Re: Balance recommendations
Jeff Lutkus wrote:
> all right, I know we’re getting off topic here, but I’m just curious about
> this… (and since I don’t yet own that coker, I’ve been known to use one of
> those two wheeled oddities when riding distances)
> Could you explain what is involved in a trackstand? How does one go from
> riding to trackstanding? Is balance primarily gained from moving the front
> wheel, or shifting your weight around?
I’ll try to be brief.
There are basically two different types of trackstands. The first (and oldest)
kind was done with actual track bikes on actual tracks…hence the name. These
track bikes are special in many ways, one of which is their fixed gear. This
feature means you can pedal a track bike forwards and backwards, just like a
uni. Thus, by turning your front wheel 45 degrees and rocking back and forth,
you can stay balanced in one spot…this is analagous to idling a uni. Since
most bikes don’t have fixed gears, you can easily simulate this trick by
balancing your bike at a diagonal on a hill, rolling minutely up and down. In
fact, this is how most people learn trackstands. Once you’re better you can rock
back and forth on flat ground with subtle weight and brake techniques. For this
method, you usually keep your body as motionless as possible and achieve balance
by small front wheel motions and that all important pedal technique. This
trackstand is often performed seated and by roadies.
The second type of trackstand is best illustrated by trials riders, who ride
standing up on smallish bikes with very low seats, high wide bars, and lots of
maneuvering space for your body. A trials-type trackstand is performed standing
up, with both brakes locked, front wheel turned to the side, and weight rather
far forward. Balance is achieved by many means, usually by adjusting that front
wheel angle or by leaning the bike side to side. Because of the way a trials
bike is designed, these balancing maneuvers can be quite extreme, especially
when the rider is on something narrow, high, or dangerous (I like all three).
Because the bike is stationary (and because of all the bodily contortions
involved), this would seem analgous to a standstill on a uni. Also, you hardly
need a trials bike (or a track bike for that matter) to learn these skills. Any
old bike will do just fine.
Once you’ve got either method down, switching between riding and trackstanding
should be a no-brainer.
> Idling I can do until my leg falls off… I take it this would not be the case
> for even those who are very good at doing a trackstand?
I’ll admit that I’m a better two-wheeler than one-wheeler (heresy!), so I can’t
say for sure. But once you get into a zone trackstanding a bike, it takes almost
no effort and minimal concentration. Idling for long times on the uni wears me
out much faster…maybe I’m just not zoning enough.
(We now return you to your regular one-wheeled program…)