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Old 2007-08-08, 09:04 PM   #1
brujja
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Question learning to free-mount while learning to ride

Alright - so I'm hoping I can get some kind of feedback and/or ideas. I've had my first unicycle for 7 days now, today was practice day #5. I had to do some minor adjustments to the seat post (like shortening the tube, and acquiring some tools) before I could start.

The first time I got on my uni I had did it using a chair on either side of me. It took me about 2-5 minutes before I felt comfortable enough that I could idle a bit in place by swinging the pedals just ever so slightly back and forth - I'd read enough about the beginning process to make sure and remind myself to keep all my weight on the seat. This was pretty much it for day #1. I didn't really have a plan yet as to where I was going to practice... my main problem being that I have but a wooden fence around my house (which is of no use since the ground which supports the fence is highly soft, uneven and full of rocks of fairly large size) and there are no fences to be found anywhere around my home. Out of despair, I figured out I could use my kitchen as a starting point.

Practice day #2 - the kitchen area seems to work. Its wide and open space seems good enough to start, plus I can use the L-shaped counter-top as an aid. It's a bit hard at first, but after about 30-35 minutes I've managed to ride the entire span of the counter... there are even moments where I have been able to let go... 45 to 50 mins into it, I've managed a full pedal revolution without holding on to anything. My body aches, so I stop. Actually, the next day I'm so sore I decide to give myself another day.

Practice day #3 - My body still aches, but I'm to anxious to keep working at it. I feel insecure and odd at first, a bit odd I thought as I felt pretty confident last time I practiced. I keep at it and (after many falls) manage to do many rides along side the counter, turn and ride back. I'm still finding security from holding on, but I manage a few revolutions without it. It gives me enough thrill to want to try to ride away from the counter - I have about 10 - 12 feet of space if I do a diagonal ride - so I go for it. No good. I'm questioning myself, and I feel very concerned to not have the counter there for support. I try anyway, but I keep falling forward off the uni. This bothers me. I go back to the counter and do a few more runs before calling it a night.

Practice day #4 & #5 - both these days turn out similar to day #3 (without the body ache). I'm getting a bit frustrated with my lack of forward space - I want to go outside, but I don't know how to free-mount. Most people insist on learning to ride before learning to free-mount.... this proposes a problem for me. I could walk a mile to the park where I'd have a fenced in basketball court to practice in - but this seems extremely inconvenient.

I decided to risk taking my uni into my back patio. With the gazebo and picnic table there isn't much space to go, as much space as I would have in my kitchen actually, but I'd be force to learn how to free-mount and to not depend on the damn counter for security. I need to learn how to fall outside and to fall forward - if I fall in my kitchen, I run the risk of hitting my head on the counter, specially if I fall backwards.

Practice day #6 - I tried free-mounting using the same strategy I had been using while mounting with the aid of my counter... it's hard at first, but eventually manage to get both my feet on the pedals.... problem is, by the time I get my feet on, my pedals have gone from the 3 o'clock position to vertical and I can't seem to pedal forward - so I either find myself falling forward, sideways (once or twice) - which is scary, let me tell ya! I knew I was doing something wrong, or backwards (which I'm trying to avoid - and actually only happened twice). I've done my searches and have read quite a bit on free-mounting ... so now I know that I need to try to not push my pedal down, but instead jump a bit forward onto the pedals, so that they stay horizontal.

My question is - has anyone out there learned to free-mount while they where actually learning to ride???? I think I remember one guy mentioning he had... but I was wondering if there where more of you out there. I guess I"m looking for some support here... I'm determined enough that I know I'll eventually get it... but it helps to know that I'm not the only one.... and I guess it be nice to be able to ask questions and for support if it ever came up. ya know?!!!
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Old 2007-08-08, 09:09 PM   #2
jamessd
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There's no reason why you can't learn more than one thing at once. More variety in what you're learning can make it much less boring to do, by giving you something else to do if you get too frustrated that you can't do one thing.

ya know?!?!?!
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Old 2007-08-08, 11:52 PM   #3
johnfoss
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It sounds like you live in a flat desert with nothing in it. Can you ride along the side of your house/building? Around a (not too new) car? Around a tree? There's usually *something* out there to work with, though the best thing is a fence next to pavement.

Learning to mount while learning to ride is possible, but I'd consider it a huge waste of effort. Mounting is much easier when you know how to ride away. It's like learning to drive. If you have access to an automatic transmission, it make much more sense to get comfortable driving with that, and then add the whole clutch thing later on.

