# Quick Q about one foot riding..

Hey everyone

Anyways, I have a quick questionâ€¦ When I try (very loosely used term) to ride
one footed, I find that my weight as a result of the jerky motion of moving the
one foot in that way throws me offâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the problemâ€¦? Is it just smooth out
the leg motion of the one foot or is it to counteract the balance
differentiation?

Daniel

RE: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

> Anyways, I have a quick questionâ€¦ When I try (very loosely used term) to ride
> one footed, I find that my weight as a result of the jerky motion of moving
> the one foot in that way throws me offâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the problemâ€¦? Is it just
> smooth out the leg motion of the one foot or is it to counteract the balance
> differentiation?

The secret to one foot riding is getting the pedaling foot over the top. I guess
thatâ€™s not a secret, but thatâ€™s the hard part. It takes a nice smooth pedal
stroke, and very light pressure on the pedal as it goes over the top. All your
important input happens on the downstroke (the only time you can accelerate) and
the upstroke (the only time you can slow down).

If you watch a one-footing unicyclist from the side, you will see that the
unicycle bobs front to back as the person pedals. Like the wobble when you pedal
fast, it can be minimized to almost nothing, but I think itâ€™s basically always
there. The wheel moves forward a little bit on the downstroke (in relation to
your center of mass) and back on the upstroke.

The other advice thatâ€™s been offered is good. Hereâ€™s my input and
variation on it:

Start by learning to idle (rock, hover) with one foot. If you canâ€™t idle (rock,
hover), nowâ€™s a good time to learn. itâ€™s a much more important skill than one
footing and I consider it part of the â€śfoundationâ€ť of real unicycling. When you
learn this basic one footing, you will see where the foot can apply power, as
well as where it canâ€™t.

Where I differ from one of the previous responders is that you should not learn
to ride one foot from an idle. Though itâ€™s less scary, itâ€™s several times more
difficult than doing it from a ride (IMHO of course). To ride away from a one
foot idle, you have to give a very strong power stroke, followed by a very low
speed pedal-over-the-top. That requires a very light touch that is easier
learned by doing it while riding.

Ride along with one foot doing as much of the work as possible. You will find
you can lift your non-dominant foot as it goes over the top of the pedal stroke.
Itâ€™s not doing anything up there anyway. As you get more comfortable doing this,
you can increase the time that foot is off the pedal. The last part left will be
where the pedaling foot goes over the top. You have to keep a real light touch,
and at the same time keep enough pressure to have your foot stay in contact with
the pedal.

At first, most people one-foot with their non-pedaling foot just held above the
pedal, where itâ€™s ready to jump back there if necessary. Once you get more
comfortable doing it, you will find it a lot more comfortable to put the
non-pedaling foot on the fork crown. This allows you to relax that leg. Then
when the pedaling leg gets tired, you can switch!

I highly recommend learning it with the other foot (later). Your non-dominant
side will actually learn it faster than your dominant side did, assuming you
learn the dominant side first. Though I donâ€™t try to do the higher level skills
with either foot, basic one foot riding is something thatâ€™s real useful if it
can be done on both sides. When I used to train for racing, Iâ€™d always do a lap
of the track with one foot, then another lap of the track with the other. Those
were the daysâ€¦

In 1988 for the now-defunct Compulsory Artistic competition at UNICON IV, I even
learned to do a backwards figure-8 one footed with each foot. Now that took a
long time! But if I warm up enough, I can still do it.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

â€śMy uncle John is a Unicyclist. Not a Scientist.â€ť - Austin Miller, age 8

RE: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

I donâ€™t really understand your question, but hereâ€™s some tips from when I learnt
one-footing:

First of all, learn to idle 1-footed with your unused foot resting on the top of
the fork. Youâ€™ll find that this foot is quite useful for pushing against the
frame to maintain balance. You can then try riding one footed by starting to
hover and slowly increasing the size of the oscillation until you push down
really hard and start riding forwards. THis is kind of scary though.

You can also try riding along at a reasonable speed and taking a foot off and
placing it on the frame. This is the way most of my friends learnt it. If youâ€™re
putting your right foot on the frame, take it off as the right pedal is coming
up: this places you in the power position with your left foot, so that you can
get a strong push with your left foot to start you one footing. For this first
revolution, you donâ€™t actually need to push very hard though, cause momentum
will carry you through.

Mostly I learnt without holding onto anything, except for the method where you
start idling and increase your rocking size until you push forwards. Because of
the speed you travel at when one footing, I found that itâ€™s difficult to hold
onto anything.

hope this helps nic

``````            ----------
``````

From: â€śDaniel Craigâ€ť <danielcraig@home.com> Sent: Friday, 7 April 2000 13:04 To:
<unicycling@winternet.com> Subject: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

``````    &lt;&lt;File: Mime.822&gt;&gt; Hey everyone :)
``````

Anyways, I have a quick questionâ€¦ When I try (very loosely used term) to ride
one footed, I find that my weight as a result of the jerky motion of moving the
one foot in that way throws me offâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the problemâ€¦? Is it just smooth out
the leg motion of the one foot or is it to counteract the balance
differentiation?

Daniel

Re: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

Daniel Craig wrote:

> Anyways, I have a quick questionâ€¦ When I try (very loosely used term) to ride
> one footed, I find that my weight as a result of the jerky motion of moving
> the one foot in that way throws me offâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the problemâ€¦? Is it just
> smooth out the leg motion of the one foot or is it to counteract the balance
> differentiation?

