Cokörhead, Ace, in Spades

When I got my Coker, I thought it was brilliant (Cokörhead - Overthrill), then I got used to flying about the place at high speed and falling off (Cokörhead - It’s a Bomber), then I put the 125s on it, and did some silly speeds (Speed Freak) and then I got a bit tired of it. It was too big for road use on narrow lanes (I’m big on road safety - I see Coroner’s Reports at work) and too heavy for Muni. And it languished a bit, with the light and fast 28 taking over the road work, the 24 taking over the being silly, and the 26 concentrating on serious off roading.

But recently, I’ve got back onto it, and done some serious miles, sometimes at speed, and sometimes on rough ground… occasionally both. I did over 20 miles on Saturday, 12.5 on Sunday, 7.5 on Monday and about 8 tonight, and suddenly a new style of riding is taking over.

When you first get a Coker, you feel like you’re riding by kind consent of the unicycle. All your starts, stops and turns are the result of lengthy negotiation and compromise. Then you get the hang of it, and it is unintimidatiing, but you realise it can’t compete with a proper MUni for technical stuff, a 24 for manoeuvreability, or a 28 for safe road use. And you decide it’s like a Harley Davidson - it looks good, it has plenty of chrome, but it steers and stop like a pig, and has no acceleration. (Yes, I have ridden a Harley, and it was great fun, but…)

And now I’ve discovered that if you ride a Coker with commitment, keeping the speed up, choosing the route carefully, finding the best route along a difficult trail, and rushing the small obstacles instead of picking your way through them, it’s great.

Then there’s the Coker paradox - whilst it’s moving fast, it’s better balanced than any other unicycle, and will blast through stuff which would stop something smaller; but if it slows down too far, suddenly there’s a lot of it to balance. And it’s a long way down…

And sometimes you find yourself in the Cokerzone… that point in the ride when you should be slowing down, but you realise you’re going faster, because you’re going more smoothly, and reading the trail better, and you won’t stop for anything - until suddenly, after 3 or 4 miles of going for it, you notice you left the Coker behind about 5 yards ago, and it’s time to find a safe place to land. The Coker pentathlon: ride, fly, run, slide, writhe. (I hate the writhing.)

And after riding it hard for 40 minutes, it’s just so easy to ride it steadily - it does it all by itself - and you can warm down on your way to the car, watching the full moon rising pinkly over the river, a heron flapping low over the water, perfectly reflected in every detail, and water voles scurrying across the bank, then freezing motionless, hoping you’ve not seen them.

You know you want one. Cokörhead - it’s Ace in Spades.

lol -

Mike - are you doing the saab solomon? (doesen’t have the same ring to it does it)

You’re going to enjoy that - you should a lap early in the race. you reach the cokerzone and all the bike riders are going mental for you as you steam past them up the hills.

I love all the Mo(:slight_smile: to(:)rhead references!

Having only owned the Coker since Xmas, and having put 125’s on about 1.5 months ago, I find the following:

it rides on it’s own, as you stated…you just sit and make your legs do the bending…that’s about it.

As for safety? The only difference I see, in making split-second decisions, is you can slow down pretty quickly, although these fast slowdowns gerally end in a dismount, not an idle.

Even wiht a car passing the croswalk lane, as I had already entred the road at speed, it was jsut the matter of hopping off (under complete control) as opposed to idling, or somethign.

Ummm…I like Cokey Ozbourne? (sorry…best I could do :frowning: )

Hmmmmm. Lemmy think about that one… :roll_eyes:

You perhaps ride on different roads. Over here, there are:

Motorways, 3 lanes each way, traffic 70 - 90+ mph, and cycles are banned.

Dual carriageways. 2 lanes. Traffic 70 - 90 mph. Cycling is risky even for keen and expert bicyclists. Certainly no fun.

Main roads. Solid with traffic at 40 - 60 mph, few gaps, and little room to overtake. Not safe for unicycling. Hard work for bicycles.

Country roads. No pavements (sidewalks) and traffic at up to 60 mph. Risky even on a bicycle. Rideable with care and confidence on a uni.

Country lanes. Often wide enough for two cars to pass in opposite directions with care. Everyone drives like they’re in a hurry to avoid an accident. Usually OK for a big uni, but look out for trouble.

Narrow country lanes: a car and a bit wide. Lots of bends. Poor lines of sight. Tractors, trailers, boy racers, traffic at up to 60 mph. Horses round every second bend.

To ride on our roads, you need to be 100% sure of your control, able to stop and dismount tidily without preparation or warning. You must NOT fall off the back and let the uni continue like a derranged combined harvester into the path of the traffic. There are few roads where I’d be happy to ride a unicycle any distance. Our drivers are rude, aggressive, hostile, and sometimes violent. On country lanes, the Coker gives a good line of sight over hedges and bends, but it provokes a fair amount of hostility, and many drivers don’t pass wide and slow. The 28 is way safer.

I spend all my working life reading road traffic accident reports, medical reports and Coroner’s reports, and arguing with drivers who say it’s not their fault because the lorry wasn’t there when they pulled out in front of it. 20+ years of that colours your attitude to road safety.

Yeah…I take it back!

You guys are crazy!

(Although I always dismount holding onto it!..after only one, ‘there goes the Coker’ UPD)

I’ll stick to the peaceful, life lovin 60 Kp/H traffic, thanks!

There’s also London roads - traffic averages 8 mph, Cokers are the best here.

If Canada is anything like the USA, the roads are way wider than in the UK, I’d be much less worried about cokering there.

However I don’t think that it’s too scary cokering on any roads in the UK as long as you’re paying attention. Definately much less scary on the big roads than riding a slow uni, because you’re much more obvious. You do have to get to the point where you know you’re not going to fall off before riding A roads though.