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Old 2016-08-19, 07:34 AM   #16
johnfoss
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You should have seen the "Beginner's Course" for the Cross Country Muni races at Unicon 18. Not super-technical, but definitely not easy!

So really, it's just a word. Or a state of mind.
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Old 2016-08-19, 08:57 AM   #17
Spinningwoman
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It's hard to look up states of mind on the forum though - ivebeen surfing around finding some great threads about the very beginner/pre-unicycle stage, but I'm sure there are more out there, and it would be nice to be able to find them all easily.
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Old 2016-08-19, 05:11 PM   #18
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Amazing, I now have learnt what a sticky thread is, this computer speak has me baffled mainly, but I can learn much, quite innocently on a Unicycle Forum... How good is that, thanks.. !!
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Old 2016-10-13, 04:20 PM   #19
Onewheelhenni
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Good idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinningwoman View Post
As an actual beginner, trawling for helpful threads, I think it is confusing to call yourself a beginner once you can basically ride independently of a support for distances measured in tens of yards rather than counting revolutions. Unless someone invents another term like - 'pre-unicyclist' - for those of us still working on it. If you wouldn't turn up to a 'beginner's unicycle' class at the local gym, or if you would hoping for some tips but you unicycled there, my view is that you are now past the 'beginner' label and are now an 'improver' or a 'relatively new unicyclist' or something.

It would actually be really helpful to have a 'beginners' section on the forum so long as those of you who can actually do it still came there to comment.
I like that word: Improver.
It's the word I was looking for to describe how I feel. To any unicyclist I would be a beginner, but to the nonunicyclists I am a master.

Thanx for that word!
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Old 2016-10-13, 04:32 PM   #20
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I also really like the word "Improver", very good.

I am no expert and do feel like a beginner at times. I have been riding for ages and can still learn something new every time I get on a unicycle.

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Old 2016-10-14, 06:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicycledood View Post
To me a beginner is someone with little experience and/or around the free mounting/confident riding kind of level.
That sounds like a fair description of "Beginner Unicycle Rider". But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unicycledood
Are you a flatland/street/trials/freestyle beginner? Probably.
Then we branch out into the many forms of unicycling, each with its own set of expectations:
  • I've been driving cars for close to 40 years, but would be an absolute beginner race car driver.
  • I have much experience with Freestyle unicycling and was once at the top of the Freestyle pyramid, but by today's standards my level of skills would be considered quite a bit lower.
  • I've had a geared 36" since 2010 but when it comes to shifting, I don't feel like I'm much beyond a beginner.
  • Trials? Definitely a beginner though I've had some of the basic skills for many, many years.
  • Slopestyle? Not sure if I'm even a beginner since I don't really get what it is.... :-P
You get the idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Regina Wrecks View Post
Amazing, I now have learnt what a sticky thread is, this computer speak has me baffled mainly, but I can learn much, quite innocently on a Unicycle Forum... How good is that, thanks.. !!
It's the best way to learn things. Similarly, Hockey is a great activity for beginning unicyclists. You learn to make quick directional changes, freemount in a hurry, and have lots of control over the uni because you have an immediate need to do so. You can do other riding games, even Follow the Leader, but I use Hockey as an example because the hockey stick itself is a riding aid for people who are still working the rough edges off their riding.
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Old 2016-10-15, 10:52 AM   #22
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If Roger and John are describing themselves as beginners then there truly is no hope for the rest of us!

In reality I'd suggest that if you're not looking at very specific things then none of us who can freemount reliably and ride along without thinking about it are really beginners at unicycling, even if we can't do a crankflip, wheelwalk or ride a Schlumpf 36er at speed.
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Old 2016-10-15, 11:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracer View Post
If Roger and John are describing themselves as beginners then there truly is no hope for the rest of us!

