Learned to ride at 30

Learned to ride at 30

Post by JMille27 » Thu, 27 Mar 1997 04:00:00

I learned to ride late in life 30.  My wife after asking me for years what
do you want for your birthday finally gave me a unicycle when I turned 30.
 I'm 44 now.  I learned to ride on my back porch.  The unicycle is a
Schwinn uni.  I started out by*** on to a post on my back patio and
trying to pedal six feet to the next post.  Only one bad fall in the
process (I can still hear the sound of my head hitting the concrete when I
think about it) I now recommend helmets for most activities. I wasn't
injured just really surprised.

After several evenings of struggling to pedal more than a few feet I went
to an Elementry school up the street.  It had 15 posts to hang onto
approximately 10 feet apart.  After a while I was able to ride past a few
posts then eventually around the school.  Then I was able to ride home.
Eventually I could ride home.  Then I took to riding about the
neighborhood.  I was able to free mount out of necessity since a post
wasn't always available.  I don't remember the process.  

After a while I put the unicycle away only to pull it out every few years
to prove I could still ride it.  I got a 6 ft unicycle when I was 36.
Learned to ride it but never found a graceful way to mount it.  Had to
stand on the back bumper of my Karmann Ghia and hold onto the garage door
to climb on, steady myself and launch  myself down the driveway.
Evenually gave up.  It always took too long to hit the ground and made my
feet sting when I did.

I rode my standard unicycle around the college campus (The Evergreen State
College) where my bike club was hosting the League of american Wheelmen
(now BicycleUSA) National rally.  Drew a lot of interest.  Sold my giraffe
uni to a local bike shop owner for store credit.  

I found the Unicycling home page a few weeks ago and renewed my love of
one wheeling.  Seem to be riding better than ever, tried a little off
road, took a 6 mile jaunt through downtown Olympia.  Mostly I ride in the
evenings around my neighborhood.  Since I'm riding around in the dark I
supposed I am expanding on my "neighborhood excentric resume."  I'm
e***d about riding again and have ordered a 26" Simcycle.  I expect I
could ride to work on it i.e. ride to the bus, carry the wheel on to the
bus and then ride from the bus stop to the office.  I have my own business
and a shower at the office so my clothing can be pretty casual.

I'm still not good at idleing.  I expect I could be but I'd much rather
cover ground than spend a lot of time, even a few minutes, experimenting.
 I'll get better at idleing out of necessity eventually.

I'm curious how other people learned to ride.  I'm sure I would have found
it easier to learn if I had known other people interested in riding.
Mostly I just learned through stubborn perserverence.  Try try again and
again and again.  I'd like to try to teach someone. I have a nine year old
nephew and will soon have a spare 20" wheel.  

Any suggestions on teaching?  The 10 skills I found on the home page have
been an inspiration.

J.D. Miller


Learned to ride at 30

Post by UniChe » Mon, 07 Apr 1997 05:00:00

>Any suggestions on teaching?  The 10 skills I found on the home page have

been an inspiration.


I enjoyed hearing your story of how you learned to ride.  I too have
renewed my interest in riding after running into another rider who told me
about the uni home page.

I am teaching my 14 year old daughter how to ride.  She became very
frustrated by just*** on and trying to free ride.  I took her to a
shopping center parking lot at night and she practiced riding behind a
shopping cart.  At first she could hardly push the cart, but after 1 hour
she was riding all around the lot.  On the second trip she gave up the
cart and can now ride about thirty feet before bailing out.  

I have been riding for over 26 years, and of course have had the
opportunity to teach a few people along the way.  The shopping cart has
been the most effective tool I have used.

Have Fun!

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