Still waiting for my first Unicycle to arrive.

When my wife got home with the kids, the unicycle was in the back of the
car under a blanket. Drew and I did some riding, and then I sent him in
to start on homework. Elizabeth was just coming out to play, and I said
“Sorry, it’s time for homework”.

Of course she complained.

So I said “Well, you could have rode unicycles with us”.
She said “I don’t have one”.
I knew she expected me to tell her she could share with Drew
(He’s always been willing to let her ride his, but her legs are a
bit too long for his).
But instead, I said “Maybe you should buy one… you just had a birthday,
didn’t you get some money for your birthday?”
She said “Yeah…”
I said “Maybe you can find a used one for a good price”.

That was about two hours before dinner.

So as soon as she was stuck at the table doing homework
I snuck the unicycle into the garage and set about cleaning it
up - at a pretty fast pace - at the same time I built a 5" high ramp
for Drew & me (complete with carrying handles - I’ll hafta share a picture)

And also had to put the metal pedals on my Uni and check bolt
tightness and air up the tire. Unfortunately I used up the last of
the slime in Elizabeth’s tire.


I was very encouraged when she pointed out that girls tend to have
better balance than boys, so it will be easier for her to learn than
it was for us. She isn’t often prone to a “can do” attitude, so it’s
like I have a head start in encouraging her to succeed.

Good job, Mark. I set about teaching a niece how to ride her brother’s unicycle. She had a constant mind battle going on between really wanting to do it, and being afraid of it. Lots of encouragement, and ensuring that no-one else was around for her to feel self-conscious, meant that we could celebrate the little successes. She soon reached a stage where she was voluntarily taking time to practice, and then took charge.
Her biggest problem in the beginning (apart from the usual unicycling ones) was that she seemed to not want the uni to get damaged, and so would fall early in trying to save it. We had to work on her just abandoning the uni to the Gods, and concentrating on pedaling.
Be patient with her, Mark. The learning process is a great awakener of confidence and self-achievement. Celebrate the failures as being achievements on the path to success.



I have found that liberal application of about 5 layers of duct tape really
does a great job of preserving the seat and other parts that contact the
ground. You can get duct tape in all sorts of cool colors these days -
I even have camouflage duct tape (I need to put a layer on my seat bumpers)

I offered to put some on Elizabeth’s seat but she said it’s gonna
get beat up anyways. I might do it anyway - she’ll thank me later.
But she will want a better unicycle if she starts riding trails with us.

Today my daughter tried it out. She got in one day about
to the level where my son and I got in a week or two.

Drew and I were going over a ramp and riding a board while
Elizabeth was pushing a jogging stroller around. My wife
video taped the whole affair. Unfortunately the only time
I did make the ramp & board the camera was not rolling.
I cam close once on camera.
Drew made it a bunch of times… I guess it was his day
to shine.

We did a little jousting too, but I need to make a couple
of takeoff platforms for curb mounts opposing each other.

We all had a blast. Once Sherri fully recovers from
shoulder surgery she can start learning too.

Elizabeth did decide on Purple duct tape to protect the seat.
I’ll put a layer of Camo over my plastic bumpers.

I’ll post the video eventually. I’ll have to upload it from the
camera to the PC and post it on Youtube.

I finally got some new videos uploaded onto youtube!

I’ll start with the best news… my Daughter is learning quickly and seems
to be dedicated to following through and persisting until she can ride.

My curb mounts are pretty consistent…

My freemounts are about 1 in 5, but this video was taken on
one of my off days (I’ve had a few in a row now, maybe because
I’m used to my indoor riding area which I no longer have available)

And now for the good stuff…

Drew and I are trying to get better at unicycle jousting.
I’m building some starting platforms for curb starts, which will
help because we will start out aiming at each other.

And we are practicing riding over obstacles so we can eventually start
riding Muni (there are 640 acres of MTB Trails a couple of miles from
our house).

The one time I was successful the video camera was not rolling :astonished:
Like I said - it was an off day. Normally I would be at 1/4 to 1/2 success rate.

