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Old 2017-01-07, 02:21 AM   #16
broncojon68
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learning

Well this is interesting. Some interesting points but music comparisons I don't get. I've been riding since 1994 and have shared unicycling in one way or another to any one willing and interested in trying it ever since. Its something I enjoy very much, so much I cant seam to pass up a cheep Craigslister just to give away. I generally compare unicycling to walking not riding a bike. Before we ever get started on a unicycle we generally start with a silly walking exercise exaggerating the rotation of the cranks as they relate to travel . That has worked well for me. As far as speed of learning to unicycle. That is up for interpretation. I have heard others talk of learning to unicycle in a few hours, well I don't know about that and have never personally seen it.Maybe a few days , still that would be impressive. I think the requirements for saying you can ride a unicycle are free mounting, picking a heading and traveling more than 100', turning each way, then intentionally dismounting where you want qualifies to say you can ride a unicycle. Everything else learned on a unicycle is just polish, and man some are sparkling shinny!
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Old 2017-01-07, 03:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regina Wrecks View Post
sitting on a giant tuning fork with one wheel beneath you
When removed from the wheelset and struck with the side of the hand, mine yields a nice Ab.
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Old 2017-01-07, 08:12 PM   #18
Mikefule
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Originally Posted by song View Post
When removed from the wheelset and struck with the side of the hand, mine yields a nice Ab.
So striking a unicycle frame with your hand Hertz?
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Old 2017-01-07, 09:00 PM   #19
AJ KJ
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Originally Posted by song View Post
When removed from the wheelset and struck with the side of the hand, mine yields a nice Ab.
I have a KH36 frame, and it makes a low Bb. It sounds like we could be building a scale here.
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Old 2017-01-08, 12:00 AM   #20
song
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Ab major or F minor so far, though building a whole scale would involve taking apart a lot of unicycles, or else figuring out a way to tune them! It's better to ride instead.

During a very brief gig I once had, I learned that singing and playing a ukelele while riding is far easier than while idling. My song was somewhat unusual, so I idled and faced the audience during the verses, to be sure they could hear the words. For the chorus, which was more repetitive, I rode in circles to give myself a rest and catch my breath.
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Old 2017-01-08, 02:41 AM   #21
elpuebloUNIdo
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During a very brief gig I once had, I learned that singing and playing a ukelele while riding
Dude, you're a professional unicyclist?
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Old 2017-01-08, 03:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
Example: Standup gliding: super impressive for spectators. Coasting: less impressive, but much harder.
Yikes! Maybe Standup Gliding is easier than coasting, but I never thought of it that way. Because when I learned coasting, Standup Gliding basically didn't exist, and I never got around to learning it back in my Freestyle days. The difficulty of coasting has much to do with the distance that's required. Pretty much any gliding trick is easier to maintain once you get going in it...
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The question of which unicycle tricks will impress people and which ones will not can be quite interesting.
Interesting but easy enough to figure out. Audiences are amazingly consistent in which skills impress them and which ones don't. Coasting? Not at all. Kick-Up Mount? Always a winner.
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Originally Posted by song
A good unicycle performer can (or must, actually) take one trick and milk it until it becomes a full five-minute routine. You get on your giraffe, then you pretend you're going to fall on people for a minute and then you tell them a few jokes. Then, and only then, do you finally pull a rabbit out of your ass or whatever.
Hah! Though I think you are referring primarily to street performers. The "must, actually" is a very necessary part of converting a crowd of random passers-by into paying customers. For other types of performance, when the audience chose to be there (and usually has something to sit on), the requirements of success are more flexible. Having said that, there aren't many things more fun that pretending you're going to fall into your audience from your giraffe.

Some tricks get milked, but others can be strung together into an artistic routine which, if designed for an audience, can stand on its own.

And just because you can pull a rabbit out of your ass doesn't mean you can do it while idling a 6-footer!
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Originally Posted by song
The process of learning some unicycle skills will resemble learning to ride, though speed of acquisition of each skill will vary a lot. Learning to ride one-footed took me a lot longer than just learning to ride, and learning to wheel walk took even longer.
That's interesting for me, who learned to ride without any outside help (and on a crap unicycle). Those later skills took less time, but were also accompanied by some level of outside assistance or advice.

The comparisons to learning musical instruments are difficult because once you learn to play a handful of notes on an instrument, adding songs is mostly a matter of applying enough time to memorize the notes and movements required. It's not like you are learning a "new" trick. But there is also a big difference between stringing notes together and playing beautifully. Same as struggling through a trick without falling off, compared to executing it artfully as part of a larger performance.
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Ab major or F minor so far, though building a whole scale would involve taking apart a lot of unicycles, or else figuring out a way to tune them! It's better to ride instead.
I agree. And my carbon fiber Muni sounds like a plastic pipe. the Blue Man Group could probably make it sound cool, but it doesn't compare well to metal.
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Originally Posted by song
I learned that singing and playing a ukelele while riding is far easier than while idling.
Absolutely. Like juggling on the uni, it takes quite a while longer to learn to control it while idling than while riding along. Idling is definitely more work.
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Old 2017-01-08, 07:40 AM   #23
song
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Dude, you're a professional unicyclist?
No, one gig does not make a professional, not even in this economy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
Audiences are amazingly consistent in which skills impress them and which ones don't. Coasting? Not at all. Kick-Up Mount? Always a winner.
That's good to know. Once, when I suddenly had a large audience of small children pressing their noses against the sides of the basketball cage where I was practicing, I tried idling -a skill I was very proud to have just learned at that time- and they immediately got bored. When I rode around in a circle, though, they went apeshit.

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Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
Like juggling on the uni, it takes quite a while longer to learn to control it while idling than while riding along. Idling is definitely more work.
Yeah, and getting out of breath is no good if you're supposed to sing. Normally I wouldn't notice the difference in exertion between idling and riding, but in that situation it suddenly became a big difference.
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Old 2017-01-08, 11:58 AM   #24
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I think you will have a hard time comparing how difficult it is to learn something compared to some other activity. For those select few who possess, the predisposition riding seems natural while others excel at chess or playing music (or at silly wand waving). So how can you judge difficulty objectively?

Statistically speaking riding a skateboard or playing guitar would be easier than riding a unicycle since there are a lot more top skateboarders or top guitarists than top unicyclists. I think that the time spent in training to reach the top is not that different. Nevertheless i wonder how many people would learn to play a guitar if they would be ridiculed constantly while playing. So what factors are taken into account when judging talent and difficulty to overcome while learning for people who are not that talented?

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Old 2017-01-08, 12:37 PM   #25
finnspin
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Originally Posted by janvanhulzen View Post
I think you will have a hard time comparing how difficult it is to learn something compared to some other activity. For those select few who possess, the predisposition riding seems natural while others excel at chess or playing music (or at silly wand waving). So how can you judge difficulty objectively?
We can't objectively, but I think I said that in my original post multiple times. But I can sure compare how learning unicycling felt to me compared to learning other things. If someone really wanted to make a survey, this is what I would use as data. But, if you read my post, you will also know what difficulty I think there is with that, which is that learning how to unicycle FEELS frustrating, and thereby feels hard to learn, whereas if you look on time spend to learn, it doesn't take that much. Edit: just re read that. We cannot judge how hard it seems objectively either, but I think I can safely say that most people with the exceptions of kids, think learning to unicycle takes more time than it really does.

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Statistically speaking riding a skateboard or playing guitar would be easier than riding a unicycle since there are a lot more top skateboarders or top guitarists than top unicyclists.
There are way more factors to that than how difficult it is. People don't get exposed to unicycling as much as people get exposed to skateboarding, Bmx or playing the guitar. There is an established professional skateboarding scene, it is very simple for someone starting skateboarding to see: "If I get really good and sell myself well, I can make a living out of this." In unicycling, that is a lot harder. There are very few top triangle players out there, does that make playing the triangle hard?

Quote:
So what factors are taken into account when judging talent and difficulty to overcome while learning for people who are not that talented?
None. I made this thread to get more info about peoples learning experience, because it is something that interests me personally, and I think it is an interesting disussion to have.

I promised I would be back to this to add new stuff to this disussion, so here it comes:
This time, it is about your personality. Do you think it takes a special kind of personality to start learning unicycling and sticking with it? Would you (adressed to anyone that unicycles) consider yourself a person that is more patient and endurant than average? Do you think you are attracted to hobbys that require a lot of practice to start, but give you a big feeling of achievement when learned?

As an example, as I mentioned, I picked up speedcubing, which is kind of similar. While it only takes a few hours to learn how to solve the cube, to learn F2L and 2step PLL and OLL (which is the very basics of what most fast speedcubers use) , it takes many more, and the practicing itself is not exciting. The learning takes a lot of time, just like unicycling, but it also feels good when it becomes easy.

I find myself attracted to things that challenge me more than things that are easy. If it wasn't like that, I probably wouldn't be unicycling or doing any sports at all.
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Old 2017-01-08, 12:53 PM   #26
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I was definitely attracted to unicycling by the often repeated idea that 'all it takes is persistence'. If I had thought it required any special ability or talent, I would have assumed that counted me out. But as I think I said at the start of my learning thread, insane levels of persistence in the pursuit of crazy objectives is practically my superpower, and I'm keen to accrue all the possible rewards that might garner me.
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Old 2017-01-08, 03:20 PM   #27
Cousin Itt
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That's good to know. Once, when I suddenly had a large audience of small children pressing their noses against the sides of the basketball cage where I was practicing, I tried idling -a skill I was very proud to have just learned at that time- and they immediately got bored. When I rode around in a circle, though, they went apeshit.
I learned to ride a unicycle about 11 years ago. Before that I had never even given it a thought and knew nothing more than the average person knows about unicycles. I didn't know mountain unicycling even existed. I thought idling was the usual way to ride and that riding down the street for any distance at all would be much harder than idling. I also had no idea that people did unicycle tricks. Idling or coasting, or most of the tricks for that matter wouldn't have impressed me any more at the time than basic riding because I wouldn't have known the difference. The fact that someone could ride it at all would have impressed me the most, and being able to ride in a straight line down the street would have amazed me because I just didn't know they were ridden that way. I honestly thought riding down the street the way you would on a bicycle was the most difficult thing you could do on a unicycle. It sounds stupid now but that was my perception of it. I imagine most people (non-riders) have similar misconceptions.
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Old 2017-01-08, 08:48 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
Audiences are amazingly consistent in which skills impress them and which ones don't. Coasting? Not at all. Kick-Up Mount? Always a winner.
Yay - I can only do one of those tricks, and whilst I'm sure it's been mentioned before, I've clearly missed it. Nice to have an audience friendly trick in the bag - I'll have to work at it a bit more to make it consistent. Consistent enough to be able to do it whilst holding a trumpet that is, because my experience of impressing people whilst riding, the most impressive thing I've ever done is play my trumpet whilst riding (and IMHO playing a trumpet is far tougher on the breathing than riding - though for me at least idling whilst playing is currently impossible not because of the exertion, but because it's not automatic enough to do without thinking and I need my thoughts for playing!)

As you say it's not that hard to work out what people enjoy watching - whilst I'm impressed by super hard trials/street/freestyle tricks because I know how hard they are, they're not always that exciting to watch, and just a simple 180 hop twist is enough to get jaws dropping. Though to come back to the trumpet, combining something else with riding seems to tick all the boxes, hence why juggling on a uni is so common for entertainers and street/freestyle routines rather less so!
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Old 2017-01-08, 09:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by janvanhulzen View Post
I think you will have a hard time comparing how difficult it is to learn something compared to some other activity. For those select few who possess, the predisposition riding seems natural while others excel at chess or playing music (or at silly wand waving). So how can you judge difficulty objectively?
Well I'm going to go out on a limb here and claim to have fairly decent innate ability at balance sports. For example right now I'm doing quite a lot of inline/roller skating and those I'm going out with seem impressed at the speed with which I'm picking up new skills. However whilst I play a musical instrument (which is more than most people do) my innate level of musical ability is rather less. Yet as I've commented above I consider the initial stages of riding a unicycle to be far harder then the initial stages of playing a musical instrument - or at least it takes a lot longer to get anywhere at all with a uni. You'll also find the average time taken for each matches quite well with my experiences.

Quote:
Statistically speaking riding a skateboard or playing guitar would be easier than riding a unicycle since there are a lot more top skateboarders or top guitarists than top unicyclists. I think that the time spent in training to reach the top is not that different.
I don't think the time taken to master something and become an expert is markedly different for any of these things we're discussing. Not least because the very best have spent all their free time on their chosen activity and there are only so many hours in the day - so to look at it an other way, an expert skateboarder is where you get spending all your time skateboarding and an expert guitar player is where you get if you spend all your time playing guitar (of course these people also have significant natural ability at their chosen activity). We're busy discussing one of the main reasons for fewer expert unicyclists - apart from the reasons already mentioned, the entry requirements are so high as to put off even a lot of people who might go on to be experts if they tried properly. Which is all down to the length of time before you get anywhere, rather than being ridiculed - is being ridiculed even that big an issue?
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Old 2017-01-08, 10:32 PM   #30
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... Which is all down to the length of time before you get anywhere, rather than being ridiculed - is being ridiculed even that big an issue?
Well, i ride to work on a unicycle every day and my riding improved a lot over the years because of it. I guess that if ridicule was an issue for me i would be on a mountainbike wearing spandex :-).

Nevertheless it is a factor that makes it harder to learn...
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