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Old 2012-03-29, 04:53 PM   #1
gathan
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How long did you take to freemount your giraffe

I got myself one about 6 weeks ago. I found learning to ride it fairly easy, including idling and backwards. I then proceeded to commit serious time learning to freemount it. After 6 or so weeks of trying 4,5 times a week, I finally had a breakthrough. Honestly, this has been the most challenging aspect of riding unicycles that I've experienced.

6 weeks?...maybe I'm just slow or something...how about you?

Andre
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Old 2012-03-29, 05:42 PM   #2
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I've never tried to ride a giraffe, but here's a tutorial.

There are two way's I think people first learn to mount. The mount he demonstrates, or where you place one foot on the top of the tire like he sort of shows, climb up and step w/ the other foot on the downward pedal, stand up on that, and about the same time put your but on the seat and the other foot on the upward pedal. Pedal back w/ that second foot 1/4 rev, then ride away.

Another type of mount. Looks like a semi static mount.
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Last edited by skilewis74; 2012-03-29 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 2012-03-29, 05:57 PM   #3
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I just noticed I missed the "how long" in the title and didn't read the OP very well. Maybe these will give you a easier/more usefull type of mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by skilewis74 View Post
...or where you place one foot on the top of the tire like he sort of shows, climb up and step w/ the other foot on the downward pedal, stand up on that, and about the same time put your but on the seat and the other foot on the upward pedal. Pedal back w/ that second foot 1/4 rev, then ride away.
Like this. (Not incredibly descriptive)
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Last edited by skilewis74; 2012-03-29 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 2012-03-29, 06:07 PM   #4
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This is a good question

I didn't make any notes about how long it took me - but I'd say it was a couple sessions in the cul-de-sac before I got it. The bigger question is consistency.
How often can you nail the mount. After learning how to do it I was at about a 10% success rate. A year later I'm about 60%. I'd really like to improve that but I don't reach for the giraffe that often.

Part of my bigger problem is that I never learned to idle. Often when mounting, I get in the seat but miss some part of the backpedal and come right back down. This year idling is my top priority. First on my 26", then on the giraffe.

Looking forward to other replies.
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Old 2012-03-29, 08:14 PM   #5
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I took me a few hours to get a 50% sucess rate
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Old 2012-03-30, 06:36 AM   #6
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All those videos are with little toy 5-footers. Those are probably best to learn on, but all I had in my early days was the Schwinn Giraffe (6'). I don't know how many tries it took my friend and I to finally hit a mount, but it was at least in the hundreds. Then it took a long time after that to get the second one! But it became easier, until eventually I could do 100+ in a row without a miss. Those were the days...

For learning, if you master idling first, it will be a major help. If you can only ride forward, you will have a lot less control/options as you get up there. Plus, any giraffe rider should be able to idle and ride backwards for their own safety in any case.

For a 6-footer, the sequence is as follows:
  • Dominant foot on tire
  • Non-dominant foot to bottom pedal
  • Crotch to seat
  • Dominant foot to top pedal
  • Pull top pedal back to get pedals level
  • You are now off balance to the front; ride away

The key difference in the above sequence is getting your butt onto the seat before trying to get the second foot onto the pedal. Do it the other way around, and you can get stuck with the seat jammed up against your crotch while you spaz around up there.

Due to the design of the Schwinn Giraffe, Bradley Bradley and I learned to mount from an angle. If you put your foot straight on the tire from behind, it would tend to jam in between the frame there. So stand a bit to the left, and put part of your foot against the right fork leg (chain's on that side). The rest is the same.

Repeat ad nauseum, and eventually you'll be doing it!
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Old 2012-03-30, 05:26 PM   #7
waaalrus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gathan View Post
I got myself one about 6 weeks ago. I found learning to ride it fairly easy, including idling and backwards. I then proceeded to commit serious time learning to freemount it. After 6 or so weeks of trying 4,5 times a week, I finally had a breakthrough. Honestly, this has been the most challenging aspect of riding unicycles that I've experienced.

6 weeks?...maybe I'm just slow or something...how about you?

Andre
How long do you practice in a single session? I practiced with my 5ft for about a week for a couple hours a day and then was able to do a static and rolling mount in a parade. It takes me longer to learn most new tricks than most people but I've seen a lot of variation in learning giraffe mounting. I also find that I sometimes need to warm up for 10-15 minutes before I can get consistent on mounting, especially if I'm a little nervous (like riding in a parade in front of a crowd).

