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Poll: can you ride backwards?


maxkan
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I have only started to learn, but I think it has improved my balance at near-zero speeds, even when going forward. So yes, might be useful to some riders.

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If you like to do tricks on the wheel or Impress with your skill level, then going backwards is a must. It always surprises people. 

Video credit:  Dale Walker

 

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I found riding backwards came naturally; I think if you spend enough time on your wheel then eventually you'll be able to ride backwards. Practicing going backwards when you're shaky going forwards is a duffer's game.

I do notice, however, that I frequently "cross the controls", that is, I put in exact opposite input when going backwards, and essentially have to jump off the wheel like a scalded cat. So while I can ride backwards, it isn't 100% like riding forwards, and so I often bail.

If I had to put a practical purpose to riding backwards, then I can really just think of one: the relaxed three point u-turn inside a tiny area. Doing slow (not fast) pendelums, which I do 100% of the time I ride, isn't quite riding backwards, but it probably one of the most useful skills to learn.

I have not been able to put a key into a door, turn the knob, and go through the doorframe while staying on the EUC. And I've been practicing that for months.

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10 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I think if you spend enough time on your wheel then eventually you'll be able to ride backwards.

Not for me... 12000km forwards and I still have to practice reversing quite a bit.

10 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Practicing going backwards when you're shaky going forwards is a duffer's game.

That is very true though. You have to be comfortable enough on the wheel.

10 hours ago, LanghamP said:

If I had to put a practical purpose to riding backwards, then I can really just think of one: the relaxed three point u-turn inside a tiny area.

My thinking exactly! My ”pendulums” and 5m reverses are still just about trying to keep upright, there’s nothing pre-determined about the direction...

The thing that really helps me when reversing is to do small slalom all the time.  I think it solves the issue of accidentally giving ”reversed” input for balancing, as I don’t have to think how to correct the balance.

 

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When I first started I could ride backwards easier than forwards. I learned to ride a bicycle backwards while sitting on the handlebars when I was a kid and can still do it. The only difference is that you have to lean backwards with faith on the unicycle. My riding backwards on the unicycle has not improved all that much sense my first day though. ( maybe 50 feet with limited turning.) I guess I need to improve on that. 

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5 hours ago, RockyTop said:

My riding backwards on the unicycle has not improved all that much sense my first day though. ( maybe 50 feet with limited turning.) I guess I need to improve on that. 

Your doing great! Nothing shabby with a 50 feet distance. I’m sure your overall balance has increased significantly. :cheers:

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1 hour ago, Circuitmage said:

I've spent a few hours on it, the most I can do is 10 or 20 feet. I think I start asking myself "Why am I going backwards" and then lose balance.

 

I am still learning how to ride backward, however I can rollerblade backward comfortably so I think being able to think and navigate in reverse helps. Try walking backward while looking over your shoulder, once your brain gets more comfortable with with idea of moving in reverse it'll probably be easier to learn how to ride backward.

btw I took capoiera few years ago and had to learn how to manuver while looking upside down, very disorienting in the beginning but at some point it sort of just snap into place and make sense.

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2 hours ago, kasenutty said:

I can ride backwards indefinitely in an open area, but I can't control my turning very well. 

Depending on the wheel some will turn very fast in reverse making it hard to control.  I find that happening on the MCM5. 

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1 hour ago, kasenutty said:

I think it's harder with the smaller wheels. My 14c is all squirrely backwards, but the 16s is much better. 

Possibly. Interestingly the pint size Mten 3 makes riding backwards effortless. 

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1 hour ago, Rehab1 said:

Possibly. Interestingly the pint size Mten 3 makes riding backwards effortless. 

Doesn’t the Mten3 have a wide tire? I found that while I can’t do as fast corrections when switching forward/backwards, the MSX at 3.0” doesn’t need them nearly as much as the 16S 2.5”.

I’m also still an open area reverser, can’t yet look back while at it...

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2 hours ago, kasenutty said:

Maybe it’s motor power and stiff pedals. Hmmmm

Have you tried riding the Mten 3? 

 

1 hour ago, mrelwood said:

Doesn’t the Mten3 have a wide tire? I found that while I can’t do as fast corrections when switching forward/backwards, the MSX at 3.0” doesn’t need them nearly as much as the 16S 2.5”.

I’m also still an open area reverser, can’t yet look back while at it...

2.5 inch but the profile is short and squatty. Regarding looking backward try to keep your shoulders level and pointed straight ahead so they don’t twist when you rotate your head. Practice with short duration head turns and then increase the time lapse each day.  It will eventually become natural. 

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1 hour ago, mix said:

i can go backwards just like going forward although i have to  turn my head left or right just to look at the path . I have the V8. I just ordered the mten3.

Please share your experience with mten3 vs v8. I also have v8 and considering mten3 as a second wheel :)

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Don't have the mten3 yet its back ordered. Although with the V8 when I first try to learn backwards I use to spread my arms for balance and I practice by holding on to something and push myself backwards. After I learn how to go straight without falling, I practice turning on both sides. I also practice looking left and right and twist my chest a bit to look where I'm going. I practice that every morning going straight, turn on both sides without going off the EUC. I got a small bruise once with the pedals and fall once on my butt trying to learn it. Then practice going forward and backward what they call a pendulum. I don't get the pendulum perfect for long but I can do it. I just started riding the unicycle in June this year.

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