New to Unicycling ....

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:38 am

Quick update to this thread.

Despite best intentions it seems I rarely ride my uni during regular working weeks, however having been away for 3 weeks I got the opportunity to ride it regularly and had a ball. First few days just up and down the quiet street I was on, about 250m and legs were screaming and I was buggered, have a rest and repeat then call it quits. As the days passed I ventured further and got to a loop of 600m down the street, around the corner, into a bowling club car park and back. Again buggered after that but noticing further improvement. Finally after about 10 days was up to about 1km and starting to feel fleeting moments of just cruising and not using my quads to balance and so not getting as fatigued as quickly.

I stress here that the fatigue was due to the riding technique not my general lack of fitness. I was also running 90km a week while I was there as well as riding a normal bike and doing some swimming so fitness is not the issue. Rather I was using my legs to stabalise myself all the time so keeping my quads constantly working and that was very fatiguing.

So after about a week and a half I ventured down the road, down a slight hill (yes I rode that) and then off and walk across a main road. Back on and along a shared path that weaved through the park - one of those ones that takes the scenic route through a park and has lots of pedestrians with dogs and prams. I wobbled along there for about 1km and then returned, all up a 2.5km ride.

I got out about every 2nd day from then on and by the time I was leaving I was up to cruising 5km in a session. My balance has improved a lot and I am not using my legs for balance all the time now (just when I get in trouble!). I have done some easy up and down hills, lumps and bumps in roads, some gravel and avoided pedestrians and waved and returned jokes (yes the same ones over and over) with passers by.

All up had a ball.

Barely tried free mounting at all, there were posts and poles everywhere so used them. I decided to just get out and have fun rather than frustrate myself with free mounting. More time and more ability riding would make free mounting easier later on.

Interestingly I did try when I got back from one of my long rides and nailed 5 free mounts in a row. Rather chuffed with myself the next ride a couple of days later I tried it to leave and it took about 10 attempts to get one so I gave up trying and just rode again and just smiled and enjoyed myself again.

Definitely noticed massive improvement in my balance and stability and overall riding while away. Back at work now :(
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by BNA » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm

Great.

Something you can work into your ride is to do some step-step-step riding.

You slow down and hold for a moment with the pedals at 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock.

Before you do it, put a wall or fence next to you and do it along that. You'll get the hang of it.

Then, without pushing your luck, do another half turn so the pedal postions are reversed. Keep on doing it for as long as you want - say, half a dozen ahlf turns. But longer if you wish.

The point is to maintain not much momementum of upper body.

It will develop skills to benefit the following:
  • controlling as you are approaching something like slow peds and you have to hold off getting past them until an opening
  • Holding balance when rolling up slight inclines (eventually riding over some curbs, etc
  • preparing yourself for idling
  • prepare yourself for being able to take and maintian all weight off bum while pedalling. To adjust your seating etc after a freemount for example.

It's like most things - the skill is usefull for all sorts of other things you may need to do later.

Within the context of unicycling, it's not majorly difficult.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby WarbyD » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:23 pm

Colin.. Out of interest, was that you heading west along hay St (east Perth end) in singlet with red backpack this afternoon?

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:45 am

Thanks Colin, I think I have somewhere nearby I can try that, will see if I can find some spare time to give it a go. I am training for my first ever marathon at the moment so that is taking most of my free time .....
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:49 am

WarbyD wrote:Colin.. Out of interest, was that you heading west along hay St (east Perth end) in singlet with red backpack this afternoon?

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The backpack and singlet may change. But yes, every day. A little heat never hurt anyone.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby WarbyD » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:02 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
WarbyD wrote:Colin.. Out of interest, was that you heading west along hay St (east Perth end) in singlet with red backpack this afternoon?

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The backpack and singlet may change. But yes, every day. A little heat never hurt anyone.


Ha! Seen you around many times then.. Often wondered if it was you!

