an ascii diagram may help.
If the wheel were wet, it would make a very defined snake-like pattern on the ground (ignore the comma, it was required to get the line-up right):

This motion forces you to keep the unicycle underneath you. If you start leaning to the side and fall over, you didn’t twist, or you didn’t twist enough.

The biggest mistake people make is not twisting right from the start, they wait a revolution or two, and by then it is too late. They are either leaned over so far that there is no recovery, or the unicycle is already on the ground.

Get rid of the poles, ladder, etc. Find a parking lot with a curb, or bring along a 2x4. Back the unicycle up against the curb, brick, 2x4, etc with the cranks in the horizontal position. Keep your hands out. At no point should your grab or touch the seat during the mount (or ride, at this point). With the seat against your groin, place weight on the pedal closest to you (put the pedal closest that feels the best, for me, it is the right pedal). You should be able to slowly stand on this pedal (gently rocking upward\forward) without the unicycle wheel moving. Do not move over the top of the unicycle yet. Practice this before even trying to ride. Once that’s comfortable, move to the next step. As you begin to stand on the pedal, slowly walk your other foot OVER (beyond) the far pedal. Do not try to step on the far pedal yet. Do this “step over” motion several times until it feels comfortable. You know you’ve properly completed the “step over” when you rise to the top of the unicycle, over the unicycle, and your foot lands on the other side, unicycle now behind you. Now that you are comfortable with the step-over, concentrate on the far pedal. Stare at it. Be the pedal. This time, instead of walking OVER and beyond the far pedal, you are going to land your foot right on top of it… and start pedaling, twisting with each stroke.

Eventually, your riding will smooth out into a straight line, but for now, work on that forceful twisting.

EDIT: I should also mention that before you do any of this, you should actually complete some pedal revolutions on the unicycle by using a wall, cubical isle, fence, deck rail. Do this several times so that your brain\body gets a feel for what’s going on. Do not let go of the wall, just keep moving forward. Do not idle, just keep moving forward. It may not seem like much (if any) progress but your brain is figuring things out. After a several dozen full pedal revolutions, move on to the steps above.

at first i used a curb to mount my unicycle when there was nothing else to help me mount. i use a curb because if you wedge the back of the tire in the curb it will prevent the cranks from moving.