Start with out help?

Ok so i am new and i am getting better at just riding but i want to start to ride with out haveing to get my balance on something how do i do that? I have seen on videos of people hopping to keep balance i think should i do that or do i need to just keep trying and it will justy come to me?

Just don’t think about it. If your start leaning in a direction and are (or you think you are) going to fall turn that way to compensate. To free mount just stick the uni in front of you and put your foot on the pedal. Put a little bit of pressure (almost as if you were stepping on top of a traffic cone and didn’t want to crush it).

Hope that helps somewhat.

Mounting without anything to hold on to is called freemounting. Do a search for threads with “freemount” in the title and you will find loads of tips.

Kurt

I am just starting to learn by myself. I have 9 hours so far and have managed a few runs where I have gone 12 - 14 full turns of the wheel before falling off (usually only 3 - 5 full turns). Some things that seem to have helped so far…
Keeping my head up and looking at the horizon rather than the pavement seems to help me keep my body upright and balance through my hips.
Having the courage to lean my weight back slightly when I can’t pedal fast enough to keep the wheel under me.
I try to free mount every go, but I do it beside something, and usually have to reach out and steady myself before going for it, but sometimes I manage to just go. Hopefully that will help me to be able to free mount as I get better.
Susan

I am also new and learning and am finally getting it (after 30 hours), what really helped me was thinking of twisting instead of turning. And don’t just twist when you feel yourself falling but twist with each pedal stroke. This is what really helped me and as I have gotten better I twist less, but at first I was doing a big twist each stroke.

Very true! I kinda like to think of the twisting as a bit of lifting each hip as the knee goes up and that knee kinda goes circularly in and around the uni tube. Thats how I got riding. Its like your legs are wraping around the tube and your hips swivel as you ride. I also find the seat tube slightly tilted backwards with a slight lean forward is best for the front balance. As far as turning while leaning, thats something I’m still working on.

Getting there!

Thanks for the tips - very helpful. I am getting the hang of the hip swivel, it seems like an exaggerated version of the side to side swing of riding a bicycle with no hands. The posture tip is helpful too - my longest runs are the ones where I find it. 11 hours now, and managing some 50+ yard runs. Even running out of parking lot space and having to try to turn (and occasionally even doing so without falling off).
Susan

I think it’s best to work on riding streight for a long ways along a rail or fence or wall if there isn’t a rail close by (I found a 90’ rail in the parking lot of a local elementry school). It’s a lot faster to grab the rail and regain your ballance than falling off and walking back to your support. When you can do that consistently focus on dismounting gracefully w/ the uni in front and back, w/ each foot and grabbing the uni w/ each hand at the exact planed moment (this will decrease the likelyhood of nasty falls).

There are three basic ways of turning. The main way of turning is if you push a little harder w/ one foot you will start to go in that direction. You can also twist as someone mentioned, but this will wear out your tire pretty fast if you do it a lot. Also you can lean in the direction you want to go (make sure to turn your head and shoulders that way a bit before), this one will probably come later.

When you can ride for a ways and turn a bit, then I’d focus on freemounting, it will be easier w/ a lower seat, so you might want to lower it ~ 1", then raise it when you get over 50%. The two most common ways people first learn is the rollback and static mounts.

Rollback: Put the uni in front of you w/ the seat under your crotch and step on the back pedal w/ it somewhere between 2 & 5 o’clock, experiment to find the best spot for you. Step down on that pedal while simultaneously pushing off w/ your other foot. The wheel will roll back and when the pedals get vertical step on the other pedal and continue the rotation backwards untill the cranks are horizontal. Stop and ride away.

Static: As SHAY_CAM said it’s like stepping on and over a traffic cone w/o deforming it. Start off just like the rollback, but w/ the cranks horizontal. Push off w/ your otherfoot harder than w/ the rollback and put your foot on the other pedal (the wheel should not move), and ride away.

Hopping just takes practice. Caution, lots of hopping and especially drops will break a learner uni.

Yes!

Okay, I hope I’m not boring you guys too much with gushing about my accomplishments. I can’t help it, I am just so pleased with myself. 11th hour out there and I am consistently going 50 - 70 yards before losing my poise. I think I am really getting the feel for it. I am managing to ride over minor flaws, dips, and bumps in the pavement. I am managing to recover direction when I wobble off course. Once I fall, I then try to free mount to ride back to my car; I can free mount and ride some distance about one try out of ten. It is all so exhilarating… thanks for your advice, it has been really helpful.

She mounts the one wheeled contraption with a single graceless wobble in the space beside her car, steadies herself by reaching out and gently touching the hood, then heads off across the parking lot, precarious, fluttering, almost balanced. This is where she works: in the psychiatric hospital… Everyone watches, but there is little excitement, no one applauds, a few nod as they light their cigarettes. A woman struggling past on a unicycle is not remarkable in this surprise-free zone.

Thanks guys,
Susan