Got the freemounting blues!

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by dogbowl, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. dogbowl

    dogbowl Guest

    On a good day, I can freemount one out of 4 times. On a crappy day (and
    sadly, this is more typical) I can freemount one out of fifteen times.
    If unicycling were the fourth grade, I would be that kid who keeps
    getting left back, reason: Failing the subject of freemounting. Again
    and again.
    I mean, once I'm up and going, I ride really well. I just always need a
    fence or a stop sign, and frankly, it is a real drag to always need a
    prop to get going.
    I've researched this problem endlessly--I checked out lots of web pages
    on the subject, and other unicyclists have personally showed me how its
    done. I get up on the thing, pedals at three and nine, then I tip over
    to the right before I can get going.
    I CAN do it, I've done it many times, it's just that I am way
    inconsistent, and most of the time, it's a flop. It's like having a car
    that works fine, except for the starter moter, which works only
    sometimes.
    I admit I'm a slow learner, I'm 44, 6'3" and I ride a 26 inch nimbus
    muni with a 3 inch wide tire. I sent away for a 24 inch "Gravity" (sort
    of like a Sun) unicycle to practice on, but freemounting on that seemed
    just as difficult--and besides, my daughter is having a blast on it, so
    I let her have it.
    Funny thing--when I get going via a decent freemount, I ride much, much
    better than with a fence or stopsign mount.
    Question:
    *Has anyone out there ever found themselves with the freemounting blues?
    You know, being able to ride the unicycle, but taking forever to get
    freemounting right? How long did it take you to get over it?*
    I look forward to the day when freemounting is as effortless as hopping
    on a bike.
    Cheers, (but actually bummed...)
    Dogbowl (Steve)


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    dogbowl - Putting the F back in Freemounting

    All I want out of life is to be able to ride the unicycle while smoking
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  2. unidaddy

    unidaddy Guest

    Sorry about the frustration level!! I'm sure it'll turn into a new
    effortless level in your riding until you take on the next challenge.
    Another great thing about uni.....there's always something more to
    learn. Are you pushing down on the 9 o'clock foot? I find that with my
    best freemounting side (left foot closer, right farther) I have the
    sensation that the leg is just solidly in place and I step up with some
    momentum to carry my weight into a forward motion, instead of pushing
    down on the close foot to bring the uni under me. It feels smoother,
    and the far (in my case, right) pedal is in a predictably uniform
    position for landing on and continuing to ride with the forward momentum
    of my stepping up. You've probably heard this, or tried it....but for me
    it makes sense because my weaker freemount side still has a tendency to
    step on the pedal instead of anchor the leg and step up onto the uni.
    Hope you find success soon!


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  3. Sigurd

    Sigurd Guest

    I personally have found success in doing the rollback mount. I never
    learned uni by hanging onto anything. It was always mount first and
    then try to ride away. But anyway, that's beside the point. Try
    putting your good pedal at the bottom and slightly back towards you.
    Put your good foot on it and just step up on it. If you didn't get
    anywhere, rock forward just a bit before you step up. If you go over
    the top, either your pedal was too far back or you rolled forward too
    far. When you get it just right, catch the other pedal with your other
    foot, make a 1/8 turn backwards to get your weight out in front and then
    ride away.

    Can anyone add to that or correct me if I'm wrong?

    Sigurd


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  4. harper

    harper Guest

    In answer to your question, no, but it was a long time ago. I'm not sure
    you're looking for advice, you didn't ask for any. I like the cigar sig
    line. I used to roll cigarettes while I was riding. Then I quit.
    Smoking, not riding.

    Unsolicited advice follows.

    Remember when you were learning to ride? You had to make mistakes in
    order to make corrections. That's how you learned. You got on and tried
    for that first pedal revolution and when you got that, you fell off. But
    you learned how to make corrections each time you went a little further
    and you didn't care which way you turned or jerked because staying on
    was the important part.

    I recommend that you do the same thing while learning to freemount.
    Twist, turn, flail, and jerk all over the place. Don't worry if you
    start going the wrong direction, just try to stay on. This means don't
    step off. Fall off, don't chicken out. If you intend to go east but get
    on and have to twist around until you're facing north to stay up, go
    with it. That means learning to freemount where there's lots of space,
    not on a sidewalk which is narrow. You're learning how to make
    corrections while freemounting this way.

    It's easier to freemount going downhill. Learn that way if you have to.
    Even if you have to turn all the way around after getting on, you're
    still learning. You're not in a rut. Try a roll back mount. It sounds
    like you prefer the static mount but try something different for
    awhile.

    Good luck. Go to Canada and get a Cuban when you've got it down.


