Christmas comes early

As the missus refused to buy me a new uni for Christmas, I ordered one
for myself as an early present.

And so it came to pass that earlier this week a large parcel arrived
from containing a shiny new Nimbus 26".

It was assembled, and sat upon in the front room. What a beast compared
to my little 20" machine. Trimmed a little of the seatpost to get it to
fit my short, fat, hairy legs, and had a couple of trial runs towards
the Christmas tree. Scary!

So, this afternoon, the first daylight opportunity to try it outside
came. The uni and I went next door to the school playground and up I
got, using a gate as an aid. A rapid UPD followed, then a wobble across
the staff car park. Decided that the saddle is still too high - I’m
stretching to reach to the bottom of the pedal stroke. Back home and the
pipe cutter soon takes another inch off the seat post. Tighten up the
hex screws and back out again. Mount on the gate of the school, cycle
across the staff car park and down the gentle slope to the playground.
Sh*t! This feels a long way off the ground, and my knees feel as if
they’re going to hit my chin. These 170 mm cranks are huge compared to
the 125s.

Ride a few times across the playground, but it seems really hard putting
a turn into the 10 m width. I’m going really fast (ie out of control) as
well. The speed quickly comes under control and I’m feeling a bit
happier. After a few goes I manage to do circuits of the tarmac, then
eventually a couple of figure eights. I’m struggling with tight turns,
it feels as if I’m over-angulating my hips and forcing the turn rather
than carving.

Contemplate practising a freemount, but chicken out. I’m struggling to
mount the 20", this feels just huge!

Head back up the path to the staff car park, this is nice. The gentle
slope feels as if it isn’t there. Do a tight turn onto the road and down
the kerb - this feels like a huge drop on the 20", barely notice it on
the 26". Across the road past the pub and up a short uphill, then down
the lane beyond. The downhill feels really easy, I’m always fighting the
20" on the steeper section. Into the village hall car park and run out
of space in turning round. Remount and back up the way I’ve just come.
The uphill stretch here I’ve always struggled with on the 20", with
about a 50% success rate. Push most of the way to the top, past the crux
where a badly repaired stretch of tarmac usually UPDs me, and come off
as the slope flattens. Go back down and try again, once more failing to
make the turn in the car park.

I have five more attempts at going up the hill, UPDing earlier each time
further down the slope. At least I’ve cracked turning round in the
village hall car park. The light is fading, and I’m getting very sweaty.
Give up, walk almost to the top of the hill and try to mount uphill from
a railing. This is another spot where I only just succeed with the 20".
The first three attempts fail miserably, then it all snaps into place
and I cycle smoothly off up the top of the slope and over the top. It’s
now a short downhill home, past the pub where the local yokels are
coming in from playing football. A few are humming the bloody circus
tune and get a friendly wave of a brace of digits. Elegantly dismount
,wheel in front, outside home - I’m rather pleased with this as I
usually just lurch off the front of the cycle.

Feel fairly happy with the first try. I have no idea how I’m going to
freemount, and I’ll need to practice the uphills more. The new machine
however seems wonderful at clearing bumps in the road and at doing
gentler slopes, I’m looking forward to taking it down to the local cycle
path for a longer ride.


Martin E Phillips nb Boden, Splatt Bridge martin/at/g4cio/dot/demon/dot/co/dot/uk
Homebrewing, black pudding, boats, morris dancing, ham radio and more!
The Gloucester-Sharpness canal page

Nice. Unicycling is all about doing what you haven’t done before, challenging yourself with new difficulties. Over and over again. That’s why the sport is so rewarding.

Good luck with your new 26".