In reality I'd suggest that if you're not looking at very specific things then none of us who can freemount reliably and ride along without thinking about it are really beginners at unicycling, even if we can't do a crankflip, wheelwalk or ride a Schlumpf 36er at speed.
That's my feeling, as a right-at-the-beginning beginner. If the term is to be helpful at all, it has to be limited. Unicycling is unusual among skills acquired as an adult that it has a period of various lengths when people actually can't perform the activity at all - a bit like starting golf and finding you literally couldn't hold the club or hit the ball. It would be a lot easier to search this forum for advice on this stage if lots of over-modest 'improvers' didn't use the same label.
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Old 2016-10-15, 02:49 PM   #24
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I'm a perpetual beginner and learner, and I've been riding for 30 years. What interests me most about unicycling is always learning something new, and there's always something I'm a beginner at. First it was just riding, then freemounting, then hopping, then idling. Then it was muni, distance riding with a big wheel, and now I'm doing trials, flatland and freestyle stuff, and then I'll go back over it all again and apply what I've learned to other styles. I'm always a beginner with something, and it's truly awesome. I'm 43 years old, and the more new stuff I do, the younger I feel. In fact, I feel much younger now than I did as a desk jockey at 30. I'm too lazy to exercise for the sake of exercise, and if I'm not learning, I'm bored. Being a perpetual beginner is how I stay healthy and feeling young.
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Old 2016-10-15, 04:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinningwoman View Post
That's my feeling, as a right-at-the-beginning beginner. If the term is to be helpful at all, it has to be limited. Unicycling is unusual among skills acquired as an adult that it has a period of various lengths when people actually can't perform the activity at all - a bit like starting golf and finding you literally couldn't hold the club or hit the ball. It would be a lot easier to search this forum for advice on this stage if lots of over-modest 'improvers' didn't use the same label.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinningwoman View Post
That's my feeling, as a right-at-the-beginning beginner. If the term is to be helpful at all, it has to be limited. Unicycling is unusual among skills acquired as an adult that it has a period of various lengths when people actually can't perform the activity at all - a bit like starting golf and finding you literally couldn't hold the club or hit the ball. It would be a lot easier to search this forum for advice on this stage if lots of over-modest 'improvers' didn't use the same label.
I say this all in a lighthearted, well meaning fashion, but to even hint that it's difficult to find information on the Internet for a "true beginner" is kind of absurd. You guys today have it all served up to you on a silver platter, and you are so incredibly spoiled. There are countless posts on this site, an almost infinite supply of YouTube videos, websites dedicated to learning, and even published books. There's even a 40+ Facebook group dedicated to middle-aged riders.

In fact, I think in some cases, social media may be a hindrance, and what you're really looking for is emotional support and hand holding, which is completely fine and helpful to a point, but beyond that, it's possibly detrimental. The only real way to learn to ride a unicycle is repeated practice, not splitting hairs over the definition of a "true beginner" or searching for just the right tip to learning until your fingertips are bleeding from typing and you develop carpal tunnel from overusing your mouse (being silly here, of course).

When I learned, I had to find my own unicycle by digging it out of my cousin's junk (there was no UDC back then, or the Internet, for that matter). There was no one to teach me, encourage me, or even look in my direction. The practice and learning were all on me, and it was its own reward. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled now to be part of local and global unicycle communities, but it's simply nice to have, not mission critical, and at the end of the day, it's just me and my unicycle and the practice I'm willing to put into it.

Maybe you guy are just being lighthearted and maybe a little silly about this; I'm not sure. No way to tell tone from written text, but I don't see any real value in this arbitrary definition of a true beginner, and it almost seems that you're implying that the challenges you're facing are somehow more than the challenges others are facing with new, possibly advanced skills, which is not true at all. I'm absolutely terrified at some of the stuff I'm learning as a middle aged adult. In fact, I had to stop working completely on one skill as I kept getting so injured that now I'm afraid to even attempt it. For me, the challenges only get more extreme, not easier, and I'm certainly not getting any younger.

