Re: Double wheel giraffes
|> Okay, nothing world-shattering here. But then I remembered seeing pictures of
|> giraffes with two wheels, where the pedals drive the top
|> Does anybody out there ride one of these cycles? Could you comment on my
|> rather vague analysis?
I see that the twowheeling fever is back. Please don’t call it a double- wheeled
giragge – it’s called a twowheeler or a two-wheeled unicycle. “Giraffe” is used
for chain-driven unicycles.
In November and December last year, we had plenty of discussions on this topic.
I am appending a few typical ones for your references. You can get everything
from the archives.
I can’t help but metnion that I as fas as I know I am the first to one to ever
build and ride such a machine. For unicycling history’s sake, please correct me
if I’m wrong. I got the idea from a drawing or picture in an old issue of the
USA bulletin, but I don’t if whoever sent that in ever actually built it or
Regards, Jack Halpern
Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society 1-3-502 3-Chome Niiza, Niiza-shi, Saitama
352 JAPAN Voice: +81-048-481-3103 Fax: +81-048-479-1323
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>From email@example.com Sat Nov 19 02:14:12 1994
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Date: Fri, 18 Nov 94
15:49:21 GMT Subject: Looking for a new challenge
I’ve been thinking on and off about buying a two-wheeled uni. I think I was
first sparked off by a message Andy Cotter posted to this list which I saved way
back on 22 Jul 93 (my goodness, has this list really been going that long
> I have always wondered this question of ‘ruining’ my balance on one uni
> because I get used to another. When I started to learn a two- wheeler (wheel
> on top of a wheel so you pedal backwards to go forward), I thought that I
> would mess up my balance when I returned to a ‘normal’ unicycle.
Sounded like fun, but he went on to say
> Well I never mastered a two-wheeler
Now I don’t know cause I’ve never met the guy, but I get the feeling Andy’s not
such a bad unicyclist. So, just how easy are two-wheelers to learn? (Yes I’ve
almost made up my mind to get one, only I want to hear anyway.)
Another thought: would it be possible to build (or buy) and “extendible”
multi-wheeler, that starts of as a normal uni, but can be extended by bolting
extra wheels on underneath? That way if I never got the hang of the two-wheeler,
I could extend it to a three-wheeling mean giraffe. I guess the main problem
with this would be the make robust joints so that the extended frame was
nearly as strong as a solid pole.
So, who builds these things? DM? Siegmon? Sem? Where’s my best bet? Does anyone
have one? Has anyone ridden one? Does it really hot-up your backwards pedalling
as Andy suggested? Advice?
Paul Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org Churchill Engineering Centre BT Software
and Systems Integration tel: (0171)728-7527 PP 6/7, 151 Gower Street, London.
WC1E 6BA fax: (0171)387-6743
From: email@example.com (Jack Halpern) To: firstname.lastname@example.org ()
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (John Foss), email@example.com
(Ken Fuchs) Date: Sat Nov 19 9:04 JST Subject: Two-wheelers, multi-wheelers
To all unics out there, greetings!
(As former IUF president (ten-years), I must bury my head in shame and tell you
that “unic” is new to me. Will someone enlighten me?)
As far as I know, I am the first person to ever build and ride a two- wheel
unicycle. If I am wrong, please correct me. I got the idea from an old USA
newsletter. There was a diagram, but apparently no one had ever built one.
|> > I thought that I would mess up my balance when I returned to a ‘normal’
|> > unicycle.
No, I don’t think so. It just feels a little strange when you switch, but
|> Now I don’t know cause I’ve never met the guy, but I get the feeling Andy’s
|> not such a bad unicyclist. So, just how easy are two-wheelers to learn? (Yes
|> I’ve almost made up my mind to get one, only I want to hear anyway.)
I learned in 1979/1980, I think it was was. It was very difficult, but in
those days in Japan riding one-foot was considered difficult and walking the
wheel an act of magic. I was accused by my friends that the reason I can do
these stunts was because I am “different” – that I know doubt “eat meteors for
breakfast” was the expressions they used (:->…
When you practice, you must concentrate on moving your upper body forward along
with the frame as you pedal backwards. It feels extremly weird at first, but
once you get the hang of it it will almost feel natural.
|> Another thought: would it be possible to build (or buy) and “extendible”
|> multi-wheeler, that starts of as a normal uni, but can be extended by bolting
|> extra wheels on underneath? That way if I never got the hang of the
|> two-wheeler, I could extend it to a three-wheeling mean giraffe. I guess the
|> main problem with this would be the make robust joints so that the extended
|> frame was nearly as strong as a solid pole.
It is possible indeed. I have a two-wheeler that I can extend to a three wheeler
and to a four-wheeler. The frame is solid and heavy, but if you use good
materials it need not be. Anyway, its ridable. I rode the fourwheeler at the
opening ceremenies of a Japanese national meet. I normally use it as twowheeler
and it works just fine.
|> So, who builds these things? DM? Siegmon? Sem? Where’s my best bet? Does
|> anyone have one? Has anyone ridden one? Does it really hot-up your backwards
|> pedalling as Andy suggested? Advice?
These are of course all hand made. Try Tom Miller in the US and perhaps David
Mariner in the UK? In Japan its Tsukahara in Nagoya.
The best twowheel riders are probably in Japan, though Ken Fuchs is highly
skilled. Here are some skills that I can do or have seen done on two- wheelers.
1. Riding forward 6. Free-mounting (two or three ways)
2. Riding backwards 7. Switching from riding to idling
3. Idling 8. Switching from idling to riding
4. Idling one-foot 9. Hopping
5. Spinning 10. One-foot forward
I’m sure there is much more not in the above list. BTW, probably the greatest
multiwheeler builder in the world is Tsukahara from Nagoya Japan. I have seen or
ridden his two-, three-, four-,five-, six-, seven- and eight-wheelers, and have
ridden Hayashi’s (also Nagoya) 13-wheeler. All but the last have the wheels in
vertical arrangment. The 13-wheeler is more or less pentagon shaped (I think
there is a picture of me riding in an old issue of OOW).
You may be interested to know that Tsukahara has also built me a one-and- a-half
wheeler that converts to a half-wheeler, both of which I demonstrated in UNICONs
and NUMs. He also built me a two-and-a-half wheeler, which after a couple of
hours practice we dismantled. It could be pretty dangerous because we used 20"
wheels and that made it pretty tall. When you practice on 1.5 and 2.5 wheelers
and lose your balance during the coasting part, you come down very fast and
very hard. Perhaps John should this to his list of what not to do on a uni…
BTW, I ended my adventures with multiwheelers by buiding and riding the silliest
uni ever invented – the zero-cycle. Yes, no wheel – just a hub, cranks and
pedals. The reason I no longer do it is because I can’t think of new ideas. That
is, I’m trying to figure out how to build a -1-wheeled (yes, minus one)
unicycle! The ultimate twowheeler I discussed in a previous posting is something
I should do one day, but it’s very difficult and expensive to build…
I know that Ken Fuchs once wanted to start a special-interest group on
two-wheelers. I’ll let him take over from here, if there are to be follow-up
discussions, as I am busy on my third dicitonary this year…
John Foss, if you’re reading this, you may want to use some of it as a basis of
an article on multiwheelers? I think the mailinglist has tons of stuff that can
be reedited into articles…
Stay on top,
Jack Halpern IUF Vice President
Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society 1-3-502 3-Chome Niiza Niiza-shi, Saitama 352
JAPAN Voice: +81-048-481-3103 Fax: +81-048-479-1323
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