When and how do you first start to relax on a unicycle?

I got tricked into this sport because of all the videos of people having fun on their unicycles. Plus to challenge myself to do something that seems impossible and that most people don’t do.

After 3 weeks I can finally ride for 100 yards but in a “herky jerky” way all the while terrified.

Please share with me your story of the magic moment when you where no longer afraid.

if you’re not terrified, you’re not learning.
I’m only doing this 3-4 months, at about 8 hours a week. For me it was around 2 -2 1/2 months, after I could free mount.

But I’m still terrified, at times, but only for a second or two.

I’m roughly at the same stage as you, having cycled about 100m during today’s practice.

I find that I’m much more relaxed when I’m riding next to my “practice-rail”. Even though I do not use it for anything other than mounting it gives me a sense of security.

Also focusing on breathing (when too tense I tend to forget) and keeping my weight on the seat helps. Being conscious of this gives me a sense of being in control.

Finally: obviously when you are relaxed you can lower and relax your arms.
But today I noticed it also works the other way round.
By having my arms less tense / lower my whole posture felt more relaxed.

I think you learn to ride a unicycle by muscle memory…It takes your muscles time to react at first. YOur brain has to consciously think about t. In time your muscles will “think” without having to consciously think about it. How long…Everyone is different. It took me about 3 months before I could relax on my unicycle.
Mike Adams

I’m just a bit ahead of you. After trying and giving up 5-years ago, this past June I decided I had to learn. June 10th I decided to commit to riding every day for 20 days no matter what. I’ve probably only missed two days since then. The relaxing and weight on the seat happened over a period of many weeks not all at once. It was only a few weeks ago that I realized my feet were light on the pedals and I could actually move them around!

Stay with it and enjoy the journey.


Obviously it varies with each person, and the younger you are the faster you learn.

I would say each person has a certain amount of time they will need to spend “in the saddle” before they relax. How long? You’ll know when you start to relax!

Sometime after that you’ll notice you can just let your arms hang by your side. That’s a great feeling! I ride a tall unicycle in our 4th of July parade. This year I noticed at one point I wasn’t thinking about riding at all. I was just smiling and waving at the spectators. That was also a good feeling.

For me the fear went away in segments.

I would ride like a drunken sailor for 30 feet then all the sudden I’m floating completely relaxed and hear beings singing hymns of harmony, balance and marvelous things.

Seconds later I’d go crashing back to being the lost drunk person who can’t stand up long enough put on their second flip flop.

The moments of harmony will get longer and longer.

I just started to learn to ride backwards long distance and have gone back through the same thing. Time frame has been a bit shorter though.

I learned when I was a teenager, so I think the concept of “afraid” doesn’t apply accurately. :slight_smile:

At 14, I spent many weeks occasionally trying to ride a borrowed, awful, Troxel unicycle with hard plastic tire, no bearings, and a tricycle crankset. It eventually broke down when I was trying to learn how to turn, and I had a three year gap in learning.

So then I was 17, riding a Schwinn Giraffe away from the fender of a car. After about 45 minutes of that, falling down and climbing back up there, I was able to make a 180-degree turn, ride up a driveway and grab the basketball hoop on the backyard garage.

I don’t even know, really, when I learned to relax. After that, it was riding when I had access to my friend’s Giraffe, or a little later on, to a borrowed Schwinn 20". At that time, we would just fall (dismount, usually), get back on and keep going, without thinking about fear.

None of the above is recommended for beginning riders.