Newbie Self Spotter Trick: Hiking/Skiing Poles

I just started riding, so I’m far from an expert, but in order to learn on my own I picked up a set of a hiking poles and put rubber walking tips on the ends.

They are extremely helpful for starts, rests, and it was very quick to progress from “walking” along with both poles to riding with poles out for balance.

The best part of using the poles is that I was able to catch myself easier when I loss my balance without constant dismounts, so I spent more time on the cycle than mounting the cycle.

I’m not sure if I progressed faster, but I was able to ride “free” for distances of 50m or greater within six practice sessions, so way less than ten hours.

Still working on non-assisted starts, but can turn right and left, idling for short periods of time, all in under fifteen sessions, though I still have the poles for the occassional slip :slight_smile:

Thanks to Scott, AKA Powderhoar on TTips for getting me and my 12 yo son started on unicycling. I am 43 this coming week and this was my birthday present to myself :smiley:

I ride a Nimbus 24" Muni now, dreaming of a 20" trials and a KH 29er :sunglasses:

I love unicycling!

Hey…thats me!
Welcome Ben, thanks for the write-up on the poles. I am sure some will find that a valuable trick/tool.
Happy birthday!

I think the time you took to learn is the normal time, about a week…
Unicycling is really good :sunglasses:

welcome chap.
goodluck with your learning and congratulations on your progression.

mind your shins

Tom :slight_smile:

That’s one more of us and one less of them.

Welcome to the fora.

It’s interesting to hear a positive story about learning with poles.
The jury’s been out on that approach for a long time.
One of the counter arguments being that you have more to get in the way in the event of a UPD (UnPlanned Dismount - us unicycles don’t ‘fall’, ever,)

Your suggestion that it allowed you more saddle-time makes a lot of sense.

All told, it worked for you and that’s all that really matters.

I trust you and your son will have many happy hours of unicycling.

Yeah +1 on the anti-ski pole argument, but if it works, it works. Always love to hear about more unicyclists.

…erm…that should’ve been “…us unicyclists…”, but you figured that out by yourself, didn’t you?

Still carrying the poles on tricky terrain, started on gravel/dirt roads this week after two weeks on asphalt and grass. I touch them down occassinaly, but I really only use them for mounting and resting. I have shortened them gradualy, so they don’t get in the way or drag.

I have yet to have a UPD that was worsened by the poles. About the worst thing that could happen is if I was to lean on the poles to heavilly, it could result in a fall if they slip on the ground, but that’s not an issue once you know how to ride. My wife took a digger this way, but she’s kinda’ clumsy anywho :wink:

I’m not sure that one week is a normal learn progression for someone who is over forty and has never ridden a unicycle. Granted, I’m fairly coordinated, but I will still give a lot of credit to the poles (good idea Bondo!), they keep me on the uni so I don’t waste time and energy mounting.

I’m not sure entirely what the finer details of Klaas Bill’s statistics suggest, but yeah, you strike me as being well ahead of the game.
It might be your co-ordination that’s helped you keep your poles out of the way of your UPDs.
It remains good to hear a success story and I’ll definitely suggest the poles-approach to more senior learners who like the idea of some ‘portable stabillity’.

Yeah for poles! I used this method and it was right for me. Cool thing was when I could go a few yards before having to tap a pole, then goal was to go longer and longer between taps. Also allows you to mount anywhere.