My most challenging trick to learn was one footed backwards riding. It took me a year and a half! A lot of that was bad technique, however, and my other foot is coming along much quicker now that I devised a better learning technique. I find that with tricks you will always learn it if you spend enough time. Your body figures it out even if you don't figure it out mentally. At the same time there can be better ways to learn which will get you there faster and sometimes better. With giraffe mounting as with most tricks it's important to be consistent, be conscious of the details, and try to do the same thing every time once you figure out your technique. For instance, be aware of where you're "pointing" it. I put my a little forward and slightly to the left. As I step up I pull it back to center.
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Old 2012-03-31, 11:31 AM   #8
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Because of this thread, I tried freemounting the giraffe today.

After like 10 minutes I was able to static mount every 7th or 8th time,
but it felt wrong to me somehow.

So I tried the rolling-jump-mount, which I got pretty consistant after an hour =D
and I find that much easier.
I'm just walking behind the uni, jump, land on the left pedal with the seat still held in front, get my other foot on the front pedal, sit, (sometimes jump a few times to get my balance) and roll away.
Absolutely love it, thanks to this thread I'm now able to freemount a giraffe, yay ^^
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Old 2012-03-31, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idyl View Post
Because of this thread, I tried freemounting the giraffe today.

After like 10 minutes I was able to static mount every 7th or 8th time,
but it felt wrong to me somehow.

So I tried the rolling-jump-mount, which I got pretty consistant after an hour =D
and I find that much easier.
I'm just walking behind the uni, jump, land on the left pedal with the seat still held in front, get my other foot on the front pedal, sit, (sometimes jump a few times to get my balance) and roll away.
Absolutely love it, thanks to this thread I'm now able to freemount a giraffe, yay ^^
Darn, I'm jealous lol
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Old 2012-03-31, 06:13 PM   #10
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sry... (I'm a pretty fast learner in everything)

but you'll get the rolling-jump-mount eventually !
just keep trying... it's awesome once you get it
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Old 2013-07-04, 12:32 PM   #11
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Because the rolling mount takes space and timing, the static mount is more convenient.

It was the hardest, longest skill I've learned but, now that I've trained many riders I've found the missing component to having the proper technique. Use this forum, the more of the physics u know prior, the faster you'll learn.

SPEED & COMMITMENT!!!!

After 30yrs if 70% success rate, I tested the static mount in super speed, not hesitating for balance(at all) prior to hitting the seat like we all do. It works now at 99%.

It was an immediate game changer. Never again nervous to free mountin front of anyone!!!
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Old 2013-07-04, 01:40 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks for the tip. I like the sound of 99%!
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Old 2013-06-04, 09:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gathan View Post
6 weeks?...maybe I'm just slow or something...how about you?
I've spent about 15-30 minutes a day for the last week trying to do a non-rolling mount on my little toy 5-footer. I've still got a long way to go, but at least I can get a solid foot on the first pedal about 50% of the time, but I've only successfully got my butt on the seat and my foot solidly on the second pedal about twice. I wish I could learn it in an hour like Idyl -- lucky!

I've been practicing on grass for safety so I'll have a softer landing if I fall. 18 months ago when I first got my giraffe, I fell on cement trying to free mount and hurt my hand. So I'm a little gunshy, which is also probably making my jumps more tentative.

I'm tempted to try practicing the rolling mount, since it sounds like it takes less time to learn.
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Old 2013-06-04, 10:06 PM   #14
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Once you learn it, the rolling mount (or pole vault) is the way to go. I spent a couple days learning to static mount, doing the whole 'climb the ladder' thing, and can do it, but not consistently. Pole vault took me a bit more time to learn (maybe I'm an anomaly) but now that I know it, it's much easier and takes a lot less effort. But beware: it will mess with your frame a bit. If I miss a few in a row, I have to bend my frame back, and I actually broke the sproket off of my bottom bracket and had to get it welded.
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Old 2013-06-05, 02:42 AM   #15
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Killian, when doing the rolling mount, do you put your weight on the first pedal or do you lock you knee without putting much weight on the pedal and instead put most of the weight in the seat? I've watched several tutorials and it's hard for me to tell for sure what to do.

I found that tutorial where they recommend practicing off of two steps first before trying it out on the flat. But I'm afraid to make that first jump for fear I'm going to do it wrong.
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