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Old 2019-08-24, 11:33 PM   #46
TwoLeftFeet
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Ha ha ha. Lovely analogy. It is raining now in Kuala Lumpur. Nice and cool to practice unicycling in a covered parking area.
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Old 2019-08-25, 05:34 AM   #47
TwoLeftFeet
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Today I had my worse fall so far. Luckily I wore wrist protection. My left hand is still sore. Scrapes on my left elbow. Thank you OneTrackMind, elpuebloUNido, Gockie and others for suggesting wrist protectors.

No improvement in uni riding.
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Old 2019-08-25, 03:43 PM   #48
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
Today I had my worse fall so far. Luckily I wore wrist protection. My left hand is still sore. Scrapes on my left elbow. Thank you OneTrackMind, elpuebloUNido, Gockie and others for suggesting wrist protectors.

No improvement in uni riding.
A couple days ago, I was practicing wheel walking on a downward inclining grass surface. I fell on my ass with one hand reaching back and hitting the ground hard. After I landed, one of my shoes was lying next to my on the grass. I got right up and continued practicing. No injury, but a little acute pain.

TLF, if you are able to keep a good attitude after a hard fall, you are improving. That is part of getting better. As a beginner, I knew falls were coming, and I had to not psych myself out. Suiting up for practice felt a little bit like going into battle. Better to be scared than bored, huh?

Bad beginner falls usually fall into a few categories: 1. Failed mount, 2. Making a correction past the "point of no return", 3. Feet slip off the pedals while butt stays on the seat. #3 was the freakiest for me.

I think the best remedy for ugly dismounts is to practice free mounting. The reason is: Practicing mounting gives you a lot of opportunities to dismount. You will learn what point in the 360 degree pedal cycle each foot is removed from the pedal (hint: a controlled dismount is like a controlled mount in reverse).

The other remedy requires being somewhat past the total beginner stage: Hold onto the seat with one hand. My 14 year old neighbor learned to unicycle 100 feet with one hand on the seat and another flailing. Having a hand on the seat handle, while diminishing balance, adds a lot of control. Something to think about.

Don't expect to see progress every time you ride. As a beginner, it took me 30 minutes of practice to get to my progress level of the previous day.

Keep practicing!
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Old 2019-08-26, 02:26 AM   #49
johnfoss
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Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
I need to sit and relax on the saddle . Next thing is to remember to pedal. Right now I'm like someone just learning to drive stick shift. Jerky and engine keeps dying
Pretty good analogy, I would think! Though it's a very long time since I learned, I've watched lots of beginners over the years. I have also taught dozens of people to drive stick shift, for a job.
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I don't think I can tell my body to lean the seatpost at an angle.
It's just too early in your experience. Eventually you will be able to detect when the wheel is too far back or too far forward, and react in time. While you don't want to be absolutely vertical and in line with the uni's frame (unless you're doing a pirouette; I resemble that remark), you also don't want to be bent forward like someone with a bad back.
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I haven't tried the uni on grass so maybe that is what I will try next time.
I don't recommend grass unless it has a nice, smooth "substrate". Soft grass often is quite lumpy underneath, making it much more difficult to ride on. Grass over smooth dirt tends to be thinner, and may not be so soft, but if you can find it, it might work for you.
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When it happens I am just amazed and smiled myself silly . However, it is not repeatable. Have no idea what I did to make it happen .
That will come. For now, be happy that your body is figuring it out, and just keep at it.
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Old 2019-08-26, 12:40 PM   #50
TwoLeftFeet
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elpuebloUNIdo,

I will practise the free mount as you suggest. Right now left hand is swollen, so probably skip practise for a week until it subsides.

johnfoss,

Stick shift is dying. Now its joysticks and ipad touch screens. If something breaks, it cost a bomb to repair. That is the beauty of the unicycle. Simplicity. When the zombie apocalypse hits Kuala Lumpur, that will be my bug out vehicle, provided I "clicked" before it happens .
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Old 2019-08-27, 02:09 PM   #51
song
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
My 14 year old neighbor learned to unicycle 100 feet with one hand on the seat and another flailing.
That's because he learned from you! If he had learned from me, he would have had both hands flailing!
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Old 2019-08-28, 02:30 AM   #52
elpuebloUNIdo
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That's because he learned from you! If he had learned from me, he would have had both hands flailing!
I remember telling my neighbor it was a good idea for him to put a hand on the seat. However, that was after he started doing it on his own. He was learning on a cheap Sun with a crappy seat. He told me he used his hand on the seat to compensate for the lack of connection he had with the seat. He may have seen me riding with one hand on the seat. That could have influenced him. But the bottom line is that he learned inhumanly fast. I don't think it had anything to do with me as a teacher. All I did was tell him, after the fact, how well his adaptations were working.

