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Old 2017-05-14, 12:31 AM   #16
OneTrackMind
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Originally Posted by slamdance View Post
1.) Wear shin/knee/elbow pads. Don't be afraid to fall.
2.) Crouch forward(yes...the total opposite of the experts..don't sit straight up...this gives you the forward lean)
3.) Stomp down on pedals, but keep tension during back pedal.
4.) Maximum weight on feet. Minimum on seat(yup...against...the experts). Downward momentum like ballast is created by putting more weight on feet(physics mumbojumbo). Not efficient but helps a lot in beginning.
5.) Aggressive shoulder and hip twisting. Not pretty/graceful but helps a lot. Won't get into the mumbujumbo, but it works.
6.) Watch/study this beginner learning from zero to total control. Search youtube unicycle zoey. I wouldn't be riding my 24" Nimbus if not for her. All other experts/advice didn't work for me.
What works for some isn't for others. The main thing is to keep varying everything you try.
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Old 2017-05-14, 01:22 AM   #17
song
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A lot of the advice on this thread seems very complicated to me. Just get the balls of your feet on the pedals, cranks horizontal, and let go of whatever you're holding on to and fall forward for an instant, then start pedaling! When I was first learning, committing to that forward fall was what I had to re-learn each session, along with the belief that my pedaling would save me from a faceplant.

Riding while clinging to a wall, car or friend may help for a few minutes on your first day, but after that it is counterproductive, and even a bit hazardous. When you do fall off the uni, as long as you fall forward on flat pavement with no obstructions, you will almost always land on your feet. Some people try to help beginners by holding their hands, and this is a very friendly, supportive thing to do, and puts them at ease with the weird world of unicycling, but other than that, I don't think it actually helps much. In my experience, learning to unicycle requires persistence and solitary concentration. It is OK to have your friends around while you learn, but your biggest breakthroughs will probably happen when they aren't looking.

Donna is very brave to have started out trying to learn on a 24" muni. When I was only able to ride 10 meters or so, I was terrified of anything bigger than a 20," especially those things with the huge fat tires and spiked pedals...
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Old 2017-05-14, 02:36 AM   #18
elpuebloUNIdo
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The most recent learners frequently provide the best advice. More experienced riders sometimes focus too much IMHO on " proper" technique, such as putting more weight in the seat. I find that silly because we cannot put weight in the seat until we learn to keep the unicycle under us. I suggest you practice in three distinct ways. One: stop the wheel from rotating and practice still stands, flailing your arms madly. Two: under conditions of great rolling resistance such as on grass and with a wall fence or some other crutch practice rolling and idling back and forward throughout the 360 degrees ofthe pedal stroke. Three: Using a curb and something to initially steady yourself, ride off into open space. The first technique helps you balance with your arms and the second technique helps you keep positive traction against the pedals. Both help when you ride into the open. another thing: If you have grippy pedals I'd do something about it. See if you can remove or file down the pins. For beginners, the pins are more likely to cause a bad fall than to protect from one.

Glad to read you are persistent. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
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Old 2017-05-14, 03:00 AM   #19
Engineer on a Unicycle
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
More experienced riders sometimes focus too much IMHO on " proper" technique, such as putting more weight in the seat. I find that silly because we cannot put weight in the seat until we learn to keep the unicycle under us.
Indeed. First you learn to ride "by any means necessary"

Then you can start to worry about the efficiency to let your lags last more than 30 seconds at a time.

But riding through that first instability, correcting, and continuing is the key skill.
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Old 2017-05-14, 02:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Donna322 View Post
...should I give up on trying to launch alone and perhaps keep the spotter but have her gradually increase the distance away from me?
Good idea. If you're able to pedal from the car to the spotter without assistance but need the spotter to continue, moving the spotter farther from the car sounds like a way to build incremental confidence/comfort. Maybe put something on the ground where the spotter originally stood to mark how much farther you can ride without assistance. I'd be tempted not to ride along with the spotter far though. Once you get to the spotter and take a revolution or two, stop and try to ride without assistance from the car to the spotter again. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 2017-05-14, 06:15 PM   #21
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My suggestion is to use your arms for balance. Eventually you'll learn to balance from your core but while learning it's ok to hold out your arms and wiggle around. Also look towards your target. Avoid looking down. When you launch peddle like crazy.

Keep trying different things.

What's the worst that can happen? If you wear protective gear you should be ok.

