Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

I have been coaching a unicycling team for many years (20+) and would you believe, I never set aside time for me to practice. I am still barely a level 1 rider. Inside, I can feel what the riders are doing. The fact is, my balance is poor due to the meds I am required to take for life. However, after being part of the events in Washington this summer, I have vowed to spend time learning to ride and have spent 15 minutes per day on my gravel driveway since the events ended and have been able to negotiate (not consistently) the tenth of a mile round trip. Wow! What a rush. Unfortunately, I am considerably older then Greg Harper (who is only 6 months older then Keith) and the limitation to extending my practice time is my poor aerobic condition. Not able to control my speed yet, it seems that a seated run, although gentler and less jarring than running, is as/more fatigueing (sp?) than sprinting. My promise to myself and Sam Gruss is to actually ride in the next NAUCC. So, come on Andy, how can I help with your event (?) in 2003? :roll_eyes:
Have One Wheelly Wonderful Day,
Unicycling Not-so-newbie

Re: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

Alan,

After learning to ride on a gravel driveway, just imagine how much better you’ll be able to ride on a great surface. It’ll be like riding on a dream.

Wish we all had a surface to ride on like the track at Issaquah H.S. That was great! Thanks for nabbing the facility.

Bruce Gilbertson
(actually Edwards but I hope to fool the lottery at next NAUCC and win a unicycle)

Alan-

Congratulations. You can do this. I would recommend getting your riders to coach you (they are excellent instructors) and get off the gravel into the gym or, at least, a smooth, level asphalt or concrete road. You are probably becoming fatigued now because you have to spend so much energy maintaining your balance. Your endurance as well as your balance will increase with time and practice.

You have been an inspiration and driving force to riders in North Bend for years. This is just another avenue for you to continue in that vein. It will be a joy to see you riding alongside them.

Join us for 2004 in Japan. I’m hoping that harper will make the trip also! The Americans need to stick together!

Ain’t that the truth! I’ve not been overseas and have to admit that I’m only slightly worried about trying to find my way around in such a distant country.

But, I’ll try to take courage from all the guests from other countries I met at UNICON in Seattle. If they can do it, so can I!

Bruce Gilbertson
(actually Edwards but I hope to fool the lottery at next NAUCC and win a unicycle)

Is it official that UNICON 12 will be in Japan? I’m getting scared already, I’ve never been out of the US.

No, it’s not official. Right now they are determining if it’ll be feasible for them to hold the UNICON and then they need to make an official announcement that they will. We will probably know in October.

I don’t know who is serious about going, but I’m really looking forward to making a trip to Unicon with everyone!

Re: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

Alan.

I think it’s so cool that you’re joining the ranks of all those you’ve
taught to ride!

Wish you could stop by Minnesota to practice with us. The encouragement I
got from some of the adults around here convinced me to keep trying. I
thought I’d never learn. But now, I am officially the Slowest Old Lady
Unicyclist in the world! Cool, eh? How many people can say that?

I think you’ll do very well in your efforts to learn to ride. Just remember
those three golden words of advice that you’ve probably used a million times
with everyone you’ve taught to ride:

Don’t Give Up.

We’ll expect progress reports from you now. (Just remember, I don’t look
kindly on any adult who passes me up skill-wise. So, it better take you a
LONG, LONG time to pass Level 3. Got that?)

Otherwise, good luck! Have a lot of fun with it. I have.

Carol
Minnesota

and so the teacher becomes the student…
there’s something very zen going on here

have fun

RE: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

> Is it official that UNICON 12 will be in Japan? I’m getting scared
> already, I’ve never been out of the US.

UNICON 12 is not official. The JUA are going to take the idea under
consideration, and a decision cannot be made until a meeting which I believe
is around October 1.

But one thing’s for sure. The next UNICON will probably be outside the USA.
One cannot fully understand where one is from until one steps outside and
looks back. It should be an interesting experience!

Stay on top,
John Foss
President, Unicycling Society of America
Director, International Unicycling Federation
jfoss@unicycling.com

RE: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

> minutes per day on my gravel driveway since the events ended and have
> been able to negotiate (not consistently) the tenth of a mile round
> trip. Wow! What a rush. Unfortunately, I am considerably older then
> Greg Harper (who is only 6 months older then Keith) and the limitation
> to extending my practice time is my poor aerobic condition.

Though at1pe_uni has not identified himself, I think we know who you are.
Just keep riding that driveway. Each time you do it, it’ll get a little
easier. What better way to improve aerobic conditioning than to ride a
little bit more each time?

But the same old ride will continue to get easier. You are probably not
used to riding on gravel, which is much more challenging than a gym floor.
From my experience with the old Long Island club, people who learned in the
gym had a much harder time riding outdoors than the people who learned
there.

Use John Hooten for an example. He started out as a unicyclist in his youth
in Philadelphia. But he basically just rode forward. Many years later, when
his kids learned to ride, he was at the same place. But then he started
riding his local trails, nearly every day. Now he’s an aerobic powerhouse,
and can crank way past me on any long or sustained uphill ride.

> Not able to control my speed yet, it seems that a seated run,
> although gentler and less jarring than running, is as/more
> fatigueing (sp?) than sprinting.

Only for now. As you get more comfortable with riding, as with any physical
activity, you will learn to eliminate all the excess effort you are
currently putting out. Watch the experts in any sport. How come it looks so
easy for them? Because they’ve worked it down to the bare essentials.

> My promise to myself and Sam Gruss is to actually ride in
> the next NAUCC.

That’s the spirit, and plenty of time to work your way there. Remember, even
20+ years later, you’re still a beginner at the things you’re working on.
Don’t use your best riders as examples. They didn’t learn all this
overnight. And the ones that did, they don’t have to work for a living! :slight_smile:

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“I was burning his dinner when I was 17, and now I’m burning it when I’m
52.” – Brett Bymaster’s mom Rita, talking about how she met husband Frank
at age 17, while at Brett’s wedding in July

Alan,
You’ve already been an inspiration to many with all that you have done with the PPDT. You may never fully realize the extent of the impact your work has had. Many have been inspired through the events and conventions PPDT/NWCUE have put on. And now I have to say that I am inspired again…with all the work that you do to run conventions and keep a huge group of riders rolling you are somehow finding the time get yourself rollin’! Keep it up! Looking forward to riding side by side with you into the future of unicycling.

RE: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

> and so the teacher becomes the student…
> there’s something very zen going on here

The teacher is always, in some way, a student. The best teachers use this
knowledge to improve what they do.

JF

ay!
To teach is to learn twice. – Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

Re: Confessions of a wannabe unicyclist

at1pe_uni <at1pe_uni.9ds6z@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:at1pe_uni.9ds6z@timelimit.unicyclist.com
> I have been coaching a unicycling team for many years (20+) and would
> you believe, I never set aside time for me to practice. I am still
> barely a level 1 rider.

A friend of ours used to bike like mad. Then he bought a bicycle shop.
Soon, he’d given up cycling to run the shop, and had taken up smoking
because of all the stress of retail.

Thus do the organizers give up what they’re organizing! I’m glad to hear
you’re focusing on your own riding as well as that of others.

I’ve ridden bicycles for 40 years, and ridden a unicycle for ten minutes.
The unicycle uses tons of muscles I’d forgotten existed, and wore me to a
frazzle in no time flat. Any new aerobic training is a difficult pain in
the ass for the first few months. Just keep going.

Now…I need to take my own advice…