Skill files on one-footed riding

Here are the new skill files for riding one-footed, both forward and backward.
They are also available on the web page if you need them in the future.


                          RIDE WITH ONE FOOT

1. Ride normally on a flat surface. Keep your weight on the seat and
   sit upright.
2. As you ride, keep the non dominant foot on the pedal as lightly as
   possible. Try to do all of the work with the dominant foot.
3. Practice lifting the non dominant foot as it goes over the top of the
   pedal stroke and putting it back on.
4. Remove your foot of preference from the pedal and place it on the top of
   your fork.
5. Ride along, pushing the pedal down hard enough to give you momentum for
   the uptake.
6. When you are ready to stop, take your foot off of the fork and put it on
   the pedal while the pedal is on its way up.

Notes and Hints

When you finally go for the full revolution with one foot, you just have to
go for it. Just screw up your courage, take that one foot off, and see what
happens. Yes, it will take a lot of tries.

While you’re at it, keep track of how you are landing when you fall. If you
are not landing on your feet, you may be doing something wrong. When learning
the basic skills, such as one foot, you also have to concentrate on safe

If you tend to fall to one side, try riding with both arms out, but put your
arm down at a 45 degree angle on the side you fall toward.

Later you may wish to learn to ride with your foot off of the fork. While you
are first learning to ride one-footed, though, putting your foot on the fork
will give you extra leverage to control the unicycle.

There is a distinct advantage in learning to idle with one foot prior to
attempting one foot riding from either riding or a one foot idle. One learns
to accelerate and deaccelerate one footed while learning one footed idling.
Knowing when to accelerate and deaccelerate to maintain forward-backward is
the key to learning to ride one footed.

You can also start from a one foot idle rather than starting from a
two-footed ride. Opinions vary on which method is better. In the end you
should use the approach that scares you least. Here’s some advice on starting
from a one footed idle:

When learning to idle one footed it should not be too hard to get the free
foot planted firmly on the fork crown. After having mastered one foot idling
in this position, it should be rather easy to idle a full 180 degree (or
more) rotation back and forth. When ready with the driving pedal forward,
push down on the pedal extra hard and allow the pedal to go all the way up
and over the top. Keep the pressure of the foot on the rising pedal very
light so that the wheel is not slowed down too much. It is amazing how slowly
you can go over the top if the pressure is light enough. At this point
continue riding one footed.

Beirne Konarski <> John Foss <>
Dennis Kathrens <> Ken Fuchs <>
Peter Philip <>

Last modified: Sun Jan 8 20:49:25 EST 1995

                     RIDE WITH ONE FOOT BACKWARDS

7. Cycle back and forth 540 degrees in what is commonly know as one footed
   triple idling. This is actually riding one footed forward 1-1/2
   revolutions followed by riding backwards one footed 1-1/2 revolutions!
8. After a few cycles, try to continue going one footed backwards!

Notes and Hints

WARNING: A backward fall while riding one foot backwards is potentially
dangerous, particularly if one’s feet get hung up on the unicycle!

Written by Ken Fuchs <>

Maintained by Beirne Konarski <>

Last modified: Sun Jan 8 20:55:45 EST 1995

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