The Beginners "Today I..." Thread

Today, I rode in a figure of eight. I’m not sure if it was less than 3m per circle, but its a start. My turns are still jerky a lot of the time. I turn to open my torso up on the direction I want to turn and bring the uni around each pedal stroke by about 30-45 degrees.

Do 90 and 180 degree turns just come as natural extensions of the same motions I’m already doing or is there some other trick?

Yes, I’m going to practice these more once I rotate my tire. I can do a passable backspin, but need to get the frontspin down. I’m not great at transitioning from face-up defense to going for the rebound in uni bball and a frontspin might be a better way to get there.


There’s basically 2 techniques for turning, leaning and twisting. Watch videos of really good freestyle riders and you’ll see very tight turning skills (up to and including pirouettes) that rely mostly on leaning. Twisting is useful but looks jerky when done by a beginner learning how to turn.

My advice, that I got from others, is to practice in a large space and go in big circles as smoothly as possible. When you’ve got it smooth, make the circles smaller. Keep making the circles smaller until you are spinning in place. :smiley: Practice in both directions obviously.

I’ll expand on this by breaking leaning in to two types:

  1. Articulation - where uni leans more than body.
  2. Leaning - where body and uni lean as one unit.

I didn’t notice myself doing number 2 until I started riding a 29" wheel.

Today I managed to go 50 feet on my unicycle twice in twenty minutes! I’m happy! And I’m finally learning how to turn ever so slightly to correct my angle, too! (I’m on a driveway so it’s easy to drift off into the grass and fall due to its relative thinness.)

Awesomeness, that’s well . . . Awesome. Just work on relaxing and the rides will keep getting longer.

Today I randomly managed to static mount :slight_smile: never freemounted before, but I randomly thought to give it a go, its just a shame I did this half an hour after riding in a parade where I could’ve really used it rather than relying on my friends shoulder :o

I find that it works best for me (at this point in development) to keep
my upper body upright and lean from the hips down.

I also do better when I gather a little speed and concentrate on
pedaling at the same rate all the way through the turns - I try
to make my feet do circles rtaher than pushing down on the pedals.
It’s really only a mental image, but changes what the muscles do.

I’ve got several accomplishments for the day:

Today I rode several figures of eight without undue difficulty, probably meeting the 3m circle requirement for whichever level.

I also rode down a very steep hill in my neighborhood and free-mounted on it.

I rode up my driveway after building up a little momentum. It’s probably the steepest grade I’ve gone up.

I rode over a several bumps that have caused UPDs up until this point.

I can reliably go off an average size curb without expecting to dismount.

Goals for near future: go off 10-12" curb, work on riding backward, and learn to hop un assisted.

I’d like to be able to hop to the edge of the curb and hop off rather than riding off. Thoughts for how to work on this?

Can’t help you with the hopping, though I am wondering what ‘assisted’ hopping is, does someone pull you up or push you down??? J/K :wink:

That was a good day.

I’m jealous.

Due to some Back issues I’m nowhere near those tight of turns except maybe for 90* twist turns. I haven’t been working on it much lately but In the times I’ve tried I’ve yet to make the IUF obstacle course. The best I’ve done is through the slalom and around the next cone, but so far can’t swing around tight enough to make the next cone on the right.

How did you free mount on the hill? Across? Headed down? I haven’t tackled that yet. So any hints appreciated.

By assisted hopping, I’m assuming UniMD means hopping near a wall or another support object. This is how I started to practice hopping. From there I found it easiest to mount and immediately start hopping. After some practice I could mount, hop a few times (very small hops), and then ride away. The next step was to ride, come to a stop and hop once or twice, and then ride away. Once I became comfortable with this I moved on to side hops and rolling hops.

Hey, I’m now relatively reliably (as in over 3/4 of the time) going 60 feet. The flat driveway I’ve been practicing on has become too small for me and I want to unicycle on my street. However, my street doesn’t have a basketball hoop for me to mount with, of course, so I’m trying to learn how to freemount.

I’ve been having great trouble.

Yesterday, after fifteen minutes of practice I managed to get on and go maybe 3/4 of a pedal, which gave me some confidence. However, I think it was just luck, because I haven’t been able to do it again.

Any tips, other than “Don’t give up”?

“Don’t give up” is about the best tip there is when it comes to anything unicycle-related. But I guess you know that already :wink:

I actually learned to freemount with my pedals in the vertical position rather than the usually-recommended horizontal. Apparently it’s completely wrong but I found it much easier. Now I freemount normally.

It may or may not be worth a try, but if you do please be careful with those shins as always!

If you choose to learn the more traditional way with one pedal forwards and one back (which I highly recommend),try not to put any pressue at all on the back pedal until the moment the front foot makes contact. It’s a strange technique which involves propelling yourself forwards and upwards and not sitting your weight on the unicycle until your center of gravity is directly above it.

If that makes sense? :o

Edit: Oh, and I found that the “easy freemount for newbies” method always ended in failure. I don’t recommend it all, but it seems to work for some people. That thread title sure is tempting when you’re struggling!

By assited I meant holding on to something or someone. :slight_smile:

I freemounted facing downhill. It’s the same as I normally do except putting pressure on the back pedal doesn’t make it roll under me, due to the steep angle of the hill.

Davidp, thanks for the advise with what sequence to try for hopping!

Yeah, use a curb to hold the unicycle so you don’t move backwards.

I also did but I don’t think it helped much in learning to do it properly.

It is a strange thing when you actually think about it.

Basically it is like hopping on one foot whilst keeping the other foot in a relatively fixed position in mid air!
Just for fun, I recommend you try doing that… It’s rather difficult but will give you the idea. Just imagine the unicycle being there.

The best advice really is to always wear leg armour when learning to freemount and preferably jeans or similar as well. I have a rather large scar on the back of one leg from gouging a large groove in it when trying to freemount while wearing shorts. I also have a multitude of other scars all over my legs from other incidents. Thankfully some KH leg armour, although very expensive, has saved my legs many times now and was totally worth it.


Yeah, just make sure you’re not on too steep a hill and in your exuberance you put your pedal a little too high or you might end up with some nice scratches on your leg :stuck_out_tongue:
I have almost done this a few times but never quite…

Normally at the end of the day after a tiring ride!



I totally forgot about this. If you master the “curb mount” you’ll definitely be well on your way. Even if it doesn’t help at all with learning to freemount it does give you a lot more freedom, hopefully leading to more riding and more freemounts! :smiley:

TODAY i jumped on thing of 21 cm height while riding. and managed to ride 3-4 revs backwards

Yesterday I bought a used 5ft giraffe. I had a good place to mount and was able to ride right away and idle 80 times. I found it to be a lot easier than my friend’s 6ft which I attempted to mount a couple times before without much success. Free mounting may take a while longer!

Awesome Waaalrus!

Welcome to the wacky world of giraffe riding! I look forward to hearing about the interesting things you’ll end up doing with it.

I got to ride one of Tom Miller’s 7 footers this spring and it was a blast.