Who else is a "repeat returner"?

Hi all,

Been a good while since I was on here as well as on my uni. Just wanted to have a rant and see how many other are/were in the same situatiuon as myself.

I find that life: work, kids, kids social activities, money and sleep (or lack of), necesarry DIY maintenance seem to keep getting in the way. I’ll have a few weeks were I get to practice/learn, maybe 3 to 4 hours a week so not many but then something will crop up and put a stop to it all just as I seem to be making some progress. I can’t yet ride up/down inclines and my street and the next few are all like this, so I cant just pop outsite of the house, I have to walk half a mile or so to get somewhere flat. It’s not far but it eats into the little half hour windows of opportunity that arrise from time to time.

Im still at the very early stages (ride in straight line and corner but without much control) and each time I make progress it really pushes me to get out more but then something happens which will stop me and it goes on the back burner for a while. When I return it feels like I’m starting all over again.
This frustration at wanting to go out but not being able to seems to make it harder to actualy make time.

I started going to a club which was great. Alas something else cropped up on the same evening which means I know can’t attend :frowning:

If I could make a little mor progress then I would ride on my work lunch break but I’m not quite there yet and as fairly shy I wont risk it with 100+ students to watch me.

Reading what I’ve written seems like I’m just making excuses, but it genuinely seems so hard to find time.

Ah well, rant over. :smiley:

Anyone else been like this?

I’ve been somewhat in this rut for the past two or three years.

Taking care of elder parents which computes to double the house maintenance, grocery shopping etc.

I ride when I can, & don’t worry about it too much when I can’t get the extra time in. Things will adjust themslves when they do & I will get on with it and other things when that time comes. :slight_smile:

You are not alone…

I agree with much of what you say.
There is always some excuse for me not to get out and practice.
I too detest being watched when riding like a pratt.
I can ride a couple of hundred feet quite often, but cannot turn.
I can freemount maybe 1 out of 10.

Earlier on before I could ride more than a couple of revs, I had a backwards fall which scared me off for a few months. Once I got back on I made good progress.

If I could have a practice area which was not overlooked it would be better.
Also, I hate the hassle and time needed to “pad up” with all the protective gear, which I regard as essential at my level of in-expertise, particularly when it is just for an hour’s practice. If I were going to ride for an hour or two it would be different.

It’s a pity you are not nearer to me, as two people making fools of themselves doesn’t seem to matter so much (there are no other uni riders within miles of me).

When learning alone, motivating oneself to get out and practice is a major issue.


I just had a new baby and have two older kids and busy at work, so lately it’s not been easy for me either.

I try to do what I can at lunch break. I found the loading dock which usually doesn’t have many people on it so that’s where I practice. I am practicing more advanced tricks though than riding straight, so I am not that shy when I fall on my a@$.

One key to becoming a decent unicyclist is not being afraid to look like a fool, because you will anyway, so why be concerned…

That said, there are days when I just don’t commute, for example, on my 36 because I just feel shy. I just don’t want the attention.

Agreed. When I was younger I use to care, I was a very shy person. I’m still shy and a bit too sensitive (bad things are 100 times more memorable than good things…).

But like they say…if it doesn’t kill you, it just makes you stronger (and…very very bitter :wink: )

When I practice unicycling, I concentrate on the ground and the unicycle when people are around, smile when I can. I have also grown this characteristic of getting pissed off when I fall down so I get up with even more determination to get it right (some people might even call it "losing your mind :stuck_out_tongue: )

People that point or even laugh etc. Let them do their thing. Once you get good, their attitude towards you will change. I even have part of the block cheering for me, they would yell across the street “we see you practice every day, you can do it!” It’s a bit embarrassing but I actually got to know more of my neighbors in the two weeks of practicing every day than the 10 years I’ve been living here.

You’re not killing anyone or doing anything wrong, nothing to feel embarrassed about. I want to get more people in my neighborhood on unicycles, that’s what I want but for the time being I’ll just practice as hard as I can. One of best feeling is when you make people that use to laugh at you not only stop laughing, but wish they can do what you do.

In terms of the topic though, lately I’ve been busy with classes. The biggest kill joy is “work due tomorrow”. My torker broke too. Also had some wrist pains which prevented me from holding the seat handle much. And the weather is switching a bit here. So I’ve had my torker for a month but only been practicing every 3rd day or so. Thanksgiving is coming up (one day break…woopie :roll_eyes: )
Eating dinner with the family? What family? I’ll be practicing with chicken in my mouth (don’t care too much for turkey…)

Join the club :smiley:
I envy people on here who have room in their house to do simple practice. Those lucky Americans with large basements/rec rooms and garages. My wee humble abode can’t accommodate unicycling and my garden is not particularly useful either.
When I learnt over the summer I too was embarrassed to ride in the street outside the house and would go off in the car to local flat spots however, in hindsight, these tended to be busy parks and sports centre car park so I probably had more of an audience than outside my house. As a result I have no qualms about trying new Uni things in front of people…on the whole they’re really impressed no matter how bad you are!
The dark evenings have made finding any time other than the weekend to practice tricky so I’m going to overcome another mental barrier and take the Uni to work for some lunch time riding. What’s the worse that can happen :roll_eyes:
MonkeyMark…only you can make it happen. Grasp what ever time you can possibly find and do it. As you improve and master hills you’ll be able to ride outside the house. In the meantime show your work colleagues how motivated you are to learn something tough and if they mock you, let them try it themselves.

Let’s see if I can remember all of my points.

