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Old 2017-09-03, 04:12 PM   #16
1wheelonthefly
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learning to ride.

you're well on your way. If you've never seen the video Connie cotter has on learning to ride, she has some good pointers in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Zst6Cs0Yg
I just started to ride again after a 40-year leave. Sure you're going to take some falls that's just part of the game. You just need to learn how to save your self from a real good fall that might get you hurt. It's not like a bike where you try and catch your balance by using the bike. With a unicycle, you've got to get your feet on the ground as quick as possible, This is by taking your feet straight
to the ground and forgetting about the unicycle so that you can catch your balance. Get your self some peddles that don't have the pins to where you can slide your feet off for this. Keep it up the more you ride the better you'll get. Learn how to put all your weight on the seat it will take some of the stress off your legs. Take a look at where the seat height is set, Connie tells you in the video where it's best for learning to ride. I've found for myself that if it's set to low it can be harder to keep your balance. Hope this helps you a little.
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Old 2017-09-03, 04:35 PM   #17
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by 1wheelonthefly View Post
Learn how to put all your weight on the seat
While I think this is generally good advice, I can see how having a lot of weight in the seat can result in a bad fall. The feeling of floating on the pedals may be, for a beginner, the precursor to falling. Too much weight on the pedals, on the other hand, while exhausting, helps to assure there is contact with the pedals.

Weight in the seat helps keep the unicycle stable; it keeps the seat from moving around. I wonder if that stability is really what beginners need, not weight in the seat per se. Raising the seat may help stabilize the unicycle.
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Old 2017-09-03, 09:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
While I think this is generally good advice, I can see how having a lot of weight in the seat can result in a bad fall. The feeling of floating on the pedals may be, for a beginner, the precursor to falling. Too much weight on the pedals, on the other hand, while exhausting, helps to assure there is contact with the pedals.
That rings true with what I remember of learning. Weight on the pedals = prepared to make a quick getaway! It was the thigh burner rides, when I was steady enough to go about a hundred yards, where I really started working on weight on the saddle. Riding along my practice wall was at least a chance to start thinking about weight on the seat and pedals, and to work on planned, controlled dismounts.
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Old 2017-09-04, 09:40 AM   #19
ScaredOldKid
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Got to 100 yards last night

Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
While I think this is generally good advice, I can see how having a lot of weight in the seat can result in a bad fall. The feeling of floating on the pedals may be, for a beginner, the precursor to falling. Too much weight on the pedals, on the other hand, while exhausting, helps to assure there is contact with the pedals.

Weight in the seat helps keep the unicycle stable; it keeps the seat from moving around. I wonder if that stability is really what beginners need, not weight in the seat per se. Raising the seat may help stabilize the unicycle.
This advice is ringing true at this stag of my learning. I'm going in and out of having my weight fully in the seat. Often I have to mentally force myself to seat down harder and those are the times I most feel the little movements of the unicycle. I still often place too much weight on pedals and that is when it become most unstable.

The miss leading thing for me where all the you tube videos of super advanced riders who often rode up out of the saddle and in the most extreme cases just riding the wheel (the unis that don't even have a seat post or seat.
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Old 2017-09-04, 10:26 AM   #20
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Dominant foot for thrust vs. mounting?

Before I start to learn to free-mount I have to figure out my dominant foot. Yes I'm still unsure which foot this is. I'm right handed and I've tried the old "fall forward and see what foot you catch yourself with but it's not a true test because I'm thinking about it as I'm doing it. Also the walk forward and see what foot you start with and again doesn't work because I'm thinking about it as I do it. Sometimes it's left other times right.

When I Wakeboard I like my left foot forward with light pressure and my right is back driving the board. Also when i surf same thing. The only real clue I have is when I mount a bicycle I start on left side of bike place left crank forward then put left foot on.... give a push and throw right leg over seat and away we go.

So when I began to learn unicycle at a post or wall I've been placing left pedal low, left foot on, step right foot up and roll back a bit so that left foot is now forward, then thrust with a left foot crank much like my mounting a bicycle.

The problem is as I see Free-mounting videos folks use their step up foot as their forward thrust foot.
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Old 2017-09-04, 10:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Weight in the seat helps keep the unicycle stable; it keeps the seat from moving around. I wonder if that stability is really what beginners need, not weight in the seat per se. Raising the seat may help stabilize the unicycle.
I agree absolutely from my experience with beginners. I have taught three riders who all learnt basic riding in an afternoon session. I alerted them early about gripping the saddle between the thighs. The right saddle height isn't about weight on the seat but about how it places the point of contact with the inner thigh at a location that moves relatively little and can act almost like a simple pivot rather than involving the hips much at all.

With weight on the pedals and a thigh grip on the saddle, the resulting three point linkage between rider and wheel is the minimal geometric case of the uni motion system. Neglecting ankle movement (which can be minimised with robust ankle covering boots, which I also recommend for beginners), the moving points of the system come down to hub, pedal, knee and thigh/saddle interface in a simple quadrangle. There are no degrees of freedom other than pedalling.

Moreover, the upper body is largely isolated into a separate system at the thigh/saddle contact point.

Learning the basics is always going to be easier when the system is reduced to its simplest elements and thigh gripping really is the key to it.

