Learning to Ride (Part 2): Basic Pedalling

All right, so you know how to get on your unicycle – now it gets a bit tricky. Learning to actually ride it. Don’t expect instant results, because this step takes a while.

To start off, you want to be near a wall, like in part 1. Mount your unicycle (if you don’t know how to do that, go back a step!) and get your balance.

Using the wall as support, pedal forward one half-revolution (top pedal to bottom) and stop.

You’ll probably fall off. If you don’t, good work! Some people pick it up much quicker than others.

The next think to do it to keep trying this. If you fall, work out where you went wrong. The following troubleshooting steps are assuming you’re working next to a wall. If you’re practicing with a wall or rail on either side, you’ll probably have less trouble with the last two, but the forwards and backwards issues still occur.

I fell backwards!

This happens to most people when they start. The unicycle moves forward and you don’t! The easiest way to overcome this is to lean forward as you ride. Not really far forward, just keep your centre of gravity in the direction the uni is moving. At first you’ll probably fall forward instead (see below). It’s a matter of finding that perfect balance.

I fell forwards!

If you’re falling forwards, your centre of gravity is probably way too far in front. Since you’re only doing half a pedal revolution, you don’t need to lean forward much at all. To correct this, try bringing your body more upright. Never lean backwards though, otherwise you’ll fall off that way. You want your body and the unicycle going in the same direction, after all.

I fell sidewards into the wall!

A lot of people struggle with this at first. Since you’re still finding your balance, it’s very tempting to put all your weight on the wall to keep you on the uni. Not a good idea. Your unicycle will naturally want to go away from the wall, and you’ll be riding on somewhat of an angle. There’s a good chance it will slip out from under you, which is probably what happened. To fix this, try to only have one hand on the wall, with the other one for waving around to keep yourself balanced (get used to it, you’ll be doing it a lot!). Focus on keeping your body upright and if you feel yourself pushing on the wall too much, either correct yourself or stop and start again.

I fell sidewards away from the wall!

This will happen if you don’t have enough support on the wall – easy tiger, you’re still learning. To fix this, just use the wall a bit more. Not too much though, otherwise you’ll fall into it. Use the guidelines from above.

My problem isn’t listed here!

If you don’t know how to correct something, contact me! I’ll reply as soon as I can, and possibly add your problem to the list.

Once you’ve sorted everything out, keep trying. Practice makes perfect! Once you can do half a revolution confidently, try a whole one. Then two, then three, and so on. The troubleshooting above applies to any distance of riding along a wall, so make use of it!

Once you can ride well with support, you can move on to part three – dismounting.

Trust me, you’ll want to know how to do that!




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