Congratulations, you’ve learned to ride your unicycle forward with confidence. As a natural order of progression, a great number of beginner unicyclists choose idling the unicycle as their next goal. The ability to idle a unicycle allows the rider to avoid dismounting while remaining relatively stationary. It is a great skill to have when your hands are full or while waiting for a light to turn. Idling is also fundamental to learning many tricks. If juggling while riding a unicycle is in your future, well developed idling ability is critical.
Idling will involve patience. It can take some time to learn, and initially may seem a daunting task. To idle calmly involves a great deal of practice.
When learning to idle, the laws of physics are very much stacked against the unicyclist. The new unicycle rider, just like the new bicycle rider (or Lance Armstrong for that matter) relies greatly on the benefits of forward momentum to keep him upright. Unlike the bicycle, however, idling the unicycle allows the rider to cast aside forward momentum as a requirement to stay mounted.
Idling requires the rider to possess a great deal of co-ordination. The unicyclist must make tiny but constant side to side, and forward and backward adjustments in posture while making quick but precise pedal movements in order to compensate for the lack of constant forward momentum.
HOW TO IDLE A UNICYCLE…
– Step one is to always wear full protective gear, especially when learning new skills. More equipment is better, but as a minimum, wear a helmet with good protection for the rear of the head, and wrist guards.
– Find a sturdy wall, post, or if you aren’t too tall, a door frame will do.
– Mount the unicycle, and align the pedals at 6 and 12 o’clock.
– While holding the support with at least one hand, push the top pedal forward to 2 o’clock (or about 45 degrees).
– Now push down on your lower foot so that the upper pedal returns to 12 o’clock.
– Spend some time repeating this motion. After a while you’ll notice that you have a better feel for the center of gravity.
– Just as when you initially learned to ride forward, gradually release from your supports.
– Once you are idling more smoothly, you may want to work on idling without flailing your arms.
The unicycle provides for a fantastic core and cardio workout, and is an activity that has a near endless number of skills to master. Idling is key to many aspects of unicycling. Once you’ve learned to idle, you can be proud that you’ve got the foundation that will allow progression into other areas of the sport of unicycling.