After an excruciating 2 day wait (that’s how my son sees it anyway) our new DRS Solo Pro unicycles (rebranded Torker LX) arrived. Neither of us has ever been on a unicycle before. I got his put together around 5:30pm and he was anxious to get started.
We went to a local car park (parking lot) with a fence around it and he gave it a go. I wasn’t able to cut the seat post for lack of a saw (will do that tomorrow) but he wanted to try anyway. I was impressed with his first attempts. I know he will likely pick it up much faster than me, an overweight old man.
Here he is, ready to go:
I will use this thread to post updates on our progress, hopefully with some video soon.
I remembered back towards the end of October when I first got my Torker LX 24". My first unicycle. My family thought I had gone crazy. My dad even tried to bribe me with money to not use it (yeah… :o).
I taped up the seat bumper and handle and the pedals because I didn’t want to put a single scratch on my new unicycle. Family thought I would die in the next few days from their reaction.
No such thing.
TIP though: If you can, guide him with going forward. I learned soooo much faster having someone hold my hand and pedaling along than I did holding a fence.
When you try to learn to go backwards, turn your seat around so your pedals don’t go loose, that’s how I ruined my torker lx’s crank 3 weeks after I got it
Remember that in unicycling, nothing is wasted. Even learning how to successfully fall off your unicycle without hurting yourself and possibly protecting your unicycle is a skill.
Wrist guard too, not sure if those are wrist guards that he’s using. It’s VERY important, especially when first learning. I nearly broke my wrist a few times learning how to freemount.
He’s lucky he gets to learn using a fence I learned the hard way on my torker dx in the front yard. Dont let him give up if he falls a lot and if he gets frustrated call it a day. I fell a ton of times especially cuz I had nothing to hold onto. Two tips that really helped a lot for me was
The goal isnt to stay on the unicycle its to stay over the wheel you could sit on the frame all day
Quit while you’re ahead meaning once you make a big achivement you could do a few more tries but quit while youre ahead.
Once he learns how to ride he’ll have a blast and wanna go out most days and try new things.
its good you gave him a helmet and gloves, I didnt use a helmet and gloves (though my hands agree gloves wouldve been nice) looking back i probably shouldve used a helmet i just didnt bother with it.
Oh and one more thing I just thought of since he’s learning if he’s like me he’ll be doing a lot of seat pulling from falling and trying to catch the unicycle. In the learning stage check the seat bolts often because they tend to come loose.
Sounds like good advice. We are going to get the seat post cut today and I believe that will help him a lot, but there was no way he wasn’t going to try to ride his new unicycle yesterday.
I bought a 26" and I need to cut that seat post as well. I tried on his 20" this morning in the hall where I could easily reach both walls. I kept telling myself “Back straight, look straight ahead, keep your weight on the seat”.
I was surprised how difficult I found the whole experience. I’m determined to master it to a very basic level (just want to scoot around town a bit, too old to try tricks anymore). I probably have about 15 - 20 min in total on the seat and I was really feeling it. Shows how out of shape I’ve become, but I feel good just from trying something new. It’s too easy to believe that you’re too old to take up new things. I always promised myself I’d try new things no matter how old I got. When I was younger it was easier due to fewer responsibilities and such. So far I’ve lived in 3 different countries, took up Tai Chi about 20 years ago, rode motorcycles for years (long distance riding, sleeping on the side of the road, etc) and they all seem easier than this bloody unicycle!!
That’s the beauty of it. You get a real feeling of accomplishment from unicycle riding. You are doing something that few others can do. How cool is that? (And yet, almost anyone can do it, given enough time, practice, and determination.)
LOL…the hours I spent chanting that mantra to myself, and still do occasionally. You’re going to experience frustration and elation by the bucket load but believe me, the end goal is well worth it. Learning to unicycle is 95% pig headed stubbornness and 5% sweat. You’re both going to have a great time.
Just back from getting the seat posts cut and they are now mounted. The first words out of my son’s mouth were, “Oh wow, THAT is SO much easier!!”.
