Emma and I attended our first Unatics meeting yesterday, Sunday, July 6, 2003.
Our (my actually) motivation for finally making it to one was to pick up my new 29"er from U-Turn who created the beast for me. He can provide the details, but it has a Yuni frame and a RhynoLite wheel. It is amazingly light compared to anything I’ve ridden (2 Schwinn’s, a Coker and a Giraffe) and is a dream to ride.
The only negative bit to this is that the Nanoraptor tire originally put on has turned out to have a defect causing some bulging. I rode it for a bit before this was discovered and it felt great. For the time being it has been swapped with a Kenda off-road tire which does not have the right feel for the type of riding I plan to do; but he’s going to swap it back in the coming weeks when he has a replacement.
The seat post and frame have been trimmed to accomodate my 5’4" frame and 28 1/2" inseam. I have no trouble freemounting, idling, or riding backwards. In fact, these are not that much more difficult to do than on my 24" Schwinn. I was even able to do some juggling while idling on it. Hopping, too, is easy; the Miyata seat handle, secured with some extra rivety type things on the side helps quite a bit with this.
Yes, when I’ve got some (patience please), pictures will be posted.
Of course, the inevitable comparision must be made. No, the 29"er does not have the speed or momentum of a Coker. However, the extra speed over the 24"er and the (masterful) sense of control I have over it, do compensate for this amply. Although I’m looking forward to the Nanoraptor tire being put back on, and it was educational to be able to compare these two different kinds of tires in a short period, a 29" unicycle simply serves my needs and style of riding. I love it.
As for the Unatics meeting itself, what a blast. What a great bunch of people and a motivating environment. Anybody who regularly rides with others can easily attest to the fact that it is much easier to pick up new skills, perfect existing ones, and pass on skills in person rather than in print.
After getting some tips from other adults and U-Turns 10 year old daughter, my own daughter, Emma, went off on her own to practice and kept at it fall after fall after fall. A couple of times she got a full revolution of the pedals, but is still a far shot from actual riding. But the fact of being around so many other riders, particularly one her age, really got her desire to learn going. I’m hoping she’ll put in the time and be riding sometime this summer.
And I hope we’ll be back on a fairly regular basis.