Still can't ride

I’m trying to learn on a unicycle I was given, but I’m getting really frustrated - I’ve spent hours at the park each day with my siblings for a couple weeks now now and I still can’t do it. I can only manage to stay on when I’m leaning on someone’s shoulder, and even then I’m unsteady.

Am I not going to be able to learn? Or are there any tricks I’m missing? I’m normally very timid when it comes to physical activity, so I’m worried I’m never going to be able to ride it. Everyone keeps saying they can go for several feet within an hour or two, but I still can’t manage it on my own :frowning:

if you can sit on a unicycle, you can ride a unicycle. just keep trying and keep your weight on the seat.

If you can ride along while holding on to someone’s shoulder you are ready to try some unsupported runs.

What’s the area like where are you practicing? Smooth ground is much easier to ride on than bumpy grass. Try and find a fence or railing you can lean on to mount the unicycle then just try riding away. Lean forward slightly, keep your back straight and your weight in the seat. You won’t make it far at first but do it over and over and over and you’ll make progress. If you start to get frustrated take a break and come back to it. Let us know how it goes!

Yes you need a fence or rail that is long enough and high enough (shoulder when you sit on the Uni).

Ride along the fence and move your hand forward on the fence. Try to make the gaps between the holding positions bigger until you can ride a few meters without holding to the fence. Next step is then to continue riding at the end of the fence. First, it will be a few meters only, but that will improve quickly after you made that first step.
I needed 2 weeks on the fence…

Holding to someone’s shoulder does not really help, IMHO. When that person walks forward, the movement is not in a straight line and not continuous. Better hold someones hand. And I mean you hold his/her hand and not the other way around, so that you can realease the hand when you find some balance - and catch it again when you lose balance.

Just don’t give up. If you want to learn it, you have to be patient and to stay focussed. it can be very frustrating but it is a great feeling when you finally ride your first meters.

You CAN learn to ride !! I imagine quite a few of us wondered whether it was possible at the beginning, but it will happen. It takes some people a lot longer than others, so don’t worry about how much time it takes you compared to others, it’s meaningless in the end.

I agree that holding on to someone while riding is not really that helpful. It tends to prevent you from achieving your balance. I learned by mounting up while holding onto a post and then trying to ride away. It took quite a long time before I was able to do more than a few feet before stepping off, but eventually the distance became longer and it progressed very quickly from that point. Your body needs to learn how to balance the thing, and there is no other way than persistent practice. You would likely do better to just find a quiet bit of pavement somewhere and practice on your own until you learn it.

Remember that you won’t really FALL off very often, unless you get tangled up in the pedals or something. You will merely step off in one direction or another, so you needn’t worry about injury.

Please don’t give up, it’s really worth it in the end, and we’re all cheering you on!!

My advice is similar to the two previous posts. I found it easier to mount and ride off using a solid object (rail or fence) rather than holding on to someone.

Use a rail or fence to get comfortable with the uni. I used a homemade rail:

When you can ride along the rail with very little support, it is time to ride out in the open - or at least to try… :wink: Do this repeatedly and you will gradually get farther and farther. At this stage I sometimes got tangled up in the pedals and especially my right calf got quite bruised - but most of the times I just stepped off the uni when I couldn’t keep the balance any more.

Just stick to it - you will feel very happy about yourself the first time you ride 10 revolutions or more! :slight_smile:

It took me weeks and weeks to be able to manage those first three revolutions. And following on from an ealrier post, a lot of it is to do with the wrong learning space. I now ride in malls, cover thousand of kms a year, kick around on a giraffe and help others learn.

So taking time to learn is no indication that you can’t.

I point out that walking is only a skill. And a skill can be learnt by pretty well everyone.

But walking is nt considered to be optional. Everyone keeps trying until they nail it. Hence a 100% success rate.

Unicycling is a skill, not a talent. So treat unicycling not as optional and you will finish up doing it. Same as learning to walk.

Good luck. You will get there.

