still totally sucking.

Last year, I tried to be the wonderkid. I really did try. I tried so hard, it hurt.

Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s been a while since I’ve stalked the forums, so re-introductions might be necissary. I was the girl who learned how to ride a bike at the age of sixteen, just so I could ride a unicycle.

Well, I got the uni at the beginning of the fall, and snow soon impeded my practicing–practicing that NEVER went well. After a month of half-hour practices every day to every other day, depending on how much I was hurting, I still couldn’t make it more than 30 feet.

With the past few nice days, and my school letting upperclassmen out early for the past week, I’ve just recently decided to bite the bullet and try again. I came immediately back to were I left off–an agonizing (and occasionally out-of-control), slightly wobbly 20 to 25 foot average crash and burn.

I’ve done so much troubleshooting that it isn’t even funny anymore. Everyone continues to tell me that I’ll get it eventually, but I’m losing faith. Is it possible that maybe I’m just not made for the one-wheel? My internal gyroscope has broken? I am not cut out for the one skill I crave to perfect?


DO NOT GIVE UP !!! Your gyroscope is not broken. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to walk. I feel your pain. I started sooooo many threads in the past year about my inability to be able to ride more than a few feet. I thought I was the most balance challenged person in the entire world. At about 6 months of practicing EVERY SINGLE DAY I got to where I could ride 50 meters occasionally. Then, I lost it and went for another several weeks where 20 or 30 feet was difficult and rare. Then, at about 8 months of practice and hard work, something clicked and I could ride. Not very well but, I could wobble my way around the neighborhood basically as far as I wanted. Now, at about 13 months, I’m very close to having all the level 2 skills down and even a few of the level 3 skills. It’s the most fun thing that I do and I’m so glad that I didn’t give up. I was soooo close a few times. I was getting so discouraged. Do yourself a favor and just keep at it. Yeah, it’s difficult and frustrating and seems impossible but that all helps to make the reward so much greater when you finally get it. Keep posting when you feel frustrated. The encouragement that I got from the people on this forum gave me hope and confidence and helped to keep me going.

keep at it. check the tips again, use the search on the forums for begining unicycler threads. lots of tips in those. realise that because you don’t have a childhood worth of bike riding balance built up, you will have a harder time than most learning to ride a uni. don’t let that stop you. keep your weight on the seat and eyes ahead, eventually you’ll figure it out.

Thanks, guys. It’s just so pissing me off at this point. I feel handicapped. I figured it might take me a little while longer, but this is rediculous.

One of the good things, I suppose, is that I remember what that ‘snap’ felt like when learning to ride a bike, since it wasn’t very long ago.

I guess I’m just kind of waiting for that.

And, yeah, I do understand that you guys all started off with a lot more pre-programming for balance-oriented things, but… ugh. At the rate I’m going, it feels like I should have been able to learn how to ride a uni without ever touching a bike in the first place!

I think I’m going to give it another go… one more chance… but I’ve got a lousy tendency to give up on things. I just don’t want to be outdone by a unicycle. Thank you, pride.


If you can ride 30 feet, you’re very very close.

Yes.At 30 feet,It usally comes fast after that.Keep at it.

What I did when i was learning,and when i learn new tricks now,Is to keep going and not stop until you’ve had progress.somtimes thats what it takes.Also,if you continue doing it,you get a little bit better at a time.SOmtimes you even get better at falling off,though it sounds wierd.

lean back, not alot just a little bit, before i heard that tip i could ride 10 ft after 2 months of practicingthe day after i heard it i could ride 60 ft

When I bought my first Unicycle, I knew that I would be able to ride it one day. I really wanted to learn, and I was willing to practice until I was able to ride it.

If you really want to learn to ride a Unicycle, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, you are doing really well already.

What ever you do when you practice, just enjoy the fact that you can ride a unicycle! So what if you can’t ride for miles at a time, one day you will be able to, so enjoy what you can do while you build up to that.

Not all of us are the type of people who learn to ride in an afternoon, then after a couple of months are hopping over things and getting to level whatever. Unicycling is mainly about your personal challenge to ride the thing. It only has one wheel! You shouldn’t be able to ride it at all; the fact that you can ride it for 30 feet should make you really happy.

Keep practicing, and keep enjoying practicing.


Beyond the obvious suggestions (make sure your seat is high enough, put your weight on the seat, look out not down), I would suggest changing the context of your practice. Instead of just practicing on a playground, set a goal to ride somewhere, to your favorite cafe or whatever. You might find that when you’re thinking more about getting somewhere, you stop obsessing over whatever is blocking you. Trying unicycle basketball or hockey are also good ways to take your mind off your skills.

just DON’T think that you possibly won’t make it. just keep your weight on the seat, and keep your feet on the pedals and simply keep pedalling. and keep trying.

I appreciate your help a lot, you guys. I will try doing some things a little differently tomorrow, if I have the time. I am sort of stuck in a rut, I guess. It is hard to find level ground in my town–even my driveway is a little crooked, but it’s the flattest thing I can really have any easy access to. I’ll scout around for some flatter, somewhat-easy-to-use-a-starting-point type places, since I’m not freemounting yet, either.


