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Old 2015-08-14, 02:22 AM   #1
Catsmeat
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Would it be worth it to learn to mount with either foot?

So, the spot I've chosen to learn unicycling is basically a loooooong driveway with a stone wall running along one side only. I start at one end of the wall with my right side facing the wall, then keep going until I reach the other end of the wall (with however many stops and starts along the way). Once I reach the end, I have to walk the unicycle back to my starting point to keep practicing, since I can't mount with my opposite foot. That's a lot of walking time that could be spent unicycling if I could mount with either foot. Think it'd be worth learning how to mount with my other foot so I can practice in both directions?

Reasons I think this might be a bad idea are that 1) I'm AWFUL at mounting with my left foot and it might not be worth taking the time to learn, and 2) The walking time gives my legs, which are very sore, a little break from the hard work. Meh. What do you think?
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Old 2015-08-14, 03:04 AM   #2
Engineer on a Unicycle
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The break to stretch your legs by walking is not an argument without merits...

But I do think that it is worth becoming able to do an assisted mount on either side.

Until you have a rock-solid free mount (and even when it starts succeeding a useful fraction of the time, you will have occasions where a frustrating sequence of failures leads you to look for temporary assistance) you will be dependent on available support to get back on your unicycle, and that may well only be available on one side.

Fortunately, there's a lot of reason to believe that a new skill learned on one side can be transferred to the other in a fraction of the time it took to learn the first side.

It's not something you have to tackle yet - if you have your system that works for initial practice, by all means you can stick to it. But it is probably something that will seem interesting to develop at some point.
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Old 2015-08-14, 04:01 AM   #3
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by Catsmeat View Post
That's a lot of walking time
Use that walking time to reflect on how your ride 'felt'. Try to emotionally relive the experience of your short ride. Reflection is a powerful tool. Don't worry about efficiency...if you really wanted to be efficient, you'd be riding a b*ke!

There has been a fair amount of discussion regarding learning a skill on one side, then transferring it to the other side. For the sake of argument, I'd like to suggest practicing alternating left and right while learning.

If you first learn to mount on the right foot, for example, then wait until you are decent at right-foot mounting before moving to the left, then you may be effectively using your right foot to teach your left foot. But what if your right foot technique stinks? Then will you be teaching the left foot to have the same, weak technique.

Conversely, alternating between the two feet might mean that each side of your body has its own approach to the particular technique, and the two sides can "learn" from one another. The "best practices" of either side might be shared across the midline.

I have spent many hours this summer learning to ride one-footed, using the alternating philosophy. While I've ridden twice as far (+200 ft) using my dominant (left) foot, I nevertheless noticed that the technique while using the right-foot was better for steering (maybe because the dominant foot was now on the square crown). Later on, my steering improved on the dominant side.

I'll take my arguments another step, and suggest that we 'start' learning a technique using our non-dominant side. In this case, I think the brain has to make up for the physical deficiencies in the non-dominant side, and that we compensate for our klutzy/weak side with stronger/more solid technique.
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Old 2015-08-14, 06:12 AM   #4
Catsmeat
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Use that walking time to reflect on how your ride 'felt'. Try to emotionally relive the experience of your short ride. Reflection is a powerful tool. Don't worry about efficiency...if you really wanted to be efficient, you'd be riding a b*ke!

There has been a fair amount of discussion regarding learning a skill on one side, then transferring it to the other side. For the sake of argument, I'd like to suggest practicing alternating left and right while learning.

If you first learn to mount on the right foot, for example, then wait until you are decent at right-foot mounting before moving to the left, then you may be effectively using your right foot to teach your left foot. But what if your right foot technique stinks? Then will you be teaching the left foot to have the same, weak technique.

Conversely, alternating between the two feet might mean that each side of your body has its own approach to the particular technique, and the two sides can "learn" from one another. The "best practices" of either side might be shared across the midline.

