riding slowly

I was so happy last weekend that my kid learned to ride her bike. Because that meant I could ride my uni and she wouldn’t need to sit in the children seat on the back of my bike.
Now I’ve run into the problem that she is too slow on her bike. When riding behind her, I have to slow down all the time, which often results in UPDs because I can’t go that slow. I’ve tried all my uni’s. First day rode on the 32" coz I came home after a trip, but that is naturally too big. Then the 29 and 26" which are still too big to near her speed. Her wheels are only 16" I think. Aside from riding slowly she also zigzags, making her go all the slower. I don’t like riding 5-8 km on my 20 inch, on which Id also go too fast.

How can I hold my balance for a long time, riding slowly. Any tips are welcome.

Honestly, practice. There is no special technique to riding slow and holding your balance, other than riding slow and holding your balance. Of course you can employ the little trick of riding zigzags like she does. Why exactly do you not want to ride the 20"? It would be the least difficult to ride that slow. I think if your kid has a bit more practice, she will likely go about the speed that is comfortable on a 20" even kids bicycles are usually geared through the chain.

I imagine overall she is going at what would be a good walking pace, and whenever I have my 20" and go along with people that are walking, I just walk with them and push my uni, since while I can slow down to their speed, it’s annoying and I don’t see the point of it. Maybe just walk along with her for a few weeks until she has found more speed, and the issue solves itself.

Yeah prolly ur right. Her riding muscles just need some time to grow. I once rode 10km on a 20" and since then I have a painful knee. Yesterday I alternated between fast walking beside her and riding uni. Tonight I will take out the 20" again. Probably having the seat a bit higher will also make it easier on my knees and less wobbly.
I found it mostly frustrating to UPD all the time when it was going too slowly.

All of what finnspin says - I can ride at walking pace on any of my unis (well maybe not the Schlumpf in high gear!) but that’s because I’ve practiced. The technique is a little different than riding fast, because you are pausing between each half rev and wiggling to balance and it takes a while to master. I also can’t see why riding the 20" would be an issue - the only advantage of a bigger wheel is that you go faster, if you’re going slowly there isn’t any real downside to one - the only reason you don’t like riding a 20" that distance is that it takes longer! Though I do also wonder if your daughter is really going to be riding 5km+ at walking pace!

Clearly I don’t ride so slowly on my weekly rides so it needs more practice. I should be happy that my daughter who is 4 now, gives me the chance to practice it. As she grows older, she will be better at riding and get bigger bikes along the way. I don’t like of the 20" that it requires a lot of pedalling. I do like that it doesn’t go too fast. Maybe I should have a schlumpf in the 20" :slight_smile: (I sold my schlumpf last year, which I had in a 29". I just couldn’t get the hang of it)

I think you will not be bothered too long with the 20".

1.) Children have a way faster learning curve than we have. She will be faster on her bike very soon anyhow.
2.) Hills. Even small ones, she will be waiting at the bottom for you as she has a freewheel on her bike.

Take it positive: Go for the 20" for the time being and improve a skill. You can join slow riding competitions… :smiley:

You can also use your brake to ride slow. I’ m training in using brake for your same reason (mine has 6 y.o): while breaking I can keep pedalling very slow and I found it easier than going slow without any brake

That is a good one. I was thinking “Oh no, the brakes-guy”, but as I was riding downhill last weekend, which was fairly steep, I noticed I had much more control with my brakes than a few months ago. Being able to keep continuous pressure on my pedals, even though I’m going slowly helps with balancing. Same as riding a semi-steep uphill and taking half pedal strokes at a time. That also goes very slowly. I can’t do that on flat, because then there is no force pushing me back. Thanks for the tip.

Riding against the brake on flat is a waste of brakepads, rotors, and your energy.

Only a personal opinion, but there are two separate things here: your child at a crucial stage of her development, excited to be learning and exercising a new skill and spending time with her dad, and your desire to be doing your hobby of unicycling.

Your child will only be this age and at this stage in her development once. Enjoy that for what it is: precious moments. Follow on foot or on a bicycle if necessary. Talk to her, listen to her, encourage her, then go for a unicycle ride later.

In a few weeks or months, the mismatched speed problem will have resolved itself.

But for riding a unicycle slowly, the drill is just do lots of it in short sections of a longer ride, or practise in a confined space, and get good at idling.

Some of my slow riding ability started out from riding up steep hills where I simply couldn’t go any faster.

Lots of riding in as much variety as possible develops a whole lot of skills.

practice. Idling, riding slow, stopping, riding backwards only comes with more seat time. And to me they’re all related. In order to idle, or stop, you need to ride slow, in order to ride backwards, you need to ride slowly and idle and stop.
Same thing with bunny hops. Use the 20".

Riding a 20 with much more than a slight bend in my knee at the bottom of the peddle stroke kills my knees. Definitely try raising the seat.

10K on a twenty is really far!

Today I rode with the 20" and she can easily keep up if she wants. When mum rides in front she rides quite fast and I have to work to keep up, but then she gets tired and slows down again. Also some places with a strong wind, I notice she needs to grow a muscle. It is fairly easy to stop and start hopping on the 20" as well. Also upped the saddle some more, which made riding a few kilometres more comfortable.

Put the little guys away… get the 29 out again.

Practice very short stillstands with every half revolution.
Similar to what you would do while muscling up a steep or long incline. Pedal…Pause…Pedal…Pause…etc…

Soon the length of time in your stillstand will increase.

If the balance to go slow isn’t there while riding, then try it while not.

Slow riding is a great teacher.

I used to ride next to my wife while she pushed a pram. Excruciatingly hard work on the 36, so much more concentration required than riding at normal pace. Now it’s easy (because I’ve practiced!). The skills are definitely transferable to general riding on any wheel size. I now have more control because it feels like my cranks ‘dead sectors’ are reduced.

Riding with my boy (age 4, SS Islabike 16") has led me from the 20" to the 26" and now I need to build a 29er wheel so I can catch up with him. The 36er is a little bit too big for me to safely transition from riding to helping him out if he gets in trouble.

Unicycling has been a really great way for me to keep doing something challenging while he rides his bike. I’d get bored on my bike for sure.

My better half runs (not very quickly) and I ride along. i use a 29er and 36er. As you say, riding slowly is hard work, but great practice.

After she has finished her run, I do a couple of hot laps, as we call it. It feels great after 3 - 5 miles of slow riding (not as slow as following a pram though).

Yes that is why I take my uni, even though it is much easier of course. Unicycling is about challenges.

I actually did the same the last few times, just to let all the cropped up energy out :slight_smile:

Today I rode to work (about 7km) on the 26". Lately I’ve been measuring my speed more and ride an average of 14.5kph on the 32", but on the 26" I rode only 12kph. So today I was complaining that I couldn’t go fast enough. I chose the 26er because it worked out very well to ride slow with it with my kid the other day and pause my dominant foot after each rotation. Also trying the same with my left foot, I feel I can do, but it needs a lot more practice. It would be cool if I could hop with my left non-dominant foot at the back.

Just practice. I started with my 20" when my sun started biking, and then moved to the 24" and 26" munis as he got faster, He’s slightly too fast now for me on my 26", I have to fix my Coker… Or make him uni on his 16" more :wink:

I’ve been riding with the family nearly every day and the last few times when my daughter follows her mum on the bike, she can ride faster than me on my 26", but after 8ish km she gets tired and becomes slower again than me on the 26. I’ve used this time also to focus on rolling hops, which I’ve become better at.