riding backwards

I have been riding a unicycle for about one year, accept I cant figure how to ride backwards. Do you have any ideas on how to make it easier for me? :thinking:

hI,

I have been working on riding backwards for three months and it it s coming along.

I started off leaning up against a post and pushing off. I just rode until a fell off or dumped the uni. Those first days were plagued with 2 and three foot runs.

I can now ride up to 40 feet backwards but still need lots of practice for consistancy.

Eventually, i got tired of the post, so I just starte riding forwards a few yards, stopped and tried to ride backwards. Gradually, I began to ride farther and farther backwards.

Practice in a parking lot after hours or on weekend mornings. But check for glass on the ground. I wouldn’t worry about looking backwards, just be aware of any moving cars and you will be fine.
Starte looking backwards when you get more comfortable.

some people will say to learn to idle first. I got soar knees doing this, so i did the above instead.

hope this helps. You will get better advice from more experienced riders for sure.

good luck and just keep trying!

I think Rod has given you good advice. I would add be sure to tuck your shoelaces into your shoes. It’s a bad thing to get them wrapped around the axle while going backwards.

I learned to ride backwards at the same time that I taught a friend to ride frontwards. Interestingly, we both advanced at about the same rate taking turns on my Oxford unicycle so I learned to do it in about 3 days in 2 or 3 hour sessions each day. I never looked back. I still can’t look back and, 30 years later, I’m just starting to learn how to turn going backwards. It didn’t take that long to learn, I just didn’t try to develop any new skills for that long. I’ll have to learn to look backwards now.

I liked (and used) Rod’s approach of riding forward to a controlled stop and then riding backwards from there. I found that I tended to try to start going too fast and, that curse of all learning riders, took my weight off of the seat.
As I’m learning to idle I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself to put my weight on the seat. When I do, I relax and things become much easier. Then I forget again of course.

Good luck.

> I have been riding a unicycle for about one year, accept I cant figure
> how to ride backwards. Do you have any ideas on how to make it easier
> for me? :thinking:

Turn the pedals in the other direction. :slight_smile:

Good advice has been offered by some others. I remember learning backward
and idling at about the same time. They both involve the transition from
forward to backward, and I consider them about equal in difficulty. I
learned against a wall.

As mentioned by others, when you get going backward there is a tendency to
go too fast. This can be nasty when you run out of speed so avoid it. If
you learn to go backward, you have to practice how to stop backward
equally. Like learning to ride a motorcycle (which I used to teach for a
living), many people teach their friends how to go and how to shift, but
don’t spend any time on how to stop. Stopping is where most motorcycle
drops happen.

Note that your body can bend at the waist in the direction you’re
traveling when you ride forward, but this is not the case when you ride
backward. The body can still only bend forward. If you get leaned back too
far, it’s harder to recover from than if you do the same going forward.

Backward is scary, because you can’t see where you’re going. Don’t let
this be an excuse for running into things. Make sure you always know
what’s around you before you go. Remember that people will have an uncanny
tendency to walk into your path when you’re practicing, and if you’re in
an empty parking lot with one light pole in the middle of it, that’s where
you will always end up. They have very strong magnets in them or
something.

Expect to spend about 2/3 the amount of time it took you to learn to ride
forward, and just plug away.

Good luck, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“Freedom is not free”

John-

That lamp pole was in a different county for me and I still hit it several times.

Hi,

I’d like to contribute my two yen to the riding backward discussion by
quoting a sction from my booklet ANYONE CAN RIDE A UNICYCLE

4 - 3 RIDING BACKWARDS

To become an outstanding unicyclist you must master riding backwards.
Riding only forward all the time may result in your picking up bad
balancing habits that may be hard to correct.

There are several ways of learning how to ride backwards, three of which
are introduced here. IL you have mastered the main skills up to now,
particularly double idling, riding backwards will not present any
special problems.

To ensure safety, you should change to forward riding before dismounting.
To prevent falls, always strive to maintain complete control. A common
mistake is to ride too fast.

Posture is extremely important. The upper body should be kept more or less
straight, but bending slightly forward at the waist increases stability,
especially at faster speeds. Try to pedal smoothly and maintain control at
all times. Considerable practice may be required before pedalling
backwards feels natural, but if you follow the methods introduced here you
will find it is not as nearly as difficult as you anticipated.

Method 1

One way of learning to ride backwards is to ride side by side holding
hands with another unicyclist. Both riders stop and without dismounting
pedal half a revolution backward then resume riding forward. After several
times, try a full revolution backward before resuming forward riding. You
will soon find that you can both pedal backwards for considerable
distances. Try to let go of each other’s hands briefly for longer and
longer periods until you are confident you can ride by yourself. The side
by side support given each other in this method enables both riders to
concentrate on the forward-back balance and hastens learning by
eliminating a lot of unnecessary falls. Both riders should remind each
other to maintain proper posture.

