Transition to side ride?

What exactly is the best (easiest) way to do the transition to side ride? In the videos I have watched, the most common method seems to be to ride seat on side, then jump one foot over the wheel and switch feet. The other methods I have seen are from crank idle (Ryan Woessner and Amy Shields) from stand-up hopping (Simon Wells) and from cross-footed hopping. (unidentified Japanese rider)

I’m not very good at side ride yet, my best attempt being eight cycles of the wheel, but I think working on the transitions would be a good way to improve my side riding. Yesterday, I worked on the transition from side ride to hopping standing on the wheel, and I got it once after about fifteen minutes, so that part must not be too hard. It’s the transition to side ride that really worrries me. I have tried the seat on side method, but since I ride a 24" wheel, it’s very hard to jump my right foot over the wheel at all, let alone switch feet on the left pedal. I would try the crank idle method, but that would mean learning crank idle on the left, which would take a long time. (I can already do it on the right.) I’m very bad at stand-up hopping, and I don’t think cross-footed hopping would be possible with a 24" wheel, so I’m considering trying it from normal hopping on the wheel. I spent a little time working on this a few weeks ago, and found it was fairly easy to get my right foot on the left pedal, but I didn’t get beyond there. Could someone please give me advice on how to get into side ride, either from hopping on the wheel, or any other way? I find detailed descriptions very helpful.

thanks in advance,

I can side ride a little, but cannot do any of those transitions. However based on experiences with other tricks, I’d have to say that the eaisest one is likely the one you learn first. To know otherwise would be to learn them all, which would make it hard to tell because each subsequent one you learn would be built upon skills you gained from the earlier ones.

In addition to that useless information, I’ll add that it’s probably easier to get into a side ride from someting where you’re already moving than from a static position. Like any one-foot skill, that first “umph” of the pedal over the top is the hard part. This is generally even harder in side ride. So my vote would be for the transition from seat-on-side.

Anything Ryan and Amy do I would expect to be an even-harder variation of something most other people can’t do anyway.

The way I learned it is from crank idle. I can’t say it’s the easiest or hardest, just the way I learned it and passed level 10. I don’t think it’d take you very long to learn crank idle on the other side, especially practicing to go into sideride-you get really really good at crank idle! Wish I could help you more but that’s all I know. The other methods just seemed too impossible to me so I didn’t even bother trying/learning. Good luck whatever way you decide!

I would agree, except that when you learn side ride in the first place, you learn by mounting into it, so you’re used to getting the pedal started from a still position. Because of this, I expect the transition from hopping on the wheel or crank idle would be a lot more like mounting into it, which is what you would be used to, unless you learned to mount into side ride by running along with the unicycle and jumping onto the pedal.

I have two other questions:

  1. How about the transition from seat in front to seat ride? This is the only transition to side ride listed on the IUF skills list, but I’ve never seen or heard of anyone doing it.
  2. To do side ride properly for level ten, do you have to do it straight, or is a circle acceptable, as long as you go ten meters? It’s lots easier to side ride in a circle, and all the other skills on the levels start out with the easiest variation. e.g. seat on side in a circle, ww 10m before ww in a circle. I know when I was tested through level seven, Irene didn’t require that I do all the 10m skills in a completely straight line, since there wasn’t enough room in the crowded gym.

You just have to do it 10 meters. Doesn’t matter if you do it in a figure eight, circle or zigzag!

Going from seat in front to sideride I think would be very hard. I believe I’ve seen it done but can’t think of who it was…

yes, from crank idle is definately the easiest and the way most people do it…
i have seen a few do it right from riding with the seat on side, but i think it’s harder

I’m pretty sure I managed the transition from hopping on the wheel to side ride a couple times this evening. It’s been raining all day, so I was riding in my basement, and I didn’t have enough room to say for sure if I actually did the transition properly, but I’m pretty sure that at least once, possibly several times, I would have been able to keep going more than two or so cycles of the wheel, had I not been forced to dismount to avoid hitting furniture. I’m really surprised at how easy it seems- I always thought the transition to side ride was the hardest thing on level ten. Perhaps the hopping on wheel method is actually easier than the crank idle method. Has anyone else done it this way?

Actually, I used to do it by hopping along with one foot while pedaling with the other. Kind of an “albatross taking off” approach. :slight_smile:

Anyone got any other tips on how to get started learning side ride? I’d like to learn this trick (and can crank idle already, if that helps).

I’m still really bad at side ride, but I’ll try to give you some tips. For sake of convenience, I’ll assume you’re learning it on the left side with the right foot. If you’re learning it on the right, reverse the directions.
To start out, stand on the left side of the unicycle, and turn the left pedal so that it’s up, in front, nearer vertical than horizontal. Now grasp the seat with both hands, your right hand near the middle of the seat and the left at the front. Rest the saddle tightly against your body. Now set your right foot on the left pedal, and step down on it. It may take a lot of practice to get the first cycle of the wheel. You should rest almost all your weight on the saddle and press your thigh right against it. Press down fairly hard on the first stroke, then as soon as the pedal is down, release all the pressure so that the pedal can come up again. With a lot of practice, you should be able to get the pedal to come up and over again.
Once you can do this consistently focus on actually riding. Side ride goes naturally in a circle to the right. (Assuming you’re doing it on the left.) Once you get good at circling to the right you can go straight, or even in a figure eight, but at first you should do a circle to the right. Lean very hard to the right, and do everything you can to get your weight over the wheel, rather than to one side of it. The placement of your free leg is also important; raise it forward, and as much to the right as possible. It might even help to try placing it directly above the wheel. Keep your foot pressure on the pedal light and put all your weight on the seat.

Last night I made a video clip of my new side ride transition method. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an easy way to get into side ride. Here is the clip.:slight_smile:

Cool! Good job!

It’s hard to tell, are you just doing regular hop on wheel or is the seat behind you? Anyhow, congrats and keep it up!

I’m just doing it from regular hopping on the wheel. I actually now find this transition easier than the one out of side ride, which I haven’t worked on much.

Hey Lindsey, can you film that cranck-idle method and submit it?

Here’s Sem Abrahams doing that one

Wow! That is an awkward looking transition. Does Sem usually side ride with the seat in front like that? The way I do it, and the way it’s done in most of the other video clips I’ve seen is with the seat right against the body, not held forward aways.

Am I right in guessing that the reason that’s the only side ride transition on the IUF skills list is that that is Sem’s usual method, and he did a lot of the work of compiling the list?

I’m sure that has something to do with it. When we made that list, unlike the skill levels, we wanted to include only things people had actually done. There were very few people riding into and out of side-ride at the time, so we used what was out there. We have only made changes to the list once or twice since then, so certain areas are fairly behind the times in terms of what people are doing today. After this next Unicon it will probably be time for an update…

That doesn’t seem to make sense. I have a hard time believing all the skills on the standard skills list (backward or stand-up coast in a figure-8, for instance) had actually been done when the list was compiled. Also, which skills on the skill levels hadn’t been done when the skill levels were compiled?

Yesterday I had a bad day, and my transitions (from seat next) would succeed. Normally when things go wrong AND improvement is desired I start eliminating errors, and logical when you make no errors things go right. Anyway; starting from seat next is easy because you can start putting all the weight on the seat before making the switch. So that your hang is allready OK. After that it’s just focusing your attention on the foot that’s on the pedal to be reach, and aim it’s position together with the moment you “jump”.