Start with a Unicycle that fits

Get a unicycle that fits. It can’t be too big or too small. If it’s too big, you can’t reach the pedals comfortably. If it’s too small, your knees come up too high, which can make it harder to balance by changing your posture. If your foot is on the pedal and it’s at its lowest spot, there should be a tiny bend in your leg. That’s when it fits.

Wheel sizes vary

 A bigger wheel goes a farther distance, and you don’t have to pedal as fast. With a smaller wheel, you can pinch your legs to the seat and twist when you want to turn. With a bigger wheel, you just lean in the direction you want to go. You have to work harder on the small ones. You can ride farther, like around a neighborhood, on a bigger wheel.

My progress

Daddy says it takes about 20 hours of practice to learn how to ride. I made a habit of riding every evening for at least 15 minutes. It took about a month and a half.

When she was a kid, my neighbor Mrs. Beth, learned to unicycle between two cars parked in the driveway. I used a picnic table that can come in half and rode between them. Daddy put a brick behind the wheel to start. It makes mounting more stable. I always start with my right foot pushing the pedal down. Your dominant foot might be different from your dominant hand. My dad writes with his right hand, but starts with his left foot.

Then I needed to try going farther

I used a wall or a fence. There is a sidewalk that is slightly downhill in my neighborhood. Riding downhill keeps your momentum going. When you go faster, like on a bike, it makes it easier to balance. An adult walked beside me first holding my arm. Eventually, I held on and let go when I was ready.

Even when I could ride longer, sometimes, I (still) use people’s arms to help myself up and to balance.

When you get so that you can ride longer distances, you can practice free mounting from a curb. Then, there’s free mounting, which is getting on the unicycle from even ground without holding onto anything.

How to Learn to Unicycle Videos

A History of Unicycling

The unicycle was invented by James Elliot from Yorkshire, UK. In the mid-1870’s, he removed the rear wheel from a penny farthing, which we call a velocipede. The unicycle used to be called a monocycle.

You can join a unicycling association. The American group is riding together in the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2024. You can also participate in UNICON, the International Unicycling Convention.

Books About Unicycling

Where would a person get a unicycle?

  • At a unicycle or juggling convention