THE Quintessential, All-encompassing Beginners Thread

Okay, let me preface this by saying I’m in no way trying to offend anyone. Only trying to be helpful.

It seems like we get waves of people new to unicycling and there are always a few threads posted about the same stuff. That’s cool, I’m all for growing the sport.

Rather than yelling to use the search function on every one of these threads, would it be beneficial to have a single thread dedicated to people new to the sport where people can post advice and questions specifically related to learning? Perhaps even a sticky (if we even have them on this board)?

Just trying to make this a little easier for the new guys and a little less redundant for others.

Again, not trying to offend. If I am, kick me to the curb! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll even start it off with what I would call the ‘key’ to unicycling, no matter what you are learning (general riding, trials, muni, etc.): RIDE MORE.

Riding more is a great suggestion, but I think the first skill should be learning to use the search function:):):slight_smile:

I would agree, but they never do. Or they feel that their question is specific enough to them that none of the advice given in other threads applies, even though it’s the same exact scenario (go figure).

I thought that at least here people could post the same questions over and over again without having 3 threads on the board.

There is the “Learning Journal” thread. It’s a really good one for new riders. I’d vote to make that one sticky but I don’t think this forum has that function.

Yah know you don’t have to read or respond to beginner threads if you’re not interested (or are tired of them). :smiley:

I’ve really appreciated all the help I’ve gotten from folks here. Thanks! It’s amazing how helpful members are … even when newbies ask questions that might be answered via the search function. The thing is … some people might also be looking for encouragement and interaction. Search results don’t necessarily do that.

I forgot about Learning Journal thread, probably because it’s no longer on the main page (hence why we need a sticky if that can happen). That would be an excellent candidate.

I understand I don’t have to read or comment on those threads, a lot of times I don’t, or I let my sarcasm get the best of me. :roll_eyes:

But rather than a new guy posting a thread and waiting x amount of time for a response, they could find the information instantly through a search, or if it was all delegated to a single thread.

I’ll even be honest and say I did the same thing when I joined the forum. Looking back on it though, I could have found all of the information I was looking for via a search, or just riding more.

If no one wants to consolidate it all and keep posting multiple threads on the same subject, go ahead. I really don’t care, it was merely a suggestion. I’ll still help when I feel I have a relevant comment, and be a smart ass when I don’t. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I had the same thought, but if you’ve been on this forum long enough to see how repetitive the newbie questions are, then you’ve probably already learned how to ride and wouldn’t be asking those kinds of questions.

In the beginning, I had no idea that there were tons of other people who had learned to ride on a really uncomfortable seat, and it hadn’t even occurred to me that my problem of not putting enough weight on it might not be unique.

Nowadays, I have a pretty good idea of which questions can be answered with a search and which ones justify starting a new thread, but there’s no way I could have had that knowledge in the beginning, or that I could have imagined what a huge amount of information is stored here.

I’m with Killian, ask all the needed, unneeded, stupid, redundant questions you want but keep it on one thread.

Because there’s nothing a newbie wants to do more than slog through pages and pages of meta-discussion and outdated advice.

It’s a public forum. People post questions because they want to interact with other people. Get used to it.

… which is exactly the problem with the “Learning Journal” thread. It’s 120 pages long and so not exactly welcoming.

We’ve all been through the learning stages, and we all know (whatever your level is) what are the fundamental things at the beginning. So indeed it would be nice to have them in a sticky at the top of this forum. Song is right when he says that it takes some time to know exactly how to break down a problem you have into a question that can have answers. Because at the very beginning, the main question is “how the heck do I stay on that thing!!”, which is pretty vague if you try to put that in a search engine.

I’m all up for a sticky (possible here?) thread in which the main answers to the most common questions are grouped on page 1. There could also be some links to video tutorials that were helpful.

We could at least just have a sticky with the basics on learning and choosing equipment. That way members wouldn’t have to use the search function or slog through hundreds of pages.

I also don’t get how basic learning advice can be outdated. In end it’s all just riding a unicycle. New styles have emerged over the years with muni, trials, flat, etc. But riding is still riding.

But your right Tom. I should probably just ‘get used to it’.

People don’t post a message because they’re incapable of finding the information. Put “How do I learn to ride a unicycle?” or “what unicycle should I buy?” into Google and there are a million helpful pages. They post a message because they want someone to talk to them. A sticky thread won’t change that; it would just take up extra space on the first page. And really, none of the second-page posts has been active in the past five days; does it really matter than there’s more than one thread from a new rider on the front page?

