Wheel Walking: Falling on my back a lot

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by podzol, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. podzol

    podzol Guest

    Hi Folks,
    I am learning how to wheel walk. I can regularly go between 6 and 10
    feet.

    Now that I am actually able to do it for a short distance, the
    character of my UPDs has changed, I am landing flat on my back, or
    elbows and wrists. I am wearing helmet, wrist and elbow protection. But
    it remains a jarring experience.

    I believe the problem lies in how far I am leaning back. Probably too
    far.

    Any thouhts on some drills I can do to fine tune my leaning without
    the risk of falling like that, or what I might be doing wrong?

    Thanks!


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  2. unidaddy

    unidaddy Guest

    Hi Blake,

    Hey, didn't you say a few days ago that you were having a bout of
    something that was affecting your balance? I think that's the only
    reason that you're falling at all these days!:) But really,
    everything that I've read has pointed to falling off the back as a good
    thing in the learning stages of wheel-walking. I'm trying to learn
    that, too. I've just gotten a new freestyle unicycle and it's totally
    different than my attempts on my KH freeride. I've come off the back a
    couple times too.....I just wish that they made effective and stylish
    butt pads.

    I have noticed that along with that very upright-feeling balance comes
    the feeling that the wheel seems to want to roll forward all on its
    own, which means if I don't have my foot securely on
    it....squirt....out it goes like a watermelon seed. For me the
    difficult thing seems to be getting any side-to-side correction going
    at such a slow speed. Any tips?


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  3. Loosemoose

    Loosemoose Guest

    I am just learning to WW at the moment, and have just about got it past
    the 6m 'barrier' mentioned in the unicyclopedia. I find at low speed
    that a lot of arm flailing and body twisting to change direction is the
    best solution. Its not elegant at all but it seems to work for me.

    You can't lean forward at all when learning to WW, you actually have to
    lean slightly further back than feels comfortable in order to get a
    steady foot motion going, otherwise the wheel accelerates out and you
    get unbalanced.

    My main problem with WW at the moment is transferring into it, or
    freemounting into it, so I need a wall. Until yesterday that is, when
    Roger taught me 'this' (http://tinyurl.com/adzqg) mount, so now I can
    freemount into my crappy WW.

    Now I need to learn how to transfer out of it into normal riding, and
    work on going for more than 10m or so.

    Loose.


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  4. Borges

    Borges Guest

    To me WW is one of the most boring skills to practice. I keep doing it
    because it'll eventually lead to gliding, but I haven't yet found the
    motivation put in the kind of time it takes to really master the
    skill.

    I have a few tips which I hope will help me relearn 1ft ww soon.

    Walk slowly, go for time rather than distance.
    Take long steps.
    Practice "half step back": Stop the uni in mid step, roll the wheel
    backwards a little, and continue forward.
    Be quick to get the free foot back and ready to take another step, or
    to step off the uni if the walking foot slips.
    Think about how things go wrong and how to bail out. Then practice
    falling off in a controlled way, without getting hurt.


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  5. john_childs

    john_childs Guest

    The good news is that after you learn to wheel walk you'll be able to
    land on your feet when you fall off the back rather than landing on
    your back and elbows. Unfortunately that's not going to help you while
    you're learning.

    In my way of thinking, wheel walking is more about learning foot
    control than worrying about upper body balance. If the unicycle is
    shooting out it is because of poor foot control and not because of poor
    balance. Concentrate on learning the foot control.

    I was a very slow learner for wheel walking. Took me ages to learn the
    proper foot control. And then when I learned one foot wheel walking it
    also took me ages to learn the foot control. But once you learn the
    foot control then wheel walking becomes easier and safer.

    Foot control is learning the proper pressure to put on the tire,
    getting the feet placed properly on the tire, not letting one foot get
    in the way of the other, being consistent with each kick and each foot,
    learning to take long strokes, getting the full toe to heel motion,
    etc. There is a lot for your feet to do and it takes time for the
    motor skills to kick in and learn to do it all on their own.


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  6. Borges wrote:
    > To me WW is one of the most boring skills to practice. I keep doing it
    > because it'll eventually lead to gliding, but I haven't yet found the
    > motivation put in the kind of time it takes to really master the
    > skill.




    Yeah, really. I don't exactly care too much about being able to wheel
    walk, I just want to be able to glide. Unfortunately it seems like
    it'll take a decent amount of time to get to the point of confidently
    gliding, with lots of wheel walking practice in the middle.


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  7. Loosemoose

    Loosemoose Guest

    LikeableRodent wrote:
    > Yeah, really. I don't exactly care too much about being able to wheel
    > walk, I just want to be able to glide. Unfortunately it seems like
    > it'll take a decent amount of time to get to the point of confidently
    > gliding, with lots of wheel walking practice in the middle.


    I was exactly the same, I started to learn to WW because I wanted to end
    up being able to glide, but actually WW is a very challenging and
    entertaining skill in its own right. Mounting into it isn't too hard
    (the tyre is always there and its always the same, unlike the
    pedals/cranks). I'm slowly moving on to 1ft WW, which will end up in a
    glide eventually, but for now I'm content on working on my WW until its
    nice & solid.

