New to Unicycling ....

open topic, for anything cycling related.

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 :(
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

by BNA » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm

BNA
 

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.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4995
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

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?

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
WarbyD
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:13 pm

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 .....
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

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?

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk

The backpack and singlet may change. But yes, every day. A little heat never hurt anyone.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4995
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

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?

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk

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!

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
WarbyD
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:13 pm

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!
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

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).

tim
User avatar
barefoot
 
Posts: 1080
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:05 am
Location: Ballarat

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!
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

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.
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come... D Diderot 1752
User avatar
rokwiz
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:14 pm
Location: Eastcoast Australia

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.
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:25 pm

Definitely getting there now. I am confident enough to go out and free mount when needed, probably averaging about 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 but that is fine, at least I am not stuck if I have to step off. I recently spent a couple of weeks up the coast and used it to cruise around the area quite a bit, lots of fun was had. Often rode for 1.5 - 2km without stopping or coming off :)

My daughter took this footage of me, it is a bit sketchy at the beginning because she didn't zoom in so I did that in post processing, hence the crappy quality at the beginning but at least it shows my free mount on a suburban street :)

Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:46 pm

That's awesome Scarfy. In particular very good symmetry which is something all unicyclists struggle with. And you riding does not require heaps of work with the arms either.

Suggested drill - Try carrying a very lightly loaded Coles plastic bag - an orange in it for example - or a book or similar down the street, occasionally transferring it from one hand to the other. In short time you can straight-line control entirely by body and without much thinking about it. Looking at the video you are already damned close to doing this already, it's just that last little bit which will allow you to do practical things like small shopping errands, using a phone, taking pics etc.

Your free mounts need eventually to be in excellent control and that is damned hard to do. But once it is you can get up without worrying about those around you like peds and bikes passing etc. Besides, it looks so much more cool. 8)

While one in two is admirable, that still means one in two is a miss. So I am guessing that your free mount involves getting up and then instantly struggling to keep the wheel under you for a short while and offtimes having to correct direction at the same time while also trying to shuffle the feet onto the correct bit of the pedal. (It's actually a minor miracle that any of us ever manage a freemount :lol: )

Yet, from looking at the video, you are obviously in plenty of control once going. You are not having to furiously pedal to keep the wheel up with the speed of the body. Indeed pretty well a given in order to head onto the sloping dirt path as you do on the video.

I suggest that you deliberately work on a specific part of the control that you are already managing - to be able to hold your forward motion in check, momentary stall, etc while riding, In due course you will be able to free mount without actually having to immediately pedal forward just in order to maintain direction direction and balance. Once mastered you will find that you can do a rock solid fremount in all manner of conditions - people moving around you, on up and down slopes, in the wind, after a few drinks, etc etc.

Google video on idling and work on that. (Warning, idling is actually damned hard to do.) Also as an exercise when riding on the hard flat surface, introduce a momentary stall with, first, the left foot at six o'clock, then pedal, say, three and a half rotations then stall with the other foot at six o'clock, pedal another thre and a half and then repeat the cycle for a half dozen times before continuing on your way.

If you happen to be in Perth I can get a little time with you if you'd like.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4995
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby antigee » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:58 pm

... been a bit lazy of late - lost the privacy of the carport so need to go all the way (50m!) to the netball court to practise - good tips from Colin ( as in make sense and thanks to Colin rather than i actually know) impressed by hit rate on free mounting - i'm at around 1in6 which took much more effort than learning to ride and bunnyhops???!! I know it will come .... one day if keep at it

good post today over on UK singletrackworld

http://singletrackworld.com/2015/01/downhill-unicycling-mount-damavand-iran/

bit i like best is right near end as gets a bit easier just blasting along relaxed
User avatar
antigee
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:58 am
Location: just off the Yarra Trail but not lurking in the bushes

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:56 am

antigee wrote:... been a bit lazy of late - lost the privacy of the carport so need to go all the way (50m!) to the netball court to practise - good tips from Colin ( as in make sense and thanks to Colin rather than i actually know) impressed by hit rate on free mounting - i'm at around 1in6 which took much more effort than learning to ride and bunnyhops???!! I know it will come .... one day if keep at it

good post today over on UK singletrackworld

http://singletrackworld.com/2015/01/downhill-unicycling-mount-damavand-iran/

bit i like best is right near end as gets a bit easier just blasting along relaxed


I'M impressed. Bunny hops are NOT easier than freemounts so you KNOW that freemounts are gonna be defeated.

However, there IS a trick. Search for "brick" on this thread. Read the "a clever trick to help" post first.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4995
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: New to Unicycling ....

Postby Scarfy96 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:47 am

Thanks Colin, good feedback. I will certainly try some of that. I can already bunny hop onto a driveway with a bit of a lip on it or speed humps etc. Again not 100% but pretty good on that now. I can also go uphill on a reasonably steep pitch and even get partially out of the saddle a bit but only for a short distance, a longer incline that isn't so steep is fine. Going down a steepish slope isn't too bad either and doesn't phase me.

I am working on my stalling every time I ride, trying to slow down and almost stop, if I totally stall it can be trouble but if I bring it to a really slow speed then I am OK as long as I don't need to hold it very long.

Your summation of my mounting and subsequent lack of control is spot on, probably 2 out of 3 of my mounts you described perfectly, the other 1 in 3 everything seems to just work and I start perfectly. They feel so easy and I wonder why I can't do that every time!

What I can't get over is how much fun it is to unicycle, I have an absolute ball out cruising along on it and am starting to look for situations to challenge me rather than just "staying up" which I can do now so some easy off road, need to bunny hop etc is all good.

I would love to catch up but I am on the east coast so that wont be happening! I always appreciate your comments and feedback here so thanks for taking the time to help me, your suggestions over the last year or so have been a big help!
Scarfy96
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:56 am

Previous

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CXCommuter, hangfire, Procat, R12RT



Popular Bike Shops
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Ebay Ebay AU
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter
“Bicycles BNA on Strava

> FREE BNA Stickers