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  • #16
    Originally posted by BHChieftain View Post
    I'm planning to learn idling at some point. I know we don't *need* to learn how to idle, but heck, we don't *need* to be riding unicycles in the first place!

    But I think before that I'll work on hopping in place. Maybe also riding backwards.

    Chief
    Yes I agree hopping is more usable and being able to ride backwards would really be cool. Occasionally when riding the wrong way, I can stop - hop - turn around 180º and turn back, but it would be cool if I could just stop, ride backwards with a 90º turn and then ride forwards and turn 90º again. Of course some peeps can spin 180º from going forwards, but I won't ever be able to do that.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Unigan View Post
      Plus I hear it's easier to learn on smaller wheels and since I kept getting bigger wheels it's gone by the wayside.
      Exactly! And that's the reason most of the people posting on this thread haven't learned to idle- they ride large wheels! As the dialectical materialists point out, existence determines consciousness. Learning skills on a large wheel is possible, but you are far less likely to do it. A large wheel doesn't push you in that direction. I sometimes ride a large wheel too, but to me that is almost like bicycling, and the tricks I can do on my 29 were all learned on a 20-inch. On my 29, I am more likely to run errands or even commute to work than go to an empty lot somewhere and try to learn something new.

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      • #18
        I rarely want to ride and ride. To me that's the most boring type of riding. And the easiest.

        I want to stop, ride slow, stall, turn, go backwards,do a 90, do 180, start, hop, switch direction, etc, all without getting off. To me that's the biggest challenge.
        I want to do this on dry or wet: leaves, grass, dirt, gravel, snow, roots, acorns, weeds, etc.

        The more you can do of this, the more you'll have to learn Or will learn to idle.

        Then I can handle most of the unexpected. And burn more calories. That's the fun for me.

        But ice and mud scare the hell out of me.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BHChieftain View Post
          I'm planning to learn idling at some point. (...) But I think before that I'll work on hopping in place. Maybe also riding backwards.
          That's pretty much what I did. It was a lot of fun

          Riding backward came surprisingly quickly.
          If you can static-mount, hopping in place shouldn't take more than a minute to learn.
          Idling took me for ever but I made the mistake of sticking to the pole (despite not making any progress) instead of going in the open.

          Once you can ride backward some, have fun with the transitions

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          • #20
            Right now, I am idling back and forth assisted (holding onto a fence). I am doing 4 sets. Back and forth with left leg forward, then right leg forward. Then I try to do full revolutions. I started idling 10 times back and forth switching legs. Last night I got up to 65 times the first set, 55 times the second set, 40, then 30. Killer workout. Then I try full revolutions, I am up to 2, doing three sets. When i try to do full revolutions, i get stuck with my foot getting to the 6 position. I tend to fall backwards as well. I need to learn how to stay leaning forward. I am feeling more comfortable, my balance needs help but that will take time. I start idling from a 3 to 9 position to 5 ½ to 11 ½. If I try starting with a 6 to 12 position I get stuck. Starting with a 3 to 9 position feels comfortable for me right now. I want to work up to doing 5 sets of 100 idling to get my leg strength and get used to the feel. Then work on sets of full revolutions. It is getting easier. I already feel my legs getting stronger even though it is only 8 days in. I am looking at this as a workout, cardio. Eventually things will fall in place and I can ride like a pro. LOL. Like I mentioned before, I was walking out of a restaurant and I got hit by a drunk driver going 65 miles an hour. My left shin muscle atrophied a little, so when I run or walk for a short distance my left foot flops and I trip. When I power walk, I have to wear protective gear (helmet, elbow, knee and wrist pads), I feel like a dork, LOL. Eventually I want to get up to doing at least a mile, then 110 yard intervals (going 110 yards in like 15 seconds, go back to where I began, and take off within a minute from the time i started). We did this when I tried playing football….killer workout. Then eventually I want to work my way up to 2 miles. If I can stick with it. I am having fun learning. The workout is good cardio. The more I work on this the better I feel, and the better i am getting for being a beginner. I want to put Kris Holm to shame, hehehehe, just joking. Wish i would have started earlier in life. I am learning on a 29” road nimbus so I think it will take longer to learn than if i got 20”, but i have long legs. 37 inches counting the shoe. I keep watching videos to keep learning and seeing the technique of others. Some people have asked me to post videos, I apologize for not being able to do so. I am going at night so it is dark and I don’t have a good setup to do it anyways. I am also learning from everyone here. Thank you all for your advice. This is an awesome community.

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            • #21
              My Idling "learning" process

              When I learned and got better, I noticed 4 distinct "phases" as I got better.

              Phase 1: On the lower pedal put down "maximum" weight. On the top pedal "shuffle" back and forth as fast as you can. It's not natural at first, so I had to keep thinking "fast/back/forth/fast/fast". At the same time you will naturally figure out how to lean your body back and forth. Tip: don't sit up...get down and crouch...crouch...CROUCH!!!

              Phase 2: Steering the top foot. Yes, you can "vector" the foot toward the left or right. That means as you shuffle fwd/back, you can kinda push it left or right. It gives you sideways leaning control. So, if the unicycle is leaning to the right, then you kick with more side force to the left to balance. There is "fine touch" that you will get eventually.

