Wheel walking questions

So, I can finally wheel walk as far as I want to go (yay!) but I still struggle with turning and getting back to the pedals. My ultimate goal is gliding, so I started trying one footed wheel walking, but after a few days, I’ve still gotten nowhere…
Do you think I should master wwing before learning 1ft wwing? If so, how should I practice wwing (to master turning and such) and when should I start learning 1fted? If not, what is the best way to learn one footed wwing?
I was also curious about which foot to use. My right foot is dominant, but I usually start with my left foot on the tire. Should I do 1ftww with my left or right?
Sorry for all the questions! I’m just dying to learn to glide, and getting pretty frustrated with wheel walking

Unicylon, I thought it appropriate that you should get an answer from the Uni-Cyclone. Even if your handle is derived from Battlestar Galactica villains.

As you have found out, wheel walking is a slow form of riding. Riding slow is harder than riding at typical speeds, so it takes more attention to keep balance at those low speeds. Turning is generally accomplished with arm movements. Not pretty, but you can’t do much leaning at regular wheel walking speeds. Make sure you’re sitting up straight. Your spine should be basically parallel to your unicycle’s frame for optimum balance and turning.

For 1-foot, first find a place for the non-walking foot. Normally this goes on the fork crown. Until that foot has a place to get planted, it’s hard to work the other foot. Once you’ve got that foot sorted out, you’ll see it’s not a huge difference doing it with just one foot. The main problem is usually lack of traction, making it hard to slow down.

Note on technique:
Good wheel walking goes from your toe to your heel. The heel edge at the back of your shoe can give you a lot of power and control, so don’t waste it by taking tiny steps. Make sure your feet are pointed straight, with the toe and heel each basically centered on the tire as your foot works its way forward. Outward-pointed toes makes it a lot harder.

It helps to practice wheel walking on a slight uphill, to help your hamstrings from getting worn out so fast. But once you want to start gliding, turn that around and go on a slight downhill. Get used to the idea of letting the wheel “scuff” a bit each time you pull your foot back. Then let the scuffs gradually get bigger.

The other way to get into gliding is to just go for it from 1-foot riding. Higher consequences, but potentially a faster way to learn it. Wear some pads. :slight_smile: Though you will eventually be able to go directly from normal riding into gliding, I find it works best to learn it from a 1-foot wheel walk.

Below, 1-foot wheel walking/gliding atop the Twin Towers in NYC, 1986. In those days, turf shoes ruled for unicycling!


Hello johnfoss!
Is that you? I’m assuming it is. What a neat picture! Not only because of what you are doing, but WHERE you are when the picture was taken. That must be sort of a strange feeling to think back on where you were.

Thanks for all of your helpful comments… all over the forum!

Adding to John’s excellent description.

Make sure your foot is in line with the tyre. You need to roll your foot along the tyre from toe to heal. If your foot is not inline with the tyre you will get very little control. Long foot strokes are best.

Hope that helps


Thanks for all the advice!
I worked on sitting up straight and focused on toe to heel, and after a bit of time I can now make a circle to the right. Left is a tad harder.
Great picture too, by the way! Makes me more excited to start gliding! :smiley:


Yes, that was me in 1986. I’ve posted that image before, as it’s a unique place to have ridden a unicycle. Nobody seemed to care that night, probably because it wasn’t crowded and we kept to an area with the least amount of people for our riding & pictures. Note the Unicycle Factory T-shirt, and my old patch & pin jacket, which has my USA Skill Levels patches (1-4). The 10 levels came later. The picture was taken by Tom Miller of The Unicycle Factory.