I used a block when I first started working on freemounting my 36er. I used it for a day or two with progressively smaller blocks till I could mount without a block. Once I managed to freemount once without the block I simply repeated a thousand plus times (without a block) to get relatively proficient. Once you can do at least one freemount without the block there would be no benefit in practicing with the block anymore. It is simply a stepping stone on the learning path to constantly freemounting without any aids.
I tried Terry’s technique and I think it helped me at the time. I didn’t do it with a paper plate or anything, I might have have used a concrete block though as a platform. I think it was a useful exercise though.
In hindsight, I think that what was best for me was to just think of hopping up while keeping my back foot in the same position in space rather than not putting weight on it. In the end of the day it is the same thing but thinking of it that way seemed somehow easier for me.
I’ve found that thinking while mounting usually makes things worse for me but I suppose you have to consciously think about what you are doing when you are trying something new. What I tend to do now for my 29" and 32" is pretty much along the lines of UniMira’s 36" mount in the video above, except that I start with the back pedal about twenty-five or twenty to, with my hand on the handle, rock forward, and lever myself up. Trying to analyse it usually results in failure, but I think my initial freemount successes (on my 24"), and hence what I do now, were helped by Terry’s video and that probably lives on in my subconscious!
I use Terry’s mount exclusively for my 26”. I also did not practice using the block or plates. It works very well for me, but I had difficulty getting used to not putting ‘any’ weight on my rear foot/peddle. I place my left foot at 7 o’clock and my right at the 1 o’clock positions. If you practice on even the slightest downgrade it is much easier to perform the maneuver. I would suggest you try it on a decline to get the feel for it then try it on flat ground. Good luck.
I used this method to teach people. It helped some, but not all. Worth trying it out though.
I don’t think it’s point is to say: don’t put any weight on your first pedal by the way. But compared to a rollback mount, you use a lot less, and the method in the video can help to get used to that. As DrD said, it’s about keeping the foot in the same position.
Yes. To me it’s like a one foot kick up like Onetrackmind mentioned. How many of us can hop 1 ft high on one leg while holding a saddle?
I’ve been riding for almost 3 years now, and I just totally rely on rock back mount which I’ve evolved from being able to idle.
I “tried” the 3/9 o’clock “traditional mount” but quickly gave up on it. At the same time riding and learning to idle formed my current mount. I will only try to practice the trad mount either on grass, or so. I have at least one incident where I failed and the unicycle kicked out under me and I went straight down.
To me the “zero grav” foot on pedal “ready to kick out” is a trick that requires perfect body lift to “pin head” saddle balance point. At the same time, you cannot really stall, you have to start leaning forward and pedaling at the same time. I would be really impressed to see a rider be able to free-mount like this + stall and hop. Unimyra is doing just that on his video, but he is a “master”. Again, this is more or less a “jump mount” an advanced move.
Anyways, I think the “key” is leg strength. If you are “only/barely” strong enough to hop with one leg to that height, then you need 100% power from that single leg and you have one attempt before fatigue. However, if you have strong legs say(squat your body weight or more), then you need less power. It will be easier to practice many attempts before reaching fatigue, which kills your accuracy/touch. So possibly, some gym time or focused quad strength building is what you need to do additionally, if you want to master this. That’s what I am doing. (if I can ever work through my joint pains). Also, traditional ‘extreme’ Bicycle riding speed/distance/elevation will develop crazy power quads. (JimT’s progressive block training, see above, looks pretty good and figured out a systematic way to get there)
I know a lot of you “experts” who may not be very strong are saying, it doesn’t take muscle. That’s because you have that perfect touch to get up and going. Try switching foot. Not so easy is it? Unless…ofcourse, you have already mastered that.
Anyways, my point is for any newbie who are having trouble. Get stronger, first. Or consider the “non-traditional” rock back. Keep on.
That’s the problem for me; the explosiveness in the legs is gone - or maybe I am just too heavy and not fit enough. I find that the slightest curb - even a grass edge in the park or a small stick - is needed for me to static mount.
2-step walking mount seems much easier to hoist the body up but has its own challenge in coordinating limbs. :o
As a newbie, I found freemounting from a pavement curb the perfect mix of static wheel, no backward motion and control of placing the 2nd foot.
You say that, but my static mounts always get me on top of the unis. Only with the 36" especially when tired, the static mount becomes hard, but persistence always prevails. The thought of having to walk back is good stimulation.
I agree. Try different mounts in different positions. Regarding the words smarter and harder, however, practicing a bunch of mounting variations may sound to some riders like a harder approach. They may prefer to identify a single, correct method, then practice that method, thinking that is smarter approach. IMHO, we need to avoid this kind of linear thinking when it comes to learning unicycling. I can understand why someone might approach mounting the 36" this way. For practicing variations on mounting, nothing beats a 20".
If we were smart the science of nature(physics) would tell us DON"T DO IT!!!
However, we(at least me) follow the tradition of Insanity.
Einstein said…Insanity = doing the same thing over/over, but expecting a different outcome. Guess, what Mr. Einstein…f-u…and the constraints of physical forces, geometry and balance. We… can ride!!!
My point is don’t be afraid to adopt the attitude, let’s get dumber not smarter!!
It’s more fun. Keep on.
(actually…if the physics were “accurately” modeled with a free body diagram by an actual unicycle rider…the science is on our side…but let’s continue this in another string)
Worst excuse in the history of excuses, maybe ever. Imagine how much of a long way it would be if you were small and short legged
I’d say think about getting your body over the unicycle, not not putting weight on the back pedal. Always easier to focus on what to do, rather than things to avoid when learning. Also, I don’t think not putting weight on it is important, it’s leaving the foot roughly in the same place/cranks staying horizontal that is the important bit. The initial push (and probably the bigger amount) comes from the foot on the ground, and you move your body over the wheel, not the wheel under you, that’s all I would focus on.
What helped me with static mounts - albeit on a smaller wheel - wasn’t to try to step ‘lightly’ on the back pedal (how lightly? how long is a string?), but to lock the knee once the foot is in position.
Same thing, mechanically, but thinking of it this way made all the difference in the world.
Great advice to me. I somehow got to think of it some time ago as finnspin suggests and it made a huge difference.
Garp’s suggestion goes in the same direction - not to think of weight - and I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow.
As for getting your weight over the uni, I often do this when changing wheel sizes. The first hop will just be all the way over, so I have a feel of where the center is and the next time I stay on and take off.