Hey there - I’m a new unicyclist - I just got my unicycle on Monday. I’m now in my eighth hour and I can ride over 50 meters, and need some help progressing.
Here are my two problems:
I’m trying to free mount, and I think I get the idea (I’ve successfully mounted off the curb), but I’m having a little problem with the safety issue - every time I’ve injured myself, it’s been while trying to free mount - I fall over the unicycle and off my feet, so I think I might even be doing the freemount wrong. I’ve already scraped both my knees and have a big gash in my hand. So, how should I do this without falling, or at least how do I miss a free mount and land on my feet?
Also, I have a problem that’s keeping me from riding indefinitely: While unicycling, all we be good but there’s always a point some time in the ride when I start picking up speed - and can’t lose it. If I try to stay with it, I eventually chicken out or fall of the back. When I lean back on try to pedal backwards to slow down, I lose my flow and fall off anyway. So, are there any exercises I can do to practice slowing down?
Help is appreciated but if you can’t offer me anything, I’ll keep practicing anyway.
I think all of your problems related to unicycling will disappear with more practise.
In my opinion it is best to freemount with the cranks horizontal, so that you have some leverage when you get on immediately, instead of having the cranks vertical where the pedal at the top is a bit dead. Thinking positive and accurate foot placement helps.
If you can’t get the static mount to work, going forwards straight away, cos the pedal seems to want to come back and hit you in the shin (it’s a very decisive action the freemount you just have to get on and go) you could try the rollback mount instead where you step on the back pedal, pull back on the front/top pedal until you get half a revolution back and then go forwards. This seemed the easiest way for me at first.
Try not to injure yourself and land on your feet, it is mostly a psychologocal barrier at first, it’s hard but it is also easier when you know how, just like riding, and riding with speed. When you get too much speed the simple solution is to lean back a little bit and apply pressure on the back pedals. You can vary your speed by how far you are leaning and how fast you pedal, and as you reach the limits of your fastest speeds you tend to get catapulted off a few times before realising how far to push it. Wear gloves or wrist gaurds perhaps. Concentrate on riding at a controllable speed, relax I guess. Have fun and keep practising!
After one good fall learning to freemount, I started wearing a lot of gear. Helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee and shin guards and high top boots. I became more confident in the learning curve. Now if I’m not riding dirt or climbing something steep I only wear the helmet and wrist guards. Gear gave me confidence.
I always mounted using the static mount. I just get on without putting pressure on the pedals until I’m up and seated. I know that isn’t too helpful. I watched a lot of You Tube videos. The Unigeezer videos were helpful. You get a demo of how to mount without putting pressure on the pedals.
Some very good advice given already. I absolutley agree with putting on some gear especially gloves/ wrist guards.
With more and more practice you’ll work out the speed problem. It’s hard for beginners I think because maintaining momentum is how new unicyclists balance. After mastering distance as you have done, the next step is slowing down and working in turns.
Try some practice sessions where you focus on riding at a slow speed and control. For example, while you are still in control, force yourself to find a spot at random to dismount. Try not to plan it any more than a few seconds in advance. When this comes naturally, change it up so that sometimes you actually stop and dismount, other times you prepare to dismount by slowing down then change your mind and speed up to keep riding a little further.
Turning will force you to slow down in most cases, look for spots to ride where you have no choice but to slow down to make a curve or get past an obstacle.
Practice idling by mounting next to a pole. Idle next to the pole and reach out when you lose your balance. Idling will help you to feel the back pressure you put on the pedals which is one way to slow down.
The roll back mount is a perfect mount to feel the back pressure as well.
Again, remember the gear. Sometimes that is the biggest factor in being able to maintain calm composure even when you know you are going down.
I found that I never fell off my feet when learning the standard free mount- where the pedals are vertical, and you put ALL your weight on that bottom pedal and use your other foot to push yourself up, then bring that foot over to kick back on the top pedal. If you keep ALL your weight on that bottom pedal, the uni will never move, scoot off, or shoot back and hit you in the shin like when learning static mounts, so you shoulden’t FALL off, but STEP off instead.
yeh, the mount where you kick back on the top pedal, then go forwards. That’s what i’m talking about, except i find keeping the pedals vertical from start to be easier and safer, rather that the bottom at like 7 or 8 o clock
It’s likely to be of no instructional use but, similar to you, it highlights my own first attempts at mounting just after I learnt to ride short distances.
Actually, now I can see the learning mistakes I was making, but I guess you might find it useful to identify these from what other posts have mentioned.
I would reiterate the advice about protective equipment. Armour up so that you can fall with impunity. My first couple of hours, I wore full hockey equipment. I am now pretty confident, but still wear helmet, elbow, knee, wrist, and shin protection.
I learned to mount using the rollback method. Watching the vids of people starting at the 6 12 pedal position looks really hard. I started from the 3 9 position, rolling back to 4 10 (the best position to ride away), and now find that I can do static mounts with just the right forward momentum that balances my pressure on the back pedal so I no longer actually roll backwards at all.
I am now learning rolling mounts. Walk forwards with the seat between your legs, and step on the lower pedal as it passes through 6 with enough forward moment to step on the upper pedal as it passes through 10, and go.