Forum back on line, thanks

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been unable to get onto the forum for the last couple of days. I was starting to fear it was permanent. Looking at the dates of recent posts, it looks like no one else had access either.

Whatever went wrong, thanks to whoever sorted it out. It’s only when you suddenly don’t have something that you realise how much you value it.

I am glad that it is back online. I had the weirdest string of bad luck, especially every time I attempted to do anything unicycle related. Schedule, weather, bizarre stange occurences messing up my practice sessions, etc.

Went to my secret practice area and a bunch of rednecks were up to some weird macho activity there, and looked at unicycing as an unacceptable sissy activity, then the fun started. Had the weirdest craigslist experiences, ever.

After that bit of weirdness seemed to have cleared up. I came back here and got a server error message. Uh Oh. I am guessing it was moved to another server?

Statistically your luck cannot be either good nor bad all the time, but streaks can occur, so best to act accordingly when aware of it.

Now back to the world of one wheeled wonders.

Good to see a thread on this topic! It just didn’t seem right to have an apocalyptic forum outage like that, and then, when it’s over, everyone goes straight back to discussing their latest UPDs or whatever, as if nothing had happened.

Hey Up Rite! It’s been a while. Any new developments?

Glad the forum is back!
We know all the rage is about FB and other disposable social media stuff, but there is nothing that beats a good old forum.

Thank god the forum is back! I was getting worried.

Hi Song,

Thanks for asking :slight_smile: Just starting to get out and practice again. Like I said, the weirdest streak of bad luck and strange occurences, ever. Hope that’s over.

I had the idea to go out and get a trials bicycle, as the last time I was into cycling, that is what I rode. While I wanted an old 20" for the familiarity, all I could find was a 26" Norco. Not exactly what I wanted, but I thought it would be a half decent start.

The point of the trials bicycle was to cross train with unicycling. Unicycling just kills me, although I was down 80 lb from my worst point last time I checked. Once I have the balance internalized, I am sure it will be much much easier.

So I came up with this training framework: Alternate between unicycling, conventional resistance workouts, biking, hiking.

I discovered the trials bicycle was totally different from what I was using long ago. It was longer, lower bars, much higher bottom bracket, pedals too long. When I tried to ride it, it would just spit me off. It was like I had zero experience on a bicycle, ever. So much for familiarity.

I went online and asked some questions. I thought I had a half decent entry level trials bike to get back into the swing of things. Turns out what I had acquired was considered to be the worst trials bicycle ever created. While the frame was strong, the geometry made it far more difficult to ride trials on than even a converted mountain bike. the components on it were considered to be low end dogfood, and the rear hub likely to fail at the worst moment possible, or even if you just looked at it wrong.

All sorts of comments like it was the root of all evil, etc. Interestingly, in the bike trials online community, they said that I under think and do not research enough, whereas here, I am told that I overthink. Also, lots of complaints with many biketrials riders with blow outs and failures due to holes in their rims.

I ran local ads for months, looking for a good 24" Muni. NOthing came up. I cancelled my ad, and went out to get this stupid trials bicycle. Thought it it would be complimentary to my KH unicycle, as Kris Holm is friends of Ryan Leech, and they both have a Norco connection. Other than the color of the paint matching, the similarity in quality ends there.

As soon as I got home, a fantastic pretty much unused Muni was up for sale cheap, and it was sold before I could get to it. Literally within 4 hours. If I stayed home and played on the computer, I would have managed to snag it. See what I mean about weird bad luck?

Later on, I found another Muni up for sale, but the seller wanted to meet me in a weird dark isolated location when it was really late. Very poor communication, refused to provide any name or number etc. When I met up with the seller, he was so weird and shady with his gang of rif raf all wearing sunglesses and hoodies, and the whole thing was so strange, I just walked away from it. Very bizarre creapy craigslist experience.

I did pick up a Torker DX 20" barely used later on. 48 spokes very strong looking hub. I had the intention to take the wheel set from it and put it on my KH 20. When I took removed the crank, I saw a very strong spline, but it sure was not ISIS. So it was a no go, I need Q factor, and doubt I could change the cranks on it. Nice unicycle though.

