Starting Out

Hi all on RSU,

I bought my first unicycle just over 2 weeks ago (20" Jugglebug/Juggleart) after having an inkling to learn to ride for at least a year (I think I just wanted to see if I could do it really). I’ve managed to get to the point where I can travel a decent distance on it (a km or two), now and must say I’m enjoying it immensly. I often come back from riding with a grin on my face! I’m starting to work on idling at the moment, but really am just loving riding it around… every small obstacle (bump in the road, pothole, street crossing) becomes a challenge.

The first couple of days I spent learning, there were a few things which I found helped me out a lot. The first couple were hallways and fences… infact any solid object. I also had a good book named “How to ride your unicycle” by Charlie Dancey (has anyone else used this book? I’ve found it quite useful (and humerous), but its a little short). BUT… I found the step that’s often called “launching into the abyss” was made a lot easier for me by the following… I found a school with a lot of space (I think having a lot of space makes anything easier) and a building which happened to jut out into that “lot of space”. When I was at the point of being able to ride along touching a wall, I would ride along the side of the building, then when the building ended, just keep riding… if 1 wheel rev can be called riding that is. This meant I was already moving steadily before I lost my support, and then could go any direction I needed to, to maintain balance. Anyway, I just did this over and over again, and within a couple of hours I could sometimes make it 15 or 20m (albeit very inconsistently!). I found this a lot easier than just hanging onto something and pushing off (as this tended to mean an unsteady start), or than riding along beside a fence or wall then letting go (because in that case you can only turn in one direction - or you hit the fence).

Sorry about that long winded description - I just had to get it down in the vain hope that one day it might help someone… I apologise if its been discussed before.

Anyway, I’ve been reading RSU for the last couple of weeks, and must say I’m really impressed with the group. I’ve been reading/posting in newsgroups for quite a while, and to come across one where almost all people are helpfull, and comments or questions don’t regularly end up in flamewars, is pretty refreshing.

So, thanks for the help so far (its seemed that any question I’ve wanted to ask has already been answered!) and inspiration to keep going (I can’t wait to get better so that I can try out all stuff thats discussed - MUni and trials in particular look awesome!)



Thanks for the articulate post. It seems like you are coming right along. There will be many a new rider who will benefit from hints like yours. It is especially meaningful when they come from other riders who are just learning. Welcome, and enjoy yourself.

What I found most helpful with learning, was to never use a support (while riding, or mounting). I couldn’t ride the thing until I was able to mount it. And I couldn’t go along distance until I could balance for that long
I think that really sped up my learning curve.

I agree with what you say about speeding up the learning curve by pushing/challenging yourself (I tend to have the same approach to some extent). However to start with, I think its good to just experience how the unicycle feels beneath you, and there’s no way I could’ve done that without hanging on to something!