And, yeah, I guess I should be happy that I’m this far. It’s just been so long since I’ve seen any progress! I’m a sucker for improvement.

Thanks a ton


One thing you could do is post a video of your riding. Then we could see if you’re doing anything odd or see if you’ve got the seat too low or other things. If you don’t have any other unicyclists in the area to get advice from then the next best thing is posting a video here for critique and advice.

Re: still totally sucking.

Well, if you can ride 30 feet occasionally, you have proven that you
can do it. The main thing is to put in more time, and to enjoy it.

Can you connect to your friend’s uni team (CTUNI) and find someone who
is willing to spend time with you?(*) Riding hand in hand with another
rider is a lot easier and will get you more distance, so it will be
less frustrating. I have taught people how to ride, and they could
ride hand in hand with me before they could ride on their own.

Out of curiosity, how many hours of practice have you put in in total?
On my page <> you can
find out that there is a wide range in the practice time people need
to learn riding.

I’m glad that underdog chimed in. He also kept practicing on and on,
against all frustration, and finally got somewhere. There is this huge
reward reserved for you!

Let us know of your progress - or even the lack of it as the case may

(*) If he/she is a ‘good’ rider and would wonder “what’s in it for
me”, he/she can get something out of it by riding backwards, or
one-footed, etc. Backward seatdrag hand-in-hand anyone?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“When it comes to the family jewels, you won’t be having fun until they’re having fun. - Jake D”

I got the “snap” when I decided to learn freemount. I couldn’t ride more than 10 feet when starting from a wall or whatever. I thought “Well, I’ll have to learn freemounting anyway! so why wouldn’t I give it a try”.
At the beginning it is scarry but after 2 or 3 tries I could ride much farther than before. I think it’ because you have to keep your weight on the saddle for freemounting, then you “just” have to ride, without thinking about your position.
Hang on and, as JAmes_potter said, don’t think too much. A trick I still use: when I’m getting anxious or scarry about a new trick, I take 3 deep breathe and I try thinking about anything but uni (that works especially well when you start riding, if you feel you’re close to it, eg you’ve ridden 1 or 2 rev, unplugg your brain)

Chedd it appears you live in Connecticut? If so, I would be glad to get together with you to ride (with your parents’ consent, of course!). I ride all the time and have taught quite a few young people now. There is a local high school which has some really good learning spots, including a long chainlink fence next to pavement. My daughter will be coming to visit in about a week, and that could be a really excellent time. She may even be bringing a friend who wants to learn as well.

You would also be welcome to come to the New York Club meetings, where you would meet lots of riders.

If you or your parents PM me, I would be glad to talk to you/them on the phone and work something out so that they are happy with the arrangements. They certainly would be welcome to come for the day to the house with you and hang out with a book or something.

It’s just a matter of time for your riding now, and a little encouragement and a few tips will help loads!

Have you tried forgetting about distance traveled, and focusing instead on being balanced and relaxed?

I’ve been teaching a small group of kids to unicycle for the past two months.

In total they’ve logged around ten hours practice, and can ride (inconsistently) up to around 15 feet.

One of the girls does so with excellent style- slow, graceful and balanced.

In contrast, one of the guys just sees it as being about getting the same distance as her, or longer. He does occasionally achieve that distance, but his style is terrible- he just throws his weight forward and goes for it, often ending in a harsh UPD at the end.

I stress to them that it’s not about how far you can go at this stage; more important is the ability to ride with some awareness of balance- a ten foot distance with grace and a good dismount is better than twenty feet ridden out of balance and ending in a crash.

Try working on other stuff for some of your practice sessions, such as riding very short distances and getting a good dismount. Try a bit of free-mount (mounting without using a wall or other support) practice.

If you’re finding practice very frustrating, don’t force yourself into it and then quit for several months- instead commit to maybe a 5 or 10 minute session daily; you can always do more if you feel like it on a particular day.

Get the competitive stuff out of your mind- some people thrive on competing and setting targets; others are hindered by it.

Good advice. I learned by doing five minutes, then having a break, before doing another five minutes.


i found when learning that not thinkng about what your doing helps.(sounds weird but it works). i found this out when i was learning in the summer and these kids where playing in the garden making a really irritating noise. instead of thinking about what i was going to do, i just did it and thought about ways of shutting the lil rats next door up.

hope this helps


You have all been so very helpful, I really appreciate everything you guys have said. I was thinking about trying to get somebody to come help me, but I know how boring it can be to someone watching someone do the same thing over and over from the sidelines.

I don’t think I’ll be riding today, but starting tomorrow, I’m going to start switching my routine up a little bit to reflect what some of you guys have advised, and I’ll put a little more thought into getting some assistance.

Thanks so much for the help


Some people learn diferently. I learned by just taking off and riding, but my sister held on to people. It just depends what works for you. I couldn’t stand hanging on to people because they would walk to fast or to slow. But my sister couldn’t do it like I did it. At one point I wanted to quit, but I just couldn’t. Don’t quit! It’s to rewarding whe you can!!!