Don’t give up you can/will get it. I wouldn’t listen to people saying that they are successful in an hour or two. Everyone learns at their own pace and so will you. It sounds like you are thinking or over thinking that you are not going to be able to do this. Don’t think about failures, think about going forward.
I feel a lot of riding is mental, if you think you can’t - you won’t, if you think you can you have a much better chance of success. If you are normally timid when it comes to physical activity, you might be carrying this thought over to your attempts at riding, let it go. It’s a different activity. You can do it just think positive and be determined, erase negative thoughts.

Hello there Willoh

I’m in the same position. I’ve had my uni for a fortnight and have only managed two or three revolutions unsupported.

Stick in there it’s not about how long it takes, it’s about how much fun you’re having learning. :smiley:

The way I learned seems to have done me fairly well, although it does require a friend/family member :slight_smile:
Have the unicycle underneath you, ready for you to mount.
Have your helper stand infront of you, lock hands with them, mount and lean forward into your helper.
just start pedalling, leaning into them, never leaning back :slight_smile: this makes you lean forwards, which is one of the key turning points when people learn. I have taught a few people this way now, it seems to work!

Also keep in mind the normal tips, weight on the seat, eyes forward, pedal smooth :slight_smile:

Keep trying! I used a pair of golf clubs as crutches while learning. I would hold the club end in my hands and place the grips against the ground ahead of me. Make sure to add a thick layer of tape to the end of the handles in order to avoid damaging the grips. I got this ideal from another unicyclist that said they used ski post.

Sorry to hijack but a big thanks to Mike for the golf club/ski pole idea, I’ve just been messing around here whilst watching telly getting up on and balancing on my uni with a steadying hand on a broom. I can’t move forward but damn it I can almost free mount :wink:

Gotta be worth a try for you Willoh.

Doc Doo - A freemount means that when you do a UPD, and you drop a little in the esteem of onlookers, the simple act of freemounting elevates you back and over where you had been on the “cool scale.”

When learning, try using a 2" thick paving brick a little distance behind the wheel. That way it can’t go too far back. This gets rid of the tendency to reduce your backward movement too early.

Fifteen minutes with the brick and you may be freemounting well enough to lose the brick.

Thanks so much for the tip Colin :smiley:

I’m finding free mounting a uni is not much different from rola bola - it’s a leap of faith so to speak!

I’m not sure if you are just saying it is tough but possible or if you are telling me that you are trying to climb onto it with no movement of the wheel. If the latter then I fear you are on the wrong track and should have a look at some youtubes.

The usual method is to roll the wheel back under yourself as you step onto a pedal (by positioning the pedal appropriatley so that putting weight on it causes the uni to roll back a little). Alternatively you can do a forward rolling mount, not so common for a first.

You can do a climb onto a uni with a stationary wheel but this is what you would normally do to get onto a giraffe. Paradoxically the extra height makes it easier than without.

I expect you are already aware of this but, just in case…

Let us know when you have cracked it. Often we are left wondering.

I thought that the static mount was the most common - at least for beginners? :thinking:

I still sometimes struggle with the static mount but it is the only way that I can freemount - and I have observed my daughter (who gets it every time): There is no (or absolutely minimal) movement of the wheel until she rides off.

But the brick trick is also very good for the static mount: I worked on it for weeks without a single success. After 10 minutes with a brick I mounted for the first time, and after a little practice I made my first real freemount! :slight_smile:

I found this mount to be the easiest when first learning.

simple mount

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What helped me was mounting and then sitting on the unicycle for a while and relaxing. Whenever i first started i was really anxious and started riding as soon as i got up. Just take it slow. It took me about 2 weeks to ride for about 25- 50 feet.

Yup there’s some movement of the wheel backwards when I get up there but not an awful lot - that might be something to do with my broom ‘support’ …You can bet that when I’ve cracked free mounting and more importantly actually moving forward on my uni that I will let y’all know! :smiley:

So what’s that? The creator of this thread asks for advice and we all offer help, and then no coment for 3 days? Are we talking to a phantom? Oh well, I hope others will benefit from our answers. :angry:
Or is it just me having a bad day?