    --
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    -Greg Harper

    B L U E S H I F T

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  5. Steve,

    Of course everybody is different, but for what it's worth I'll tell you
    what worked for me:

    I was trying to learn the rollback mount because that's what was
    suggested in the book I had (the one by Charlie Dancey) and was getting
    nowhere. Then I started reading this forum and looking at video
    tutorials and decided to give the static mount a go. I found that MUCH
    easier. One thing that helped me was to exaggerate the wheel movement
    (roll forward as you step on the pedal) and not to put too much pressure
    on the pedal (concentrate on putting weight on the saddle rather than
    the pedal). I learnt on a 20", but I use the same mount on my 26x3
    Nimbus - just takes a little bit more pressure on the pedal to hold it
    still, but not much. I'm still hopeless at the rollback mount, but I
    can do the static mount almost every time with either foot.

    Oh, another thing that was good at first was to put a block of wood
    behind the wheel (or start against a kerb) to stop it shooting back if
    you put too much pressure on the pedal. When you get the feel of the
    mount, do it without the kerb/block.

    I did most of my freemount practice on grass as well, so it didn't hurt
    when I got it wrong! (coward)

    I hope that is some help to you, and good luck.

    Rob


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  6. Zzagg

    Zzagg Guest

    I would just add to what has been said upper:
    just forget anything can help you for mounting. don't ride if you didn't
    free mount...
    when you don't succeed with free mount, close your eyes, breathe deeply
    three times (or more) and think about a pleasent thing that doesn't
    concern uni and then go for it.
    If you ever succeeded your reflexes must begin to show up... just trust
    them. :cool:

    Please excuse me for approximate English


    :eek:

    Riding day, dream away...
    still riding, still dreaming.


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  7. Having passed the worst freemount blues I've made these conclusions
    about the static mount:

    - just before thrusting my body forwards, I think: No weight on the
    right foot! which is my good (leading) foot.

    - before the jump I curl my back over the uni in order to minimise the
    physical effort

    - I strech out my (left) hand forward as balance guide while the right
    hand is holding the saddle by its front handle

    If I only remember to curl my back over the uni and thinking not to put
    any weight on the back pedal, it all become one smooth action.

    Having a 24" I know how tired one can be after a dozen unsuccesful
    mounts. But with persistent training it will come!


    goldenchicken born 1954


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  8. GILD

    GILD Guest

    a couple of thoughts that worked for me freemounting the giraffe

    commit to only ever riding from a freemount
    ever
    'From This Day Forward...' and all that

    take a deep breath, exhale and only move into the freemount about a
    third of the way thru the outbreath
    if u take a deep gasp of air as u go, it's quite normal to hold your
    breath, locking your upper body rigid
    u need the upper body to be loose so u can roll with the corrections
    breathe out and go a third of the way thru the outbreath

    be precise in the detail of setting up the mount
    have the pedal at the same angle
    make sure your 'other' foot is the same distance away from the uni
    check all the detail and make sure u replicate it as closely as possible
    everytime u mount

    it will come


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    Namaste!
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  9. Zzagg's idea is a good one.

    When I was learning to ride, after I learnt to ride about 5 metres ther
    was nowhere i could ride where there was anything to hold onto, even for
    mounting. That meant that I had to learn to freemount before i could
    ride.

    With the giraffe however, i had a handy telegraph pole to mount with, so
    when i couldn't freemeount, rather than perservering with it, i would
    just give up and head for the pole.

    I can freemount the giraffe one in five times if i'm lucky, but i can
    step onto the 20" uni without even thinking about it. Pick a warm(ish)
    day, and go and keep trying, force yourself to learn to do it....


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  10. DigitalDave

    DigitalDave Guest

    GILD wrote:
    > *
    > 1. be precise in the detail of setting up the mount
    > 2. have the pedal at the same angle
    > 3. make sure your 'other' foot is the same distance away from the
    > uni
    > 4. check all the detail and make sure u replicate it as closely as
    > possible everytime u mount
    >
    > it will come *



    If I remember correctly,,, I got better when I only tried to get on the
    seat. (no riding away once on)

    Try keeping your lead foot still on the petal, and push forward with
    base foot keeping your back vertical to ground (no leaning forward), and
    meet your base foot to the forward petal.

    This leads to a fluid forward motion to the seat.
    (looks effortless)
    If you find yourself having to hop onto the seat trying my way, lower
    the seat alittle, until you nail it consistantly, then put it back.


