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PREPPING to Learn to Ride


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Ordered my first EUC just the other day, but it won't be here until the end of August. I'm not the most out of shape person, but since my job renders me sedentary I've been trying to exercise every day, particularly in ways that will help me increase my stamina and balance for the EUC. So I've been focusing on a lot of squats, sit-ups/crunches, and some simple yoga for balance.

I'm not sure how much it applies to actually riding an EUC, but one thing I've been doing is practicing the lean. Spreading my legs about where they'd be on the pedals and practicing leaning my weight forward and onto my toes for as long as I can. I don't know if that experience is comparable to being on the pedals, but.... y'know. I'm eager to ride and I'm trying to prep myself in anyway possible. Any of you guys have some tips/exercises to help get someone like me ready for their first EUC?

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I was chatting bout this on another thread.

There's no hard evidence here on the forum that it works (yet) but I had a good outcome with actively visualizing learning how to ride. I call it 'kinetic visualization'.

The idea is to watch some videos and after to actively visualize yourself mounting (which is it's own thing) and riding the wheel. Doing this actively, to the point where your muscles start to twitch with the imagery, your body starts to rotate imaging turns etc. Then do it standing, visualizing the wheel, deciding on exactly how you're going to approach your initial learning, what approach you'll take to mounting it. Dial it in within your mind first, imagining  yourself doing all the parts (getting on, riding, turning, stopping) and practice that in you mind until the wheel arrives.

As much as exercising might help you have more endurance the endurance isn't really needed before the cognitive/balance skill of riding the EUC is achieved. Having a rewarding early experience will get you to the goal of training strength and endurance on the wheel faster.



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I agree with @UniMe that videos and visualization get your mind prepped, so that you can visualize the moves and how your body will accomplish them.

A couple more exercise suggestions:

  1. You mentioned you are doing squats, which is good. Add in holding a partial squat (knees unlocked at about 20 degree bend) and hold it for several minutes at a time. This will be the position you'll be in as you are riding. Many early or learning riders complain of burning thighs because of this necessary stance. As you are doing this, lean forward slightly using your lower back so that your lower back muscles get used to holding position. Basically all this amounts to a slightly crouched position, which is the position we are constantly in to be ready for that unseen bump or pothole. Of course you can stand up and relax a bit on good pavement at your discretion.
  2. Another great exercise is to do stair steps slowly. You just need one or two steps available to step up forward and down backwards. This is almost a one leg squat that will build strength, balance and control that will help with the actual mount and dismount while riding. Add in doing the steps slowly sideways. This will add some lateral balance control and strength which will help with the pedal control used to lean and turn the wheel.

Speaking for myself (as a 60 year old that was in pretty good shape before riding), my riding improved as much from the EUC muscles getting in shape ... which allowed more precise and positive control, as from the body knowing what to do (muscle memory). The "in shape" or "conditioning" allows for easier, longer, and more pleasant riding.

I believe you are on the right track, thinking and asking about this stuff, and with what you are already doing. @UniMe also makes a good point about having an early rewarding experience helped by the body knowing what to do with the visualization practice. Similar statements and ideas can be found around the forum about early satisfaction giving motivation to persist. But only you can judge what kind of exercise and conditioning you need to or should do. If you are already athletic then you can wait until you start riding. If you are an older or perhaps out of shape person, doing the EUC conditioning exercises earlier will help give you that rewarding and satisfying ride earlier. And no exercise goes to waste, unless it causes an injury.       

Edited by Scottie
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  • 3 weeks later...

Congrats on getting a wheel. Sounds like you are on the right path. Although, I did not exercise before my EUC came , the first days could give you a work out , especially if you follow U-Strides beginner video (Which has helped me get on the wheel) 

I documented my training on youtube, and as you can see in the video, i exhausted myself the first few days. Your brain will click once you start to balance, so a lot of training is also mental and perception as well. 

Now that im riding, (and still have more to learn) i can confirm that if you do not exercise, the wheel will exercise you and im sure doing squats, ankle, hip , knee exercises, core exercises will help. 

As far as tips are concerned, In my own opinion (as a recent beginner as well), the only thing that will actually help you ride is dont attempt to ride it right away. The first steps are gaining control and taming it on your dominant leg.   Second step i would say is to practice being on the unicycle with assistance.  Third step would be to practice stepping on and off with assistance, and fourth would be drill yourself on the first 3 steps till you feel confident to launch yourself from a point . This is where mental perception comes into play and your mind can be your worst enemy at this point during this step. 

(The video below only demonstrates how exhausting it can be to train )



Edited by WILSON-YT
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I think if there's one exercise that could really help it would be calf raises.  Focus on balance and perfect execution.  Stand on the balls of your feet and try to maintain perfectly still.  Feel the contact you're making with the ground and get real used to it.

Edited by WebDev
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if u can walk and stand in place u can ride euc! being in shape might help but i hv seen guys in killer shape who were very slow to learn and people in poor shape who learned quickly. See the learning to ride threads for tips to speed up process - use a spotter 1st cpl sessions and u will b fine. imo dry land training will not do much to help. relax and hv fun and dont pressure urself with any timetable!

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