              Phase 3: Get the Balance Right. (like the Depeche Mode song). So, as you get more efficient you will notice doing these things:
              a.) Use less weight on your down foot.
              b.) Crouch less and sit up/straighter on the seat. (yeah...now you can get more traditional...but good luck trying this at first)
              c.) Rock your upper body with "less throw/movement" but doing this much quicker to anticipate balance and compensation.

              Phase 4: Getting too easy and time to juggle. At this point you are:
              a.) Fully weighted on the seat.
              b.) Using less feet "shuffling" and more body "rocking"
              c.) Also, here's a big thing you can control side/side lean just by weighting or unweighting the seat. Remember there's 3 down force vectors/load points for lateral ctrl: down pedal, seat, and top foot. They all work together.
              d.) You will also be able stall for a second or two.

              Here's another tip: learn to free-mount by doing the half-idle technique!!! Keep on.
              Last edited by slamdance; 2020-02-06, 06:17 AM. Reason: ..

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              • #22
                Hi all,

                Idling is one of my aims currently,i have been doing both holding to a wall then try idling once ive let go of the wall and riding along,stop,try idling and either fall off or get going forwards again. i currently am stuck with a maxuim of about 8 idles by each method and i just cant seam to get any higher/longer.

                I have tried many things to try and get more from swinging bottom pedal both harder,softer,short and longer movements.I have tried different pressure on saddle and pedals to try and get more idles.

                currently here in the uk we are on lockdown but allowed to get out for exercise and my work is shut due to covid 19 so i want to make use of the extra time to try and make progress with this idling so any tips or advice would be very greatful.

                I am using a club 20" on 125 cranks and a qu-ax muni 24" on 145 cranks and am at about the same level now on both.

                Thanks
                Last edited by m00ms; Yesterday, 07:17 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by scotty watty View Post
                  when idling....do you do a "half revolution" or do you just rock back and forth just enough to stay up?
                  Basically: either and/or both.

                  I found when learning that it was good to explicitly try both: i.e. try long "half revs" for a while, and then try shorter strokes. Also, try slow and then faster. As you get better you can do both and I would say middle-to-long or long is then the easiest, but that might differ.
                  36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
                  29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
                  Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
                  26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
                  19" Trials Impact Athmos
                  20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post

                    That is not the way I learned. Quite the opposite, for me it felt like the forward and backward motion of the 12:00 foot was making the idle happen. John Foss has also described idling in terms of the bottom foot doing the work. That would certainly make transitioning to one-footed idling easier. I only learned to idle one-footed well with a foot on the crown, and I can only idle 5-6 times with one foot dangling in the air. Doing all the work with the bottom foot may be the proper technique, but it is not the only technique. I should practice focusing on doing it the way Mikefule mentioned, above. Because my command of that method is not developed.
                    I'm not a true free-styler, but did quite a bit more practice this year...

                    As to the bottom foot/top foot thing, it also seemed "wrong" to me at first that the bottom foot should be doing the work, as I felt that the upper foot ws doing a lot. However, when you learn to one-foot idle (which only works with the bottom foot), then you really see that the bottom foot is clearly doing most of the work. I think when learning one often does it "wrong" and uses the upper foot more, but it's probably not really wrong. I would actually say don't worry much, the main thing is to practice frequently. I was very happy this winter as I managed >100 one-foot idles on BOTH feet. I also learned mount-to-one-foot-idle athough only about 60%, but also with both sides and feels pretty good. This was all in the hall with a 20" with 89mm cranks. But wow, I can see the difference outside. Today on the trail on my 29 with 137mm cranks I wanted to do a jump/drop again and multiple times rode along the singletrail, started idling and while idling turned around 180 degrees and the rode bck the other way, did another idle-turn and then the drop again... that felt really cool. In the 36 with 125s I can't quite handle it (at a light I usually can only do 2 or 3 and can't make the duration of the light, but on the 29 with 137 or 127 usually works). Oops, sorry for the long brag, but just felt good to master it.
                    36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
                    29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
                    Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
                    26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
                    19" Trials Impact Athmos
                    20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by m00ms View Post
                      .......

                      currently here in the uk we are on lockdown but allowed to get out for exercise and my work is shut due to covid 19 so i want to make use of the extra time to try and make progress with this idling so any tips or advice would be very greatful......
                      Having learned to idle in the last several months I'd suggest to spend a little time each day, keep doing what your are doing and don't expect a major break though or significant improvement in any one day. Over time you will get better. It simply takes time to burn in your muscle memory so you will automatically react instantly without thinking about what you are doing.

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                      • #26
                        Thanks for the tip mucfreerider so i will see what i am doing with my top foot (hopefully not a lot!) sounds like you like short cranks,I recently changed my 26" from 145s to 125s and i really dont like it.

                        Hi Jim T thanks for the encouragement as i keep chipping away and i do seam to make little progress most times but seam to be stuck at 8 idles currently.whilst on this lockdown i keep jumping between idling on the 20/24s one day and the next getting out on my hatchet which is todays turn!!

                        hopefully with all this covid 19 going on everyone can still get out for one wheel fun.

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