Unicyclist Community

Go Back   Unicyclist Community > Unicycling Discussion > Unicycling Articles and Tutorials

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 2010-04-19, 02:32 AM   #691
krjames
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Korea Jeonnam Suncheon
Posts: 455
Fitness

Yes, as Tom pointed out above it is not actually about fitness. Took me ages to find that out. The problem for beginners is that they don't sit on the seat, but keep lots of weight on the pedals for stability, which is the equivalent of riding up hill all the time.

Once a beginner can ride in a straight line I think they should be encouraged to ride longer distances. I started riding around the track at my local sports ground. It used to take me 15 minutes to do one lap!!!! I used to measure my performance in terms of how many 50m non-stops I did.... then it got to 100 and then 200 and finally a whole lap without falling off. But it was only after I was consistently riding for a km non-stop that I really started getting to sit on the seat (that's when I discovered that the seat was very hard! I went through a stage when I felt very unstable again and then I started to naturally adjust my pedaling cadence to the situation, speed up/slow down rather than moving my body.

For people more interested in tricks (aka falling off in painful situations) I imagine things are a bit different.

I still can't idle, hop, go backwards or ride while thinking about something else!

Cheers all
__________________
"If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV."
— Homer Simpson
Haven't got the karate suit
krjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-04-19, 06:48 AM   #692
hugo
currently not damaged
 
hugo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: EU-Ger-Köln-Sürth
Age: 54
Posts: 7,929
Send a message via MSN to hugo
Quote:
Originally Posted by yUNIkoner View Post
I think it is amazing! 40km is a long way! That is averaging 20km/h! What uni are you using for that?
This is on my KH29 with Schlumpf hub (137 mm cranks). But last year I finisched these 42,195 km in 2h 25m on my 28" with standard hub, 114 mm cranks. My problem is that I can't really rotate the cranks with high frequency, so there is no way to go faster without having the 2nd gear of the Schlumpf hub.
__________________
Marcus | youtube | municycle.com
I ride for fun

Last edited by hugo; 2010-04-19 at 06:55 AM.
hugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-04-19, 06:59 AM   #693
hugo
currently not damaged
 
hugo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: EU-Ger-Köln-Sürth
Age: 54
Posts: 7,929
Send a message via MSN to hugo
Quote:
Originally Posted by krjames View Post
I still can't idle, hop, go backwards or ride while thinking about something else!
That will come over time. You should also start riding on rough terrain. This helps a lot with your balance, and sooner than you think you start enjoying downhill trails.
__________________
Marcus | youtube | municycle.com
I ride for fun
hugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-05-07, 02:08 AM   #694
EoinC
EoinC
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkarches View Post
...I've been thinking about the learning process
Hi, Tom.
I taught myself to ride a few of months ago, and was very interested in the learning process. I'm 47 years old, and I often coach juniors at riding track bikes on a velodrome - It is a wonderful experience watching anyone achieve the impossible.
Having cast my daughter into the unicycle fray (she taught herself while I was away on a project), I figured it was time for me to walk the walk.
I arrived back from overseas, and set myself a target of being able to ride before my family returned from holiday in 2 weeks. I bought a 26" (I'd read that smaller wheels were easier to ride, but I wanted to be able to ride some distance, and it gave my daughter an option of uni's).
My process was fairly simple - I knew that my few remaining brain cells needed reprogramming, and that repetition is the basis of reprogramming subtleties. I started off in the living room, taking off from a doorway, and forced myself to make 50 attempts per set, regardless of the outcome. As with everyone, the early outcomes were not good, but the sooner I did my 50, the sooner I could go and sob in the corner.
Being attracted to distraction, I interspersed the sets with short sessions of trying to ride the uni on a set of track rollers, placed in a doorway, which probably didn't do much for balance, but gave me an idea of what it would feel like to be spinning circles on the uni.
Back with the sets, once I could get a revolution or 2 in, I started marking minimum and record distances. I then alternated my sets with trying to set new records, and recording how often I could get past a minimum distance.
On the third day I went to a basketball court and was able to make a full circuit by the end of a session there. After that, it just got better and better.

