Fast ride-hard fall

Blue Shift ride

Total distance: 17 miles
Total time: 1 hour 40 min
Rest time: 15 min
Average riding speed: 12.0 mph
Bicycles passed by me: 4
Bicycles passing me: 5
UPD’s: 0
Falls: 1
Injuries sustained: 3
Idiots willing to do it again: 1

I was 16.8 miles into a fantastic ride, 2 blocks from home after a 300 foot climb, tired, accelerating, up to speed, and then down onto the pavement hard. I hit my left big toe first (that toenail is coming off) then down onto the right 661 leg pad (thank you, 661) onto the right hip for a nice patch of burning road rash, onto the right 661 forearm pad (thank you again, 661) and cleverly slapping the pavement with my right hand covered with 3/4 gloves I managed to find a sharp piece of something that sliced into my right ring finger just above the point where the glove finger ends(of course), right at the inside knuckle. Finally, an easy roll onto the hydration pack and helmet. All in all, mostly fun. Certainly fast. All of it was done in 43.5" mode.

Yesterday I took a 15 mile ride up and down lots of hills in which I spent maybe a third to half of the time in 29" mode. I was in four different parks in Seattle on that ride. That one took two hours. And I didn’t get hurt. There are some tradeoffs in life.

Re: Fast ride-hard fall

Man, your stories are awesome. Damn, I want a uni.5 hub. You do excellent work,
both in your writing, and in your awesome hubs. Damn how I envy you.


I second that, you’re an inspiration to us all. Any idea on the top speed yet?


Re: Re: Fast ride-hard fall


Thank you for your kind words. If you saw me trying to get my left foot into the toe clip of my bike pedal this morning you would not envy me so much. of course, a rider with your skills wouldn’t have fallen off the thing in the first place.


I haven’t measured the top speed because I’m too lazy to buy and install a cyclometer. It is close to the point where I soil myself, however.

Re: Fast ride-hard fall

Can I have it? It will make a powerfull shamenistic device; when the MUC attempt to chalange my rightfull station, I’ll pull the Talisman by string from beneath my shirt and compell them to bow low and pay tribute. “By the Toe of Greg Harper, I COMMAND THEE!”.

If you’re feeling generouse (and you still have it) throw in the finger tip, too.

Christopher-Khan, Lord of the Fries

Re: Re: Fast ride-hard fall

The finger tip is long gone. Part of it was used as a skin graft so its usefulness ended about 10 days after its application.

Naturally, many have already asked for the toenail. Buster was first and so it will soon be adorning his collar.

Fast ride-hard fall


No irony or sarcasm intended,


what’s the difference, in your vocabulary, between

a U.P.D.





I’ve often found them to be synonymous.

I mean… doesn’t a “fall” count as a type of “UnPlanned Dismount” ?

… awaiting more enlightenment,


Did you sacrifice the toe-nail to the uni-god? I think we should all bow down to Harper, lord of the uni.5, master of the high speed fall, builder of the finest hubs in all the land. I shotgun the next piece of you that falls off! Then it’s off to e-bay! I wonder how much I can get for it…:smiley:

Re: Fast ride-hard fall

In my vocabulary (I’m glad you specified because not all agree), and the vocabulary of some but not all others, A UPD (unplanned dismount) is a dismount from a unicycle that is unexpected and caused by some external force during which the unicycle does not hit the ground and the rider remains on his (her) feet. In a UPD the rider must be able to grab the seat and run it out. A fall is a catastrophic dismount during which the rider leaves the unicycle and his (her) feet and falls to the ground and/or loses control of the unicycle and it bounces away from them. There are some past discussions about the meaning of UPD in this forum. The person generally credited with coining the term is not necessarily in agreement with the definition of it that I gave here.

Re: Re: Re: Fast ride-hard fall

You haven’t heard the last of this, Greg Harper! I’ll get you -and your little dog, too!

-Rhysling, Wicked Witch of the East.

