Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles

The June issue of Cycling Plus has an article on why every cyclist needs 7 bikes

  • a racing bike, a touring bike, a mountain bike, a hack bike, a recumbent, a
    tandem and a folder. My first thought was “What about a unicycle?” My second
    thought was that including unicycles would add a lot to the article. You need a
    20" for performing and hockey, a 24" for racing, a 26" Muni, a 28" for
    marathons, a Coker for touring and commuting, a 12" and a 16" for teaching the
    kids, not to mention a giraffe, an ultimate and possibly a BC wheel.

When I came to read the article properly, I was saddened to see the unicycle
listed under “Bikes you don’t need”. I quote from the magazine:

“The unicycle. Why? There’s only one place for the one-wheeled beast: in the
circus with the clowns. George Orwell was right, in his unpublished novella
Bicycle Farm, when he said ‘two wheels good, one wheel sad’.”

The letters address for Cycling Plus is cyclingplus@futurenet.co.uk. Please
don’t be too hard on them, I generally consider this to be the best cycling mag
on the UK market.


Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles

I <danny@mos.clara.net> wrote:
> The letters address for Cycling Plus is…

I think they’ve had enough. Dave Atkinson (C+ Art Editor and World Bog
Snorkelling Champion) has just sent me a message headed “yeah - you and all your
single wheeled mates”, stating “we’ve instructed the police that, in the event
of our assassination, they should look for a single tyre track leading away from
the murder scene.”

<g>


Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles

I <danny@mos.clara.net> wrote:
> The letters address for Cycling Plus is …

As a happy consequence of this, C+ editor Dan Joyce has contacted me about the
possibility of running an article on unicycles and unicycling. I’ll keep you
all informed.

I’d welcome any suggestions regarding what you think the article should contain
(I’ve already mentioned a plug for the BUC :slight_smile: ). Please either mail me direct,
or discuss on the group if you think it appropriate, which it probably is.

And I hope you’ve all stopped e-mailing C+ by now. They’re all good guys really
and don’t deserve too much punishment.


Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles (long)

The C+ article is pencilled in (but not yet confirmed) for the August issue.

I’ve a few ideas for things to go in boxes within the article, which I’ll
forward to the editors after some discussion on rsu. Let me know what you think.
I’m looking for ways to tempt cyclists into unicycle sport, or at least to make
them think twice about it.

I’d particularly like some help in filling in the “where to learn” and “useful
contacts” sections (UK specific), as my research is hampered by somewhat
sporadic web access.

TIPS ON RACING

xx Use a 24" wheel. This is the biggest (and therefore fastest) wheel permitted
by the IUF for track events.

 xx Pushing hard on the pedals will lift you out of the saddle. Pull up
     on the front of the saddle to keep yourself firmly in contact.

   xx If you feel yourself losing control, slow down and recover your
          balance. Falling off will cost you valuable seconds.

xx Stiff toe clips may be useful, but straps are not recommended. Gravity will
keep the clip on the bottom of the pedal, making it virtually impossible to
freemount and clip into the second pedal. This can be resolved by fitting clips
to both sides of the pedal. Clipless pedals have been tried at least once, with
painful results.

WHERE TO MUNI

xx Off road unicycling in the UK started with the Polaris events. These are
still good events to ride in.

xx Unicycling conventions and some juggling conventions will have muni events.
Try the BUC in Flintshire, North Wales, 3-5 Sept.

WHERE TO LEARN

xx If you have a local unicycle club, great. If not, your local juggling club
is a good bet. If you have web access, try www.juggling.org, otherwise ask at
the local library.

HOW TO LEARN

Still thinking about this section. I wrote a short (and successful) e-mail
course a few years ago. If I can find that I may edit it for the article. BTW,
if I find it I may also post it to the ng.

HOW WILL UNICYCLING BENEFIT MY CYCLING?

xx A standard unicycle is a fixed wheel, single gear machine. You can’t stop
pedalling and you can’t change up or down for hills. When you go back to 2
wheels, you’ll find yourself freewheeling less as a result. Racing unicycles
will teach you to maintain a high cadence.

xx Unicycling (particularly at high pedalling cadences) makes good use of the
abdominal and lumbar support muscles, thus probably helping to prevent some of
the lower back problems suffered by many cyclists.

