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Old 2019-09-24, 11:39 AM   #16
Gockie
Gal who started riding at nearly 41
 
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The other idea is, there are unicycle clubs in many places. Maybe there’s a club near you?
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Old 2019-09-24, 12:19 PM   #17
OneTrackMind
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia
Age: 60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyflaz View Post
A "critique" from an experienced rider would help so I don't learn "bad habits".
The technique required during the early learning phase is very different from that of an accomplished rider. Basically you have to learn to be a bad rider first then improve on it. So don't worry about "bad habits".

The most important aspect is commitment to achieving the goal and to enjoy the process however long it takes. Celebrate every improvement no matter how small. There are many parts to the skill required to ride. Many attempts will include some aspect that worked. Acknowledge what went right on each run and address what went badly for the next attempt.

Take a break for a day or two if it gets too frustrating. This gives your brain a chance to consolidate what it has learned. Many riders report significant improvements after a break.

It is lot easier to learn on a trials uni which has a fat tyre and relatively long cranks than on a freestyle uni with a skinny tyre and short cranks.

Don't spend too much time using a fence for support. Just use it to get the feel of the uni and how to steer it. The fundamental skill is to drive the wheel under your fall. Fences get in the way of this. Ride into the open.

Many learners start by sitting on the uni then turning the pedals. The uni moves while the rider stays still with the inevitable consequence of falling backwards which is very unnerving. This is the point at which many people decide to give up. You need to lean a lot forwards then pedal the wheel under you to get quickly up to speed. Like on a bicycle, riding slowly is an advanced skill.

Falling is a constant companion so best make friends with it. Develop your emergency dismount skills right from the start. Make your first attempts on smooth soft grass, ideally with a slight downhill slope. You won't be able to ride at first on any surface anyway so you might as well optimise for the fall. Move to a hard smooth flat surface once you can manage a turn or two and you are comfortable with running out of emergency dismounts.

Wear protection, especially wrist braces. A set of wrist, knee and elbow protectors for skateboarders are readily available and don't cost much. Broken wrists are painful and debilitating plus they will stop you riding.

Don't be too upright. Absolutely ignore the common suggestion that your spine should be like an extension of the uni frame. Instead, think in terms of being hinged at the hips. This is where the uni and your balance is controlled from.

Have a small lean forward at the hips but don't overdo it and don't hunch. The uni frame needs to be leaning backwards with your centre of mass above the contact point of the tyre on the ground. This geometry is much more stable than upright. You will become closer to upright as your skills improve.

Aspire to putting your weight on the saddle but start with most of your weight on the pedals. Weight on the saddle before you can control the position of the wheel will make the uni pop out from under you. It is also hard to put weight on the seat while the uni leans back a lot.

Try gripping the nose of the saddle between your thighs to stop it dropping out from under you. If the saddle is too low you won't be able to do this because your thighs will be moving too much. You can relax the grip as your skills improve and you come closer to upright with more weight on the saddle.

Have the saddle as high as you are comfortable with being able to catch a fall to the side before you fall too far. This will be lower than ideal for riding but it is better that you don't fear the sideways fall which can be quite hard to save.

If possible, post a video of your attempts taken from the side and we can offer suggestions.
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Old 2019-09-24, 08:35 PM   #18
mrfixit
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: NE PA
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If I was in the area , I'd be glad to help out a new cyclist. If I could save someone some pain, bruising, time, or help improve their learning curve , I would. In an idea world, I hope everyone would.
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Old 2019-09-30, 08:35 PM   #19
nyflaz
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Great advice. Thank you for your time replying soooo well
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