I bent the rim slightly on my KH 20. I tried to practice bouncing on it
and hit the rim. Oops. Bike shop managed to straighten it out a bit. Think I will abstain that sort of practice until I have lost some more tonnage.

If I get rid of the Trials bicycle, I think I will try to get something else for the conventional cycling part of my training. No one seems to want it, and I hesitate to put any $ into it. It might get the sledgehammer treatment. I was thinking of getting a fixie with a flip flop hub for the simplicity and learning to go backwards. Not sure though. I probably won’t go for another trials bicycle until I am much leaner.

I do feel the need to cross train with another balance discipline. I might opt for inline skating or skateboarding instead of cycling. Costs less, takes up less room, and I have never done either of them before. Inline skating looks pretty scarry if I fall at my size. Skateboarding looks easier to land on feet instead of nose. I don’t know enough about these activities yet.

I hope this sums it up. Looking forward to the spring and summer. I am pretty sure getting the hang of this is getting close.

That is interesting! Well, bikes are more complex than unicycles, with a lot more moving parts, and knowing how to ride one is taken pretty much for granted by most people, so instead of talking about, say, how to freemount a bike, those forums probably focus more on the latest gadgets and gizmos.

Aha! So bicyclists agree with me that rim drill-outs are a silly gimmick. I just put on a new 20 x 2.40 tire that is rated to 110 psi, and I would be curious to try some of my freestyle tricks at that pressure, just to see what would happen, but my rim has drill-outs, so I’ll have to stick with 60 psi instead of 110. Actually, 28 psi is my all-around favorite pressure on my 20," but experimenting is fun sometimes.

Yeah, skateboarding is probably less dangerous than inline skates, though I don’t think either one of those activities will help you much in learning to unicycle, other than possibly causing weight loss. Before I took up unicycling, I used to do a lot of slacklining, but was often besieged by crowds of marauding children. The unicycle offered me the option of a quick escape, whereas with a slackline, once you set it up, you are committed to that location. Slacklining is definitely a fairly purified balancing activity, and requires a lot more attention to posture, breath and concentration than unicycling does, but when I began unicycling, I did not feel that my prior history of slacklining made much difference. Yoga also might help in some tiny way, but really, if you want to learn unicycling, there is no substitute for climbing onto that one-wheeled bike, launching forward into the void and pedaling.


I think Gilby was on a beach somewhere, but he’s never that far from a laptop.

I’m glad the forum is up and running again.
I was worried for a while.
This forum is the BEST :grinning:

Yes, but that’s still a work in progress. The database is on another server, and everything else is still running on the old one and could still crash. Essentially what happened is that the one hard drive that the OS and database is on was throwing lots of read errors. This resulted in the database table that holds the posts being marked as crashed. A repair of that table failed due to other read errors, so it was not able to be easily recovered. I had to recover the database then through an old snapshot and replaying the binary logs, which took a while (this runs every database command since the time of the backup, which was a few years:)). While that server is still up, this hard drive is dying and may still completely crash and take the server offline, so the site is still subject to going down again if it does since the forum software code is running off of it. But all other essential data is on another hard drive, and it’s being backed up periodically to another server, so there will be no data loss. I’m still in the process of setting up all the services on that other server so that it can all be transferred to it.

Thank you for this keeping this online forum going. I am sure that many peope find it interesting, informative, and helpful.

My initial impression after being away form it for a very long time they seem to want all the specifics of optimizing their machinery. Bike trials is far more difficult than most forms of cycling, as static balance plus complex explosive moves where if you miss some of them by a few cm you blow it, and could really hurt yourself. It takes an immense amount of practice determination and focus, and they analyse and experiment very specific and subtle details to optimize their craft.

Among the Bike trials riders, they want their machinery to be as tough and light as possible, and pay extra to get that if they can afford it. They will land very hard and even though they run low PSI, the impact can be enough to cause a blow out thorough the drilled rim holes. Broken rims, and other parts all over the bikes is a regular occurence. Unlike unicycing, serious biketrials looks like a very expensive pursuit. Those that get fed up with all the blowouts have said that when they switch to un drilled rims, the wheels and spokes last much longer. They can feel the weight difference, but what they notice most is increased reliability and longevity.

