I learned to idle one-footed when I was a kid, then gave up on riding before I got one footed riding forward. But I always enjoyed idling one-footed.
Yesterday I had a break-through riding forward one-footed, and can now get 15-20+ revs consistenly on my KH20 with 137mm cranks.
I find one-footed tricks so fun. There’s something about them that is so Zen. Why are they so fun? My hypothesis is that it forces you to ride a uni the way it’s meant to be ridden, which is with your weight on the seat so that the machine becomes an extension of you.
You are in a place I was at 30 years ago. It’s a great place. You are making the impossible possible, and conquering gravity and new ways. There’s something great about that, plus the thoughts you had on why it feels good.
Also it could have to do with at least one foot not having to pedal every inch of the way. Now you know that you can still ride a unicycle while one foot can take a break!
In addition, I think it’s getting that pedaling foot over the top that feels so good. You have to trust in your skills to stay balanced until that pedal gets back around to the bottom half. With practice, you’ll be able to one-foot infefinitely. It’s a great workout for that one leg.
A couple of weekends ago, at the Berkeley Juggling/Unicycling Festival, Beau Hoover helped out a guy whose crank came loose during our Big Wheel ride. This is a 10-mile round trip ride, and he was having problems before the halfway point. Beau traded cycles with him and finished the ride with one foot, using his other foot on the bare square taper as a bit of a support. Even to the point of passing up an opportunity of getting the crank tightened back on when we rode right past a bike shop!
That is a great story, John. All the better because as much as people I know can’t believe I ride 10 miles or more on a unicycle, something that is no big deal to me, I find it amazing that someone would not only be able, but choose, to do a similar ride with one pedal.
At the risk of arguing about IUF/USA levels, I’ve noticed a similar thing at level 5 where you have to wheel walk. It’s the first time (in those skill levels) where you learn to ride without both feet on the pedals. Once this is mastered it feels almost mundane to ride in the standard way. I agree there is something freeing about it, very zen.