RE: Giraffe pole-vault mount
> I have read some archives and came to understand that this mount can be
> stressful on the frame. Is the savage 6-footer strong enough to handle
> this mount (especially in training mode)?
David Stone had some good advice. Here’s mine:
Normally I would say this does stress the frame, but when David said it
didn’t put too much stress on, I thought about it. It really isn’t too bad,
at least when you do it right. It’s the learning process that can
potentially put on a lot of wear and tear. The biggest stress is in the
drivetrain, namely the chain. The other point of stress is the joint between
your seat post and the crank barrel/bottom bracket. Check this area
periodically for cracks. When giraffe frames break, it’s almost always
Once upon a time, I learned to do this mount one-footed on my Schwinn
Giraffe. It’s the same mount, only a lot harder because you can’t use the
top pedal to pull back. In the process of learning that one, I bent my seat
post. A lesser giraffe would probably have failed under the pressure.
So stick to the both-footed version.
I don’t move very fast forward when I do the mount; something like jogging
speed at the most. Practice outdoors, because your tire may not grip on a
smooth floor (and it also might make horrendous skid marks!).
The hard part is matching your foot up with the pedal at the right point,
and doing it with the commitment of weight and force to carry you up there.
Work your way up to this slowly. David’s five-step method sounds similar to
the little ritual I developed. Just something to coordinate the feet with
the pedals so you’re ready to jump when they’re in position. I think The
pedals are about perpendicular to the unicycle’s frame when I do this. This
means horizontal in relation to the unicycle, not to the ground.
The jump up provides half the force. The second half is provided by pedaling
backwards as you’re on your way up. I usually give the wheel a whole
revolution backwards, or maybe more, to finish the mount. The audience
doesn’t care. They just sit there with their mouths open, expecting me to
die or something.
The better you get at the back-pedaling part, the less force you’ll need for
the initial jump. Also, if you have access to a shorter giraffe, learning on
that one first will probably make the mount a lot easier.
In the end though, it’s just like riding one foot. There comes a point where
you just have to go for it. Prepare well for this time, and you should be
able to handle it safely.
Once you get that mount, you guys can try the side-jump mount. This was my
one and only unique trick when I went to my first unicycle meet, the 1980
USA Nationals. Stand next to giraffe with mounting pedal at the bottom.
Holding onto the seat, jump directly from the ground up to that pedal. Then
stand up, and put your other leg around the front of the seat (like a side
mount). It’s fun! But don’t waste it on a show audience, they won’t realize
you’re doing something harder than a “regular” mount…
Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
“If we are what we eat, then I’m easy, fast, and cheap!”