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  • one sided

    hi all,

    i hope wherever in the world you are you can get out for a ride,here in the uk i am using my allowed to get out for exercise period to spend time getting much practice in.

    a little background on me before getting to my topic,i have ridden unicycles for many years but only really dabbled except for the last year where i have focused a lot on my ridding with much improvement and enjoyment .

    so my question is that i have noticed that i am very one sided ie my right hand side is my strong side.everything i do i use my right hand side like freemounting,dismounting,idling etc.

    is it wrong to be one sided or should i or do others work on there weak side ?

  • #2
    There are a few places where I've found it nice to be able to do things from both sides, like doing a rolling hop with either foot forward. But mostly I don't think it matters.

    Some folks think practicing the "wrong" side will make your good side better - I don't believe it (do tennis coaches tell players to work on their serve by serving opposite handed?). But I'll practice a skill from the other side, just to add to the list of things I can do.

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    • #3
      Yes, no, maybe, I don't know.

      Is it wrong to be onesided? No. I don't see any danger in it, unicycling isn't generally a onesided enough activity for you to get any muscular imbalances. Most people can't write with their non dominant hand, can only shuffle cards in one way, etc. What I'm saying is, in some ways, being better on one side is normal.

      Is it great to be versatile? Yes. For example, Eli Brill (amazing Flatland rider) is able to do almost all his unispins in either direction, which is pretty cool, and is very versatile in combos. Aidan Teleki can sidehop more than a meter with either foot forward, which is probably handy on some trials lines.

      Should you practice to be good on both sides? I don't know. Depends on your goals I'd say. Bike analogy, no one (at least that I know) practices mounting their bike from the opposite side then normal. If all you want to do is ride around the park, I don't see much of a point. If you want to be really good at downhill, you have to have a certain amount of versatility when it comes to hopping with either foot. It definetely isn't wrong to spend time to learn tricks on both sides. (Or for some tricks like unispins, there are even 4 different ways to do them, if you combine all different footstances and spinning directions)

      Personally, I practiced landing with the opposite stance for Muni, and it's proven really helpful there. Some random tricks I've also learned to do on either side, like riding one foot, idling, mounting. To be honest, I learned those mostly either out of boredom/couriosity on how fast I could learn them. It's mostly only proven useful when explaining tricks to people, so I could match what they are doing. (For example, it's a big difference for the transition from one footed to gliding whether you ride one footed with one foot and have the opposite foot on the tire, or use the same for both, and being able to show both is a neat thing as a trainer).

      I choose to mostly spend my time learning more tricks/things vs. spending time learning the same tricks in multiple ways. Some people really see a lot of value in being symmetrical, and I don't want to dismiss that (sorry if I may have sounded like I did that in the past), I just don't find much value in that for me personally.
      In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -Douglas Adams.

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      • #4
        I'm a fan of symmetry for body balance and adaptation to varying trail conditions.
        I'm mostly a cross country rider.

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        • #5
          Better to be ambidextrous!!! Why?
          Just watch Ed Pratt when he twisted one foot. His screams alone will be motivation to work on your "weak side".
          I am currently teaching myself how to ride backwards. I do really well from "one side", but really suck on the "other side".
          There's the key. I have to work on my "weak side". I used to be able to free mount from both sides, but lately I got lazy.
          So, now I really make it a point to free mount on my weak side, and practice my idles from that side for warm-ups.

          So, if you don't want to learn from Ed Pratt(who is Ed Pratt?...you serious?...I will take away your unicycle for that)
          Go ahead and wait till you have an injury that will "prevent" you from free-mounting your normal way.
          Stay safe. Unicycle away from public.
          Last edited by slamdance; 2020-04-11, 03:34 AM. Reason: :nosaeR

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          • #6
            As I get older and lazier, I tend to confine myself left foot down in mounting and idling. When I did more and harder riding, I practised mounting both ways, and found the ability to idle with either foot down was useful on the trail. I always use my right hand on the front of the seat or the T bar. Now, when the rare opportunity arises, I just get on and ride it, and one sided is good enough for that.

            If I were doing lots of energetic riding in a small space (trials, freestyle) then I imagine that too much one side idling and jumping might create some muscular imbalance.
            My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

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            • #7
              sounds like its not a major problem but i might start spending some time on my non dominant side for good measures then.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by m00ms View Post
                is it wrong to be one sided or should i or do others work on there weak side ?
                This topic has been covered a few times since I joined the forum five years ago. Unicycling is my main source of exercise. If I am practicing mounts, then I want to practice on both sides, because then I am exercising both sides. Practicing on my weak side forces me to think hard about the mechanics of a difficult mount. While I succeed in mounting on my dominant side by using greater strength, my success on the non-dominant side results more from having proper form. When I learned one-footed riding, I forced myself to learn on both sides, even though I was convinced one side was superior. However, after a difficult start, I started having longer one-footed rides on my non-dominant side. So, don't be so sure you are better on your dominant side.

                I suspect that dislike of the non-dominant side is a matter of ego/vanity for some riders. We have an expression in English: "Put your best foot forward." Make a good impression. As beginner unicyclists, and as beginners at whatever trick we learn, we have to endure the initial humiliation of not getting it. Once we learn to mount, the humiliation goes away...and screw it if we're going to subject ourselves to the same humiliation by learning on our "worst foot".

                Finnspin has explained well his reasons for not practicing some things on both sides. However, he is an advanced rider, and I am pretty sure he can do the more basic stuff both-sided. For a beginner learning to mount and idle, definitely, IMHO, you should learn both sided.

                Advice: I'm full of it.

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                • #9
                  Good point, elpueblounido, I guess I might add: Most riders that got through the more basic tricks (I'm not sure where I'd draw the line exactly, one foot wheelwalk/one foot riding ish I'd guess..?) will be able to do some tricks on both sides. It's natural to wonder "can I do this the other way around?" and try it at some point, and in my experience unlocking the other side is pretty quick to do.

                  Also, for some reason learning to idle on either side has always been a given for me, it just seems like a trick you'd naturally want to be able to do either way around.
                  In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -Douglas Adams.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by slamdance View Post

                    (who is Ed Pratt?...you serious?...I will take away your unicycle for that)
                    Hilarious!! That is the best quote. I love Ed Pratt. Such an inspiration
                    Last edited by Saintbroken; 2020-04-13, 11:34 AM.

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