Riding backwards

I have been unicycling for about 3 weeks now, and can ride, freemount, hop, and turn. I have been working on riding backwards. So far, I can confidently ride backwards using a wall for support, but when I let go of the wall I fall almost immediately. Any Pointers?

you should learn idling first if you havent done so, that might help:)

Most tricks simply come down to practice. But with backwards a few tips are lean forward a little bit and set goals. Try and keep being your previous distance.

Good Luck.

To be quite honest I could 540 unispin before I could ride backwards. Its easy though learn it the same way you learned to ride forward. Hold onto stuff and just pedal backwards.

What uninorcal said. Plus, practice falling off to the rear (onto your feet) to get used to the idea. Riding backwards is scary, but feeling comfortable about dismounts to the rear will make it a little less so.

Also, don’t let yourself speed up too much, that’s a common error in learning backwards. Purposely practice speeding up and slowing down to get used to it. Then work on turns, and looking where you’re going.

I learned idling and backwards kind of together. They go hand in hand, so it makes sense to work on both.

Riding backwards and idling are closely reated skills.

I learned something that I once read of as “the super-idle” where you do one or more complete revoluitions forward and backwards.

To idle, concentrate on the bottom foot, and look at something a long way away.

To ride backwards, start from an idle, and look at a fixed point 5-10 metres in front of you and ride away from it. If you ride any significant distance, you will need to transfer your gaze every few metres to another fixed point.

For balance skills such as idling and reversing it helps if your gaze is fixed on something some distance away. It sort of takes your conscious mind out of the equation and lets your brain make the necessary adjustments more quickly. It’s a bit like the way that more work gets done in the office when the manager isn’t there to tell you how to do it.

what the other guys said re the backwards/idling connection, and also - my backwards riding improved significantly once I started practicing idling with my weak leg as well as my dominant leg, no doubt it evened things up.

I found the hardest part about riding backwards was getting over the whole ‘OMG I’m going backwards!’ panic. But once I stopped psyching yourself out about going backwards it got a lot easier. Plus I know the area where I practice like the back of my hand, so I can be confident about not running into things (it still happened, but only once). But like everyone else said, it’s pretty much the same as learning to ride forwards.

Just when you think you have the whole “uni” experience down (riding forward) you have to start over with backwards. I remember getting control of the side to side balance while going forward. Then that became an issue again with backwards. I’m still not consistent with riding backwards. Sometimes I can go for several meters, other times a few revolutions. I have stopped practicing out in front of my house. It’s a lot harder on my 24" with pinned pedals than my 20" with smooth pedals. Both my 20" unis are out on loan. I’m trying to convert people so I’ll have others to ride with.

Practice is the only real advice I can offer.

In Reverse

Knowing the practice area well as been mentioned & merits repeating. You can’t be concerned with dodging obstacles if they are present. Besides, you may not be able to see them.

Riding backwards is potentially more hazardous than most other sorts of riding as falling backwards is not as controlled as we would like. And your body tends to be twisted when you fall.

Patience rewards and then it’s big fun as you improve!