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:41 pm

Update from here. OK so after my holidays unfortunately the Uni didn't come back out again for probably 6 weeks. Too many things on and I am on waaaaaaay too steep a hill to ride out of my driveway and toddle off down the road so I have to plan to take it somewhere to ride :(

Anyway I decided to go back to University at the last minute (read last day enrolments were accepted!) and since I am part time I only go in from time to time. Some days I ride my bike there (about 12km) but one day I need the car for other commitments. So I throw the Uni in the back and park about 1km from where my lecture is (because I couldn't be bothered driving around and around for 20 minutes looking for a non-existent park closer) and cruise in on my uni.

There are some challenges on the way, speed humps, a fairly sharp uphill and manoeuvring along footpaths and I rarely get the whole trip without a couple of offs. Fortunately there are heaps of poles, trees etc and I can remount very quickly and off I go.

Now the great thing that I am finding is that I put a smile on the dial of just about everyone I pass. Lots of fun comments (and occasionally an original one) but mostly it is all just fun, good natured encouragement and laughs (by me as well). It cheers everyone up!

So me riding my unicycle with at best a poor level of ability results in dozens of people having a better day! I now consider it a community service to wobble along in my erratic way in a bid to make my immediate world at least a little bit happier!
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby barefoot » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:49 pm

I dusted off my uni a couple of weeks ago for its first outing in ages.

My daughter upgraded to a bigger (20") bike with only hand brakes for Christmas, and she's lost all the confidence she had riding her 16"er. So we're back to doing laps of the block, me on the uni chasing her on the bike. Reps up and down the next street over, which is flatter and quieter than ours. Practicing using her brakes, stopping, starting.

My GPS says we did 2km the other day. That's a PB by far.

I mostly had fences and poles to assist with re-mounts, but I did manage a few free-mounts when we stopped next to a low hedge. I nailed them all except for the last one, back on my own street, uphill. Seems much harder than a flat or downhill free-mount. Had to walk to the next tall fence for support to get back on.

I'm wondering whether I ought to get a bigger wheeled uni to venture further afield (especially if I need to chase my novice bicyclist - hard for me to keep up with her sometimes). I'm still on my cheap and nasty Aldi house-brand 20"er. I've never ridden anything else. Thinking that a 26"er might be a good thing to have, with long-term ambitions of working toward mountain-unicycling (one day, far away).

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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:55 pm

Yeah I moved from a super cheapie to a 24" one a while ago.
http://www.municycle.com.au/View.php?ac ... =UNICLUB24

I aspire to mountain unicycling but at the moment a sharp speed hump is too much for me but the longer flatter ones I can do OK, driveways (up and down) I get more than I miss but dropping down a gutter or something is no chance. One of my routes to lectures sometimes involves along a dirt path which has a range of ruts and divots etc. That is OK. More common route has a range of pot holes, speed humps and one climb up a walk way that has a steep pitch right at the end which I am yet to master going up and only got once going down. All fun but slow but steady improvement. I am hoping regular weekly ride on this varying terrain will help improve the skills. I mounted today with just an umbrella (like a walking stick) and even managed to get the umbrella open and ride under it for a while - but that is definitely trickier than no umbrella!
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby rokwiz » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:43 pm

Never had a go but I watched mountain unicycles in action at Chiltern's Ironbark forest a couple of years ago. Looked like a great way to improve your own offroad capabilities. I though riding offroad on two wheel was hard enough until I saw these guys. Hats off to you.
Does anyone go touring on theirs ? Never seen one on the 100km's of railtrail around me.
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Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:48 am

Another update from the above one.

A first for me yesterday, I bunny hopped a gutter and a speed hump! These have always been obstacles of immobility for me up until now, may as well be 6 foot high. Admittedly the gutter wasn't a 90 degree one but a 45 degree one but always stumped me and the short sharp speed humps a certainty for me to step off the front. Yesterday however on approach I grabbed the front of the seat and did a bunny hop just as about to impact and up and over and kept riding in both situations. In both examples I had spectators so other option was catastrophic failure. I got some laughs and comments both times and felt like waving my arms above my head and cheering myself but decided that would result in another off so decided against it.

Feeling rather chuffed with myself today, although still feel like a total mug on it but enjoyment level has only increased if anything, have an absolute ball on it.
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