As we advance our skills we become more adept at utilising the extra degrees of freedom available by integrating the upper body movement with the legs but that is a far more a complex proposition for the nervous system to manage. Then we can learn to sit down.

The thigh grip also provides a facility to twist the uni so it drives in the direction of the rider's fall without leaning it and losing the balance. Steering into the fall is the foundation principle of any unstable system, including walking with which uni has a surprising amount in common. Another of my suggestions to learners is to think about it like walking. "Put the wheel where your front foot would be if you were walking".

Of course the advanced rider integrates balance and steering by moving their weight or tilting the wheel with their hips which requires the combination of skills. The learner needs the uni to basically stay upright so the balance and direction systems are relatively independent allowing their brain to come to manageable terms with what are otherwise complex movements in three axes.

Such techniques are certainly not optimum for riding but they work for a beginner because they isolate the components riding skills into fathomable sub-systems.
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Old 2017-09-04, 10:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ScaredOldKid View Post
Before I start to learn to free-mount I have to figure out my dominant foot.
No! Consider yourself lucky and work on both sides together. You will probably eventually gravitate to one side but try to resist the temptation and you will be a better rider for it. Ambidexterity is a blessing in uni.
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Old 2017-09-04, 11:20 AM   #23
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The miss leading thing for me where all the you tube videos of super advanced riders who often rode up out of the saddle
Riding out of the saddle isn't as super advanced as the beginner imagines. In fact you will be surprised what you will suddenly be able to achieve far sooner than you expected.

A really rewarding part of the learning curve arrives surprisingly soon where your improving technique and increasing strength lead to remarkable gains in ability over a very short time. Once you really master the balance you stop having to fight to the keep the uni upright and getting out of the saddle seems quite natural.

Quote:
and in the most extreme cases just riding the wheel (the unis that don't even have a seat post or seat.
These are called Ultimate Wheels, for fairly obvious reasons. I have 28 and 24 inch UWs in my collection. It is early days. All I have ever done is stand on them and move about a bit with most of my weight supported on a frame.

Obviously they would not be very satisfying for a uni beginner, but for an accomplished rider, the feeling of what it means to be without the frame is quite insightful, even the little I have tried with them. On my last session I actually started to feel comfortable for a brief moment or two without putting weight on the supports.
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Old 2017-09-07, 01:07 PM   #24
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Started to not be as scared

3 weeks in and can go about 100 yards at a time. Still some short restarts but 50/50.

I'm starting to not be as frighten as I have been. I'm still tense as I ride. Please Please tell me there is a time when you can relax a bit and enjoy this sport.
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Old 2017-09-07, 01:40 PM   #25
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Please Please tell me there is a time when you can relax a bit and enjoy this sport.
OK. There is a time when you can relax a bit and enjoy this sport.

Honestly, a time will come soon where it starts to be as easy as riding a bike and you feel like you are flying.

There is so much I do with ease now that I thought utterly impossible when I had just started out.
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Old 2017-09-07, 05:24 PM   #26
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OK. There is a time when you can relax a bit and enjoy this sport.

Honestly, a time will come soon where it starts to be as easy as riding a bike and you feel like you are flying.

There is so much I do with ease now that I thought utterly impossible when I had just started out.
Thanks that means a lot to me. I'm having fun but still a bit terrified.

When I see the "impossible" things people do on unicycles I think my simple riding should be a walk in the park. I mean people get so bored that they have to start juggling and ride super high uni's. Let along wheel walking etc.
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Old 2017-09-08, 10:59 AM   #27
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Good on you, just keep riding. Each day you ride will bring challenges of its own. Sometimes you may even feel like you have gone backward, but, given time, you will get to the point where you can just relax and enjoy being on a unicycle and enjoy the quietness of cruising along on one wheel without needing to concentrate or think about what you are doing. Make the most of each day. Enjoy each triumph. Make goals and celebrate your achievements. Good on you!
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Old 2017-09-08, 01:34 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ScaredOldKid View Post
3 weeks in and can go about 100 yards at a time. Still some short restarts but 50/50.

I'm starting to not be as frighten as I have been. I'm still tense as I ride. Please Please tell me there is a time when you can relax a bit and enjoy this sport.
Just keep riding. You will get there, If you have gotten 100 yards id say start challenging yourself to do large diameter turns both ways. Any small new skill learned will effect the rest of your riding in a positive way. The relaxation will come.
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Old 2017-09-08, 02:46 PM   #29
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Just keep riding. You will get there, If you have gotten 100 yards id say start challenging yourself to do large diameter turns both ways. Any small new skill learned will effect the rest of your riding in a positive way. The relaxation will come.
Practice small turns too
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Old 2017-09-08, 10:42 PM   #30
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Before I start to learn to free-mount I have to figure out my dominant foot. Yes I'm still unsure which foot this is.
If you don't know which foot, it doesn't really matter. You will figure it out eventually just by ignoring it for now and then later on, looking to see which foot is doing what.

In my case, the foot I mount with (first foot on) is the same one I ride one-foot with, put first on the tire for wheel walk, etc. Not everyone uses the same foot for all of those, but I'm clearly dominant with both my right foot and hand. Many unicyclists are dominant with the opposite side as their hand.

None of us is normal.
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