Method 2

You can also learn to ride backwards without a partner. Ride along a wall
or fence, using your hand to steady you until you back pedal half a
revolution of the pedals at a time. Increase the back pedalling to a full
revolution of the pedals and try to depend on the wall as little as
possible for balance. You will soon find you have it mastered and no
longer need the wall.

Method 3

Another method is to ride along side by side with another unicyclist.
Rider A speeds up a little and cuts diagonally across in front of rider B,
takes right hand in right hand, and, as rider A’s left pedal goes down
makes half a turn (180 degree) to the right and immediately starts
pedalling backwards. In this way, rider B is in a good position to give
rider A support as rider A continues to ride backwards while rider B rides
forward. After a few revolutions in one direction both riders stop with
out dismounting and let the other rider take a turn at pedalling
backwards.

After learning the basic technique of riding backwards by any of the above
three methods, mount against a support such as a wall or fence Position
yourself. so you can ride backwards away from the wall.

On the first attempt, ride backwards or complete revolution, stop, then
ride forward again

Keep adding an additional turn of the wheel, always recovering forward. If
control is lost, go back through this step again. Try to increase the
distance each time.

Next, free mount the unicycle, ride forward, stop, then ride backwards
a full revolution. Stop then pedal forward again. Continue adding one
revolution each time, and always recover by riding forward. Practice
till you can ride for considerable distances. Always strive for
complete control.

Once you can ride backwards in a more or less straight line, try backward
turns. Start with gradual turns, leaning into the turn. Twisting your neck
and shoulders in the direction of the turn helps make it smoother. Keep
increasing the sharpness of the turn. Backward turns will not come easy at
first. Practice turning in both directions.

Stay on top, Jack Halpern Executive Director for International Development
International Unicycling Federation, Inc. Website: http://www.kanji.org

“Booger 69” <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:9qihvj$28e$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu
> I have been riding a unicycle for about one year, accept I cant figure
> how to ride backwards. Do you have any ideas on how to make it easier
> for me? :thinking:

I’m just starting to learn how. I’ve been able to do a full reverse turn,
but that’s about it. Seems like I do better if I avoid using a support,
pedal smoothly, and don’t think about falling off.

I’ve heard the advice that immediately before attempting to ride
backwards, do a few fast runs backwards in the same direction (also
without looking backwards). Funny as it may feel (or look!), it takes away
some of the scare.

Klaas Bil

On 17 Oct 2001 09:02:26 -0700, john_foss@asinet.com (John Foss) wrote:

>> I have been riding a unicycle for about one year, accept I cant figure
>> how to ride backwards. Do you have any ideas on how to make it easier
>> for me? :thinking:
>
>Turn the pedals in the other direction. :slight_smile:
>
>Good advice has been offered by some others. I remember learning backward
>and idling at about the same time. They both involve the transition from
>forward to backward, and I consider them about equal in difficulty. I
>learned against a wall.
>
>As mentioned by others, when you get going backward there is a tendency
>to go too fast. This can be nasty when you run out of speed so avoid it.
>If you learn to go backward, you have to practice how to stop
>backward equally. Like learning to ride a motorcycle (which I used to
>teach for a living), many people teach their friends how to go and how to
>shift, but don’t spend any time on how to stop. Stopping is where most
>motorcycle drops happen.
>
>Note that your body can bend at the waist in the direction you’re
>traveling when you ride forward, but this is not the case when you
>ride backward. The body can still only bend forward. If you get leaned
>back too far, it’s harder to recover from than if you do the same
>going forward.
>
>Backward is scary, because you can’t see where you’re going. Don’t let
>this be an excuse for running into things. Make sure you always know
>what’s around you before you go. Remember that people will have an
>uncanny tendency to walk into your path when you’re practicing, and if
>you’re in an empty parking lot with one light pole in the middle of it,
>that’s where you will always end up. They have very strong magnets in
>them or something.
>
>Expect to spend about 2/3 the amount of time it took you to learn to ride
>forward, and just plug away.
>
>Good luck, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
>www.unicycling.com
>
>
>“Freedom is not free”


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “bomb, Sudan, Bagdad”

Jack,

How to obtain your book? (I am in the Netherlands.)

Klaas Bil

On 17 Oct 2001 10:12:42 -0700, jack@kanji.org (Jack Halpern) wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I’d like to contribute my two yen to the riding backward discussion by
>quoting a sction from my booklet ANYONE CAN RIDE A UNICYCLE


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “bomb, Sudan, Bagdad”