I’ve been riding a unicycle for over two years now and i can barely do anything with it. I didn’t know anyone who had one and just bought one one day online and taught myself. I can ride endlessly no problem and that was my transportation before I got my car. I’ve ridden it about 12-15 miles in one day before. But i can’t do any tricks or anything like that with it. Whenever i try to learn something new it takes forever to do it. So i can obviously ride it, idle, ride backwards about 10ft, and can’t hop more then 15 times and they are small hops. My unicycling capabilities really discourage me but also I am very happy and proud of what i can do. But I am determined to do more, but it is really hard for me to do anything new on it. Can someone try to give me some tips on what I can/should do to get better, wish I had someone I knew who rides and could show me stuff in person.
Don’t worry there’s a lot of us in the same boat as you. New things take me ages too…but it’s all doable…I am envious over your ability to ride backwards!!! Good luck on finding someone to help you…where do you live?
Anything new takes time to master.
What kind of ride do you have, and what is the wheel size?
You need to stay within the confines of what your ride was designed to do.
Trying to perform extreme types of skills is suited to cycles designed for that, from a strength standpoint. There is a lot you can do with a basic ride without breaking it. Just be mindful of the limits of your equipment.
Make a list of skills that you would like to master.
Is your current ride suited to the list of skills you would like to learn?
Work on a skill as a focus lesson for the day. This is a seperate aspect from just riding.
Skills lessons are just that, lessons. Once you have a solid basic ability to perform a skill you can then incorporate it into your daily riding. continue to practice skills in order to continue to get better at them.
This is no different than playing an instrument. You must continue to practice in order to improve. No matter what your skill level you will need to practice to improve to a level beyond your current state.
I’m just getting back into riding after having been out of it for about 10 years.
I’ll be doing a lot of what I posted here myself.
Word. That’s one of the best things about unicycling.
I learn slowly too, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. How often do you practice?
Can you take video’s of yourself, and post them for critique?
Something you could work on.
Snap a couple of tight chalk lines on the ground, and ride within the confines of those lines. This will help you to ride very precisely. Work on your pedal stroke. Try to develop a nice smooth pedal stroke, so that your wheel travels straight, and does not move side to side when you pedal. Keep moving the chalk lines tighter and tighter.
You can use the chalk lines as guide when riding backwards as well.
Think precision when your’re riding.
One of my flight instructors was really big on this type of training. He always wanted me to land the plane at the same exact point on the runway, EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Ride with precision. When you can ride consistantly on a line no wider than your tire, your good to go.
I guess your spelling teacher wasn’t pushing the same technique.
Apologies, I couldn’t resist.
But seriously though, you need goals and need to work on them.
Yeah, what kind, size of uni do you have and what do you want to get into?
Just that you are unable to do some skills dosn’t have to hold you back. I still can’t mount or hop well enough to be usefull but I still ride moderatly tech XC Muni.
When riding fast you can’t eliminate wobble, but you can reduce it. I pull to the centerline of the uni a bit w/ the pedals which helps a bit. Also learn to ride w/ holding the handle (I switch hands regularly). This works better at reducing wobble for me.
To improve your balance practice w/ your arms crossed, or behind your back. When that gets easy do it on your “skinnies”, circles, figure 8’s, etc.
Ride every day.
I would pretend painted lines or craks in the asphalt/concrete were skinnies I had to stay on (also lane bumps on streets w/o traffic). On sidewalks where seams cross I pretend there are cones on all of them and weave through them.
Do urban Muni or tricks/skills you’re trying to master on your commute (see signature).
Practice still stands (start w/ supports), hopping, and idling while watching TV.
Do you ride for long and often? If you want to learn something specific it’s easier to put main focus on that trick instead of lots of little tricks
Another thing to consider is if you are trying the wrong discipline?
For example I was really keen to get into freestyle BMX when I was younger, but I just sucked I tried and tried but I just don’t have it in me, I am however very focused and love churning out off-road miles, the physical and mental endurance of going further and further without stopping for rests etc I found my strength and 2 decades later I pushed my self by going to a single speed and rigid MTB then this year I lost the chain and front wheel
I am the same with Unicycling, I love watching trials but I know I would suck at that as well but I have been riding 2 months and I am doing 10 mile MUni rides already with a goal of 30 miles off-road this year and hopefully taking part in an MTB race.
I whole hearty believe in the saying “The only limitations are those we put on ourselves” (or whatever the exact phrase is) but you do need to have a touch of realism
Have you tried doing MUni rather than tricks you seem to have the dedication staying power lol
Just about anyone can become decent at a disipline, some may require more practice to get to that level. The biggest thing is can they break the process down and make it fun enough to keep going.
People tend to like things they can do well or learn relatively easily and/or w/o major negetive consequences.
This is very true w/ me. Partial paralysis in my legs meant learning to ride was super hard, but I had a burning desire to learn to Muni and can now do moderately tech Muni (only one trail at my local spot that I won’t attempt). I’ve come to expect the same to be true for learning most tricks for me.
I also love to watch trials and highly tech muni, but learning the basics got me woried of breaking my braces (see avatar) from the many UPD’s I’d have in the long learning process.
I saw a great quote on UDC the other day. I can’t remember who said it, but it was something like “You have to earn every trick in UNI, there are no shortcuts/cheats…”
That is very true… Every new trick I have learned (which isn’t many) has felt totally unnatural and uncomfortable for the first week at least. It normally takes weeks or months of practicing 3-5 times per week before I get semi-proficient at any Unicycling trick.
Like others said, it takes lots and lots of practice. Repetition is key. Practicing a trick 15 minutes a day for 4 days is better than practicing once a week for an hour. I’m not suggesting you only practice for 15 mins at a time, but muscle memory is key with anything technical like UNI tricks.
I don’t do any tricks per se, I don’t really idle or ride backwards, though I do stalls and such as needed while riding trails. My biggest trick is simply riding along, clearing roots and rocks.
What inspires me most is riding the same trails after a short time away and finding that my skills have improved and what was once steep is now flat, what was once a big drop is now a small dorp, etc…
Find someone to ride with, it is so fun to talk shop with another person who understands unis, plus you can learn a lot by watching others ride.
Sorry that i posted this and haven’t gotten back to replying untill now. I forgot too lol but would be rude not too.
@jojoxie im around the boston area so being near a big city i would suspect there benig other unicyclist I haven’t seen any around.
@glwanabe I have a torker cx 20’ and torker lx 26’ and practice really is everything. I play guitar and some things take forever to get down and you got to keep at it. i cant really upload i video of me riding i dont have a camera and phone video recording is just horrid. Also thanks with the precision advice, im going to try that chalk lines thing.
@aarons During the cold weather I didn’t ride that much this winter but now im trying to ride at least 3 times a week at a minimum.
And this post is going to get long is i start replying to every single reply, but thanks for all the advice given. A little update since this post i’ve been working on the backwards riding and can go further now. Not sure exactly how long i can ride backwards for but there is definitely an improvement. Also got better with my hopping the most i hopped at once now is in the forties. Also i just got a new uni yesterday!!! Got a 20’ nimbus 2 and i am absolutely loving it. Didnt get to try it out that much because i didnt get it ill late at night but i have alot more control on it while hopping and last night i could hop in a direction and was able to hop up a curb for the first time.