Ponderings from a very slow learner

Sometimes I really gotta wonder why I’m still at it. Am I stubborn, stupid or very determined? Unicycling seems to be the most fun/frustrating thing I’ve ever tried. I guess the challenge is a big part of it. I try to keep a positive attitude and make my practice sessions fun but those times when I just can’t seem to get 2 revs of the pedals to happen I find myself getting angry. Dammit! I KNOW I can do this. My longest ride without a UPD has been a quarter of a mile but that was some time ago now. I seem to have lost some ground. Wish I knew why? I’ve been at it now for 8 months. I had one month off recovering from a surgery that I had and that break definitely caused me to lose ground. I probably have an overall average of 3 hours a week although it was probably more like 6 hours a week for the first few weeks. Anyway a rough estimate is about 100 hours now and I still feel really lucky if I can get 3 or 4 rides in the 25 – 30m range in a practice session. I have a friend who I have practiced with a few times. He rides pretty well at about level 3. It’s so painful for him to watch me struggle that I don’t think he can stand to watch any more. At any rate, he’s quit suggesting that we practice together. This is one of those things that I really want to do sooooo badly. I saw a guy riding in town the other day whom I hadn’t seen before. Looked like a 29” wheel and he rode so smoothly and effortlessly. I can see myself doing that. In my minds eye I am a unicyclist but reality is somewhat different. I know that I’ve got a very nearly 50 year old body that still doesn’t know how to keep it’s balance in the particular way that unicycling requires and does know how freakin’ much it hurts to crash (I do wear all the gear though). I’m envious of the people who post on this web who are competent and skilled riders after 8 month. Good job. Anyway, those of you who read this, thanks for listening to me. I’m no where near quitting. I really want this. I just needed a place to vent my frustrations. Anybody on this forum taken this long? Another question, are any of you introverts who don’t like being the center of attention (I’m a little bit this way)? Because this is definitely the wrong sport for introverts.

Practice, perseverance and patience…

Keep going mate!

I’m just moving up to late 40s myself and enduring an enforced break due to knee problems (done rolling up a bouncy castle of all things:o ).

I keep thinking back to the summer when I first started though, and the gazillions of times I attempted freemounting. Those who I was camping with at the time are thoroughly astonished now when I hop on and ride.

You owe it to yourself to do it! I’d say especially if you are an introvert!

Let us know about your progress.


Stick with it. When we started (3 months ago) me and my son took to going down to the promenade at the seashore near our house at 6.30am so noone would see us. We’re introverted. Now we can do it a bit, we don;t mind the attention so much.

But we envy the people who rode 50m thirty minutes after they got their unis.

Practice is the key. It WILL come together. Just practice often and not too long and enjoy it. The more laughs you get, the more time you’ll be able to spend.

As I say to my kids, if it was easy, EVERYONE would be riding a unicycle!

Good luck


Don’t be discouraged! frustration will make you lose focus and mess up even more. The first 50 feet are the hardest. After that you’ll wonder why it took so long to learn in the firstplace. Just keep your head high and make sure you get back on every time you fall. I’m quite an introvert myself, but im in a small town so everyone has seen me ride by now and i dont get the funny looks or stupid jokes. Just make sure you have a witty comeback for the dumb circus and missing wheel jokes and you’ll be fine.

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Hey antimatter what is your avatar…it looks very very familiar…

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cover of a dragonlance book, cant remember which one tho

Keep Going, It is worth every moment of riding.

This is a little off subject, One of the reasons I joined unicyclist.com is because all the people were so nice. I have read a few threads like this, were people wanted to vent or get some encuragment. I am pretty sure that a lot of people who were going to quit read some of these threads and decided to go on and learn, because there was a wonderful comunity out there were they can get help, learn things new, and just talk to someone who knows.

Thanks everyone who has helped me with my quistions I am now riding.

Underdog keep going, you will learn to ride. Just keep on trying.


The people here may be able to help. You gave your age. How about weight, previous athletic experience, fitness level, and what you are riding?

Possible problem areas:

  • Seat too low (knees almost straight with pedal down)
  • Not sitting down while riding (legs tire out fast)
  • Poor posture (sit up straight)

Try to get out to watch more unicyclists if there are any in your area.

Has anyone ever posted a video of their riding for experienced riders to critique? Might be a way to get some help.

I’ve been thinking about doing that with a few skills that I am working on learning.

I used to be fairly introverted, and never liked social situations at all and feared the thought of people looking at me and judging me. But after riding for a few years I’ve gotten used to the attention and now I can ride anywhere without feeling anxious.

If you feel anxious while riding, I would find a secluded spot to ride and practice there. If what you’re doing doesn’t work and you can’t ride far, try altering your technique slightly each time, and remember what works and what didn’t. Eventually you will gain confidence as you improve your skills and the attention wil not be so troublesome.