IMHO, learning to unicycle takes patience and practice.
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Old 2017-05-14, 07:14 PM   #22
Donna322
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Thank you all I don't plan on giving up! I thought I needed some other ideas to vary my practices and now I have plenty

Last edited by Donna322; 2017-05-14 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 2017-05-14, 08:14 PM   #23
Barnstar
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As a fellow beginner I have been reading a lot of these posts with great enthusiasm! Does anyone have any advice on an optimal practice regimen? I find as I am improving and going greater distances I am physically incapable of doing it every day. Do you think I can still learn enough from one or two hours of practice a week? I can do an hour or so on the weekend, but if I go out on Saturday I just can't do it again on Sunday as my legs are just not willing! It is a pain as it is hard for me to practice during the week as I do menial work and it takes me an hour to get home, as well as a bit of travel time to get to where I have enough room for my current ability. Would I be better off doing two shorter stints on the weekend to give myself more rest and my body time to learn?
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Old 2017-05-14, 09:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Barnstar View Post
As a fellow beginner I have been reading a lot of these posts with great enthusiasm! Does anyone have any advice on an optimal practice regimen? I find as I am improving and going greater distances I am physically incapable of doing it every day. Do you think I can still learn enough from one or two hours of practice a week? I can do an hour or so on the weekend, but if I go out on Saturday I just can't do it again on Sunday as my legs are just not willing! It is a pain as it is hard for me to practice during the week as I do menial work and it takes me an hour to get home, as well as a bit of travel time to get to where I have enough room for my current ability. Would I be better off doing two shorter stints on the weekend to give myself more rest and my body time to learn?
As your signature line says, "You can only do what you can do."
I would recommend practicing more often for a shorter period of time, instead of less frequently for a long period of time (if possible with your schedule and situation).
If you practice less, it will just take longer to make progress, but you will still make progress. Again, just do what you can do, but if you have a choice, more shorter sessions are better than fewer really long sessions that tire you out. Just my opinion and what works best for me.
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Old 2017-05-14, 09:05 PM   #25
Regina Wrecks
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Whatto Barnstar, For my simple regime last year, I would normally do about half an hour, sort of every other day. This wasn't religious you understand because it then becomes more a chore, than a pleasure. I would mount, fall off, go a bit, fall off again, maybe get aways, then fall off, sometimes not really getting started at all before falling off. This seems fairly typical behaviour for most learners. Alright I had learnt before when I was much younger, but I still struggled a great deal, and still do some days even now. I still have to push off to get going each time as free mounting is a bridge too far at the moment, but confidence is the key operative word in a lot of cases, that is why the younger folk learn quicker maybe, less fear.... !!
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Old 2017-05-15, 01:13 AM   #26
krjames
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Originally Posted by Donna322 View Post
.... stand a few pedal strokes away from the car where I got started. I pedaled to her and rode a good 100 ft barely touching her arm. My long winded question at this point is should I give up on trying to launch alone and perhaps keep the spotter but have her gradually increase the distance away from me? .
Yes.

Long answer, clearly you can get riding to the target and then keep going with a little support. Increasing the distance to the target as confidence improves just increases your riding competence. Or as everybody has said, you have almost got it. Have fun
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Old 2017-05-15, 02:12 AM   #27
Engineer on a Unicycle
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Quote:
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I find as I am improving and going greater distances I am physically incapable of doing it every day.
If you are pushing yourself that is normal. Unless I'm doing a very short ride or just taking the 20" down to the river park to try to learn to idle or something, I very rarely ride without an intervening day off, often several days off after a major distance ride.

Quote:
Would I be better off doing two shorter stints on the weekend to give myself more rest and my body time to learn?
Especially early on, unicycling may be something that you "warm up to" and then partially loose in a weeklong gap. So you might try doing a very, very relaxed practice on a Saturday and then a real one on a Sunday. Or even just spending some time in your driveway or some confined space on Friday night doing some freemounts or trying to idle or something that is more about skill and less about exercise, just to get the reflexes going again.

Not sure where you are in learning things, but back when I was first figuring out free mounts, I found it a lot better to start a practice with a few lamp post assists, and not try to free mount until I was riding well.

Fortunately as you get more experienced, two things will work in your favor - your body will become more capable, and your riding will become more efficient and less taxing. But your goals will continue to increase, so you'll probably always be feeling your limits, just doing more before you hit them!

Incidentally, don't rule out riding after dark if that lets you balance the week with a Wednesday - if you find someplace that is a safe environment, get light colored clothing, reflectors, a blinker, and tie a little 3-watt single-AA flashlight to your helmet with string through the vents so that it points down and lets you scan for bumps, nightime unicycling can be very peaceful and relaxing. Just avoid unfamiliar hills, as it takes more practice to judge their slope under the perspective of a helmet light.
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