Some observations (which are theories, not proven fact):
1) Unicycling, like walking, is being in a constant state of controlled falling. At first the brain cannot make sense of the balance data coming back from the eyes and ears, and seeks to avoid or over-correct. This is exactly the same as when a baby first learns to stand up, and then to walk (although they may be less prone to over-analysing...).
2) The more you think about what you are doing, the more you inhibit the learning process, as the learning is not logical, but sensory (logic tells you that it's impossible for me to be balanced on this thing - I'm jumping off...).
3) In coaching riders on the track, they all start out looking down, and with all of their muscles fighting each other. We teach them to look ahead at where they want to go, not down at where they are. In addition to looking ahead providing self-correcting direction focus, having a horizon (or familiar visual references) helps the brain to orient it's balancing (one of the reasons why seasickness is more likely to occur inside is that the fluid in the ears is telling the brain that it's moving, but the visual references are telling it that it isn't, causing the brain to raise the nausia alert that something's not right).
4) Looking ahead provides a further benefit, beyond the balance orientation - It helps take the mind off what is happening. I caught a piece on TV last night about teaching non-dancers how to cha cha - Basically, if they looked down, their brains were always trying to correct what they could see, and the feet would go all over the place. When they held their heads up, their muscles were allowed to learn the process, and then refine it.
5) My aim was (apart from being able to ride with my daughter) to be able to ride a reasonable distance. I race bikes on road and track, and don't expect to be able to compete with the efficiency of a bike, but I do want to be able to go for a decent (multi hour) ride. My early experiences had my quads telling me that I was putting a huge effort into balancing, and the little bit that was left over was going into moving forward. Again, repetition and relaxing have allowed the pedaling to become more balanced. I'm used to a high cadence from track racing, but the uni has added an additional requirement for pressure feedback to make balance adjustments. I can see that the smoother I can get at pedaling, and the better at feeling my balance, the more efficient my riding will become.
6) Old heads may (tend to) learn slower, because they try to think their way through everything. Thinking helps plan before the attempt, and review after the attempt but, when we're in the process of pushing ourselves into the unknown, it doesn't help during the event.

I am enjoying this process immensely. I have my uni up here with me on a project in Singapore, and am getting further / faster / smoother (sometimes). My daughter's riding is going very well. In December she rode her uni around the North of Thailand, and across the border into Myanmar.

All of you riders are a great inspiration to those of us who are just beginning. Thank you for that.

Cheers,
Eoin

Last edited by EoinC; 2010-05-07 at 02:10 AM.
EoinC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-05-07, 02:25 AM   #695
EoinC
EoinC
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by krjames View Post
...I went through a stage when I felt very unstable again and then I started to naturally adjust my pedaling cadence to the situation, speed up/slow down rather than moving my body.

For people more interested in tricks (aka falling off in painful situations) I imagine things are a bit different.

I still can't idle, hop, go backwards or ride while thinking about something else!

Cheers all
I think I may be at a similar stage to you. I'm OK with riding up and down hills, and riding in traffic, but haven't yet got the idle / hop / backwards (intentioanlly..) thing. As you know, telling yourself to relax can be stressful...
My freemounts are getting better (as in more consistant, not more graceful), but I learnt a technique from daughter (holding the wheel to mount) that, while it led to early success (5th day of unicycling), introduces a degree of security that is now hard to let go of. I'll have to keep working on that one.
I want to get a 36" at some stage, but I really want to have better mastery of skills before I try justifying that to a wife who's house is filled with bikes and biking gear.
One thing I can vouch for - Going for a ride after work (dodging monsoonal downpours) really does add something special to a day, and the days that I don't get a ride in feel like they're missing something.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
Eoin
EoinC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-06-06, 01:43 PM   #696
lillestrøm_uni
Lillestrøm Unicycling
 
lillestrøm_uni's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Norway
Age: 46
Posts: 216
Cool Structured training/learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by yUNIkoner View Post
I think that one of the thing I enjoyed most about learning to uni was the problem solving and analyzing how things work. Maybe I am crazy but I think that it's fun. I see people asking how to do things on this board and getting the reply "Just practice". While practice is important, I also realize how beneficial it is to be aware of the specifics of what you are doing while you practice. I am a music educator and I know that focused and deliberate practice is ten times better than practice without self analysis. Breaking a big task or movement into smaller parts can make something much less intimidating. The best learners are the ones that can identify what they are doing right and wrong and correct it.
It is great that you are recognizing what is working! Try not ro hit your car though. Unicycles are much cheaper than door panels!
I couldn't agree more, working in science education myself. Perhaps that's why I took a very structured approach to my own learning, reading and waching tons of videos before even purchasing my first uni (actually it was also part of the motivation process..). I made my own thread for posting about my progress, which also contains a lot about my other exercise, since the unicycling was part of a larger effort on my behalf (which has been a source of discussion).

Now, the point here is that I was very frustrated with these answers "Just practice". I think it's poor pedagogy. Imagine telling pupils "just practice" when they ask for help with math or science problems. I can perhaps understand it better when it comes to learning the piano, but still I am sure there are lots of details on how to move your arms, hands and fingers. Playing the guitar, there are probably good ways and bad ways to do the different grips and riffs. Experienced players could show beginners some of the "tricks of the trade" to help them get going faster.

And this is the same with unicycling. There are some key insights and experiences that can indeed be described, even if they are in the "you have to feel it to understand it" category.