I have spent many hours this summer learning to ride one-footed, using the alternating philosophy. While I've ridden twice as far (+200 ft) using my dominant (left) foot, I nevertheless noticed that the technique while using the right-foot was better for steering (maybe because the dominant foot was now on the square crown). Later on, my steering improved on the dominant side.

I'll take my arguments another step, and suggest that we 'start' learning a technique using our non-dominant side. In this case, I think the brain has to make up for the physical deficiencies in the non-dominant side, and that we compensate for our klutzy/weak side with stronger/more solid technique.
It'd take a hell of a lot of discipline for me, at my current level, to give equal time to my weak side, let alone to give more time to it. Just thinking about trying to learn to mount all over again when it took so much work to get to this point makes me a little weary. I think I'll mostly keep on doing what I've been doing, which is ride one way and walk back, and every now and then, I'll throw in an attempt to mount with my weak leg.
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Old 2015-08-14, 11:17 AM   #5
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I'm a newbie but I'd never even thought that anyone would just use one side for support all the time. I mount the same way (foot wise) but with support wherever it is, left or right. Maybe I'm doing it wrong

How about learning to turn it round (with support) at the end and come back. I tried that and after a couple of goes it's less scary

Good luck.
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Old 2015-08-14, 12:24 PM   #6
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It's prolly a good idea to learn both. I *always* mount left foot on pedal, but that made me become *very* dominant in hopping (left foot back), to the point where I have a very hard time hopping right foot back... It limits me quite a bit, case inn point... There's a trail I do that starts with a quick steep ascent. I can't roll to the top (lack of speed/torque/roots) which means that I have to stop at the top and either A) fall, because my right foot is back and I can't hop up hill like that, B) stop a half rev sooner so that my left foot is back and I can hop up, or C) stop with one foot high, one foot low, and do a hop with a quarter rev to get my feet right, which wastes energy and is sketchy on steep rugged terrain.

... dammit, now I've talked my self into needing to practice hopping and starting right foot back...
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Old 2015-08-14, 01:44 PM   #7
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One thing is not clear from your post. When you say "mount", you mean "get on the unicycle", or "free mount"? The title of that thread makes me think "free mount", yet what you wrote seems more like you're really at the beginning of the learning process.

If that's the cas, then yes there's no problem getting on the uni with the dominant foot. Once you reach the end, the wall is then on your other side, correct? That shouldn't be a problem to let you get on with your favorite foot, it's just that it's the hand holding the wall that might be the non-dominant. Which is easier to deal with than the non-dominant foot, it's just slightly more cumbersome.

If you're talking "free mounting", i.e. without the aid of a wall or lamp-post or any other object, then I tend to think that it's good to try to learn several techniques. From personal experience, that was good for me and it worked for several people I know. With many sports (and activities) where repetition is the key to training, there comes a point when your brain can't take it anymore and you need a break. So when you can't understand what you're doing right or wrong in an attempt to free mount, you train on the other mount. One or the other will click in first, and you can continue learning the other one.
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Old 2015-08-27, 11:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by evil-nick View Post
It's prolly a good idea to learn both. I *always* mount left foot on pedal, but that made me become *very* dominant in hopping
Are you a leftie?
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Old 2015-08-22, 10:17 AM   #9
leo
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Originally Posted by Catsmeat View Post
Reasons I think this might be a bad idea are that 1) I'm AWFUL at mounting with my left foot and it might not be worth taking the time to learn, and 2) The walking time gives my legs, which are very sore, a little break from the hard work. Meh. What do you think?
Yesterday I UPD'ed while having a female passenger aboard, so the unexpected and heavier force on my foot caused some minor injury, making dismounts unpleasant at the moment.

So yes, mounting with your non-dominant foot will give you the control it also takes to dismount with your other foot, it would be useful in case your dominant foot can't stand too much force.

Since you complain about sore legs I still think you should learn, but maybe a later -more convenient- stage, when you feel ready for it. It's a level 2 skill, so not too difficult.
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