Ride fast … fall hard.

Thanks for clearing that up, Greg!

It makes sense the way you’ve put it…

A dismount = two feet on the ground: unicycle-control maintained.

A fall = personal DNA deposited on the ground in a random, painful way: unicycle is free to follow its intertial prerogative.


If UPD implies you land on your feet and maintain control of the cycle, and a fall is a situation where you don’t land on your feet and control of the unicycle is lost, what are the names for these:

  1. You land on your feet, but you don’t have control of the unicycle.

  2. You don’t land on your feet but you DO have control of the unicycle (happened to me just once that I remember).

Seriously, I ask because I’ve been incorrectly using Fall the way you use UPD, and UPD I presumed was the way you were using Fall, just because it sounds like a funny way to say “I fell.” So, I’m going to swap these two from now on but I wonder about the 2 special cases above.


Just because I say that’s what UPD means doesn’t make it so. As I said, the person who is credited with coining the term (that doesn’t mean that he did coin the term) disagrees with my definition.

1) You land on your feet, but you don’t have control of the unicycle. This is a fall, not a dismount.

2) You don’t land on your feet but you DO have control of the unicycle (happened to me just once that I remember). This I don’t believe but still it is a fall, not a dismount. Actually that’s unfair; I’m just trying to picture falling down and claiming that you’re maintaining control of anything but it could be done.

I think for most of us, UPD is a jokey way of saying fall, and I doubt it matters in the big scheme of things. If there’s a distinction then it must realte to control.

There are 4 possible combinations:

  1. Land on feet, keep unicycle off the ground. We all agree this is a UPD.
  2. Land on feet, but seat hits the ground.
  3. Land but not on feet, seat hits the ground. Clearly a fall.
  4. Theoretically, rider ‘falls’ but retains control of the uni, protecting the seat from damage. I’d say this is a fall.

On those rare occasions when it matters, such as describing an event in this forum, why not UPD1, UPD2 and UPD3?

Then there’s UnForeseen Dismounts, InElegant Dismounts, UnDignified Dismounts…

And why not just UD, as Unplanned is a single word.

Anyway, Mr. H., you make riding this geared evice sound great fun until the very last minute. It’s a lot of trouble to go to to get a few bruises, but it obviously worked.:smiley: You are a pioneer and we are awestruck.

Yeah, but I think you pick how you get your bruises. You can get them on the trails (I have), you can get them attempting trials (I have), you can get them practicing freestyle skills (I have), or Cokering and riding at high speeds. All of it is fun to do.

kinda like when you fall off the barstool but manage to keep your beer from spilling. It’s still a fall, but all is forgiven so long as you save what is important, unless it’s american beer. Then you should save yourself and throw the beer. :slight_smile: Still a fall.


Well, I have only one time fallen flat out backwards on my unicycle. I was maintaining a primate death grip on the uni, and somehow it was in my hands when I landed and not on the ground.

You are right tho, it was a fluke, and any control was involuntary. :slight_smile:

Still, I maintain it is theoretically possible. What if a rider had a fall near the edge of a cliff, or on a bridge where water was on either side, but in the process of the fall onto solid ground (or bridge), managed to see the Uni plunging to its doom and then they reached out and managed to snag it? I haven’t done that, but what if someone did. Would that qualify? Not that I plan to be riding near sheer drops anytime soon.


how dare you!?i would drink during the fall then save myself.

And besides, it would hurt a lot less if you finish that last beer.:wink:

At first I was discarding this line of thought as a tedious exploration of syntax- but now that the practicle questioning of relative merit involved in tucking arms and racing your cycle to the earth has been raised, I have a new appreciation for the topic as a hole. In point of fact, a tear is brought to eye when considering the squandered talents of one While E. Coyote -what a cyclist he could have been…

As to the appropriateness of this term or that, the answer is elective; weather one is deamed a ‘Hoss’ or a ‘Big Mo’foe’ is a meter of taste and situational effect, comic or otherwise.