Unicycles

Introduction

CUJA owns two unicycles which are available for members to use. Learning to stay on takes a lot of practice, but is immensely rewarding. Then there are endless possibilities; juggling whilst unicycling is an obvious aim.

This page emphasises some important advice as the result of a member’s experience. More information is available at unicycling.org.

Beginning to Unicycle

First get on the unicycle by moving one pedal so it is next to the floor and putting your foot on it. Then with the support of a wall or a friend get onto the cycle, then bring the pedals more horizontal. You are ready to go for it. As with learning many new skills there is a lot to think about all at once before you can get anywhere. The most important things to remember are:

  • Look ahead not down.
  • Most of your weight should be on the saddle not on the pedals. Adjust the saddle’s height if necessary.
  • Move your arms around a lot to stay on for as long as possible. To allow this, do not practice in a corridor; start next to a wall and cycle away from it.
  • You are most stable with some speed. After getting on the cycle next to a wall, push off, lean forward and go for it.

There may be some advantage in gaining confidence by cycling along next to a wall or with a friend’s support. Do not spend too long doing this though, or you will get into bad habits. It will probably take a few weeks to be able to ride a good distance consistently. The importance of confidence can not be over emphasised, especially when you seem to be getting nowhere. Look forward and pedal hard and you will get somewhere even if only 50cm at first.

Unassisted Mounting

When you have had a go on a unicycle you will understand how difficult this is. There is advice on unicycling.org. Here are alternative instructions, which take practice but minimise the possibility of whacking yourself hard in the shin with a pedal:

  • Position one pedal near the ground and put your foot on it, pushing forwards slightly.
  • Jump forwards onto the unicycle whilst moving the foot already on a pedal backwards; you want to land your other foot onto a pedal.
  • As soon as you are on, you will want weight on the saddle and to pedal forwards, or you will come straight off again.

Again you will need confidence to go for it, or you will not start cycling properly and fall straight off again. Throughout the mount you need to look forward at where you are going to go, not at the pedals, your feet or the ground.

Unicycle Hockey

Yes, it exists. And there’s a club in Cambridge! See www.camunihockey.co.uk to find out how to get involved.