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  11. Uniwitold

    Uniwitold Guest

    wobbling bear wrote:
    > *I've always been a slow learner and moreover I learned uniing at
    > 54.
    >
    > So I know freemounting blues.
    > Try to turn the blues into music!
    >
    > 1) I am stubborn and do not feel humiliated when I miss again and
    > again.I breethe, smile, play the music and dance into freemounting
    > ... Oops missed again. funny. let's start again
    >
    > 2) I succeed when my body does the trick without notifying my brain
    > .... that's Zen!
    >
    > hope this helps
    >
    > bear *


    Within 3 months of lerning of riding ( on the tarmak) I was freemountins
    26"...9 out of 10. Then I've lost it.Then I got it again.
    Very distressed I have decided I am getting old.
    Then I have recalled how kids are plaing not bothering about final
    outcome of what they create. I thought....I enjoy unicycling. Most of
    my life I was doing things in order to get RESULT. So I have decided to
    let myselve be withe the subject of freemouniting.
    Recently I have dilscovered ....loocking to the opposite siede of front
    foot helps me to get there. I wished to be consistent and progress.....I
    can't.....so what! Let enjoy it! It may come.So many thigs and
    'succeses' were granted to me, against all odds. So... let have fun.:D


    --
    Uniwitold

    Veni !Vidi !Mount ! ' Public does not perceive it reacts'. Greg
    Harper.
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  12. Uniwitold

    Uniwitold Guest

    wobbling bear wrote:
    > *I've always been a slow learner and moreover I learned uniing at
    > 54.
    >
    > So I know freemounting blues.
    > Try to turn the blues into music!
    >
    > 1) I am stubborn and do not feel humiliated when I miss again and
    > again.I breethe, smile, play the music and dance into freemounting
    > ... Oops missed again. funny. let's start again
    >
    > 2) I succeed when my body does the trick without notifying my brain
    > .... that's Zen!
    >
    > hope this helps
    >
    > bear *


    Within 3 months of lerning of riding ( on the tarmak) I was freemountins
    26"...9 out of 10. Then I've lost it.Then I got it again.
    Very distressed I have decided I am getting old.
    Then I have recalled how kids are plaing not bothering about final
    outcome of what they create. I thought....I enjoy unicycling. Most of
    my life I was doing things in order to get RESULT. So I have decided to
    let myselve be withe the subject of freemouniting.
    Recently I have dilscovered ....loocking to the opposite siede of front
    foot helps me to get there. I wished to be consistent and progress.....I
    can't.....so what! Let enjoy it! It may come.So many thigs and
    'succeses' were granted to me, against all odds. So... let have fun.:D


    --
    Uniwitold

    Veni !Vidi !Mount ! ' Public does not perceive it reacts'. Greg
    Harper.
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  13. Uniwitold

    Uniwitold Guest

    wobbling bear wrote:
    > *I've always been a slow learner and moreover I learned uniing at
    > 54.
    >
    > So I know freemounting blues.
    > Try to turn the blues into music!
    >
    > 1) I am stubborn and do not feel humiliated when I miss again and
    > again.I breethe, smile, play the music and dance into freemounting
    > ... Oops missed again. funny. let's start again
    >
    > 2) I succeed when my body does the trick without notifying my brain
    > .... that's Zen!
    >
    > hope this helps
    >
    > bear *


    Within 3 months of learning of riding ( on the tarmak) I was
    freemounting 26"...9 out of 10. Then I've lost it.Then I got it again.
    Very distressed I have decided.... I am getting old.
    Then I have recalled how kids are plaing, not bothering about final
    outcome of what they create. I thought....I enjoy unicycling. Most of
    my life I was doing things in order to get a RESULT. So I have decided
    to let myselve be with the subject of freemouniting.
    Recently I have dilscovered ....loocking to the opposite siede of front
    foot helps me to get there. I wished to be consistent and progress.....I
    can't.....so what! Let enjoy it! It may come.So many things and
    'succeses' were granted to me, against all odds. So... let have fun.:D


    --
    Uniwitold

    Veni !Vidi !Mount ! ' Public does not perceive it reacts'. Greg
    Harper.
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  14. Cubby

    Cubby Guest

    I learned last year at 43 and went though some of the same. I see bits
    and pieces of how I got better in the replies above. Once I was able to
    freemount that 1:4 or 1:15 times I refused to go back to an aid (a
    lightpost in my case). I spent several days of practice sessions doing
    nothing but mount, go for a short distance, dismount, repeat. Then I
    took several days off to give the muscle memory a chance to sort things
    out. Like Harper suggest I didn't worry at all about direction or
    distance. Just kept doing mounts. I'd tweak the pedal position. I'd
    play with foot placement. I'd play with the tilt of the uni. It was
    all just to do as many mounts as possible until my body figured out what
    worked and to get the hang of it. I've always found that when doing
    something like this it's good to take a few days off after dedicated
    practice to let things settle in. Those were some great workouts too.
    I'd be drenched with sweat.