USEFUL CONTACTS

DM, www.unicycling.com, help me here guys…


Danny Colyer danny@mos.clara.net

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles (long)

On the 'Historic Repack MUni Ride"
http://shay.ecn.purdue.edu/~bymaster/muni/historic_repack.html last year there
was, of course, a lot of talk about Unicycles, MTB’s, and any possible cross
pollination. Tim Bustos (at least I think it was Tim) said that Gary Fisher (one
of the Father’s of modern Mountain Biking and the Repack Trail races) ia a
unicycle rider. And, he advises MTB riders to learn to ride a unicycle in order
to improve body position on a bike. I am afraid I can’t give you any more
information on this, but I would agree with that theory. Learning to unicycle
will greatly improve your awareness of body position on a bike.

Perhaps one of the other “Repack” riders can elaborate.

All the best,

John Hooten

RE: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles (long)

> TIPS ON RACING
>
> xx Stiff toe clips may be useful, but straps are not recommended. Gravity
> will keep the clip on the bottom of the pedal, making it virtually impossible
> to freemount and clip into the second pedal. This can be resolved by fitting
> clips to both sides of the pedal. Clipless pedals have been tried at least
> once, with painful results.

xx I highly don’t recommend any type of toe clip. Dismounts, especially when
riding fast, need to be instantaneous, and you need everything you’ve got to
keep your feet. I recommend grippy soled shoes, and pedals with lots of teeth.
Stick with “soft” teeth until you’re comfortable riding fast, to save the train
tracks from your shins and calves…

> HOW WILL UNICYCLING BENEFIT MY CYCLING?

xx Most of the benefits a bicyclist will get from unicycling will be under the
surface. Your balance will improve your ability to ride around obstacles and
through technical trails. It will also increase your reaction speed when
problems occur, and probably improve your ability to crash without injury.

Most of the time when I’ve exposed unicycling to regular bicyclists over the
years (road bikers, mountain bikers, BMX freestyle competitors), their reaction
has been similar to that of the general public: “I couldn’t do that to save my
life.” I think the big challenge is to convince them that they can. To do this,
all they need to do is see more and more people riding unicycles!

> USEFUL CONTACTS
>
> DM, www.unicycling.com, help me here guys…

I would list unicycling.org first, with maybe separate listings for sub-parts of
that site; FAQ, IUF, whatever else seems relevant. Give each URL with a short
description of what’s good there. UnicycleSource.com might also be a useful
listing, but I don’t know how easy it is to ship to the UK from them.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles (long)

Danny Colyer (danny@mos.clara.net) wrote:
: The C+ article is pencilled in (but not yet confirmed) for the August issue.

: I’ve a few ideas for things to go in boxes within the article, which I’ll
: forward to the editors after some discussion on rsu. Let me know what you
: think. I’m looking for ways to tempt cyclists into unicycle sport, or at least
: to make them think twice about it.

: I’d particularly like some help in filling in the “where to learn” and "useful
: contacts" sections (UK specific), as my research is hampered by somewhat
: sporadic web access.

How about ‘unicycling gives your stomach mussels a great work out’ it also does
wonders fro tired old routes you have riden to death, all those ‘easy’ M.bike
trails in the guide book become a real challenge on a uni, the mod ones are
even better as they tend to have less road work ( I do not recamend road work
for novice uniers however good thier road sense
is). re where to learn If your coming to Red Bull mayhem I should have a
contacts list for you by then for hockey and uni clubs.

sarah

Re: Bike Mag Slur on Unicycles (long)

> HOW WILL UNICYCLING BENEFIT MY CYCLING?

As a mountain biker for over 15 years, I can say that learning to unicycle has
helped greatly in my slow speed balance and my ability to go around very sharp
hairpin turns. Since I learned to unicycle, I’ve also learned to “track-stand”
(balance on the bike not moving forward or back) which makes stopping at red
lights a fun challenge instead of a drag. Before I could unicycle, that skill
seemed impossible.

—Nathan