A wheelie is maintained by balancing the wheelchair’s Center of Mass directly over the wheelchair’s rear axle.
Performing a wheelchair wheelie is mostly an unconscious process executed by your cerebellum. Your cerebellum learns through experiencing physical actions and direct feedback. In order to most effectively teach your cerebellum, your conscious mind (prefrontal cortex) needs to conceptually understand the wheelie learning process such that you can replicate the physical movements that will lead to effective cerebellum learning.
When you can’t perform a wheelie, you don’t know what it looks and feels like for your wheelchair to be balanced in a wheelie. You need to experience what this position feels like since maintaining this position is your ultimate goal. Once your conscious mind intellectually knows what it feels like to be in the wheelie position, you can artificially replicate this position with mechanical aids so that your cerebellum can get the direct training time necessary to learn to maintain this position. Your cerebellum doesn’t care how you got into the balanced wheelie position, it just needs you in the wheelie position to start the ingraining/training process.
What you will Need
2 Bath Towels
1 Spotter (Friend or Family Member)
Your Phone Camera
Falling Backwards = Move wheels rapidly backwards.
Falling Forwards = Move wheels rapidly forwards.
Fold your Towel 8 times
Place your towels in a line and wedge them in front and behind your rear wheels. The towels will form "wheel chocks" that hold your wheels in place with a little bit of movement. Have your spotter stand in the rear and raise the front of your wheelchair such that you are in the wheelie position. Use the stability created by holding your wheels to maintain the wheelie position as long as you can without your spotter touching you. Slowly roll your wheels forward/backward to create rocking movement while in a wheelie. You are now training your cerebellum with repetition. Once this task becomes easy, you are ready to move on.
Fold your Towel 4 times
Do the same as before. The difference is that the towels will provide less support and allow for more movement. Once this task becomes easy, you are ready to continue. Or if you are having trouble, go back to 8 folds.
Fold your Towel 2 times
Now your towels will be providing minimal support. Keep at it until you feel that you are able to remove the towels entirely.
Everyone will take a different amount of time to learn the wheelie. Don't worry about how long it takes. If you get frustrated, take a break. They key is to practice over time. Sleep on it. No need to learn the wheelie all at once. Your brain strengthens the neuro connections you made during the day at night while you are sleeping. Practice for a few minutes a day rather than for a long session.
Sooner or later you will accomplish the basic wheelie. Then the real fun begins.
Share your Progress with Friends and Members by Uploading Photos as your wheelies get better and better!