Unicycles have always attracted attention from spectators. There's something magical about watching someone coast down the street perched upon a single wheel instead of two. If you've ever seen someone riding a unicycle and wondered how they did it, why not try it out for yourself?
Learning to ride a unicycle is a lot easier than you might think. Just like when you learned how to ride a bicycle, once you learn how to ride a unicycle you will never forget- and it becomes progressively easier the more you do it.
It also takes lot less time to master riding a unicycle than you might assume. You might think you'd be practicing for months and months...but no! Most people find that with regular practice, it takes as little as two weeks to learn how to ride a unicycle. This means that if you start learning how to ride a unicycle today, you could be the one coasting down the road with your hands behind your head by next month! And once you've mastered the basics, you'll have a lot of fun learning more advanced things, like how to do unicycle tricks.
Here are some handy tips to help you learn how to ride your unicycle.
Tip#1: Find a good training area.
You want a large area that has a hard surface. Don't try and ride a unicycle somewhere that's too cramped. You'll just keep bumping into things and have to concentrate on avoiding obstacles. Pick a nice large space. Ideally, there will be a handrail of some kind that you can hang onto for support until you get the hang of riding your unicycle.
If possible, you could always bring a couple friends along and have one on either side of you. In fact, you could all take turns learning to ride the unicycle together, which might be a lot more fun! Usually anytime you learn how to do something new, it's more fun with company. Or you might be the Han Solo type in which case you'll probably opt for the handrail. Doesn't matter...you will learn either way!
Tip#2: Learn how to mount the unicycle properly
There is a right and a wrong way to mount a unicycle. It may actually seem counterintuitive at first! Here's what you want to do:
- Stand over the unicycle seat.
- Use one arm to steady yourself on a handrail.
- Position the pedals so they are pointing not quite straight up and down, but with the right pedal higher than the left.
- Now, just step onto the pedals and push down. You will feel the wheel lifting your body onto the seat and rolling backward.
Tip#3: Learn how to steer the unicycle
Steering a unicycle feels very strange at first, and you might think you'll never get the hang of it. But in fact it only takes a couple of hours to learn how to steer a unicycle effectively. This is one of those things you just have to learn by doing. You need to get the feel of it. The more you practice, the faster you will learn. But it's better to practice in short sessions, rather than one long session. Try and practice every day or every other day until you have learned how to steer your unicycle properly.
Tip#4: Learn what to do if you fall off your unicycle
Fear of falling is one of the main reasons most people who have the means and opportunity never learn to ride a unicycle. Somehow, the idea of falling off a unicycle can be quite scary! Even those people who are really comfortable on a bicycle and would never be afraid to fall off might feel nervous when they contemplate falling off a unicycle.
However, it is actually not that common to fall off your unicycle when you're first learning. The reason is that you will always have support. Remember - handrail or friends? You can take it slow, and don't ride your unicycle without something to hang onto until you're feeling more confident. Once you are more confident, the simple fact is that you will then have acquired some skill in riding your unicycle. You will not fall off because you will know how to balance! It is natural to fear falling off when you haven't learned how to balance, but once you have the feel of it, you will not even worry about falling off anymore.
Also, if you do happen to feel yourself falling, it's not that big of a deal. Don't panic or tense up. Just bring your feet to the ground, then stand up. See how simple that is? Once you try it, you will see that falling off a unicycle is really not the big obstacle to learning how to ride. The big obstacle is your attitude or mindset!
Tip#5: Wear protective gear
Even once you know how to mount your unicycle and can steer without bumping into things, you should still wear protective gear. While falling off is uncommon, if you do fall â especially if you're riding extremely fast â you could sustain serious injuries. You especially want to be careful when riding your unicycle in traffic.
You will need two pieces of protective gear when riding your unicycle:
- unicycle helmet
- unicycle wrist guards
You can purchase these necessary protective pieces from any online bicycle shop or online sports center.
Now, here is the most important tip for learning to ride a unicycle in 2 weeks:
Don't think to yourself, "This is too hard" or "I can't do this," or it WILL be hard and you WON'T be able to do it! Just adopt an attitude like a child learning how to walk. No matter how many times they fall down, they always get right back up again. They really seem to enjoy the challenge. Eventually children learn to stand on their own two feet without support. You too can master this unfamiliar task, so just have fun with it and don't be too hard on yourself!
If you take only a single thing away from this article, this should be it: maintain a positive attitude when learning how to ride your unicycle. Everything else follows naturally from that.