Your problem is that you have too much weight on your feet/or foot! This is a
simple statement and needs a little explanation. If you can imagine rolling the
unicycle wheel (ultimate) and it will roll for quite a way without any input
before it stops, in fact it will probably fall over first. You need to add very
power into the unicycle to keep it moving, this goes for one and two footed.
Here is a little exercise, try riding in a straight line across a hall and
monitor wheel swing and the pattern of the wheel on the ground if you can. Then
try it again concentrating on placing your weight on your seat and taking your
weight off your pedals, to do this move your feet in circles and not apply very
localised force on the down stroke. You will notice that yours swing and pattern
will be straighter and smoother. Now for one footedâ€¦ You need to apply the
force to the pedal gently not aggressively and again move your foot in a circle.
I would recommend starting from riding, try lifting your foot off the pedal for
a limited period only, 1/4 turn, then 1 & 1/4 turn, then 2 1/4 turn ,etc. The
foot leaves on the up stoke near the top and recovering when the pedal is just
past top on the down stroke. I hope this helps

Roger

`````` The UK's Unicycle Source <a href="http://www.unicycle.uk.com/">http://www.unicycle.uk.com/</a>
``````

Re: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

Greetings

In message â€śRE: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦â€ť, John Foss wroteâ€¦

Bravo! This is an excellent analysis of one-foot riding. I suggest that this
does not get lost in the depths of our disks. It is certainly worthy of being
included in the unicycling FAQ, with perhaps just a bit of editing to take out
the small talk.

>> Anyways, I have a quick questionâ€¦ When I try (very loosely used term) to
>> ride one footed, I find that my weight as a result of the jerky motion of
>> moving the one foot in that way throws me offâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the problemâ€¦? Is it
>> just smooth out the leg motion of the one foot or is it to counteract the
>> balance differentiation?
>
>The secret to one foot riding is getting the pedaling foot over the top. I
>guess thatâ€™s not a secret, but thatâ€™s the hard part. It takes a nice smooth
>pedal stroke, and very light pressure on the pedal as it goes over the top.
>All your important input happens on the downstroke (the only time you can
>accelerate) and the upstroke (the only time you can slow down).
>
>If you watch a one-footing unicyclist from the side, you will see that the
>unicycle bobs front to back as the person pedals. Like the wobble when you
>pedal fast, it can be minimized to almost nothing, but I think itâ€™s basically
>always there. The wheel moves forward a little bit on the downstroke (in
>relation to your center of mass) and back on the upstroke.
>
>The other advice thatâ€™s been offered is good. Hereâ€™s my input and
>variation on it:
>
>Start by learning to idle (rock, hover) with one foot. If you canâ€™t idle
>(rock, hover), nowâ€™s a good time to learn. itâ€™s a much more important skill
>than one footing and I consider it part of the â€śfoundationâ€ť of real
>unicycling. When you learn this basic one footing, you will see where the foot
>can apply power, as well as where it canâ€™t.
>
>Where I differ from one of the previous responders is that you should not
>learn to ride one foot from an idle. Though itâ€™s less scary, itâ€™s several
>times more difficult than doing it from a ride (IMHO of course). To ride away
>from a one foot idle, you have to give a very strong power stroke, followed by
>a very low speed pedal-over-the-top. That requires a very light touch that is
>easier learned by doing it while riding.
>
>Ride along with one foot doing as much of the work as possible. You will find
>you can lift your non-dominant foot as it goes over the top of the pedal
>stroke. Itâ€™s not doing anything up there anyway. As you get more comfortable
>doing this, you can increase the time that foot is off the pedal. The last
>part left will be where the pedaling foot goes over the top. You have to keep
>a real light touch, and at the same time keep enough pressure to have your
>foot stay in contact with the pedal.
>
>At first, most people one-foot with their non-pedaling foot just held above
>the pedal, where itâ€™s ready to jump back there if necessary. Once you get more
>comfortable doing it, you will find it a lot more comfortable to put the
>non-pedaling foot on the fork crown. This allows you to relax that leg. Then
>when the pedaling leg gets tired, you can switch!
>
>I highly recommend learning it with the other foot (later). Your non-dominant
>side will actually learn it faster than your dominant side did, assuming you
>learn the dominant side first. Though I donâ€™t try to do the higher level
>skills with either foot, basic one foot riding is something thatâ€™s real useful
>if it can be done on both sides. When I used to train for racing, Iâ€™d always
>do a lap of the track with one foot, then another lap of the track with the
>other. Those were the daysâ€¦
>
>In 1988 for the now-defunct Compulsory Artistic competition at UNICON IV, I
>even learned to do a backwards figure-8 one footed with each foot. Now that
>took a long time! But if I warm up enough, I can still do it.
>
>Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com
>
>â€śMy uncle John is a Unicyclist. Not a Scientist.â€ť - Austin Miller, age 8
>
>

Stay on top, Jack Halpern, IUF Vice President Website: http://www.kanji.org

Re: Quick Q about one foot ridingâ€¦

unicycleSourceUK <Roger@unicycle.uk.com> wrote:
: I would recommend starting from riding, try lifting your foot off the pedal
: for a limited period only, 1/4 turn, then 1 & 1/4 turn, then 2 1/4 turn ,etc.
: The foot leaves on the up stoke near the top and recovering when the pedal is
: just past top on the down stroke.

Thats exactly how I learnt to do it, and my one footing is fairly smooth now and
I almost always get my foot back on the pedel afterwards coz of all the practice
i had whilst learning with this method.

sarah