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Hello from Dublin, Ireland

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  • Hello from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi all, hello from Dublin Ireland.

    I got a unicycle for Xmas a few years back. Then myself and my wife had a baby so I didn't get a chance to learn. In the last 3 months I have started to learn and I am loving it !

    I love the feeling of delicate balance and how my thoughts settle whilst riding. Presently I can ride in a more or less straight line. I am in the process of learning to free mount. Once I can do that 99% of the time I will move on to idling and then going backwards.

    I try to practice 15 minutes daily and give up once I start to tire. I hope to start unicycling to work next Summer and will treat myself to a 29 inch.

    A question regarding idling, should I keep my weight in the saddle when I am doing this ?

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum.

    Many experienced riders advise putting more weight in the saddle. That, however, is something which will come with practice. If you're currently putting most of your weight on the pedals, that's okay. Many styles of riding, such as mUni and seat-in-front riding, involve placing more weight on the pedals. With more practice, you will find yourself settling into the seat.

    For the time being, make sure your seat is set high enough. Having a higher seat will make the overall posture of your body more upright while riding, and this will help you place more weight in the seat, because your center of gravity will be more aligned with the seat post and axle. When you have a UPD (un-planned-dismount), you will be more likely to land on your feet if your riding posture is already upright. If you think your seat could be higher, raise it one small increment before practicing, then repeat as necessary, later.

    When I was a beginner, I learned to mount from the 12:00 and 6:00 position; this made my crotch lower in relationship to the seat, and I needed a lower seat height to successfully free mount. Now, I mount with the first foot much higher, and this makes getting my butt on the seat easier, even when the seat is higher.

    IMHO, don't wait until you can do something 99% of the time before moving onto the next skill, or the next variation of a skill. If I had imposed that logic on my own riding, it probably would have inhibited me from learning mounts using the non-dominant (other) foot. In my experience, certain skills only got polished after learning another, seemingly unrelated skill. Don't be afraid to experiment. Which brings me to my next point:

    Safety gear, in order of importance (because you shouldn't be afraid to experiment):
    1. Wrist guards are the #1 piece of safety gear; I have come down hard on my wrists quite a few times, and they've probably saved me from injury.
    2. Helmet: If you're practicing near a wall or other crutch, your chances of falling into something increase. I've never fallen on my head, yet, but I have run into, with my helmet, low-hanging branches, which would have messed my head up pretty badly, had I not been wearing a helmet.
    3. Shoes: I would avoid wearing soft, running shoes. At some point you're going to kick the ground really hard with the toe of your shoe during a dismount; you don't want to break your toe.
    4. Shin guards: You're going to want these while practicing mounts.
    5. Knee pads: I skinned a knee pretty badly, then bought some knee pads.
    6. Gloves: I like them because my style of riding involves grabbing the seat and seat handles.

    Keep riding!


    • #3
      Thanks for the information !

      I think the seat might be a little low for me. I am 6 feet 1 inch in my bare feet. I have a 20 inch Nimbus 2 unicycle and the seat is at its maximum extension. When i have one the pedals in the 6 o'clock position my knee would have a noticeable bend in it when I am sitting on the seat.

      I am practicing the free mount with both feet, its more difficult on one side that the other. That is good advise about practicing more advanced skills before completely mastering a more basic one. I shall start trying the backwards riding and some other mounts.

      I will pick up some protective gear asap, I have been pretty lucky so far, I learnt on the grass to start, so any UPD were fairly painless. What gear would you recommend ? Is the stuff on the main unicycle site good ?


      • #4
        Hi kingknutr

        Welcome to the forum and the world of unicycling!

        Excellent advice from elpuebloUNIdo.

        I didn't used to get injuries the first few months and therefore I didn't bother with safety gear at all. But as you become more advance and take more risks you do start to get more unexpected bashes/falls. Now I do use guards, gloves etc.. more often.

        I've got the 661 shin guards as they were reduced price and they do the job nicely. I think they are similar to the ones in the Unicycle web site. Other possible option from their website: the KH leg - I am guessing is probably lighter and less chunky than the 661 guards, also it has the advantage of protecting your knee. Once my 661 fall to pieces I might get the KH leg armour myself.

        For knees and elbows I bought some cheap 'skate board pad set' similar to the ones in the unicycle website. In my experience the wrist guards in those sets sometimes can do more harm than good : they are very rigid and because they stick out on your palm and they make you clumsy: they get on the way when trying to grab things like the handle of the saddle, etc.. I bashed my finger quite badly because of them. The KH gloves listed in the Unicycle site are great and they are worth every penny: they protect your hands and your wrist at the same time! - their 'incorporated wrist guard' have been designed not to be as chunky and stiff as a standard wrist guard (probably they don't protect as much but I would say probably enough for most falls) and you really don't notice them when wearing the gloves. I now wear them all the time I ride my unicycles.

        So, to answer your question: yes the Unicycle site (I guess we are talking about the UK one, I am not sure if there is one in Ireland) is a great shop and they sell good safety gear stuff (I've bought my KH gloves from there).
        Unfortunately in my case because I am in an Island the cost of the courier (for bulky items) from them can be crippling (I would guess similar to shipping to Ireland but it might not be - it might actually be cheaper the shipping to Ireland) and not worth it for standard items that are found somewhere else with very low cost/free shipping. Apart from the KH gear the rest can be easily found somewhere else: juggling equipment web sites/shops are quite good for finding unicycle related stuff (you might find KH gear there) and bicycle/amazon/etc.. sites are also good for obvious reasons.

        Warning: unicycling is highly addictive!


        • #5
          QUESTIONS ABOUT IDLING should not be posted here in Just conversation.

          You might have noticed the heading leading to this page that clearly states "Non-unicycling discussion." People come here to get away from all that unicycle discussion, please.