Riding backwards and the idle.

Any tips? I searched and couldn’t find really any relevent posts, perhaps I’m blind.

Point it out?

Anyways, Subject line help please.



for me riding backwards was sort of like learning to ride regular. but it went a little easier. You just hold onto a wall or something and try it. Once you have backwards and forewords riding down then idling should come easier.

Right, 'cause two of the most basic unicycling skills (besides the free mount and riding forwards) couldn’t possibly have been covered on a forum that’s been around for 15ish years. :roll_eyes:

Do a keyword search on “idling” and select “Search Titles Only” and you’ll find 85 threads on the subject.

just try it over and over again until u get it just like learning to ride. i got idling down and can go about 7 feet backwards

For me riding backwards was sort of like learning to ride regular, but it was HARDER.

Backwards riding is awkward. I think I learned to idle before I worked on backwards riding.

(Pay no attention to the man with the pointy head.)

Cool, thank you, found them. I hadn’t considered the advanced search; like I said, blind.

OT: I’ve been trying along walls with the riding backwards… too much snow out here so I’ll have to postpone it for a bit. But I was trying to the end of last fall before snowfall. I’ll get it eventually, wondered if there was any panacea to help, that’s all. Someone else suggested letting yourself overcompensate while idling.

Thanks for the comments all.



Idling took me quite a long time to get for some reason (and I still can’t do it very well on the unicycles I usually ride (26" and 36")). On a 20" I’m not bad now, and I think what finally clicked for me is that your head has to stay almost still - from the side you almost look like a pendulum swinging from your head, if you can imagine that. On a bigger (heavier) wheel you need to go with the natural (slower than you expect) rhythm of the wheel, but on a small light wheel you can force it to go at whatever pace you like, which I think makes it much easier.

Riding backwards I actually find quite easy in itself, but I find it very hard to look back to see where I’m going without falling off or veering wildly to the side, which makes it pretty impractical outside of a nice clear gym! That’s the hard part I reckon, along with getting over the fear of falling backwards on your arse or wrists.

EDIT: One thing that can help with the fear of riding backwards is to do a sort of “super idle”, where you do a whole revolution back then forwards, then increase it to two revs, etc. That way you always know you’re not going far enough back to hit anything, but you get the feel of going backwards.


I just wanted to add that I learned to idle long before I ever learned backwards riding.
I imagine it would have helped, but they are two different skills,really.

I learned to idle while watching stuff on the box. Idling while idle.

For technique, just make it up. The better you get, the less you have to do. I guess the goal would be a perfect motionless still stand.

Riding backwards is a lot of fun. A 20 with a low seat is the hot set up, as it reduces the chance of landing on your back.

I am lucky there is a park near by with a 4’ fence next to a sidewalk by playing fields that is about 250 yards long. It is fun to ride there, because I keep setting new records. It gets more exciting as I pass a record point.

Ride up to a wall stop touch it then start to ride backwards. Make a mark were you got to or just remember. Each time try to beat it. Eventually youll just ride. I did this and i can just ride backwards until i get bored.

As far as idling with the pedals parallel to the ground, do you stand on the pedals? Or still sit on the seat? I find it really hard to balance while sitting with the pedals parallel.