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  15. mucRider

    mucRider Guest

    dogbowl wrote:
    > *I admit I'm a slow learner, I'm 44, 6'3" and I ride a 26 inch nimbus
    > muni with a 3 inch wide tire. Cheers, (but actually bummed...)
    > Dogbowl (Steve) *



    Try freemounting a 20 inch. I find that easier. With the bigger wheel
    you have to jump to get up on it.

    Hang in there. Keep trying. I learned to ride last year at age 50. I can
    freemount.


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  16. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 23:38:56 -0500, "dogbowl" wrote:

    >Question:
    >*Has anyone out there ever found themselves with the freemounting blues?
    >You know, being able to ride the unicycle, but taking forever to get
    >freemounting right? How long did it take you to get over it?*


    <raises hand>. I could ride reliably by October 2000, 5 weeks (20
    hours) after starting to learn. It took me until March 2001 to get my
    freemounting good enough to be tested for level 1.

    Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
    --
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  17. One on one

    One on one Guest

    Here are a couple of suggestions that you can try. While learning to
    freemount this past year, I tried the following, which helped me learn
    how, successfully.

    1. Try mounting with the opposite foot.

    2. Try mounting while holding the seat with the opposite hand than which
    you've been doing. (This had a big effect for me)

    3. Put a lot of your weight onto the hand that is holding the seat.

    4. When you step up onto the uni, make sure that you are straight up
    over the tire. Any lean to one side or the other will make it more
    difficult.

    I had the most success with my left foot on the bottom pedal and left
    hand on the seat. If I tried mounting with my right hand on the seat, I
    would tip to one side.

    5. When you start having a little success, start working on another
    skill. eg. turning, figure 8s. This will take your mind off what you're
    doing and you'll still have plenty of freemounting practice while
    learning a new skill.


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  18. steveyo

    steveyo Guest

    While I was learning (i.e. trying to FM repeatedly with no success) a
    passerby suggested: "Why don't you just run and get it going and jump
    on."

    My frustration may have showed when I laughed and said "Here, you try!".
    He demurred.
    _______________

    Suggestions for FM improvement:

    Take 10 or 20 tries before using a prop, but then reward yourself with a
    spin around the block.

    When the good foot get's better than 50%, take few tries with the bad
    foot before giving in and mounting with the good foot.


    --
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    steveyo

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  19. billham

    billham Guest

    Two skills that I've learned have really made my freemounting easier.
    Idling and hopping. Both of these skills have helped me to get used to
    balancing and pausing on the unicycle, staying centered over the
    wheel.

    It may be an idea to work on some hopping, especially trying to relax
    and only hop to correct for balance and not doing a steady pogo stick
    type constant hopping.

    I learned to idle by holding onto a railing and then by holding onto a
    nylon strap that I attached to the ceiling in my basement. Once I was
    better at idling, it was easier for me to rock the wheel backwards,
    forwards or to the side to make a quick balance adjustment when needed
    on a sloppy freemount.

    I'm not sure what other skills you have worked on and mastered. Idling
    and hopping may seem like advanced skills to you. But they are skills
    that are well worth your time to work on and I have found as I got
    better at them, I also got more confident on freemounting. I still miss
    s freemount once in a while. I think it's just the unicycle's way of
    keeping me humble.

    Stick with it, it'll come. The rewards are greater when you work hard
    to achieve it.

    Bill


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  20. marcvg

    marcvg Guest

    I learned to ride in college and could free mount routinely.

    Well now I'm 54 and I took up riding after a 30 year break. Guess
    what--the hardest thing was to relearn to freemount! I couldn't imagine
    how I had ever done it.

    I knew the idea was to start with the pedals at 3 and 9 o'clock, with
    seat in place. No pressure on the rear pedal, and a sense of jumping
    up, pedals barely moving, and then leaning forward and riding off.

    Well after a few weeks of practice, it came back to me.

    Here are are few ideas that helped me:

    I didn't try more than about 6 or 7 attempts per day. No kidding. I
    think that helps the brain figure things out.

    In my case, my right foot is on the nearer pedal and my left foot is on
    the ground. I must remind myself to bend the left knee before I hop.

    In this ready position, I lean over so I have a sense my head is over
    the axle of the wheel. The goal of hopping is to bring my body into
    alignment with the axle and my head.

    The goal of the hop is to get both feet planted on the pedals -- with
    little weight on the seat! I let myself ride for about 1/2 to 2 turns
    with my weight on the pedals, and off the seat, to establish my balance.
    (I practiced riding up off the seat until I felt I could could control
    the unicycle that way.)

    In retrospect, I had to figure out a learning strategy. Lots of little
    steps. I can free mount routinely now.

    Keep at it--figure out a strategy. You'll get it.


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