How to learn unicycling?
Find hints and tips here to manage the impossible: unicycling
First, here’s a video instruction for the most impatient ones :)
My friend the unicycle?
When you approach this strange item, make sure that the helmet is on your head, and the kneecaps are on the right place. Unlike a horse, you cannot see immediately where front and rear is.
But don’t worry, you will find out. The seatclamp points in riding direction, that means the screw is in the back. Mostly the saddle is a little bit smaller on the front side. The pedals and cranks are marked with “R” and “L” for right and left. This is very important, because if you use them in the wrong position the pedal might loosen and you will damage the thread.
Finding the correct saddle-height:
It is easy to find the right height for your saddle. When sitting on the saddle your leg should be straight when the pedal is in the lowest position. The picture shows you how to measure this easyly. When your chest touches the saddle and your fingertips can touch the axle, then you have found the right size!
Ready to go?
If you have a good friend ,ask him to help you for the first step. If you want your exercising keep a secret, then you need to hold on a banister or handrail. A good idea is to do it in a doorframe, you can hold with both hands. A telephone box is also a nice place to begin.
And now: let’s go. Hold with one hand at the handrail or at your friend. Try to hold the saddle between your legs and the right pedal schould be on position 4 o`clock. When you push down the pedal, the unicycle will automatically move forward under your body. Now you are sitting in an upright position on the bike. (Don’t you?) Congratulations, now you are about 4-6 hours away from riding a unicycle. The next aim should be to find the right ballance on the bike. It is very important always to keep your body in an upright position, never look down to the wheel.
Here’s a little video, showing you how to mount and start in motion pictures:
First Step to get up and find the balance
The next step is to ride forward. With one hand, hold on to the handrail or to your friend and try to move forward carefully. support_3Herzlichen Glückwunsch! If you feel you can do it try to do it for a little while without holding on. Now you are only 3-4 hours away from free riding. Another important hint: if you feel close to tipping over, dont worry about the bike it is used to crashes, (it doesn’t cry) but what about you?
Suddenly you will ride for 1 meter – then 2 meter… and then you will not understand why the first step seemed so difficult.
Congratulations! Give up training secretly and ride in the public. If people see you, they will think you to be very gifted and clever. Most important: always keep cool. If you should crash, stay relaxed and try to find a tree or a lamp post or something similar, where you can hold on and sit up again.
I feel I can fly!
Keep on exercising in this manner for a few days. By doing so, you will get to know the various ways your bike reacts. Make sure that your body is always in an upright position. Your riding will never be very smooth or round, but do not care, this is typical for a unicycle rider. While riding you will notice that moving your hips or the upper part of your body causes the bike to change its direction – you get the feeling that you can steer the bike. If you are close to falling forwards, pedal a little bit faster and the bike will come back and bring you in an upright position again.
Next taining unit will be to start cycling without holding on to something or someone. The pedal should be in the position 4 o’clock. Try to find something that prevents your wheel from rolling forwards immediately. Get yourself in an upright position. Now you can try to mount your bike without assistance. Out of ten attempts, there will be one successfull one in the beginning. After having practiced this about a thousand times, you will feel like beeing able to fly.
Turning without a handlebar?
Changing direction on purpose is similar to snowboarding or skiing. Your hips start the move and the upper part of your body as well as the arms indicate the direction then, the bike will follow. First you will ride a big circle but later it becomes smaller and smaller.
Now you have learned the most important things for unicycling. Always remember, keep cool.
The best thing to learn more, is to join a sports club. It would be nice if you would establish your own unicycling club. You can also find out more about unicycling with the links in the last page of this section.
In Japan, unicycling has always been a compulsory subject in sports. I always had a D in maths – but an A in sports – and I learned unicycling at the high age of 35 – but it’s a fact that younger people learn it a lot faster.
At last, did you know how unicyclist call the bicycle-riders? They call them supporting-wheel-riders!
Enjoy your ride!