staying in one spot

I have been unicycling for three months and am quite capable of hopping and riding off road but for samoe reason I am not able to stay in one spot can anyone give me any help?

Do you mean idleing or still stand?




Ive been trying to teach a few people idling at the moment and the only advice i can really give is,

When i was learning it, I learnt by doing sort of a see saw motion?

Try not to move your hips and only use the legs and higher part of the body.

I dont know really its kinda hard to say in words.


thanks for the help:)

Re: staying in one spot

It would be useful to know what stage you were at with idling, and the approach you were using. There’s a lot of useful tips for idling but they depend on were you are now.

For example, I spent several months intermittently practicing whilst next to a wall, and not really getting anywhere.

When I forced myself to practice without a wall for support I progressed quickly.

Re: staying in one spot

Do what I do - fall off. I stay right there sometimes for up to a

Dang, that hurts!

dark_savra <>

>I have been unicycling for three months and am quite capable of hopping
>and riding off road but for samoe reason I am not able to stay in one
>spot can anyone give me any help?

don’t worry about it taking time.
I have been riding for a few years and am only starting to learn how to idle now, although it was due to not even attempting it.

Keep your weight on the seat.

Look ahead, not down at the wheel.

Slow down.

Don’t chicken out and step off. Go until you fall. This is how you learn how to make corrections.

Play music with a rhythm equal to the idling rhythm you’re trying to attain.

Try starting off alternating a full pedal revolution forward with a full revolution backward. I think this is called “super idle” and is much easier than idling.

It is VERY helpful to be able to do this strong foot and weak foot down. Practice both ways.

re: idling

I just learned how this past month so it’s still fresh on the brain. I found it much easier with my seat a little higher than usual. I think it lengthens out the pendulum effect and slows things down a little and is easier on the leg muscles. My son was having some trouble learning on his uni, but when he borrowed his brothers with longer cranks he improved immediately. He went from a best of 25 idles before falling to a best of over 1000 on that same day. Also, while I think it best not to spend too much time on the wall, I did find it helpful to balance there with my finger tips until I got that back and forth pendulum stuff going on a little bit. Hope this helps!

P.S. I’ve been riding for three years. You’re ahead of the curve I’d say, so have patience and HAPPY IDLING.:slight_smile:

Re: staying in one spot

Lengthy idling advice, aimed at beginners:

· To start learning (normal) idling, sit on the unicycle beside
a support with the cranks horizontal. Hold on to your support with one
or both hands. Lean slightly forward while keeping the wheel
stationary for a little while. Then pedal forward for half a rotation,
at the end of which you should be leaning slightly backward.
Immediately after the forward half rotation, pedal a half rotation
backwards, at the end of which you should be slightly leaning forward
again, so you can rightaway start the next idling cycle.
· Focus on using a pendulum motion as opposed to moving your
whole body back and forth. That is, your body should ideally stay
more or less in the same place, while the wheel “swings” forward and
backward under you. Remember to keep your upper body straight and
upright and to keep your weight on the seat. Your leading (or
“strong”) foot should be on the bottom and move back and forth past
the 6 o’clock position.
· Try to maintain forwards/backwards balance by adjusting the
timing and power of your pedal strokes, as opposed to pushing the
support. It is OK to use the support for sideways balance for now, but
try to push and pull as lightly as possible.
· If you idle too slowly it will be more difficult to maintain
balance. On a 20" wheel the idling frequency should be about 1 per
second, on a 24" wheel it is usually somewhat less.
· Now it’s time to leave your support. Ride forwards in the
open, not too fast. Slow down while leaning back, throw in one half
revolution backwards, during which you should regain your forward
lean. Then continue riding forward. Repeat.
· If you are somewhat solid at throwing in single idles, try
inserting two idling cycles at once, then three, etc.
· The greatest difficulty is usually found in controlling the
side to side balance. Focus on keeping the unicycle under you rather
than you staying on top of the uni. If you find yourself leaning too
far to the right, you must move the wheel to the right to keep it
underneath you. To do this, twist your lower body to the right as you
move forward and to the left as you move backward. That way, you turn
the whole unicycle by the seat.

(Taken from “Learning to Unicycle” by Andrew Carter and myself.)

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I have a feeling you might need two points of contact with the ground for such a thing to work? Or at least training wheels on the front and rear. - John Foss commenting on a picture of a one-wheeled vehicle he saw on RSU.

Everything I read seems to be very good advice.

I’ll also add the draft of the section on idling in the new USA, Inc. Skills Handbook, still under development.


Overview: Idling, or staying in one place while sitting on the unicycle, is a very useful skill. As is true in learning most unicycling skills, it simply takes practice. Basically, the rider should sit firmly on the seat, look forward, move the pedals back and forth in a rocking motion, and use the support of a wall or a helper to get started.

Be sure to practice idling by alternating which foot you have in the down position. This builds strength on both sides of the body and also makes it easier to learn other, more advanced unicycling skills.

Equipment: Learning to idle is normally easier on a smaller wheel size, such as a 20-inch for anyone able to comfortably ride that size. However, it’s not much more difficult to learn on a slightly larger wheel size.

Be sure there’s enough air in your tire.

Here’s a breakdown of the learning process for idling.

  1. Sit firmly on the unicycle seat and look ahead. Begin with a helper or two, or stretch out one arm to get some support from a wall.

  2. Place one foot on the pedal that’s in the down position and rest the other foot lightly on the pedal that’s on top. If you are right-foot dominant, you may want to begin with that foot down first. Use the bottom foot to begin a rocking motion. Move the bottom pedal back and forth in the motion of a pendulum.

  3. Keep your body upright.

  4. Don’t get tense. Relax and feel your weight sinking into the unicycle seat as the foot on the bottom pedal moves smoothly forward and backward.

The range of motion in idling is normally less than reaching a horizontal position with the pedals. The range usually decreases with practice.

  1. Count the pedal strokes. That helps you stay focused and allows you to gauge your progress.

As you get more comfortable with idling, let go of the support for a few seconds. Then gradually increase that time until you no longer need support at all.

In an hour or so of solid practice, you should find you’re making progress. If you aren’t actually idling, you will have a fair idea of how it’s done.

Other tips:

Also practice riding forward, stopping, and getting into a position to idle without assistance.

Remember to develop both your right and left sides—alternate the position of your feet, so you learn to idle with either foot in the down position.

It’s possible to practice idling in smaller, more confined areas. Find opportunities to practice for even a few minutes each day. Frequent practice helps your body adjust to the sense of balance necessary to develop the skill.

When using a wall for support in the early stages, begin with one hand providing support. Gradually increase the time without support and decease the amount of support. For example, allow yourself only the occasional support of your smallest finger against the wall to keep you steady.

I found that I learnt nothing while leaning on a wall. I used a lamppost to hold onto while learning instead and learnt it quite quickly.