Learn to Ride (Part 7): Skill Review Part 1

Now it’s time to see if you actually learned something in this guide. In this post are some tasks you can do to make sure you’re good enough to start the fun stuff.

If you can’t do a certain activity at all, maybe you should go back and have a read through the step that we learned it in. If you can do all of them pretty comfortably, congratulations! You’ve done an awesome job to make it this far.

All right. Let’s see what you can do.

Back to Basics

We’ll start off with something easy. Find an area where you can ride around comfortably, and set yourself about about 25-30 metres from something that you can use as a reference point (line, pole, brick, etc.). Get on your unicycle (whichever way you want, we aren’t testing mounting yet) and ride towards it. If you can reach it easily, good job! You can officially ride a unicycle!

If you can’t do this (uh oh), you definitely need more practice. Head back to parts 12 and 3.

Keep it Straight

Being able to ride it is one thing, but actually being able to control it is another. For this task, rule a line on the ground in chalk that’s about 10-15 metres long. Mount your unicycle and try your best to ride on the line. If your wheel strays more than 10cm from the chalk line, start again. Just remember, don’t focus on the chalk. You will be able to tell if you’re straying from it. Instead, keep your body upright and your eyes forward. Did you make it? If that was a walk in the park, try the next challenge.

If you couldn’t do this, but you can ride just fine, try practicing this a as many times as you need. You’ll get it eventually! If you can’t ride a unicycle at all, go back to the start.

Plank o’ Wood

Now it gets fun. Find yourself a plank of wood that’s about 15-20 cms wide and 2-ish metres long. Set it up on some bricks (one at each end and one in the middle for support) and with a friend’s help, mount your unicycle whilst on the plank. Using your skills, ride along the plank without falling off. This should be easier than the previous challenge because you have the whole plank, but the fact that you’re off the ground makes it a bit more scary. Once you reach the end of the plant, dismount your unicycle. We don’t want you hurting yourself.

If you’re actually attempting this, I assume you’re a reasonable competent rider. If you find yourself falling of the plank, keep practicing using the chalk line until your feel confident. Then give it another shot.

Round the Bend

Using your trusty chalk, draw out a circle that has a diameter of about 2-3 metres. Draw a second one around it that’s another half a metre bigger. Get on your unicycle and ride two laps around the ‘track’, staying within the lines. Do this clockwise and counterclockwise. If you go out of the lines or fall off, start again. Just for fun, rule a start line and see how quickly you can do two laps.

If you struggled to turn or stay in the lines, go back to step 4 and brush up on your basic turning.

That’s all for the first part of the skills review. Hopefully you passed so you can move on to part 2. If you couldn’t do one (or more) of the above challenges, go back to their respective steps. I think you’ll find you’ll be able to do all of these with a little practice. 🙂

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