Drew was having a good day… of course he continues to have good days.
I may never catch back up to him (unless we stop giving him breaks from
doing his homework while it’s still daylight outside :slight_smile: )

Sometimes momentum isn’t enough…

When you are riding over obstacles and off drops is when you want to practice standing up on the pedals a little bit. It helps keep enough pressure on them so you dont lose as much momentum, hopefully. It also protects the parts of your body near your seat :wink:
Also holding the handle helps you stay with the unicycle a bit better.
You could also practice hopping up obstacles sideways. Or jumping off of drops instead of just dropping off of them.
Something Drew would probably learn pretty quick is going backwards… It is kind of like relearning to unicycle(a little faster) but it helps you a lot with control. Riding with one foot pedaling and one foot on the frame is another cool thing to learn. It helps with getting to wheel walking and also helps with learning control.
Just some thoughts and suggestions.
Great work by the way. Its great to see the change from riding down your hall :smiley:

New Videos

That’s for sure!

BTW, Drew is working on bunny hops - right now he practices while
holding onto a support, but he’ll let go of that support real soon.

Just out of curiosity - any reason you guys aren’t wearing helmets?

We just don’t feel much need for helmets.

I stand a much greater chance of falling on my head while playing
basketball or ice skating, but I don’t wear a helmet for those.

For hockey, and for motorcycling & Demolition Derby, I always wear one.
For bicycling I usually wear one off road, sometimes a full face moto-x
helmet. On the road, not usually. I wear one for snowboarding, but not
for skiing.

When we start doing Muni we might wear them, but even there the speeds
are low enough (the trails near us are dense forest) that I may not.

I guess for me, unicycling w/o a helmet is at an acceptable level of risk.
Just like driving a car without a helmet… sure, if we all wore helmets
in our cars it would save lives, but it’s not worth it to me.

Does pushing the tricycle around help with learning to unicycle? I have not seen anyone try that approach before.


it may because it can be used for balance and movement, like a training wheel

And you can let go for a moment and grab it again and gradually increase
how long you go before grabbing it again. It gives a feeling of security, but
you can still break free (in a narrow hallway the walls are in the way when
you let go of them).

You can also use the jogging stroller for support to get a little momentum
and then push it away and see how far you go. It’s working really well for

I’ve seen a “training wheel” for unicycles which is basically a uni, but with no pedals, and a pair of handlebars instead of a saddle. Seeing someone riding with one for the first time hurt my brain - it’s like a bike but not joined in the middle!

Here’s a picture of something similar I found on Google image search:

Not exactly what I had in mind but you get the idea.

Drew & I went to an all day Unicycling clinic on Saturday
at North Bend Elementary School. It’s put on by the coach
(Alan Tepper) of the Panther Pride unicycle team.

There was maybe one other adult student… about half my age.
The rest of the students were age 6 to 15. The instructors were from
about 14 to 21, except the coach, who was slightly older than me.

He started unicycling as a program in his P.E. classes, and now they
have a team that competes nationally. They also do parades and shows.

I actually outlasted Drew that day - which surprised me. We bothe made it
the whole day, but he was more wiped out than I was. My right ankle was
really sore and just a tiny bit swollen from spending so much time trying to
learn free mounts (my ankle hits the crank a lot on starts). I’ll post a picture
so that you can all express sympathy. :roll_eyes:

It was a good experience for both of us, and my daughter (Elizabeth) was
inspired by seeing so many girls riding (even though she didn’t try to ride at the clinic).
Elizabeth is starting to learn too now - I told her that girls tend to learn unicycling faster
for some reason. (More than half of the kids at the clinic were girls) and that is giving her
confidence. She is learning fast, which is good because determination is not her strong suit.

But she did say she wants to do the clinic next year!

Hey, Mark!

Sorry I couldn’t make it to the clinic Saturday, I was looking forward to meeting you. At least you would have one more “adult” rider. :slight_smile:

Actually, I became a grandfather over the weekend as well! I can’t wait to hear “Mom, Grandpa fell of his unicycle again!”. :astonished:

Sorry I missed getting to meet you.
One of these days we’ll probably get another chance.
Lori made me feel welcome. I think I inspired her just a little closer
to starting to ride - still not close, but I could see there was a
slight glimmer of inspiration.

The jousting tools were a big hit (spontaneous pun).
The kids really liked them. It would have been better if they could have
used them on the smooth wood floor, but that space is fully in use for
skills instruction, which is the main point for the clinic. Maybe someday
it will become a real UniSport.

Don’t tell Coach Tepper… I’m thinking about making several of them
and leaving the there with the kids if we do it again next year. :smiley: