Riding one-footed

I did some riding, looks like I do both:

  • Dismounts off the front, I land on the pedal foot. It slides naturally off the pedal as the unicycle moves away behind me.

  • Dismounts off the back, I use the free foot. All my planned dismounts are off the back, but the unplanned ones didn’t seem any trickier. It feels the same as my normal dismount off the back, really.

And I never land both feet together.

I’m aware that gliding is mostly done from wheel walk downhill, where peeps sit on the seat with both hands out. The chance of the uni slipping away from you, where you end up sitting on ur bum is I think bigger than having both hands on the seat and both feet off the pedals. with both feet in the air the chance of landing on your feet when you lose balance is much bigger. On youtube I’ve seen both ways, but naturally from peeps who were very experienced.

I had a nasty fall last year with a freewheel unicycle, where the uni shot away under me and I hadn’t learned to use the brake for counter balance and I prefer not to experience that again, so I won’t focus on wheel walk. I don’t see this happen for (n)one-foot riding.

Jeez ur doing very weĺl for a first day. I am trying now and the thought of taking my foot off already makes me hop off. Respect and a bit of jealousy;)

Are you comfortable at one-footed idling? I’d say it is an important prerequisite. And I have spent some time before not taking the foot off, but really lightening the pressure during 1 rev. I was scared to do that until I understood (at one-footed idling) that the unicycle wont shoot from under me if I apply all my weight at the down pedal. So I can try to do a rev, and then brake the unicycle by applying excessive weight if needed.

To be honest I can’t even idle. I never saw the need for it as I would just as easily step off and static mount again.

As I rarely ride my 19" trials uni, I decided to first ride about an hour on it through the park and through town, occasionally making some hop and riding again, also continuously shifting my feet, as especially my right foot is too close to the crank so it rubs my shoe.

Since you first learned to one-foot idle, as you said, you already went through the part of letting go with one foot. Did you do the one foot idling while holding on to something?

The only little victory I made was ride off a kerb with the trials. I think it is easier with bigger wheels and I expect the uni to start bouncing, but with some speed it was much easier. I’ve done this before, but some exercises I will just have to keep doing, or I lose confidence.

So all in all I spent 1.5 hour on the trials and it felt like a good work-out even though I didn’t once manage to take off my foot :slight_smile:

Setonix, (imho) idling improves greatly your control of the unicycle on low speed, and it is a good start for agressive braking.

Yes, I learnt to idle one-footed (with the other foot on the crown) by holding to a lamppost, but I’d not recommend doing so without learning to idle reliably two-footed.

By the way, my average run now ~20 revs and I do not even care to count anymore, I just know the size of the tennis court :slight_smile:

I disagree. Not that it’s the perfect way or anything, but this winter I did quite a few indoor sessions with 2 other unicyclists. One could one-foot idle, although I was generally a more experienced unicyclist (ok, mostly from muni and downhill which is different). But I simply couldn’t seem to get started with one-foot idling (my 2-foot idling was pretty good).

But one-footed riding I started gradually and made progress. After I could already ride one-footed for 20+ revs (strangely on my right foot only), I then started one-foot idling (strangely, then on my LEFT foot) and made pretty fast progress. Then I added right-foot idling. But left one-footed riding is still way hard for me. Strange.

For me I have the strange circumstance that I’m right-footed so much more coordinated on the right, but my right leg is weaker due to a torn ACL (repaired after 2 surgeries). I think that explains some of the strange right-left things. I suspect I could 2-foot idle better on the left side as the right leg was too weak, but then needed to learn one-footed with my more coordinated right leg…

After a fair bit of practice my left one-foot idle is pretty good (I think my record was 100 revs) and my right one-foot not bad (I think my record was 80) but my average much lower than left, as my right is just not so strong (although unicycling and in particular one-footed have helper build my right leg up, as in other sports like cycling I was favoring the left and compensating so the right stayed weak). Right one-foot riding is ok at 30-40 (can ride circle but not quite figure eight). But left one-foot is still horrible with only 2-3 revs!!! I think it’s mostly mental!


Also agree that idiling improves a lot. Even in muni it’s really helpful: I can idle on my 29 on DH trails, often idle at the top of something steep to asses the ideal line and then go. And idle with backwards riding is also helpful, indoors freestyle obviously and high jump, but also for muni.

Oh: I can only one-foot with my foot on the crown. With my leg hanging I can only do a few revs and then lose my balance.

