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Old 2013-09-23, 09:09 PM   #1
mmorton
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Smile Learning Journal for a 50 year old -

I just purchased a 26" Nimbus Muni and am re-learning to ride after about 35 years off - I used to unicycle when I was younger and was pretty good at it as I have stated in other threads - I'm starting this one for a couple of reasons;

1, I hope to use this to increase my accountability - my commitment is to practice daily unless I have to travel for work and can't take my uni with me.

2, I hope this will serve to give me a realistic snapshot of my progress when and if I get discouraged.

3, I'm wanting some camaraderie - I don't have anyone to ride with and while my youngest {22 yo} son is hanging out with me while I ride, he's just doing it in case I incapacitate myself...my family thinks I'm nuts -

I'm sure there are some other reasons but they don't readily come to mind at the moment - so, here goes.....

Day One - Put the bad boy together and found that the seat post was too tall - I cut about 1.5 inches off and am giving it a try - still seems a bit high - I followed the instructions for measuring my inseam provided by Josh at Unicycle.com and got the 300 mm but I think I should have gotten the 200 - I will likely cut a little more off - I rode around inside the house {before my wife got home} and I found it to be both more difficult and easier than I expected - the 26" wheel is a challenge - when I was younger I had a 20" and it's different - needless to say, free-mounting is not happening yet - in the evening my son and I took it to a tennis court near the house so I could ride - turned out to be a pretty good spot since it had the green nylon privacy stuff on the inside and I could run my hand along it without the risk of getting my fingers caught in the chain link - I was able to ride about 20 or 25 feet without holding on a couple of times but on the third try I had a UPD and pitched forward ran, fell, etc - my first road rash! - I rode a few more times up and down the length of the court and had to call it a day - I'm pretty chubby and out of shape and it wore me out -
The things I noticed/remembered from when I was a kid -

I found that I remembered being relaxed in the saddle when I was a kid and when I managed to do it now, it was way easier to balance and ride-

It seems like the ride is often about a rhythm of pedaling initially and when you break the rhythm it is easier to fall -

Even the Kris Holm Freeride seat is uncomfortable when you're a bit on the chubby side - ok, ok, when you're way chubby and 50 -

All in all the thing I remembered that was the most significant was how much I loved riding - I can't remember why I gave it up -

I am working on being less "chubby", more fit, and more flexible as well - so far, so good.
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Old 2013-09-23, 09:58 PM   #2
LargeEddie
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You're off to a great start, mmorton. That sounds like a very productive day one! Having once been a good rider has to be a big help, even if it was a few decades ago. It's still in there somewhere, no doubt about it.

I've done most of my learning this summer on a 20" beginner's unicycle, but I also got a 26" muni and I've been working with it more lately. It takes a lot more effort to keep it in line than the little one. I actually have to make sure I'm getting enough calories sometimes to restock after wrestling with it, so yes, very good for dealing with the chubby.

Looking forward to reading more good progress reports.
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Old 2013-09-23, 11:00 PM   #3
song
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Don't saw any more off that seat post unless you're ABSOLUTELY sure you have to. I just learned to ride a few months ago, and at first I wanted to be squatting down close to my wheel, to feel more in control, but now I'm comfortable with a significantly higher seat. If necessary, you can always shorten your seat post, but you can never lengthen it.

You're not crazy to return to the unicycle at 50- lots of people on this forum start at your age or older without any prior experience at all. Enjoy!

Last edited by song; 2013-09-23 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 2013-09-24, 12:39 AM   #4
Nurse Ben
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Good job getting back in the saddle!

I'm 48, been riding unis like it's religion, pretty much my number one activity, I only wish I'd ridden unis when I was a kid; my son rides so I feel partially redeemed

Good choice for a new uni, it'll serve you well. Consider getting a lighter weight tire, it'd work better for road and light muni use, an Ardent or even a more street like tire such as the Hookworm.
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Last edited by Nurse Ben; 2013-09-24 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 2013-09-24, 01:27 AM   #5
rtdeden2
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^tire guru here.
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Old 2013-09-24, 01:31 AM   #6
Shmolagin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdeden2 View Post
^tire guru here.
Yes, first learn to ride, then become a gear junkie like NB.
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Old 2013-09-24, 02:20 AM   #7
mmorton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
Good job getting back in the saddle!