For all its shortcomings, the current state of the forum might be as good as we can expect…

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
–Winston Churchill

There is, on average, every couple days, a new “introduce-yourself” thread on the forum, containing the same old questions. This is not, imo, too much for us to handle (as a novice, I enjoy giving encouragement to total beginners). Creating some kind of automated way of handling these requests…seems unnecessary.

“Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.”
–Donald Knuth

Has anybody else noticed the differences in thread-discipline between the German-language and English-language posts? Maybe a dialog box can pop-up when we attempt to start a new thread, asking us if we’ve explored the possibility of piggy-backing on a previous thread.

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
–Andy Warhol

Like I said before, I really don’t care. It was merely a suggestion to cut down on all of the over lapping.

As someone relatively new to unicycling, I really appreciate the time that people have taken to answer my questions. I’ve tried using the search function, and while information is often available if a newbie knows the correct terms to use, we don’t always know how to correctly verbalize our questions. Several of those generous enough to answer my questions have not only provided me with insightful information that I may not have uncovered if I relied solely on the search function; they’ve actually attempted to make a connection and offer riding opportunities–and I’m very grateful for that!

To be so open and welcoming of new riders, this community can feel somewhat elitist at times. There aren’t many questions that a person could ask–beginner or advanced–that haven’t already been answered. If we default to using canned responses such as “use the search function,” “Google it,” or “checkout Youtube” we’re doing the sport a disservice. We’re discouraging interaction. With such a small and unique community, we should be making an effort to grow our sport, not ignoring or dismissing those who would like to know more about it.

With all that having been said, I do like Killian’s idea about a sticky. If something were available that might help people better understand the basics, it could be beneficial. An external wiki could even be referenced if a resource is already available that answers most of the questions that new riders ask.

Or a subdivision of Unicycling Discussion for beginners. There are only six now.

That’s a pretty good idea too.

I think the human interaction is key. How someone is welcomed via a response may help them get deeper into the sport or ostracize them and turn them away. Face it, many times people are learning to unicycle on their own and they want friends who have a common interest. Sometimes there’s a uni club nearby to fulfill this need, other times it needs to be a virtual club.

I completely see the basis of the elitist comment. There are a core group of people who post a whole lot. To a new rider when they look at the number of posts associated with a name, they may equate that to level of expertise. Sometimes that’s the case, other times it’s just that frequent posters like to talk a lot.

It’s a forum. If you don’t like answering new rider’s questions, then don’t.

I do think it’s important to roll out the welcome mat for newbies. I’m also not a fan of just relying on what shows up in a search. The body of information is evolving. It’s interesting to even see how some forum users change their opinions frequently as to what’s best.

I’m not a big fan of this as where to draw the line for Beginner is difficult. I’d rather see them in the general pool rather than in isolation to the Beginner section. Any person on a unicycle is part of team unicycle.

The takeaway: new users can use the Search function if they like. Veteran users can either welcome new users or use the Skip function- it’s more analog than digital. If you don’t want to dole out the High 5s, it may be time to put your hand down and sit out of a thread to make sure you’re not slapping someone in the face.

This community is probably the least elitist cycling forum out there. Check out bikeforums or even mtbr (sometimes) if you want to see elitist.

I agree that post count doesn’t necessarily mean expertise, and in case that was pointed at me, I have never claimed to be an expert.

I’m sorry if that came across as confrontational. That’s not what I intended, and it wasn’t directed at you or anyone else in particular. I wrote that mainly in response to my experience using the search function. In several of my attempts to uncover additional information, I found regulars responding to newbies negatively rather than attempting to offer something insightful. For the most part, I find this community very supportive of new riders.

As far as elitism within the cycling community is concerned, I don’t ride a bicycle, but I’ll take your word for it. Fortunately, my experience with other sports has been much more positive:).

As a new learner, I have to agree with the comments about interaction, sometimes even if you have the information you want, it helps to have a real person who can give advice, feedback and reassurance. I feel a bit awkward sometimes as I know the gist of what I’m asking will be covered elsewhere but some points need clarification or its not quite specific enough to my question. And up to now, all the responses I’ve had have been helpful, friendly, informative and encouraging. That encouragement has definitely helped keep me going when I’m stuck with something, so thanks everyone!