That said, I learned to ride on an awful tricycle-type unicycle, which fell apart, and then a 6' giraffe. That worked, so learning to ride in the open can as well!
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Old 2007-08-09, 01:23 AM   #4
feel the light
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I started last March

But I had a long wall with smooth pavement. No good for you.
I rode for months and hundreds of miles without ever learning to free mount. Then when I finally decided it was time, it took me only an hour to get it down. What I did was watch videos while learning to idle in my living room. I had a shelf at arm level to hold onto. Maybe you can try that. I took me about 2 months to learn to idle 30 sec though, and I'm still not good at the other foot.
Learning to ride took only 2-3 days for me and a friend using the wall. So it might be worth going way out of your way for a few days.
Once you can ride a little bit, maybe try bringing a chair out to the street (it's paved I hope), to get you started.
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Old 2007-08-09, 01:39 AM   #5
wickedbob
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Using a car with a clutch isn't all that bad I drove my moms a couple times. People make is seem SO much harder than it is like unicycle. Besides a clutch has many benefits over an automatic.
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Old 2007-08-09, 02:07 AM   #6
Narniacat
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Thanks for the tip on the kitchen : ) I am stealing that one I don't have any good chest height items but the kitchen... The counters should be the right height.
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Old 2007-08-09, 02:25 AM   #7
banjo_gun_snake_wheels
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Why dont you hop in your car and find an empty parking lot?
This is what I did. I used a light pole to hold myself up.
I started practicing free mounting after 3 or 4 days (don't feel discouraged by this. I was practicing many hours each day in the begining). To do this, I chose a parking lot w/out anything to hold onto and spent an hour trying nothing else but freemounts. The best advice I can give you is to just keep practicing and make sure you laugh at yourself instead of getting frustrated, which is my biggest problem.
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Old 2007-08-09, 02:36 AM   #8
lilfunky1
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i could do a static freemount before i could ride.
so i could get onto the uni, do like a still-stand for about 2 seconds then fell off because i couldn't ride away.

then i a few months later i figured out that it's easy to go from a static mount straight into bunny-hopping.

thus i owned a funny looking pogostick.

finally one day it just clicked and i could ride.

the biggest problem i saw with the fact that i could static mount without riding is i never wanted to hold onto a wall or anything to help me ride, so i would just throw myself onto, and off of, the unicycle which probably delayed my learning-to-ride ability by a LOT.
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Old 2007-08-09, 02:52 AM   #9
brujja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjo_gun_snake_wheels
Why dont you hop in your car and find an empty parking lot?
Trust me, had I a car, that would have been the first thing I would've done. Fortunately, I don't. I LOVE my bicycle and I wouldn't imagine my life without it... I can carry an array of things while riding... my unicycle is not one of them - although I'm sure it can be done.

It just occurred to me though... I could use a rope! I'd just have to tie it from one end of the house to the fence all the way across my patio. It woldn't be a long smooth strip like a the sidewalk or street would be - but it would be enough to get me started. That way I could still work at learning to free-mount, and then also do some riding with the aid of the rope... If I have it low enough, I could just hover my hands over it, and use it only as a last minute resort.... helping me to focus on staying balanced and straight (vrs. leaning, which is what I tend to do when I use the kitchen counter for support) ....... ... hmmmmm.... what do you guys think?
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Old 2007-08-09, 09:46 AM   #10
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I learned to freemount before I could ride, because I didn't have anything to lean on. It took me two weeks to ride comfortably, but I never had any problems freemounting
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Old 2009-06-13, 03:40 AM   #11
aklyatne
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Yeah, the rope idea sounds like it would work great! That way, if you let go, you won't end up running into pointy brick pillars like I did
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Old 2009-06-13, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedbob View Post
Using a car with a clutch isn't all that bad I drove my moms a couple times. People make is seem SO much harder than it is like unicycle. Besides a clutch has many benefits over an automatic.
well yes when you consider that in most countries virtually everyone learns to drive in manual cars it's not really that surprising. However, double-declutching down a non-synchro box under heavy decelleration is rather more tricky.


back to the unicycling, I wouldn't learn them together. Trying to start a ride from a dodgey mount is not easy. Get the riding sorted, then get to learning the mount.
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Old 2009-07-26, 04:07 AM   #13
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I learned to free mount as I was learning to ride. I would mount the uni and fall off almost instantly, but gradually I was able to pedal more and more and eventually ride.

However, every so often I would use a mailbox or basketball goal to mount when I got frustrated with failed free mounts. Once able to free mount with ease, I learned 5 times faster.

My friend is also learning to ride and free mount at the same time, and he does it much better than I did.
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Old 2009-07-26, 10:49 PM   #14
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You should get some video of yourself learning. It's a lot of fun to go back and watch the early days once you've got the hang of it.

I learned to freemount a couple of days after learning to ride. I would use the hallway in the house so I could touch both walls on either side. Everyone at home learned to stay out of the way (even the dogs).
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Old 2009-07-26, 10:59 PM   #15
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Maybe you already seen this but there is a thread about free mounting and one of the guys posted a video that walks through a practicing exercise, here is the link the video is about half way down the thread...
http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/sho...ight=freemount

Have patience with yourself and good luck.
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