I like my KH Uni much more than anything else I have tried so far. I can really tell the difference. My only complaint is the holes in the rims, and think they should be optional, or something the owner does to the rim themselves if they want. I thnk that for activities like trials where you need optimization for leaping etc. and you probably don’t travel very far, a case for drilled rims and anything else to make it as light as possible for competetive reasons might make sense.

I do think that if your unicycle is used for commuting or anything where a significant distance is involved, or mud and crud, drilled rims should be avoided like the plague. On my KH uni, I have covered the holes with non residue 3M tape to prevent any crap from getting into the rim again too easily.

With unicycling, I think that physical stamina and fitness when starting out makes the biggest difference. If I was not getting gassed so quickly especially when I started, I probably would have picked been able to ride in a straight line within 2 weeks. Most of my unicycle practice is so far is more like a brutal weight reducing workout. There is no way my body can handle hours of practicing day after day. I need more recovery, but I am getting more able to practice longer and more frequently as I get lighter.

I think that there is carry over from one form of balance training to another. Folks into snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing have told me that these 3 activities are great to cross train in and are very complimentary to each other.

I definitely think that skills in any balance intensive activity will definitely have carry over into another one. The amount will vary, but it is there. I have the impression that people with lots of experience skateboarding or inline skating seem to get the hang of unicycling much quicker than those who were more into running.

One example that comes to my mind, is long ago when I rode motorcyle trials. People with lots of experience in motocross, orother dirt bikes would try to ride my trials motorcycles, and were baffled by them. When I got on their machines, I couldn’t do some of their stunts, but I could ride their bikes in places they could not take them. They had countles hours on their machines, I had just minutes. I did have a lot of time in on my trials motorcycles though. When we were on a trail ride their speed usually left me in the dust. I would catch up to them on a rough patch of trail, and it became my job to ride their bikes through the rough patches that they could not do.

Later on when I took up road motorbikes and general cycling, I had great balance and confidence at very low speeds that most people do not have. I noticed when coming to a stop, everyone else seemed to put their foot out long before I did. My motorcycle trials skills transfered in a useful way I guess. However this one wheeled contraption, well that is still a different matter, and very much still a struggle. Planning on heading out for another practice session on the Blue Wheel of Doom today.

Hope things are well with you Song. Anything to report on your end?

Not really. In terms of unicycling, I am stagnating a bit. Once you get past the stage where you come back from every ride with some new skill, you have to somehow regain the dogged perseverance of a beginner to continue progressing. That’s what I will have to do to learn to ride one-footed with my right leg, for example. Every time I give it a try, I immediately cave in to the temptation to use my left leg instead because then I can go for a one-footed loop around the basketball court instead of just being rudely bucked out of my seat.

Beginners are locked in mortal struggle with the unicycle, they must either ride it or quit, so they persevere or disappear. They have their “work” cut out for them. Once you gain a few skills, though, the unicycle itself becomes a distraction from becoming a better unicyclist: Why bother learning the 90-degree unispin when you could just hop up the stairs instead?

Yes I was quite concerned. I don’t post much but check every day and was about to start the mourning process for the site.

Thinking about it a bit more, I actually believe that the non-unicycling activity that would best help you get started with unassisted riding would be yoga -preferably yoga classes. Where I live, these classes are sometimes very inexpensive or even free, but that may not be the case where you are.

Balance is closely related to proprioception and flexibility, and yoga brings all three of these things together. It would give you the chance to work on them in a very focused way, without being encumbered by your motorcycle, a skateboard, a 500-pound barbell, a bicycle or even a unicycle. The minimalism of yoga is partly what unicycling is about, at least at the beginning. That’s why, once you get riding around, you will hear so many people shout “Where’s your other wheel?” “What happened to the rest of your bike?” and so on.

The connection (or not) between yoga and unicycling was discussed here a couple of years ago. A friend of mine ended up bedridden for two weeks from some sort of yoga injury, but a few people always manage to get injured doing just about anything! In my opinion, yoga is pretty safe. Of course, there are many different versions of it, and I have no idea what might be available in your area, but Bikram or some other kind of yoga with lots of one-legged balance poses might be extra-helpful for unicycling. In Korean, the word for unicycle literally means “one-legged bike,” or so I was told.