Dont’ feel bad buddy, i’m in the same boat as you. I’m 45 and I have been working on riding on a daily basis for 2 months. My longest ride is only about 40 feet. I’m riding a 20" uni which is a bit small for me as I am 6’4", I am going to get a 24" soon however. I share in your determination however, I will not give up. I know how frustrating this is. Imagine this , my 14 son started the day I did and could ride in 2 hours, he can now bunny hop, jump over small obstacles and idle. You wanna talk about envy?

That’s a good idea. When I’m having trouble with something sometimes I will film myself trying it and compare myself to people who can do it. It can be helpful.

Glad your not giving up. I got my first uni about 3 weeks ago. Before it arrived i was sure i would be able to pick it up in about a week or so because thats what ussualy happens with any object manipulation i start to learn. Then it got here and i tried and i was sure it was gonna take me months to learn how to competenty ride. Since then ive been riding for an hour or 2 almost every day. In just the past few days ive been going about 60 feet and im so glad i stuck with it because when your leaning forward just right and pedaling at the right speed, you feel like your just gliding across the ground. Its an amazing feeling, must of been kinda what Harry Potter felt like when he first got on the broom.

Anywho, the thing that really helped me was that i kept telling myself to lean forward and put as much weight as possible on the seat. Otherwise i will try to sit straight up and put pressure on the pedals and then i can only go a few feet. Keep at it


Returnig wawe of…

Yes…returning wawe of unicycling IGNORANCE :stuck_out_tongue: !
This happens to me. I keep gaining and loosing various skills.
My ego is battered to pulp. I am intro-extrovert so, nothing is stable with me. HOWEVER… thanks to the steatements of People like YOU I decided to keep my flag up and not to justify my unsteadiness ,with creeping age(69yo by now).
EPILOGUE. Inspite assuming of having ‘silent’ stroke (and trying to sell my trophy unicycle) the trend is reversing:D !
Thanks 4 your courrage SUPERdog .:smiley:


It took me an awfully long time to learn
and like Witold says skills come and go
I suspect that some of us (“mature folks”) have inner ear problems

nonetheless it’s worth it! the only problem is riding withdrawal
when the doctor says “you should not ride by now”

relax, enjoy,

bear (extrovert)

Disregard this sort of advices.Ha!Life is 4 living.U cannot uni after extinction. I am a doctor WB and…a hell of a lot better than unicyclist:D:D After bilateral arhroscopies and seen,by me, some degree of wear and tear + partial meniscectomies(right and left) my knees stopped to be a problem due to unicycling.:smiley:
All the best

Re: Ponderings from a very slow learner

The important thing is that you ARE still at it - nobody is making you do it (presumably), so you must be enjoying the challenge.

I’ve been at it for ten months (on and off, more continuously since about July) and although I can mount, ride and steer pretty well now I’m finding it very slow (slower than most others I think) to pick up skills like idling and riding backwards.

Yes, most of the time, but oddly I don’t mind the attention that the unicycle attracts - perhaps I’m just used to the abuse from years of cycling - the unicycle seems to attract more favourable attention, apart from the “where’s the other half of the bike” muppets.

If you’re still enjoying it then stick at it mate - it’ll be worth it.

Oh, BTW, I’m a decade or so younger than you and s7ev0 (35).


the kewlest thing about threads like this one is a couple of weeks after they’re originally posted, the poster returns with this radiantly triumphant post, something along the lines of IDIDIT!!!
it reminds me of my own joy at managing to get across the parking lot of the complex i stayed in at the time
it’s the kind of feeling that can only be shared with people that have experienced it for themselves
it is also one of the few examples of the kind of feeling that is vividly reexperienced everytime u’re in the company of someone who’s just recently experienced it
it’s worth it
hang in there

thanx for trusting us enough to vent your frustration here
and put your weigh on the seat

Re: Ponderings from a very slow learner

Underdog-- Chin-up, pal! I’ve a hunch that with a minor adjustment
(or two), you’ll be pedalin’ miles-n-miles. John Foss’s three
suggestions hit the bull’s eye, I think. Do a bit of tinkerin’ with
your unicycle, with a special focus on experimenting with seat height
and tire pressure. Try pedalin’ in a different area, perhaps where
the substrate is a wee bit smoother, flatter, and where there are
fewer real (and imagined) distractions. Check to make sure that your
wheel spins smoothly (i.e., hopefully your bearing tension isn’t too
tight). And please, please, please make sure that you’re remembering
to breath when pedalin’ that uni. (Some of us forget to do that when
we’re stressed!). You’ll get it! --carl (age 52, North Dakota)

Re: Ponderings from a very slow learner

You’ve answered your own question.

You know the saying: “Not bird, not plane, nor even frog…It’s just little old me; Underdog”.

You just need an avatar: