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Old 2019-04-16, 01:00 AM   #91
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowerstackmac View Post
60 hours of practice. I can free mount and I passed .6 of a km on my 26” muni yesterday. I‘m now rethinking the 26” decision.
Are you rethinking the 26" decision because you think it slowed down your learning?

The number of hours it took you to pass .6 km is right in the ballpark of how long it took me to ride the same distance. And the same applies to Garp. Kudos to both of you for sticking it out!

It's hard to say I'd have ridden my first 1/4 mile sooner on a 20" (I started on a 24"). I would probably have progressed faster toward mounting and riding short distances, but the added twitchiness of the 20" could have made longer distances harder.

I think young people learn in fewer hours because they are willing to stretch the limits of their "point of no return." An older person is going to bail out before that point. Young people are generally more flexible, making them able to ride with even more sketchiness; an older person, by contrast, might be hindered by their physical and/or psychological need to "stay in control."

Keep practicing!
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Old 2019-04-17, 04:06 PM   #92
lowerstackmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Are you rethinking the 26" decision because you think it slowed down your learning?

The number of hours it took you to pass .6 km is right in the ballpark of how long it took me to ride the same distance. And the same applies to Garp. Kudos to both of you for sticking it out!

It's hard to say I'd have ridden my first 1/4 mile sooner on a 20" (I started on a 24"). I would probably have progressed faster toward mounting and riding short distances, but the added twitchiness of the 20" could have made longer distances harder.

I think young people learn in fewer hours because they are willing to stretch the limits of their "point of no return." An older person is going to bail out before that point. Young people are generally more flexible, making them able to ride with even more sketchiness; an older person, by contrast, might be hindered by their physical and/or psychological need to "stay in control."

Keep practicing!
elpuebloUNIdo yes, ‘the 26” is slowing me down’, that is exactly what I have been thinking for sometime, Now after reading your latest post here I’m not sure. I thought that if I switched to a 20” for a while I could get better at riding and free mounting which might make it easier for me to learn the on the 26.

Yes I will keep practicing. I’m sure I can learn on the 26, I would just like to help myself as much as I can. I know that different crank lengths will affect the effort required to propel the unicycle. Although I don’t know what length one would choose to get the desired results one was hoping for. In my case easier/faster pedalling uphill. Are there trade offs when switching crank length, like gaining speed going uphill but maybe more effort required going downhill, or something else? The Nimbus 26” Muni I have, has 150mm cranks, what would be a good alternate choice, if that would help? Would longer cranks and a 20” possibly be the way to go?

You mentioned that Garp and I were at about the expected level for hours spent practicing. Thank you, that is certainly encouraging. Maybe I don’t need to change anything? Perhaps as finnspin said, “less thinking, more riding”. Thoughts please. Yup, Garp yer rockin it.
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Old 2019-04-17, 09:15 PM   #93
elpuebloUNIdo
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Comparing smaller and larger wheel unicycles, the smaller wheel allows you to make larger corrections relative to what is upright/balanced. The larger unicycle, by contrast, won't tolerate being as far "off-kilter" before causing a UPD. Beginners are by nature off-kilter, so it makes sense to me they have unicycles that work with their imbalance. And there is the added benefit of not falling as far forward/down on the smaller wheel.

I think it may be possible to make a larger wheel behave like a smaller wheel by putting on longer cranks. This gives you greater leverage, allowing you to make adjustments while more off-kilter.

I think you should buy some sort of a 20". I am guessing that it will accelerate your progress. Given your riding conditions, I suggest a 19" trials with 138-140mm cranks.
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Old 2019-04-18, 07:33 AM   #94
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Some people say "I learned on a 24", and I'm sure it worked for them. But it's often overlooked that there is still 20% difference, and it just means a 24" goes faster for the same RPM - and that would be 30% between a 26" and a 20".
Usually beginners try to go slowly. It's scary enough to try and stay on that thing, why would I add speed to my next fall! And the 20" is good for that because it's pretty good at being ridden slowly, and the cadence you need to keep on the thing makes it go at a non-threatening speed, about walking pace actually. Same cadence on the 24" and you're already at a more serious speed, where you feel way less in control.
The reverse is true: when you step back on a 20" after a long time on a bigger wheel, it feels super twitchy. Which is partly because you can ride faster now, so when you revisit the 20", you don't ride it at the slow pace you used to when you were learning.
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Old 2019-04-22, 02:37 PM   #95
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100 hours

Just because it's a round number.
Nothing else to say. Carry on
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Old 2019-04-22, 04:12 PM   #96
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Garp, 100 is a great milestone for a round number. Congrats.
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Old 2019-04-26, 05:11 PM   #97
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I've just started to practice backward riding and, for some reason, it is exciting!

First good surprise, it is not half as scary as I imagined it to be. When I 'fall', I just step down. I end up on my feet, holding the seat in one hand and that's it.
Second, most runs were 3 or 4 pedal strokes, with a bunch of 5s and 6s (and even a 7, once).
Third, I was afraid controlling the balance would be completely counter-intuitive, my brain doing the opposite of what should be done. But nope, it's correcting in the right direction.

I don't think I'll try to extend the runs right away. Tomorrow, I'll work on forward/backward transitions (on both sides). Since I've been practicing a lot dismounting slowly off the back lately, it shouldn't be much of a stretch.
When I'm half consistent with that, I'll try transitionning the other way.
Once I can alternate little runs forward and backward, the idea is to split the practice: contracting and expanding, eventually leading to idling and actually riding backward.


Quote:
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Garp, 100 is a great milestone for a round number. Congrats.
Thanks, Mac Looking forward for 200.
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Old 2019-04-28, 07:30 AM   #98
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I noticed that since I always dismount at the back, I found it harder to for example come to a stop to hop. Then I would also hang back too far and step off again.

As for backwards riding, which I can't do, I did at some point put a little time in that and while holding a wall, I also managed to ride backwards a few rotations without holding it. I think rolling forward, stopping and then trying to roll back is very hard and I find it a bit scary.
Nowadays, because I have a family, I can't spend all my time on unicycling. Usually only every Saturday and occasionally once or twice after work, so I keep a uni in the car. But I definately don't have enough time to work on tricks.
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Old 2019-04-29, 06:39 AM   #99
Garp
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Transitionning is a tricky thing!
More often than not, I would lose my balace too much to one side when stalling and wouldn't even get a chance at pedaling backward. Though every now and then I do manage a very clean transition followed by a few back pedals.
What I find scary is the reflex of accelerating to catch up with too much backward imbalance. When I realize it's happening, I immediately step down.

Toward the end of my last session, I had a backward run of 14 pedal strokes, all slow and controlled! That made my day
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Old 2019-05-03, 05:17 PM   #100
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144 hrs...

... or a dozen dozens.


It feels like I'm half way there with backward riding.

I get 15 to 25 back pedals runs fairly consistently (with even a hint of steering) and manage a clean forward/backward transition about half of the time.
Transitionning the other way though is surprisingly hard. No idea why.

Anyway, I'm noticing some progress every day and it's great for motivation.
Even idling seems to be getting better.
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Old 2019-05-03, 06:25 PM   #101
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12 dozen equals one gross. It's not a unit of measurement we use that often in English- mostly just for firecrackers, I think, and in most parts of the US they are now illegal, so I guess we're all grossed-out.

Those first months on a uni are pretty exciting because of how fast you learn. Later you will plateau, though.

I started unicycling in the spring of 2013 and was acquiring new skills pretty much constantly for the next two years. I learned one more skill in 2016-2017, which was wheelwalking, and since then I have pretty much stagnated. Part of the problem is that there is no one I normally run into who has more advanced skills than I do, so to progress more, I would have to just rely on You Tube, this forum and some sort of very intense personal motivation, unless I was going to start flying to uni conventions in Seoul or Johannesburg or whatever. Another part of the problem is that if I get on a unicycle, there are so many fun things I already know how to do that I am unlikely to buckle down and try to learn a new skill.