I'm 48, been riding unis like it's religion, pretty much my number one activity, I only wish I'd ridden unis when I was a kid; my son rides so I feel partially redeemed

Good choice for a new uni, it'll serve you well. Consider getting a lighter weight tire, it'd work better for road and light muni use, an Ardent or even a more street like tire such as the Hookworm.
I intend to get a lighter tire but I am going to wait until I lose some weight - one of the reasons I went for the Muni first was because I weigh in around 275 - I'm working hard at getting it down but I was concerned that I would need something heavy for the first little while -
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Old 2013-09-24, 02:30 AM   #8
mmorton
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Day Two -

Went back to the Tennis Court to practice this evening - pretty good experience overall - no UPDs, rode farther without holding to the fence and got in a little more practice before I was exhausted - seems like the things I still need to get back are relaxing in the saddle and good upright posture - both seem to happen when I keep my eyes up and look straight ahead - I hope that once I lose a little weight the seat will be a little more comfortable on my fixins - I have a KH Freeride but it is still a bit uncomfortable - the only other thing I find a bit difficult is the spikes on the pedals. If my feet aren't on right, it is difficult to move them on the pedals due to the spikes - All in all I feel pretty good about it - It was a successful practice session - Thank you all for your support and encouragement, I need all I can get!
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Old 2013-09-24, 03:26 AM   #9
Shmolagin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmorton View Post
Went back to the Tennis Court to practice this evening - pretty good experience overall - no UPDs, rode farther without holding to the fence and got in a little more practice before I was exhausted - seems like the things I still need to get back are relaxing in the saddle and good upright posture - both seem to happen when I keep my eyes up and look straight ahead - I hope that once I lose a little weight the seat will be a little more comfortable on my fixins - I have a KH Freeride but it is still a bit uncomfortable - the only other thing I find a bit difficult is the spikes on the pedals. If my feet aren't on right, it is difficult to move them on the pedals due to the spikes - All in all I feel pretty good about it - It was a successful practice session - Thank you all for your support and encouragement, I need all I can get!
Seems like you're doing good then. You haven't been riding long enough to have broken your crotch in so take it slow...
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Old 2013-09-24, 03:59 AM   #10
mmorton
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Yes, first learn to ride, then become a gear junkie like NB.
I understand completely! I'm a guitar player and have been since I was a kid. I played for a living for years. I've got something like 15 guitars and 5 different amps, speaker cabinets, mics, effects, etc... I understand Gear Acquisition Syndrome very very well. I'm also an archer and have several bows, tons of arrows, and all that gear. Yep, I've got GAS........
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Old 2013-09-24, 04:00 AM   #11
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Go go go, mmorton! Glad to hear you are hanging in there and spending some time in the saddle (which is a key activity). I am 60 and trying to use the unicycle as much as possible for exercise. It is good to hear of your drive and dedication. It will pay off, although it will be slow going for a while. Hang in there.

By the way, I know what you mean about camaraderie. It can be lonely business with the unicycle in the regular world. Sure happy to hear that this board is providing a bit of support. It does a lot for me, too!
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Old 2013-09-24, 12:47 PM   #12
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welcome to the over-fifty-teenagers group!
when someomone now asks "where is your other wheel?" I answer that I am entitled to "senior fare" (well, to be precise, that will be only in two weeks ... but who cares?)
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Old 2013-09-24, 03:30 PM   #13
blueharmony
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Always good to see adults taking the plunge! When I learned I was exhausted at the end of the weekly 1 1/2 hour practices (at age 46). It will get much, much easier once your muscle memory kicks into gear.

I started on a 24" for similar reasons but found it difficult to progress through the USA skill levels with that size wheel, so switched to a 20". Since you are mainly riding off-road (or in the house) the 26" will be a challenge but should do the trick. I've ridden my son's 26" and it's a good all-around size.
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Old 2013-09-24, 04:37 PM   #14
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Keep it up

[QUOTE-

Even the Kris Holm Freeride seat is uncomfortable when you're a bit on the chubby side - ok, ok, when you're way chubby and 50 - ...

I am working on being less "chubby", more fit, and more flexible as well - so far, so good.[/QUOTE]

m--

I'm 56, 5' 10" and 155 so I'm a "normal" weight for my height and I find the KH Freerides uncomfortable and, indeed, all saddles much more uncomfortable than I remembered my 1972 Schwinn basic. For me I can last about an hour in the saddle before numbness and discomfort become issues.

Keep it up. I went for over 20 years without riding and then began riding on and off beginning in 1995. Since then I have mastered some one-footed stuff on the 20" as well as getting comfortable with a 5 ft giraffe, a 29" and now a 36". If you stick with it I can guarantee improvement. If you really put in some areobic time in the saddle you will probably lose some of the "chubby" as well.
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Old 2013-09-24, 05:54 PM   #15
Uni Lateral
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I've noticed how a large proportion of people on here seem to be either quite young or a few years +/- of 50...I can only assume that at these points in our lives we find ourselves with the time for a bit of nonsense
Great to see you getting back into it mmorton ...I started learning back in May and complained frequently about the nut crushing problems of riding a Uni. Although I've worked on technique and played with saddles I think I just become numb to it over time as things don't seem so bad now!
Sadly I haven't lost a gramme unicycling but I'm much healthier and fitter now than I was 5 months ago so it must be doing me some good. I must update my learning blog to guilt me into getting back out there each evening after a hard day at work

UL
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