Unicycling in Iraq

I’m new to the sport and the site, so first I’ll say hi. I’m a soldier in Iraq, and just a couple of days ago, my Unistar DX arrived in the mail. I have never tried unicycling before, so this will be my third day learning. I am able to ride about three pedals, maybe seven feet, before falling. I’m not yet able to freemount, and have a ten-foot wall with a rail and a flat gutter that I practice with. Does anyone have any tips? How long has it taken some to learn?

shouldnt you be shooting terrorist instead of learning to become a clown?

oh, umm, just keep practicing, its not the mind learning it, its the body, so it just takes time

Since you are a soldier and you are serving your country I’ll tell you the secret. No one can unicycle. It’s simply impossible for the human body to do. Videos like this are all done with mirrors and wires and special effects.

:stuck_out_tongue: The general consensus is it takes about 15 hours to learn. Learn to ride first and then learn to freemount. Put as much of your weight on the seat as possible, not on the pedals.

I think there aren’t many “secrets” to unicycling. No special tips to make it much easier to learn. This is good and bad. Bad because there is nothing to do but put in the hours, good because as long as you put in the hours you can do it.

Once you can ride get someone else to learn. It is a lot more fun to ride with someone else. A complaint you will hear from many people is there is no one else in their city who rides.

Since you are new to unicycling and to the site I’ll give you a short tour. This is THE online community for unicyclists. It’s the big forum. All the greatest riders post on here. The community is small enough that everyone in the world can fit onto one forum.

www.unicycle.com is probably the most well known store
www.bedfordunicycles.com is the second most popular it seems
www.unicycling.org has some good stuff
The galleries on this site have a lot of great photos and videos.

I can’t think of anything else. Have fun learning.

It’s actually www.bedfordunicycles.ca

Hold up! Are you just trying to offend as many people as possible in one sentence or what?

Anyways, if you have time, you can do a search on the forums for stuff like “new to unicycling”, and you’ll come up with more info than you can handle. If you don’t have time, it can pretty much be summed up to keep your weight on the seat (no matter how much you concentrate on it, you won’t be able to do it fully yet, but don’t worry. There’s a period of about 5 hours when you can ride, but you haven’t yet put all your weight on the seat. Your thighs get really sore after about 200’, and you just can’t go farther. Don’t worry, this’ll change with time in the saddle). Try to slow down your pedalling. Less distance in control is better than long distance out of control. Also, try to take “steps” along a fence. Each "step) starts in the pedal lateral position (pedals at 3o’clock, and 6o’clock), and does a half turn of the wheel before going to the opposite pedal lateral position. Go in 1 step sets, and once you’re comfortable, go to two, then three. If you get tired of it, just go for a normal riding attempt. You’ll get it soon enough.

I’m curious, are you riding in steel-toed boots? That must make things a bit harder because I imagine they’re rather heavy and slip off the pedals pretty quickly.

Thanks for the info. I’ve been doing a lot of rocking back and forth on the saddle, with the pedals sitting horizontally. Also, I’ll go from one end of the wall to the other, holding onto the hand rail. I’ve been reading a lot on this and the other websites that were mentioned, and feel like I am doing a little better every day. While my boots are not steel toed, they are stiff at the toe, but do provide good ankle cushioning. I am, however, wanting to order a helmet off the internet, as I do not enjoy wearing the helmet the Army has issued me. Good for what it’s meant for, but not very comfortable for unicycling. Can anyone suggest a website with good helmets that has online ordering?

3 and 6 o’clock…now thats a funny way to set up your cranks :stuck_out_tongue:

kraze, i believe he meant 3 and 9 :slight_smile:


It’s 3 and 9 ONLY if your pedals are in the same time zone. If one was made on the east coast and the other on the west then use either 3 and 6 o’clock or 6 and 3 o’clock, depending on which one is where. Left coast pedals tend to be on the right side, as the right coast pedals are usually screwed up backwards. :slight_smile:

Kraze, unicycling, like walking, is a concept that cannot be taught. As you’ve no doubt noticed by now the human mind is far too slow and feeble to make the proper corrections in time. Worse, even expert unicyclists can’t figure out what their bodies are doing when they make the corrections. So take all advice with a grain of salt. There are a few training excercises but it sounds like you’ve gleaned those already.

Learning to unicycle is like learning how to walk all over again - hours of frustrating time at the rail wobbling about punctuated by moments of private elation as it all begins to click. Think of the uni as a prosthetic device you’re going to use to push the earth away and you’ve got the mindset about right.

Good luck and keep us posted. This is a very friendly place for newbies (myself included).

Any cheap bike or skateboard helmet will do. Skate helmets are good for being able to take multiple impacts (so they can take a bit of knocking around when off the head as well). I usually use the bike helmet because they’re a lot better in the heat and for ventilation etc.

(Get some wrist guards as well).

Learning to ride is mainly practice, some people learn quick and some slow.

Just keep at it for a bit each day and you’ll soon be riding and loving it :slight_smile:

If you’ve got time it’s worth downloading some of the uni videos on the net, for inspiration.

Good luck.

That will make for a great story someday. Were did you learn how to unicycle? When I was in Iraq! Good luck and stay low. Though the hundred pound Kevlar helmet you are practicing in might not be the best to learn how to Unicycle in, taking into consideration were you are learning you might want to keep it on.:wink:

So once you learn how to ride, you should join the MUNI MILITIA


Re: Unicycling in Iraq

On Sun, 16 May 2004 12:55:37 -0500, “kraze” wrote:

>How long has it taken some to learn?

Varies, depending on age, wheel size and more, see
<http://www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/agelearn_short.htm>. There are also
some learning tips on my site.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

be sure to remove the saddle and simply sit on the seat post. this is far more comfortable - tennisgh22 on the comfort of Savage unis

Hola, Kraze.

Sounds like you’re making the wisest possible use of your time over there.

Having spent four years in the Army myself, I think I can say you’ll be learning more valuable lessons on the unicycle than on the job;)

You picked a great unicycle to learn on. I have one also(among many others).

Sounds like you’re doing fine on your progress. Don’t worry too much about what seems like slow improvement. It makes success so much sweeter when it comes, which it surely will if you keep at it :sunglasses:

Thanks for your service! And may God keep you safe and happy:D

Hi Kraze

If it is possible, could you post a picture of yourself and the unicycle?
When I try to tell people that all sorts of people unicycle they tend to demand proof.

Good luck out there.

4 years in the army, working as a nurse in a jail. You sure have a list of weird things that you do/have done.

Kraze, post a picture of you on the uni in full army gear!

Well Robbie, who ever said unicyclists weren’t weird! We’re just weird in a good sort of way!

Once I learn to ride, I plan on having a picture taken of me in my Kevlar (helmet) and Interceptor (bullet-proof vest), while aiming my M16 (rifle).

That sounds like a good way to ruin a perfectly good rifle. :slight_smile:

The picture will certainly look funny. As far as wrist guards go, I have weight-lifting gloves. Where do people go for the safety equipment I see in the videos? I’m going to start looking at skateboard sites for a helmet, thanks for the tip.

Yes skating helmets are popular ( I’m gonna get one and Dan Heaton certainly has one :slight_smile: ) You probably won’t need wristguards when your learning, just land on your feet and it’s all good. If you can’t land on your feet don’t shove your hands out to take everything, use them so slightly catch you and just roll. As far as sports go it’s very safe.