Newbie report

Well I saw jason’s report so I thought I’d throw mine in too. I got my uni about 2 weeks ago after riding a friend’s for 1 day and being able to ridea little bit (about 10 feet). I have been practicing a lot and today I rode all the way around my block, up a big hill and back down one, which iI thought was cool. Right now I’m trying to learn how to idle, I can stop and then start again almost every time, but I usually lose the uni if i petal backwards at all. Is it easier to learn to idle in the open or on a rail for help? This is a lot of fun and I hope to get better soon! Practice every day. :slight_smile:

Ride safe!
topside

Re: Newbie report

topside wrote:

> Well I saw jason’s report so I thought I’d throw mine in too. I got my
> uni about 2 weeks ago after riding a friend’s for 1 day and being able
> to ridea little bit (about 10 feet). I have been practicing a lot and
> today I rode all the way around my block, up a big hill and back down
> one, which iI thought was cool.

Yes, it is very cool! I started riding around my block as well and
there is a small hill on each of the connecting side streets, which
means one up hill ride and one down hill ride. The up hill ride is not
too tough. The down hill ride I find to be very difficult and have only
made down one out of three tries.

> Right now I’m trying to learn how to
> idle, I can stop and then start again almost every time, but I usually
> lose the uni if i petal backwards at all. Is it easier to learn to idle
> in the open or on a rail for help? This is a lot of fun and I hope to
> get better soon! Practice every day. :slight_smile:

My next goal after mastering the free mount, is to learn to idle. Please
keep us posted on your progress so we can all benefit from your efforts
and experience.

-Jason

Re: Newbie report

On Fri, 21 Jun 2002 14:05:42 -0500, topside
<topside.6m3ja@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Is it easier to learn to idle
>in the open or on a rail for help?
Are you learning on a 20" or a 24"? (Note that “no” is a valid answer
too…)

I spent some time learning to idle hanging onto a rail, without much
success. I was on my 24". Borrowing a 20" unicycle made idling a lot
easier to learn, and the gained ability could then quite easily be
transferred to my 24". But after the rail&24" experience, I did it
differently on the 20". What I did was: ride forward, do a half rev
backward, then forward again. With some confidence in that, do two
idles (half back, half forward, half back) before riding forward, then
3 etc.

Hope this helps,
Klaas Bil

Re: Newbie report

On Fri, 21 Jun 2002 14:05:42 -0500, topside
<topside.6m3ja@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Is it easier to learn to idle
>in the open or on a rail for help?
Are you learning on a 20" or a 24"? (Note that “no” is a valid answer
too…)

I spent some time learning to idle hanging onto a rail, without much
success. I was on my 24". Borrowing a 20" unicycle made idling a lot
easier to learn, and the gained ability could then quite easily be
transferred to my 24". But after the rail&24" experience, I did it
differently on the 20". What I did was: ride forward, do a half rev
backward, then forward again. With some confidence in that, do two
idles (half back, half forward, half back) before riding forward, then
3 etc.

Hope this helps,
Klaas Bil

Re: Newbie report

I found the best way to learn to idle was to see someone else doing it! I had been trying for ages to do it with a small fidgety movement, with the cranks horizontal. I was able to keep the uni more or less balanced for a few seconds. Then one day I saw an expert and realised you do it with the cranks passing through vertical, not horizontal!

Some tips to help you:

It is easier to learn with your tyres pumped up rock hard as it removes at least one variable.

It is easier to learn on a flat smooth surface, not on grass.

Keep your weight balanced on the seat, and plenty of weight on the bottom foot, swinging that bottom foot through vertical. Your bottom foot does almost all the work. (Later, you may learn to idle one footed.)

Look into the distance and try and focus on an object. Whatever you do, don’t look at the ground.

Count the pedal strokes and set achievable goals.

As for whether it’s best to learn with a wall or a bar or in the open, I’d say it’s best to learn in the open. What I did was ride forwards, slow down, then stop by pushing down with my bottom foot. Momentum carries you forwards until the bottom crank is somewhere approaching horizontal. From here, do a confident half pedal backwards, regain balance and ride away. Do that lots of times.

Then see if you can stop, half pedal back, half pedal forwards, backwards again, then ride away.

And build up from there.

I found it best to learn with one particular foot down (in my case, the left) and then learn the other way later.

In fact, idling and riding backwards are closely linked skills, and you can do a super idle (where the wheel makes more than a complete revolution each way) or a mega idle (where it does two or more complete revolutions each way). You will find that it suddenly comes, and you will be idling and riding backwards within a couple of half hour sessions if you set your mind to it.

With the freemount, the idle and the ability to reverse when needed, your riding will become immensely more fun, more rewarding, less tiring, and safer in crowds. After that, most of the skills you can learn are optional, depending on what you want to get from your unicycling.

Good luck.

if u learn while hanging onto a rail, u will find that u develop the skill with a particular weakness to the side u used to have the rail
progress in the open may be slower but it is definately surer
have fun

Re: Re: Newbie report

I learnt indoors, on carpet; this was nice and smooth but a much slower surface than surfaces outdoors. Even after I got fairly good at idling on carpet it still took me a while to get used to having to do it faster outside.

Again, from learning indoors I had a handy shelf in a wall on one side and a table on the other. I started off idling while holding on to these for balance; after a while (while watching telly - added bonus) you need less support until you can do a few idles without holding on at all.

Phil, just me