And this is why I found the "journal of a new unicycler" (or what it was again) so helpful - I believe I found it reading this thread from start to finish, in fact. Perhaps my own writings (if people were able to find them in the midst of all the "off-topic" training notes) could be of help too.

I could imagine editing the ton of videos I made and write up a narrative from my notes one day I have time for it, perhaps when I retire...

Meanwhile, I really appreciate those taking the time to give more detailed and helpful answers than "just practice". Obviously you need to accumulate time in the saddle, just like with everything else you cannot become good without it, but as you point out there are smart ways and not so smart ways of spending that time. Your learning curve can be quite accelerated by doing things right.

One example; many people keep riding along a wall until they're stuck. Others keep mounting only one way, until they're dependent on doing that. Letting loose of the wall ASAP and forcing yourself to mount with both legs are principles I believe help a lot with developing good balance.

Also it is possible to explain that you need to lean forward and it will feel like you are falling forward, because you simply have to be off balance forward in order to balance the forward acceleration when you start pedalling. Trying to stay balanced straight up will cause you to fall backwards as soon as you step on the pedal. I've been amazed that this simple fact is not relayed clearly to beginners. No wonder they're having a hard time letting loose of that wall and start freeriding.

I could go on, but the weather's beautiful.

Good to be back here, in any case!

Cheers from sunny Norway
__________________
My training journal.
My todo list (augustdreamt™): Assisted mount / Ride / PD / Turn / Uphill/Downhill / Uneven ground / Freemount / Sharp turns / Curbs / Idle / Hops / Ride backwards / Rolling mount / Jump mount
lillestrøm_uni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-06-06, 01:48 PM   #697
lillestrøm_uni
Lillestrøm Unicycling
 
lillestrøm_uni's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Norway
Age: 46
Posts: 216
Thumbs up Structured training/learning - part 2

Referring to my previous post, here's an excellent account of some main principles:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EoinC View Post
Hi, Tom.
My process was fairly simple - I knew that my few remaining brain cells needed reprogramming, and that repetition is the basis of reprogramming subtleties. I started off in the living room, taking off from a doorway, and forced myself to make 50 attempts per set, regardless of the outcome. As with everyone, the early outcomes were not good, but the sooner I did my 50, the sooner I could go and sob in the corner.
Being attracted to distraction, I interspersed the sets with short sessions of trying to ride the uni on a set of track rollers, placed in a doorway, which probably didn't do much for balance, but gave me an idea of what it would feel like to be spinning circles on the uni.
Back with the sets, once I could get a revolution or 2 in, I started marking minimum and record distances. I then alternated my sets with trying to set new records, and recording how often I could get past a minimum distance.
On the third day I went to a basketball court and was able to make a full circuit by the end of a session there. After that, it just got better and better.

Some observations (which are theories, not proven fact):
1) Unicycling, like walking, is being in a constant state of controlled falling. At first the brain cannot make sense of the balance data coming back from the eyes and ears, and seeks to avoid or over-correct. This is exactly the same as when a baby first learns to stand up, and then to walk (although they may be less prone to over-analysing...).
I'm wondering what you do for a a living, Eoin, but you must have some background in natural science and/or the psychology of learning?

Read the rest of his post below
__________________
My training journal.
My todo list (augustdreamt™): Assisted mount / Ride / PD / Turn / Uphill/Downhill / Uneven ground / Freemount / Sharp turns / Curbs / Idle / Hops / Ride backwards / Rolling mount / Jump mount
lillestrøm_uni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-06-06, 06:17 PM   #698
yUNIkoner
Unicyclist
 
yUNIkoner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Posts: 327
HaHa! That was an old post that I made. I actually sound intelligent .
It definitely doesn't sound like me. i usually don't make sense!
yUNIkoner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-07-18, 07:29 PM   #699
ThisIsAUsername
Unregistered User
 
ThisIsAUsername's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Connecticut
Age: 23
Posts: 474
practice
__________________
UNIKOUR--


(\_/)
O 0
(><)This is bunny. Copy bunny into your signature, help him on his way to world domination.
ThisIsAUsername is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
learn, mumpitz, unicycling, wurst


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can you learn without help? newtouni General Unicycling Discussions 48 2007-11-08 06:14 AM
What to learn? valkyrion General Unicycling Discussions 18 2007-06-09 10:41 AM
How to learn Gumba23 Unicycling Articles and Tutorials 11 2007-03-29 12:52 PM
What to learn next? uni_runner722 General Unicycling Discussions 4 2007-02-11 09:56 AM
How Did You Learn souleater12 General Unicycling Discussions 5 2004-08-16 02:10 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001-2019 Gilby
You Rated this Thread:
Page generated in 0.08547 seconds with 12 queries