newbie uni here....advice needed getting started

Hey All!
Here’s to teaching an old dog a new trick…I bought a 24" Torker DX for my 39th b-day and am trying to ride it. I’m using the std. 4 o-clock step-up mount, and using a gym wall and or bleachers for balance. I’ve managed about 40 feet so far without stopping (but not without balance support) 2 days in so far, about 1.5 hrs total…much more to go I know… but I have a few questions I haven’t found answers to yet:

  1. When seated on the uni…should I be placing my full weight in the seat? I have tendency to partially ‘stand’ on the pedals for some reason. I’m an avid cyclist, DF, bent, and trikes, and there’s no question that all my weight goes on the seat on them.
  2. Should I try to ‘spin’ or pedal constant circles like any other cycle?
  3. Should I wear a cup to protect the family jewels? I’ve taken a few hits that I had to ‘walk off’ due to the U-shaped seat! Am I on it right? I’m pretty sure I have the height set right.
  4. What’s a UPD? (saw it on another thread)
    Thanks for your input…I hope to be riding by the spring thaw here in OH!!
    dan
  1. Put all your weight on the seat.
  2. Un-planned dismount. (the most common move among beginners and experts alike)
    For more advice, check out The Unicyclopedia. Welcome to unicycling, and the forum!

Re: newbie uni here…advice needed getting started

  1. Almost all weight goes on seat. Just use your legs to pedal in circles, they should support at most 15% of your weight.
  2. Pedal as smoothly as you can. You will have to jerk the wheel to keep your forward back balance correct, but otherwise spin smoothly at an easy rate.
  3. No. This will make things less comfortable. Also, there is a greater likelyhood of a pinching injury…don’t want that.
  4. Unplanned dismount.

You seem to know your problems, just keep at it and practice.

Hello and welcome to the world of unicycling and the forums:D
May I congratulate you on your choice of “new trick”. Me and Andrew Carter have a unicycling Tips & Tutorials website: www.unicycle.2ya.com - it has a huge range of all sorts of written tips and video tutorials on all kinds of unicycle riding, from just learning to muni, trials, street, freestyle and more. Anyway it has a lot of tips so you may want to check it out to get some ideas.
Peter
www.unicycle.2ya.com

Re: newbie uni here…advice needed getting started

On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 23:36:02 -0600, “unibug” wrote:

>2 days in so far, about 1.5 hrs total…much more to go I
>know…
Learning time estimation at
<http://www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/agelearn_short.htm>. Download the
spreadsheet linked near the bottom of the page.

>1. When seated on the uni…should I be placing my full weight in the
>seat? I have tendency to partially ‘stand’ on the pedals for some
>reason.
Beginners have a natural tendency to partially stand on the pedals. It
is more tiring than sitting and hence less desirable. Personally I’m
not sure if one should actively unlearn this at an early stage, but
most unicyclists recommend so.

>2. Should I try to ‘spin’ or pedal constant circles like any other
>cycle?
Eventually yes, you’ll want to ride at a constant pace and pedal as
much of a circle as you can. That way you will ride smoother, can ride
faster, and deliver more power on inclines. Note though that in some
learning methods you start out with half-cycles, then full-cycles at
one time. One of those methods is downloadable from
<http://www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/uni_beginners.htm> (near the bottom).

>3. Should I wear a cup to protect the family jewels?
Not normally done, but the family jewels are a recurring issue on this
group. There are many ways to deal with it. To find past discussions,
use the ‘search’ button and your vocabulary of alternative words. :slight_smile:
>I had to ‘walk off’ due to the U-shaped seat!
I’m not sure what you mean by walk off. Is that because of pain, or to
prevent pain? The latter sounds like the usual thing we do when we
fall.
> Am I on it right?
How can we know?

>4. What’s a UPD? (saw it on another thread)
Like others said “UnPlanned Dismount”. One of the most popular TLA’s
among unicyclists, at least in writing.

Oh, and welcome to unicycling!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

people who unicycle are shyly exhibitionistic - GILD

thanks all for the help so far!
I’ll try to get my weight in the seat, I thought that would be best.
I think the tendency to stand comes from wanting to balance the same way I do when walking, I know in my head what should be happening. I just need to get my body to comply!
On the ‘walking-if-off’ bit with the jewels, I should have been more descriptive…it’s more of a bow-legged walk to let gravity assist in puttin things back where they belong :-). This is apparently something that will work itself out as I get better.
Thanks again for the advice!
Dan

thanks all for the help so far!
I’ll try to get my weight in the seat, I thought that would be best.
I think the tendency to stand comes from wanting to balance the same way I do when walking, I know in my head what should be happening. I just need to get my body to comply!
On the ‘walking-if-off’ bit with the jewels, I should have been more descriptive…it’s more of a bow-legged walk to let gravity assist in puttin things back where they belong :-). This is apparently something that will work itself out as I get better.
Thanks again for the advice!
Dan

Welcome to Unicycles! You’ve hit some exciting times here with distance and speed records recently being broken. As well as production geared unicycles available for the first time.

Sounds like your doing great. I suggest you get yourself some good bike riding shorts, those tight fitting stretchy shorts. When packed correctly will hold the jewels up from between the seat. Also stops seat chaffing on the legs. Riding without those shorts is risky.

I know this is ganna sound pretty stupid, but I learned in three days, about an hour a day, and I could ride until I was exhausted, (didn’t take long back then) but one thing I did do is I imagened ridding it alot when I was just out and about on my day, i’d really picture my feet pushing on the down strokes, and not putting to much force on the peddals when they were verticle, and my feet, just move in smooth fair paced circles, i’d also imagin my self getting that point of balance and just moving forward fluidly, I really think this helped me alot, i’ve done martial arts and other sports that require balance and agility, and i’ve been taught to learn in this fasion, and it really helps, the mind is a very powerfull tool.

Also when I couldn’t get static mounts, I just gave up and layed down in my room listening to music, imagining myself sticking the mount, for about twenty minutes, my foot putting just the right amount of preasure on the peddal as my body jumped up so the wheel wouldn’t roll in any direction, I went back outside, and got it second try.

And although not as effective as actually practicing its good to get practice without the frustration. Thats why practicing for more then an hour or two a day dosn’t help much.

Now leave me alone as I imagin myself sticking that unispin.

Opps, instead of ‘first production greared uni’s’, I should have said something like ‘first production multi-speed geared uni’s’. Since single speed giraffes have been using gears for a long time.

Re: newbie uni here…advice needed getting started

The riding shorts will help with the family jewels problem. Anything
but boxer shorts. My preference is a lightweight athletic supporter
which will keep things together above the seat and and allows easy
adjustment whe you mount. As for wearing a cup, I made the mistake of
wearing one when I rode my bicylcle to baseball practice in sixth grade.
It sort of got hung up when I tried to dismount off the back of the
seat. Worst pain i ever experienced. You don’t want that.