It seems pretty typical that beginners fail to put weight in the seat. To the extent that less weight in the seat creates less stability, adding a hand on the seat handle doesn't seem like such a crazy idea. I think that technique has worked particularly well for me. I am a person of larger and wider stature than most, and even with weight in seat, the stability thing between me and the saddle has never really been great. I think unicycle seats are made for smaller people with narrower hips and pelvises. So, for me putting a hand on the seat was a good accommodation.
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Old 2019-08-28, 05:29 AM   #53
song
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A couple days ago, I was practicing wheel walking on a downward inclining grass surface. I fell on my ass with one hand reaching back and hitting the ground hard.
Wheel walking requires having the contact point between your tire and the ground be as small as possible so that you can rotate easily to keep your balance. I can wheel walk on a soft tire, and I suppose I could wheel walk on grass, though I have never tried it, but a hard tire on smooth concrete is way easier. I know you do a lot of stuff on grass for safety reasons, but falling 10 out of 1000 times on grass might actually be more dangerous than falling 1 out of 1000 times on concrete.

Quote:
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I think unicycle seats are made for smaller people with narrower hips and pelvises. So, for me putting a hand on the seat was a good accommodation.
This explanation makes more sense. My assumption had been that your “hands-on” approach to unicycling had something to do with the fact that you are a violinist! As a beginner, I always thought of grabbing the seat handle as a semi-advanced thing to do because I started out on an old-school uni that didn't have much of a handle, and because I felt I needed my hands free for flapping. I also learned to walk on a slackline before learning to unicycle, and on a slackline, trying to reach down and grab the seat handle would look rather strange.
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Old 2019-08-28, 01:45 PM   #54
elpuebloUNIdo
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but falling 10 out of 1000 times on grass might actually be more dangerous than falling 1 out of 1000 times on concrete.
Mutatis mutandis.

The softness of the grass is not the only thing that makes it safer. The wheel is also less likely to suddenly move. I am more likely to UPD because of the unevenness of the ground, but that is different than a fall. My fall the other day...if it had been on pavement, that could have resulted in an injury. But I wouldn't have chosen as steep of a downhill to attempt on pavement. So, there is a sort of risk-homeostasis at play. I have progressed to the point of practicing figure eights as well (on the grass). I am a scaredy-cat, and my transition to pavement is going to be slow. I may experiment with a stickier tire after my current Cyko Lite wears out.

song, you mentioned coasting. While practicing wheel walking on the downward slope, I noticed, at one point, one of my feet slipping. Anyhow, I found my myself responding for a split second by trying to push down harder with the foot that had just lost traction. I wondered if that represented the tiniest and most crude baby step toward one-footed / coasting technique.

You also mentioned smaller and bigger steps as being necessary in one-footed wheel walking. On an uneven grassy surface, there is no consistency in the length or time-interval of each of my pushes.

And regarding learning with one hand on the seat. I learned just the way you did, with both hands flailing. I am just pointing out that there are other ways to learn.

Glad to see you posting more on the forum, song. I missed you for a while. Good luck with the one-footed-wheel-walking. Please share what you've learned.
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Old 2019-08-28, 05:16 PM   #55
song
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The softness of the grass is not the only thing that makes it safer. The wheel is also less likely to suddenly move.
But you need it to suddenly move! You just have to be in control of those sudden movements! If you are wheel walking figure 8s on the grass, though, that is a really strange and impressive skill, and will probably pay off in some way eventually.

My opinion was that most tires are sticky enough for wheel walking, and that I just had one that was really bad because of its tendency to coat itself with dust, but now I am starting to think that the extra-sticky tire I switched to is really helping. Predictability of stickiness is the most important thing, though.

It's interesting that you are practicing on a downhill slope. That's where one-footed wheel walking is easiest (though not two-footed). Downhill is also how you get to coasting. When I wheel walk (with both feet), my steps are very uniform, and that's why switching wheel sizes always takes me a few minutes, at least if I am going to return to the pedals. With one-footed, this will have to change. My impression is that you have to adjust the size of your steps as necessary to keep your balance. When my foot starts to slip on the tire, I tend to press it down more firmly, but this tendency has to become more nuanced for one-footed. You have to let your foot slide a bit, or maybe a lot, if necessary, and just know exactly how much sliding you can get away with and still stay in control. I am starting to be more comfortable with letting my foot slide on the tire, but still only rarely manage to do it more than once before bailing out.
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