I haven’t spent much time on learning tricks with the uni since I got married and my wife moved to NL with her daughter. She is Thai. She only “allows” me 1 trip a week, unless of course I ride to work by uni, which I occasionally do. With only 1 trip, I mostly choose to just ride 20ish kms or shorter if I go offroad.
Idling I could do indoors, though then my wife will complain that I have the uni in the house. And yeah she is quite bossy :-). Once our daughter is a bit older, I might get her to try and ride too.

Well, to be more precise, I’d say that (normal) idling is an important prerequisite. One-footed idling gave me a psychological comfort of knowing that I won’t break any bones if I’ll let one foot off the pedal. And indeed, I did not fell even once in thousands of attempts.

Well, it took me one month and a half (and one tire worn down), but now I can reliably ride figures 8 one-footed. Still can not put the free foot on the crown though.

As a side-effect, I learned to ride (two-feet riding!) figures 8 with Ø < 1,5 m :roll_eyes:
Now the only thing holding me back from the iuf level 3 is riding with stomach on the seat. It is super weird and painful. My seatpost is too low, I guess. As far as I can understand, stomach riding is designed to be a training for seat-out riding. I can do seat drags, but not the stomach riding :thinking:

Yay, I can confirm that the IUF levels 3 and 4 are reachable! Here is my one-footed riding:

And here is the lvl 3:

However, to qualify for the level 5 I need to learn wheel walking, and it seems to be a tough one…

Wow. This is encouraging. Congrats!

I’m feeling so close to riding one-legged.
But I’ve been feeling that way for a while…

Anyway, thanks for the videos. More motivation :slight_smile:

I do not know if it is the case for all people, but I never had any breakthrough while learning one-footed riding. I mean, when I first learned to unicycle normally, after first 10 meters I was immediately able to ride for 50 meters and in few days time 10 km. Learning one-footed was really incremental for me. Each day a couple of revs more, less UPD, more consistent results. No breakthroughs, just slow but steady improvement.

My experience with one-footed riding was the same: all progress was gradual.

Returning to the pedals is even trickier. In total, it took me 13 months. I probably could have done it much faster, but in hindsight that’s what I almost always think after learning a new skill. With this particular skill, being less cautious and taking a few hard falls on my back might have been helpful, but that’s not the path I chose, except once when I tried it in the rain.

13 months… Scary! :astonished:
Anyways, won’t be quicker for me:

  1. I do not want any nasty falls
  2. Once the heatwave is gone and I can put my jeans back on, I’ll switch to UW :sunglasses:

Going for short wheel walks, which always became wheel runs after about 4 steps, only took me a day or two. Three months later, I was doing practice sessions of 10 walks of at least 10 steps each. Steady progress, but quite slow. I am sure some people would improve a lot faster.

For regular, two-footed riding, we develop a repertoire of techniques to avoid UPDs. Things can get quite sketchy and we still stay on. My experience with one-foot riding, however, is that if I’m leaning too far forward or backward, I’m going to UPD. So, one-footed riding relies on remaining more in-control, while for two-footed, there are a lot of ways to regain control. The pedals on my 20" have gotten so smooth that I no longer feel comfortable practicing one-footed riding. No doubt my technique has slipped back, because I was never that good at one-footed-riding to begin with.

For wheel walking, last week I discovered the key to making the transition back to the pedals. It’s not very elegant, but it works. As a prerequisite, I had to get comfortable looking straight down at my feet and pedals while doing the wheel walk. I focus on one of the pedals, watching it slowly make its way around the circle. At some point, that pedal is about to go over the top (12:00). That’s when I put the corresponding foot on it. But the pedal hasn’t quite reached 12:00, so the final “push” of the remaining-foot-on-the-tire sends the foot on the pedal past the 12:00 point, where it starts pushing the uni forward. Then the second foot comes down. More accurately, the pedal crashes into the second foot.

song, I recall you explained your method of transition in another post.

haqreu, keep up the good work; you’re killing it!

Thank you all for your encouragement!

Today I have landed quite noticeably on my bum during an attempt of WW. Nothing serious, just a reminder of being more prudent. 100 kg and 40 years are not the same as 40 kg and 14 years for the same bone strength :smiley:

Eli Brill also teaches a method to learn to ride one footed in his new “Unicycle School” video series. His approach is to first take your foot of the pedal for just a half rev, then a full rev and so on. Since you already know how to ride one footed for 10 revs, taking you foot of the pedal for just a half rev or a rev won’t be a big challenge for you.