    Loose.


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  8. I also decided to learn WW about a week ago i think my progress is a
    little slow can only do 2 or 3 steps on the wheel, and keel over its so
    frustrating :mad: . i switch between keeping my right foot on the pedal
    and using my left to walk the wheel and the standard way of doing it.
    Anyone think this will help any ?????????


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  9. hey blake, something i can tell you that realy really helped me out was
    this. when doing your kicks make them short and quick and dont let your
    foot go too far down the wheel at all. just do short and quick little
    kicks. some people will bs you and say "lean back"- i speak out against
    it saying that its bs and its no cure all at all. anyways best of luck
    and update us on your progression:)


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  10. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    Jonny_Peacock wrote:
    > when doing your kicks make them short and quick and dont let your foot
    > go too far down the wheel at all.



    Got to disagree with both halves of that.

    Short little "kicks" can easily lead to the wheel shooting forward, and
    you on your back. That style of motion should come later, as it works
    great for going fast. But when learning, you need control. DO take long
    steps, and as long as you're not going fast, DO let your foot go as far
    down the front of the wheel as is comfortable. When learning, remember
    the idea is wheel "walking." Once you figure it out, then you can run.

    I do agree with Peacock on the leaning back thing. Don't lean back.
    Don't lean forward. If you're being methodical in your approach and
    holding onto a wall, fence or spotter, you'll figure out your balance
    point. You can balance in any bodily position, but for most forms of
    riding, including wheel walking, the best position is to *sit up
    straight.* What feels different is that your pelvic area is at a
    different angle when you wheel walk, because your legs are out in front
    of you. You're sitting further back on your butt, and it will feel
    strange if you're not used to it. But when in doubt, always sit up
    straight. Your spine should be more or less parallel to the frame.

    Falling on your back:
    First thing to do there is learn how to catch yourself before you
    experience the dreaded tailbone landing. I did this on my (cement)
    garage floor a few times when learning some wheel walking skills, and
    it's one of the worst feelings. Practice falling off the rear and
    landing on your feet. To do this you need two things:
    1. Your feet need to be able to whip out to the sides and down behind
    you. Keep 'em wide, or else they may catch on the pedals.
    2. You need to know when to do it, before your balance is too far gone.
    Comes with practice. I prefer a slow and safe approach, while others
    are willing to push their limits a little harder to learn faster, maybe
    falling more.

    Then go back to improving your distance (or time). If the wheel is
    shooting ahead of you, you might just be accelerating out of control.
    Try to keep a steady speed. This will be quite a bit slower than
    regular riding, so get used to it. You have to concentrate on balancing
    more. Most people tend to go off the front, because they keep leaning
    into it expecting to go faster. But wheel walking isn't fast at all,
    until you're very solid at doing it.


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  11. phlegm

    phlegm Guest

    I've been able to WW for a few weeks now. It's still not pretty, but
    I've learned to not fall on my back. The key for me was not letting a
    pedal hook one of my feet. I know it's a terrible feeling. For a
    moment after coming off the back you think you're fine, and then a
    pedal whacks your foot out from under you.

    One thing you might try is wheel walking up a slight slope. That way
    you can lean a bit into it, hopefully reducing the falling backwards,
    and still get the practice maneuvering your feet on the wheel.


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  12. koebwil

    koebwil Guest

  13. phlegm

    phlegm Guest

  14. koebwil

    koebwil Guest

    phlegm wrote:
    > Look down. When you see a pedal, put your foot on it, and put the other
    > foot on the pedal in the back at the same time. Then ride away!



    Thanks. That was exactly the advice I needed.


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  15. chosen

    chosen Guest

    phlegm wrote:
    > Look down. When you see a pedal, put your foot on it, and put the other
    > foot on the pedal in the back at the *same time*. Then ride away!



    yea.....no. when returning make sure to keep one foot on the wheel so
    its stable, then return that foot *after* the other goes into place.


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  16. phlegm

    phlegm Guest

  17. koebwil

    koebwil Guest

  18. phlegm

    phlegm Guest

  19. john_childs

    john_childs Guest

    koebwil wrote:
    > I need advice on getting back to my pedals from a WW. Please help me.



    There are a couple of ways to do the looking down bit.

    One way is to take a couple steps with your knees held close together,
    and a glance out of the corner of your eye on the outside of your leg.
    You should be able to get a look at the outside edge of your pedal.
    That's enough to be able to see where it's at. Continue wheel walking
    till it's in the right position and then put your foot on the pedal.

    The other way is to take a couple of steps with your knees held out
    bowlegged style (cowboy style), and take a glance between your legs to
    see the pedal.

    Choose the one that is most comfortable for you. Looking to the
    outside of your leg should be more stable, but it depends on how you
    ride.

    Just be careful not to look down and lean forward at the same time.
    That'll lead to you falling off the front or making a desperate
    acceleration to stay on.

    Expert style is to one foot wheel walk while dangling the other foot
    over the pedal. The dangling foot will feel when the pedal comes up
    and hits it. Put that foot on the pedal, put the other foot on the
    pedal, and bingo. No look back to pedals. I can't do that yet, well
    I've done it a few times but just by luck.


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