Finding practice time: Sometimes, as the OP has found, there simply isn’t time. If there is, though, one can schedule practice time so that practice is the designated use for a chunk of time, not something you wedge in between things that are scheduled. Practice is the priority task for that time. Besides making sure that there is time, it also gets you out there practicing even when you don’t feel like it.

Putting on gear: Yes, it is, indeed, a drag; especially when your practice session is only going to be 20-30 minutes. It does become less of one once you’ve done it a bunch of times and you’ve turned it from something you have to think about to something you do more or less on autopilot. Putting on my gear was the part of practice that I dreaded most. Once I was actually out there practicing, I was fine. Now, it’s not so bad and my sessions are longer.

Practicing where folks can see you: So they can see you. So they point and laugh. So what? Wear earbuds. You might or might not hear their remarks, but the earbuds make it look like you can’t. Pay attention to what you’re doing, not the hecklers. You’re there for your benefit, not theirs. Once they see you fall off a few times, they’ll realize that it’s boring. The really stupid ones might take a bit longer. When you do fall off, don’t become upset (or at least don’t look upset), just walk/run out of the UPD and turn around at your leisure to pick up your uni and try again. Be nonchalant. The first thing you should have learned, before trying to ride, is how to UPD safely. You will be doing that a lot.

Hills: Remember how your legs tired easily when you first learned to ride? Maybe you’re still there, or maybe you’ve learned to put your weight on the saddle. Climbing hills is a lot like riding on level ground with more of your weight on your feet, except that you have to lean forward more to get enough energy into the pedals to turn the wheel up the slope and you have to manage your momentum a bit more carefully to keep from stalling. The basic balance is more or less the same thing that you’ve already learned to do. Similar ideas apply to descending hills. Find a slight grade and try to climb it. Find steeper grades to climb until you get to where you can climb your target hill. I find that I can descend steeper grades than I can climb.

I practiced in my driveway for a very long time before I felt that I was good enough to go on the street. I also knew that in order to just go around the block, I was going to have to climb and descend some pretty steep hills. I don’t think I made it all the way up the hill in one go, but I did get partway up, remounted, and made it up in a series of goes. Being able to static mount is really helpful for that. Even if you only make it 10% of the time, at least you aren’t stranded without a pole to mount on. It was like that for awhile until I built up my muscles or technique or both to the point where I could get all the way around the block without dismounting except for stop signs.

Once, a crowd of kindergartners came and pressed their noses against the chainlink fence of the basketball court where I was trying to learn to ride backwards. Idling, which at that time was a new ability and something I was very proud of, was completely uninteresting to them, I guess because it didn’t involve enough movement. My falls were what they enjoyed the most, even more than seeing me ride in quick circles, so in order to keep them entertained, I really focused on going backwards, which at that time involved a UPD after every two revolutions or so.

Hi all.

Thanks for the replies, feels good to know I’m not alone. Some great comments and suggestions amongst the posts too!

It was mentioned about mechanical failures slowing down progress, something that has effected me also on more than one occasion. I’d like to buy something more robust but can’t justify the outlay to myself untill I have made more progress and I’m still not totally sure what style/route I’ll go down so no point anyway.

I don’t lose much time padding up because I usually don’t. I know I should but I’m often limited to 10 minutes here and there meaning padding up would cost me that time. Though longer sessions I would.

The dark night’s are now here so time will be harder to come by, but I’m determined to get there in the end!

I’d love to get to the stage where I can pop out on my lunch break for a couple mile ride, so that is my target for now.

Well MonkeyMark, you inspired me to take my Uni to work and nip out at lunch time for a circuit of the campus…probably about 2km. Rode hard packed paths which made things easier but the track is basically climbing and falling the whole way around so I have probably done more practice on hills today than in the last 6 months of learning combined. Achieved more than I thought possible but am still panting now 5 hours later!
I hope to make this a regular thing now I’ve done it once and got over the initial embarrassment.


140 cranks seems very long?
Most seem to recommend 125 or less for a 20".
I am learning on 125’s.

Well at least this thread has been of benefit to you! Thats great.
I went for a walk along the cycle path that is near work to see what it was like yesterday. Total waste of time as its only about 600 meters long before turing into an almost country road. The cycle path is also covered in mud, not something I want to try yet. Never mind.

These were what came as standard on my uni, I may look into changing them I guess. Thanks for the heads up as its been that long (been over a year since I got it with little to no progress as I keep stopping) I had forgotten about these. But which to get now? I see UDC has 125’s out of stock (just cheap ones as the uni will be replaced at some point) but they have 127’s and 114’s. Hmmm, decisions.

But I finally beat it!

Keep at it, and don’t feel like you’re making excuses!
Stuff happens…and it really does seem like you have to keep starting over again, and again. Just keep at it. You’ll get there. I’m tons better than I used to be, but not as good as I WILL be. I used to be the slowest learner on the forum, but now I can ride over 40 minutes without a dismount. I still have a ways to go, but I’ll be at a nonstop hour before long. :D.

I’m not UniGeezer, but around here I AM the “neighborhood speed bump!” (said a neighbor).
If you see a unicycler in these parts, it’s most likely ME. :smiley:

Keep on keeping on MonkeyMark!
Keep on keeping on!

Oh, and don’t worry about what people think!
It took some nerve to ride on the street in front of my house the first time. It was lots easier after that. Now I get a huge kick out of waving at the neighbors and responding to their cute remarks.

Go for it MonkeyMark!
It’s worth it!
:). :). :). :).