The Internet may be a source of inspiration, support, and provide a few basic ideas, but at the end of the day, you have to own it, and you're left only with improving through repeated practice. If the practice and progress are not their own rewards, then you're in wrong hobby and the wrong sport, which is fine, too. It's not for everybody. I spent a fortune on roller blades last year, and even though I used to avidly ride in my late teens and early 20s, it's no longer rewarding to me or as fun as it used to be, so I quit. No big deal. If this is becoming a chore, and you find yourself worried about not finding just the right reason/tip/excuse/secrete/definition-of-a-beginner/etc to move you forward, maybe this isn't for you, or maybe, as suggested in another thread, you need to take a break for a while and come back to it at a later time.
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Old 2016-10-15, 06:18 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford View Post
... If this is becoming a chore, and you find yourself worried about not finding just the right reason/tip/excuse/secrete/definition-of-a-beginner/etc to move you forward, maybe this isn't for you, or maybe, as suggested in another thread, you need to take a break for a while and come back to it at a later time.
Wow. I find the thread fascinating, second to Spinningwoman's beginner thread. Nobody mentioned it being a chore? I considered myself a "beginner" for a couple months, maybe up to the point I could ride a mile or so, and turn some corners. I still don't free mount consistently, and I don't consider that a "beginner" skill.
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Old 2016-10-15, 07:56 PM   #27
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No, no idea where the chore thing came from - that wasn't my intended implication at all! I've really enjoyed the fact that unicycling is not something you learn from 'instructions' but rather from just doing it, enlightened and encouraged by other people's stories of learning. I think I came up with this thread (which I didn't start) when I was trawling the archives for more back stories. If I have come over as somehow whiny, my apologies. I have been posting on the other thread most days because I want to be able to look back when I get there and see how it went, not because I want someone else to fix my 'problems'. If I was the only one who posted on it, that would be OK, though I have really appreciated people's comments and encouragement.
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Old 2016-10-15, 08:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinningwoman View Post
No, no idea where the chore thing came from - that wasn't my intended implication at all! I've really enjoyed the fact that unicycling is not something you learn from 'instructions' but rather from just doing it, enlightened and encouraged by other people's stories of learning. I think I came up with this thread (which I didn't start) when I was trawling the archives for more back stories. If I have come over as somehow whiny, my apologies. I have been posting on the other thread most days because I want to be able to look back when I get there and see how it went, not because I want someone else to fix my 'problems'. If I was the only one who posted on it, that would be OK, though I have really appreciated people's comments and encouragement.
I'm sorry if I came across wrong, but I did say my words were meant as well meaning and lighthearted, and I also said that you can't tell tone from text.

Being a public forum I was also addressing other beginners who have indicated, in so many words, that learning to ride a unicycle has become a miserable chore, and my advice was for people that felt that way. If you don't feel that way, great! As you mentioned, you search the forums for information apropos to beginners, and I have certainly seen posts from other beginners in the past that have managed to turn it into a miserable chore, even to the point of extreme frustration and anger, which is counterproductive.

I think we need to be really careful when we read text online and make sure we're not reading with a bias. I have argued this until I'm blue in the face, but you can't tell tone from printed text. Even if you know someone personally, you may not be able to tell tone from the written word. It's scientifically impossible. Also, if there is to be a meaningful dialog, sometimes we have to be frank with each other, and while I wouldn't say you're being whiny, I was, in a friendly and slightly joking way trying to say, "Quit stalling and get back out there and practice." I'm sorry if it came across as anything else. Keep up the good work! You're doing well.
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Old 2016-10-15, 09:18 PM   #29
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I still don't free mount consistently, and I don't consider that a "beginner" skill.
I'm not going to dispute that, but this is where we start getting into the real grey area of being a beginner (as opposed to a beginner freestyle rider, beginner trials rider etc.) We all learn stuff at a different speed and in a different order - I'm hoping nobody is going to suggest riding backwards is a beginner skill, as I'm still working on that after 5 years!

I suppose for me I learned to free mount (at a very basic level and not consistently) within a week of being able to ride to the end of my road and back, so it's kind of something I associate with learning. Though I'm also looking back now and for a long time it wasn't a consistent skill for me, and it feels like at the point it was I was a confident rider so it seemed like a good point to demarcate the end of being a beginner.

I'm certainly not suggesting you are still a beginner - I'd probably be tempted to put the end of that in the same point you do, if it wasn't that I was trying to find some compromise between John Foss and Roger Davies claiming to be beginners!
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Old 2016-10-15, 09:42 PM   #30
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I love the concept of me riding backwards. I know I can barely ride forwards, but the other day, when caught attempting to ride by a dog walker and asked if I can ride backwards, tried and fell stupidly. A moment of mad exuberance, but I tried. I laughed and laughed afterwards. I hurt, but carried on laughing, I still do when I think of it

I wonder if this is early onset insanity? I expect so.... let the show commence..!!
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