sometimes the unexpected happens

I went out to a school today for day two of learning how to ride a unicycle. I was using my hands to hold onto the fence when I was feeling I would surely fall, which I found out can be quite painful. I ended up with many many slices in my hand from burrs in the fence. People drove by really slow with weird looks on their face…which I honestly expected. So a guy comes up thats about my age and pulls his truck up and asks why I would want to ride a unicycle…I responded…fun and exercise…not trying to be joking about it. He gets out of his truck telling me how it must be very hard to learn. I tell him I have already invested many hours and that it takes many more to become good at it. He agrees, but states it looks like something you could pick up in 15 minutes or so. So I tell him to give it a shot. He jumps on the bike and starts riding it around like it is nothing. I couldnt stop laughing as obviously he had ridden before. He learned from his uncle when he was 15 and hasnt been on one in over a year, as he never sees anyone on them. I live in a very small area, so the shock I was to find someone on a side road that knew how to unicycle was very impressive. He gave me some pointers like using broom handles instead of a wall and how to free mount. Good things to be able to see in person. It gave me a lot of confidence…now I just need to go out and buy some broom handles and give it a shot. I just thought you guys would love to hear about this, because it was nice to see someone who cared enough to stop and help out a bit.

Just throwing it out there, but you would be much better off using a fence.

EDIT: compared to the broom handles.

that is cool, but you shouldn’t go out a buy broom handles just to use them to learn

jack shopping carts. suposedly they work really well.

It just seems that a set of brooms would be easier to be able to start learning to stay on longer…the fence isnt really that long of a span that I can hold onto. With brooms I just thought I could go into a big open parking lot and ride around more. With what I am doing right now I always have to stop after only so many pedals because the pavement runs out. I really need to learn to mount without using a wall before I will be able to do that though. Im glad I didnt just go out and get some cheap broom handles after what you guys said, maybe I will just have to keep on keeping on at the school till I can learn to ride more effeciently. Im starting to feel the fence has a crippling affect though. Sometimes when I push off the wall to stay upright is just causes me to get all wobbly and fall off. None the less it was nice to see someone else who knew how to ride a unicycle, that that I can…yet!

But how I started was holding on to my fence, getting stable then I would try to go as far as I could without falling off [while off of the fence].

Ps. And I learned in 4 days.

Be very careful with broom handles or other poles. You can very easily fall on to them and impale yourself, like on a hockey stick. Sounds stupid I know but even at no speed your own weight on something that small will do you a serious injury.

That is very true, you should start a movement to stop people from using trekking poles, walking sticks, and ski poles. Also make it mandatory for people to wear helmets whenever they leave their home. Only because they will be buckled into a chair when in their house.

It’s just stupid…all these people that are SO uber worried about personal safety and they choose to ride on ONE wheel…can everyone say irony, or here’s a harder one, oxymoron.

I think there should be some sort of scale that’s put in your signature, that tells how good you are and also how pansy you are. Then we will be able to gauge your responce appropriately.

We all have our own ‘best’ way to learn. I used the fence method. I had access to a public tennis court that was very seldom used. I took a very, very long time to learn and yeah, the fence became my ‘crutch.’ It took me a long time, even after I felt somewhat in control of my pedalling, to push away from the fence and ride my first 10 or 15 meters, unsupported. A very good friend of mine used ski poles to learn. They became his crutch. He learned to ride much more quickly than I did but it could have involved many more factors than just the choice of ski poles vs. fence (younger, more athletic, etc.). For months after he was able to ride around the neighborhood, I’d always see him riding with his ski poles in hand. He could ride but just couldn’t freemount without 'em. Just pick whatever feels comfortable to you and go with it. Feel free to check in here for free advice (worth every penny).

I learned on a flat bridge for foot traffic/bicycles. It had rails on boths sides, I started holding on and going along one side. Then I got to where I was riding and then crossing the bridge to the other railing. Back and forth and up and down. I practised two hours a day and picked it up on my third day.

I thought you said it was a uni?

If you mean uni write uni, dont ever call them bikes

to the rest of what you have written, I have been thinking of doing something like that and have always thought it will be funny. I just havnt ever seen anyone else riding or trying to ride one. :frowning:

i didn’t have a nice secluded fence anywhere near me, so i learnt with just a bin to lean against while i mounted. i then did the mount-ride-fall dance over and over again. often the ride part was barely a full rotation. the benefit of this is that i learnt to bail without hurting myself pretty fast. actually it’s such a low-brain activity that i didn’t even feel that i was learning it, more that my body was. the fence can be useful to get a feeling for the motions of pedalling, but i think it’s best to start trying to ride without assistance as soon as possible, especially since you mentioned in your other posts that you have managed to do some wobbly unassisted rides already.


He’s learning to ride a unicycle you dimwit. I don’t know about you but I fell off a lot when I learnt to ride and the last thing i’d want is two thin wooden poles right where I’m likely to land ready to skewer me. Engage brain before you spout crap.

On Topic:
By all means ride around as much as you like with poles or sticks when you’re stable enough not to fall on them (you could even play some hockey if you like), but I would suggest, for learning, a large wall and a flat surface like a carpark. Just push off into the open space and ride as far as you can. You’ll find you learn much quicker that way.


I recommend staying with the fence or a pole etc. In my experience in teaching other people, the ones who pushed off for something solid and just tried to ride learnt alot fast than the ones that fiddled around with supports. Putting in brooms handles only makes one more step between you and riding. Like when someone freezes the bread and you want toast.

Goodluck there! just bite the bullet and push off the fence, keep your back straight, look foreward (fix your vision on a destination if possible) and try to keep your hips straight.

out of curiousity, where abouts is it that you live?

this is what I found worked well when I was teaching a friend: If you put the back of the wheel up against a curb with the cranks level it makes it easy to mount then you can just ride. it makes learning realy quick

I am just learning (can now ride o.k. and freemount). I first began about 5 weeks ago and tried using poles (treking poles) for about a week, it got me to the point where I could ride around in my backyard using the poles only. I then went to a park where there is a long stretch of fence along some tennis courts and tried that approach. It really felt like I was completely starting over from scratch. It took me another week at the fence and then it all came together. For ME learning it really seemed like the poles didn’t help at all. The fence is really easy to just ride away from, but with poles I couldn’t just let go and ride, I became very depenant on them. Oh yeah and gloves are real helpful when you are learning along a chainlink fence, they do cut your hands up alot. Actually gloves come in handy all the time for me riding now.