I’m now able to get on my 26" in the hallway. I have to say, for me it is much more stable than his 20". Now every tiny little move I make doesn’t seem like I’m in an earthquake.
We are off now for him to do a bit of practice outside, I don’t feel quite at that level yet and he needs me to help him so I’ll work my way up to the fence later. For now I’ll practice idling in the hallway along with chanting my mantra. I will get this down, but I can see it may take more time than I thought.
Clinging to a wall, fence or person is helpful in the first few minutes, just to get a feel for your unicycle, but in retrospect, my first big breakthrough would have come more safely and more quickly if I had just immediately moved to an area where there was plenty of room to fall down.
This is how I teach people to unicycle:
Step 1: Get your cranks horizontal (3:00 and 9:00) while holding onto a pole or something else that’s easy to leave way behind you and has plenty of open pavement all around it.
Step 2: Let go of the pole and fall forward, you and the unicycle together, like one big, straight tree falling over. Unlike a tree, though, you’re gonna start pedaling before you hit the ground. If you pedal before you’ve committed to that forward fall, you will fall backwards, which is bad news, so let yourself fall forward just for an instant before you start pedaling.
Ha ha. That’s how it all starts… Then, “Maybe I can ride that gravel road”. Followed by, “Hey, that cow-path looks like fun.” And, on to, “I could ride that trail if only I could hop figure how to hop over that log.”
Welcome to the never ending ladder of challenges! It’s a good ladder to be on. You and your son will have a LOT of fun.
Just one word of advice: I learned on a 26, and the falls are a LOT harder and you’re moving a lot faster than on a 20. You might wanna stick with the 20 until you get the basics down. I know that my old knees and back would have appreciated a 20 when learning.
My son has done some practicing outside and he’s progressing nicely. I’ve stayed inside in the hallway and have practiced with two walls.
We ventured out to a local retailer’s sub-level carpark today and he did even better. He was practiciing free-mounting (show-off) and he did well pushing a shopping trolley around on his unicycle.
Initially I was disappointed trying to hold onto the place where people return their trolleys. I finally departed that and went to a tall fence and was happily surprised by being able to get from one end of the fence to the other (while holding on) twice.
We lasted about an hour and a half and called it a day. It was good progress for him and for me.
Went out again this morning. had to sweep up the glass in the municipal parking lot close to my house, but it was worth it since they have a tall wire fence that I can hold onto while attempting to ride.
I find I do better using my right hand to hold the fence and get started. It is a process of finding the “sweet spot” of balance, too far forward you fall off, too far back you fall off. I stick my arms out to the sides for the side to side balance and that works OK at this point. I went up and down the fence and was able to get about 1/2 revolution of the wheel before having to place my hand on the fence again. I was able to make it up and down a few times without falling off.
It’s quite a workout since, at this point, I’m working against my body in most instances. Like many new things the tendency is to tighten-up when really I should be relaxing.
Anyway…I was satisfied with my progress for the morning (will be out again this afternoon) so I decided to wrap it up. I finished with a grand finale of coming off backward flat on my backside and breaking the fall with my right hand. It was a hard landing and I can see the need for wrist guards, which I will order soon.
Thankfully it was my pride that took the brunt of the fall, but I can see where you could get really hurt. I will persevere and, hopefully, move beyond my trepidation and into the wonderful world of unicycling relatively quickly.
Just in from a very brief afternoon session. This morning I took a pretty hard backward fall and broke the fall with my right hand and the wrist is hurting. I don’t think it’s serious, but, apparantly, it knocked any confidence I might have had right out of me.
I went to the fence and found my self worried about repeating the mistake that led to the fall. I’ve discovered this since taking up the unicycle in the last couple of days. I am so much more concerned about injury than I ever was in any other endeavour.
I only stayed about 10 minutes and called it a day. I’ll go back in the morning when it is cooler and the sun isn’t in my eyes and see if I can recover any ground. This is truly a learning experience in so many ways. Never thought being 60 would bring so many insecure thoughts to me. So much for devil may care…I guess that ship has sailed.