I finally mastered walking the wheel. It took me much longer than expected
given that I have been riding over 20 years and was otherwise a level six
rider. I think the key was that my balance was ok and my coordination was ok,
but neither was strong enough to get me over that hump – I kept falling after
about 8-12 ‘paces.’
What finally did it for me was trying it on my Monty 2.5" knobby tire (20"
high). Suddenly, within half an hour, I could ride 20-35 paces. And now the
whole enterprise seems much easier. I am glad I put in the dozens of hours on my
skinny-wheeled Torker (20"), but I am definitely glad I have the fat wheel until
I get better at this skill.
In sum: walking the wheel is much easier on a fatter tire.