tips on juggling while riding?

Just now starting to attempt it. I can actually make up to 10 catches with balls but only 3 or 4 with clubs. Can anyone give me any pointers to help the learning process? I read in another thread, someone says clubs are actually easier because they are easier to catch. Maybe but they are also harder to throw accurately while riding.

It’s a little embarrassing at this point because people see you carrying the clubs and expect that you can do it! :o

You need to be able to ride really solidly and juggle really solidly before putting the two together.

A good exercise for building up to juggling while riding is to ride with your hands clasped together behind your back (or your arms folded in front). This makes you work on correcting your balance without using your arms. You need to be able to balance without arms flailing everywhere as they will be otherwise occupied with juggling props. Please be carefull if riding with your arms folded in front as if you fall off suddenly you may not be able to get them unfolded in time to help slow your fall. Find a nice flat surface without any unexpected bumps.

It is significantly easier to juggler while riding forward as opposed to while idling. For this reason it is a good idea to practice juggling while walking forward so you get a feel for jugging on the move, without the extra unstability of the unicycle.

The better your unicycling and juggling become separately, the easier it will be to combine them. As you are having some success already I recommend doing the above exercises and also continuing to practice the two together.

I’m just learning this myself (over 20 catches with clubs while idling!), and I’d love to add something, but Peter pretty much covered it.

It’s easier on a giraffe though, but harder to mount the giraffe holding juggling equipment if you don’t do a running-mount :wink:

also giraffes make it harder to pick stuff off the ground, a very very very useful skill which I use quite often while practicing :smiley:

I’m having visions of juggling three clubs, doing a high three club flash, free-mounting and catching the clubs and continuing the cascade.
That would be impressive.

A very handy skill indeed.
If you still battle to do this, you can also cheat by using one of the clubs in your hand to push down on the top end of the club on the ground. This will flip the handle up and with a bit of practise it becomes quite easy to catch.

The main thing to bear in mind is that you need to do two distinct and separate actions. Practise, practise, practise. And start practising turning while juggling as soon as you can.
Move onto figure eights as soon as they become do-able.
The difficulty with juggling while idling is that the two activities happen at different rhythms and this can seriously mess with your head.

So can trying to juggle while riding backwards…

Is it actually possible to pick up stuff from the ground while on a giraffe? I can’t imagine it, except if the rider had extremely long arms like a gibbon :slight_smile:

I’ve tried juggling while riding a few times and it doesn’t seem as hard as I expected to actually do it - but I find it hard to concentrate on where I’m going and certainly can’t turn round while juggling so I quickly run out of space and have to stop (or catch the balls and turn round if I’m having a good day). I find juggling while idling utterly impossible, but my idling isn’t that good anyway. I haven’t tried juggling clubs while riding - I just assumed balls would be easier coz I find balls (or beanbags) easiest to juggle with normally. It’s something I want to get reasonably good at, just because of all the people who ask me if I can “juggle on it” when they see me out riding. I’ll have to practice more in the summer - can’t be bothered now when it’s cold and dark outside.

I use a slightly longer (folding) version of this kind of thing when I’m doing stilt walking gigs.
It folds back into a pistol shape that fits nicely in your belt and makes for a fun way of answering the inevitable ‘How do pick something up when you drop it?’ question. (Along with ‘Is it cold up there?’, the stiltwalkers version of "Where’s your other wheel?’)
Once you’ve picked up something, it’s kinda nice to flip it back into it’s pistol shape and blow across the top, western-style, before slipping it back into your belt.
It should also work fine on the raffie.

Perfect time to work on that idling…

its best if you can first unicycle while making the juggling motions… if your arms are staying as if you’re juggling and not flailing around every other ‘throw’, then put in the balls/clubs/what ever you are using :stuck_out_tongue:

For the most part, no. But it makes for great fun in shows. I’m in a parade, juggling clubs on my six footer and I drop one. A spectator rushes up to retrieve it. “Wait! I’ve got it!” I say. Then I hesitate, and the volunteer hesitates, and the uncomfortable pause always generates a good laugh.

Then I guess you could even whip out a tool like Gild mentioned. Certainly a great tool for the stiltwalker!

As for learning, work on each skill separately until they’re both solid. Practice juggling while standing on one foot, while walking backwards, or on stairs, etc. Also practice juggling without moving your body below the waist. The unicycle gets that part.

On the unicycle, practice riding without using your upper body. You get to rotate at the waist and use stuff from there down only. The upper half is reserved for the juggling. Stick your hands in your back pockets or otherwise isolate your arms so they can’t move, then practice riding in precise patterns. Forward, backward, circles, idling.

Learn to juggling while riding forward first. It’s the easiest. Then learn to turn, and go in circles. This is the bare minimum if you want to do it in front of an audience. Idling is harder and will take more time to get solid. But the audience doesn’t necessarily care if you can do it while idling. If you’re in a parade riding forward and a little turning is plenty. If you’re in a small space however, got to get that idle.

Learn to pick up your props if you’re not on a giraffe. It gets a better audience response than the juggling itself!

As with learning any juggling it’s also important that once you can do 15-20 catches start throwing in that random trick (throw a double or something). That will move the cascade to the back of your mind and make it more second nature.