Of course, if you keep trying to ride unassisted, you will probably figure it out very soon anyway, yoga or no yoga.

@Gilby: Is there anything we can do to support you? Maybe some donations for the running and upgrading costs?

The injury rate in yoga seems to be quite high. I do know people that can do the most incredible yoga poses that have never been injured. From what I know of it, I think that people who go to group classes and follow the herd in McYoga classes are the ones that get hurt. To learn yoga properly really requires highly personalized instruction with a competent master instructor. That instructor should be able to help the student push themselves and progress while they stay within safe limits.

Within correct Yoga instruction there is a lot of specific breathing, esoteric theory, anatomy, movement and alignment, meditation, terminology, fasting, and dietary guidelines. It takes a long time to learn, and opens up and develops physical and mental capacities. Dropping in to a group McYoga class like Bikram hot yoga or other, and following the herd is likely to have several people doing exercises improperly as well as attempting exercises they are not ready for. that is where the injury comes from.

I know several people that have done Bikrams yoga for years, and few had any idea what the sun salutation series of yoga poses were. They knew little of the names or purposes of the poses they were doing. Many of them had injuries, and knew of others that got injured doing it.

Real yoga instruction seems to be expensive, and takes a significant commitment of time and effort with both the student and teacher. The westernized watered down version of it results in injuries and tarnishes the reputation of the real thing. That is my impression, but I could be wrong.

Perhaps look into putting in limited affiliate or other advertising here? Done carefully, it could generate some revenue, but overdone makes a place like this very annoying.

No, I think you’re right, though I don’t know for sure because I never studied yoga properly in the way you describe, which probably is the right way. I am an atheist and don’t go much for spirituality, whether it comes from the church, the synagogue, the mosque, the Buddhist temple, Hindu mysticism or UFO hysteria. I mentioned Bikram yoga mostly because it is the same everywhere in the world, just like a Big Mac or a Whopper with Cheese, so I knew exactly what I was recommending, whereas with some other form of yoga, that would not be the case!

Bikram yoga does produce tangible results. It made me more flexible, after a couple of weeks, than I ever became from being on the wrestling team in high school! It also made me acutely aware of the balance and position of my body all the time, and seemed to improve my general health and circulation as well. It does nothing for upper body strength, that’s for sure, and may even be detrimental to it in the short term, but I did get a lot out of it while I was doing it, and for a non-unicycling activity to help get you riding, my guess is that it might be one of the better ones.

Still, as I said, if you keep attempting to ride your unicycle without holding onto anything, and you just lurch forward over open pavement and try to stay up by pedaling, I think you will figure it out any day now.

I used to consider myself an atheist too, but got fed up with militant atheists telling me what I should and should not believe. Too dogmatic and limiting for me. Now I just consider myself someone who doesn’t believe in a personal God. I think that going deeper into practices like Yoga develops one further as an effective person. When I was a teenager training under an authentic Shaolin temple Kung Fu master, I could only get up to 5 to 10 minutes of horse stance. When I added in the meditation, breathing, herbalism, and esoteric part of it, I progressed beyond that, and eventually could hold that pose strictly for an hour every day. It eventually became easy, and back then I could kick an 8 foot ceiling, and on leg strength blow anyone away on a gym, and no one could trip me or make me lose my balance.

Yesterday’s unicycling practice session yielded good progress, was away from the wall longer than ever before. For now my in between unicycle days training will be safe resistance training, instead of bodyweight or Yoga. After I am lean, I plan to drop exernal resistance and go for more bodyweight training and movement exercises. At my current weight I do not want to take up Yoga. Long ago when I looked into Yoga, to really learn it properly was a major commitment. Unfortuntely career, long work hours, and life got in the way of my physical training etc.

When I made to decision to go for it on unicycling, I wasn’t 100% sure it was the best balance discipline as a starting point to learn. I am committed to it now, and will not give up. From what I know now, which could be incorrect, I might have gone with skateboarding as a starting point, as it is supposedly easier to do and learn. The balance and proprioception from skateboarding definitley is transferable to other activities. Not sure they make them strong enough to hold someone at the weight I started at though.

A big issue is a lot of the tools and toys used in agility and balance simply are not strong enough for big heavy people. So, to get into it, downsizing is necessary.