Oh well, not a concern for you right now, but this is what the future holds. I think there are some pretty good unicycle clubs in Europe, though.
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Old 2019-05-03, 07:46 PM   #102
Garp
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Later you will plateau, though.
If it's in 20 years, I don't mind.
Thanks for the pep talk anyway.
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Old 2019-05-04, 12:43 AM   #103
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
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I am unlikely to buckle down and try to learn a new skill.
Except when you buckled down and learned wheel walking.

I have done worse than plateauing...with one footed riding. I've stopped doing it, mostly. I feel there is something inherently dangerous about it. Like I could have a bad fall. My worst unicycle injury was a broken toe. It happened while I was practicing one footed. The modest success I had with one footed riding helped me learn other skills, such as what to do when one foot momentarily loses connection with the pedal. But my motivation to practice one-footed riding has shrunk almost to zero. I seem to recall learning one-footed riding while I was using 125mm cranks. Once I moved up to 140mm cranks, it got a lot harder. And my pedals are now quite smooth. If I try one-footed riding with both hands on the seat, like I have been practicing other techniques, maybe bailing out would happen in a more controlled way.

I am guessing that song doesn't have easy access to muni.

Exploring different disciplines of unicycling allows us, perhaps, to have multiple learning curves going on at any time. And there are different metrics of progress. Since I am not getting any younger and am hoping to keep unicycling for a long time, a form of progress that is important to me is efficiency. For example, how I can ride up a hill today using much less effort/energy than last year.
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Old 2019-05-05, 09:32 PM   #104
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with one footed riding. I've stopped doing it, mostly. I feel there is something inherently dangerous about it. Like I could have a bad fall.
Once, when a one-footed ride was coming to an abrupt end, my non-pedaling foot came off the crown to go to the pavement and instead got caught behind the pedal. After a millisecond, my foot somehow slipped out from behind the pedal and planted itself on the ground, but during that one millisecond I was probably the closest I had ever been to getting seriously injured from unicycling. Oh well, I have probably fallen off a unicycle tens of thousand times, and have never actually gotten any injury worse than a scratch or pedal bite, but if I thought carefully about close calls, I suppose there have been a few dangerous ones. Of course, if you worried about close calls too much, you would never have learned to unicycle in the first place, and that would be silly, as the risk of catastrophic or fatal injury is much higher on a bicycle than on a unicycle, and everyone rides bicycles.

On the subway home from a long unicycle ride through the suburbs one day, my 29 sticking out from under the bench, a young guy in a wheelchair approached to ask me for directions, and we got into a conversation. The tires on his wheelchair were knobby and fat. “Are those twenty-sixes?” I asked. He said they were, and we talked about wheelbuilding for a while. He had worked in a bike shop for a few years. I told him that riding a unicycle can be difficult at first, but if you ride conservatively you can acquire a lot of skills without ever really putting yourself in much danger. “I should have done that,” he replied. Then he told me that he had been going over jumps on his mountain bike and ended up in a faceplant. His bike had flown over him, putting him in a sort of scorpion pose, but then, even though he had come to a complete stop in his faceplant, his flying bike and legs kept traveling forward, severing his spine.

Such a thing could happen on a unicycle too, I guess, but not nearly as easily.
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Old 2019-05-07, 01:48 AM   #105
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12 dozen equals one gross. It's not a unit of measurement we use that often in English- mostly just for firecrackers, I think, and in most parts of the US they are now illegal, so I guess we're all grossed-out.
That's funny you would associate that word with firecrackers. I think it's still relatively common with some products, at least for the commercial side; dealing in bulk.

