My 8 year old learned to uni in a matter of an hour or two. She could tootle around and hop. She stopped a few months later, having got a badge in the Brownie Guides. Now, 5 years later, she still doesn’t ride, but won’t let me sell her learner. I live in hope that she’ll come back. If she does, she’ll need a bigger uni.
So, just be prepared for really young learners to “take a long break”.
That is GREAT! My kids have also picked up on it. We all started learning about a month ago and are all hooked. My 9 year old and 6 year old both ride their uni’s to school in the morning now (about 1/2 mile) and they love seeing the looks on everyone’s faces. It is so much fun!
Keep working with them and make sure it is fun. Since we are all learning at the same time (even my wife) it is such a blast to see everyone improve. It is a great example of teamwork and support as we each have helped each other. Good stuff!
MDale That is awesome that you have the whole family riding. Any tips for getting the wife on? Mine used to join on Muni rides with her mountain bike. She has showed interest in unicycling but just did not go anywhere when she found out how hard it actually is!
As far as getting everyone involved, it was pretty easy. This was the first thing that none of us had any experience with at all, so we were all starting at the same spot. My wife and I agreed that we would get the kids started first and if they took to it, we would follow up. After a few days, it was clear that we each needed our own uni, so we picked out the right size and ordered them up.
Now everyone can ride at their own pace and work on their own skills. We all go to an empty covered parking garage, so there is plenty of flat open space with plenty of poles to use to start. We have been at it for about a month and the progress is great. My kids can both free mount, I still need a curb to get started, but getting there. Just today my wife rode about 150 yards on her own with a 180 degree turn.
We set out cones for the kids to work on turns, we have drag races and even longer loop races. We do them both timed and group starts, so it is always fun. The big thing is fun and momentum. Everyday someone does something they have never done before and the rest of us get motivated to do it too. We set goals like to make it to the next line, the next pole, do a full lap, etc. Every time we go, we all have something to work on.
One other thing that has worked is a video camera. We started taking videos of everyone and it is a great tool to see yourself and evaluate what you are doing. The kids love it and my wife can watch and really see what she is doing, rather than just me telling her. I have so much raw footage that I need to edit to make it more watchable.
Honestly, this has far surpassed my expectations of good family time. Best of luck!
My young son and I are hooked. (Well I have been hooked for six years now and ride off road at a very high level.) I guess that my wife and older son will just do their own things. Still it would be cool if they got into unicycling too.
Here is my son Martin’s first video. We gave him a beginner uni a year ago for his 10th B-day and now we have 7 unis in the garage, some his sister’s (who started a few months later) and one (mine) is a loaner. Both kids are hooked.
Once my younger son started riding my older son got jealous buckled down practiced and is now also riding like a pro! They are both hooked and love riding and practicing.
My six year old rides a 12" Sun and my 8 year old rides a 16" Unicycle.com.
Today we did a 4 mile ride up and down the Tel Aviv Jaffa promenade and boardwalk. The boys were real champions and did the whole ride without complaining. There were even some pretty rough cobble stone sections that they did no problem!
There are ready for it! This weekend I am going to take them to dirt jeep trails. Soon they are going to be riding the singles with me!
My two boys are a bit older than these guys 14 and 17, they learned faster than me and ride better than me and all I see of them is their dust settling. So I hope you have some great riding while their still small. As for getting my wife in the saddle i’m thinking of trying double sided tape!
That’s a great little video clip, and you must be a very proud unicycle dad. My favorite part is the flailing technique. Older people learning to ride should study this. No, really. Not the moves, but the fact that he’s just doing what works, and not worrying about what it looks like. I’m sure his riding looks totally different by now!
It has been my experience that people who learn really fast are less likely to stick with unicycling. There are probably various reasons for this, including the fact that most other people don’t stick with unicycling either, but I think the ones that really had to conquer the “impossible” demon to learn to ride have a greater appreciation of what they accomplished.
At the pace that you enjoy the most. It’s not a race.
Like John said that arm flailing totaly helps. I remember flailing like a spas especialy on turns when I first started riding.
Seems like young boys don’t like listening to advice so I just let them do their own thing. Now Neither of them are flailing thier arms when riding on concrete or asphalt, which brings me to mentionion thier latest accomplishment!
This weekend we did a 3 kilometer ride on a dirt jeep trail. Yup! They are riding off road! It is a little hard for them to freemount if not pointing downhill but they are getting the hang of it. Yes they flail thier arms when going over rockier patches! It is a pure pleasure. I think that they are going to stick with it becasue they love all the attention it gets them and the Ice cream that I get them for riding so well.