I learned about New Yorkers' love of fireworks during my 10 years living on Long Island. There was usually a big July 4 party at the Jenack house, and some years JeanPaul Jenack would send some of us to Chinatown to buy some "grown up" fireworks. I'm pretty sure most of that stuff was never legal at the time, but in NYC you can buy pretty much anything that exists, if you can find the right person. And if it's fireworks in Chinatown, there are as many street vendors as there are ticket scalpers outside of a big concert. :-)

The Jenacks had a mortar launcher with three different sized pipes. People would bring back all sorts of stuff, and after sunset, we would bring it out to the baseball field behind their yard. And this one other neighbor house also usually had some big stuff, so we would take turns firing things off and taunting the other group to "Top that!" and such. It was great fun. Meanwhile, over the rooftops of Westbury (and the NY metro area in general, I'm sure, you could see little stuff going up in every direction. An insane amount of fireworks!

Fortunately that works in New York; the foliage is green. In CA, legal fireworks, which are tightly regulated, are only available for sale by charity groups, like Boy Scouts and similar, and only at certain times of the year, in temporary booths that are run by volunteers. It's all kiddy stuff. And that's a good thing, because if you had NYC's love of fireworks happening in CA, the whole state would vanish in a puff of smoke.

Sorry, did I drift off topic there? I miss the fireworks in NY.

Those first months on a uni are pretty exciting because of how fast you learn. Later you will plateau, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by song
Part of the problem is that there is no one I normally run into who has more advanced skills than I do, so to progress more, I would have to just rely on You Tube, this forum and some sort of very intense personal motivation...
Yes, it's way harder to stay focused on such things if you don't have other people to share the process with. I miss having a gym to go to.
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...one footed riding. I've stopped doing it, mostly. I feel there is something inherently dangerous about it.
It's not too bad, as long as you have a smooth place to practice. I learned all of those "intermediate" skills outside, when I only had access to a gym part of the year, and then only for a few hours. Also I was a teenager, which helped a lot. Keep the speed medium, and concentrate on a smooth stroke, so your speed is relatively even, rather than fluctuating with every power stroke. It's an excellent core skill to stick with; beneficial for so many other things.
Quote:
Once I moved up to 140mm cranks, it got a lot harder. ...If I try one-footed riding with both hands on the seat, like I have been practicing other techniques, maybe bailing out would happen in a more controlled way.
I think I learned one-footing with 140 cranks, but that was when everyone was riding 24" wheels. Short cranks make it easier, but your feet can get used to a lot of variance.

Rather than holding on with both hands, use one. This gives you a bunch of control, but also that free arm for making balance adjustments.
Quote:
I am guessing that song doesn't have easy access to muni.
That's probagly true if he lives in Manhattan, unless you count urban Muni, which means riding on bad pavement. There was plenty of that available back in my day...
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I have probably fallen off a unicycle tens of thousand times, and have never actually gotten any injury worse than a scratch or pedal bite, but if I thought carefully about close calls, I suppose there have been a few dangerous ones.
In my early years, the worst falls were usually hard banging of the shins, landing on the tailbone (wheel walking), scrapes from high speed falls (race training). I didn't break a bone until I'd been riding almost 30 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by song
His bike had flown over him, putting him in a sort of scorpion pose, but then, even though he had come to a complete stop in his faceplant, his flying bike and legs kept traveling forward, severing his spine.

Such a thing could happen on a unicycle too, I guess, but not nearly as easily.
Ouch! I've seen a few instances of people doing milder versions of that guy's crash. Lars Lottrup narrowly avoided what could have been a serious spinal injury on the Trials course at Unicon 12 in Japan, where he kind of landed with his chin on the top of the platform, while the rest of him came in hard but a little bit lower. He still went to the hospital, but mostly it was just jaw and bite related. That was a scary moment, and the Trials comp stopped dead for a while, before we started back up again.

He made it back before we left the mountain.

Bikes are inherently more dangerous for two reasons; higher speeds, and the tendency to be launched head first, over the handlebars. Keep those handlebars narrow, unicyclists!
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