Okay, the giraffe arrived this afternoon, a 6 foot Savage giraffe from the good
folks at unicycle.com. Hung up the lab closed sign on the door and opened up the
package. Assembly was a snap, attach the tire, loop the chain around the
sprockets, tighten the tensioners, lock down the tire, install the pedals, and
attach the seat. Inflated the tire to 45 psi. Sat back and wondered how in the
heck I am going to get on.
Skillfull dodged some questions, as I snuck out the lab on my way to the tennis
courts for my first ride on a giraffe.
Getting on was a hoot, picture a grown man, in work clothes, hard shoes, fingers
hooked in the chain link fence giraffe in between myself and the fence. Move the
wing tips up to the next link swing one hand free and position the giraffe, tug
the left foot out of the fence and find the pedal now how to let go of the grip
on the fence. etc etc. Did I mention it is freezing here in Ohio.
Ah finally in the saddle, not to bad. Sturdy frame, no slack in the chain or
sprockets. Good deal. So I turn loose of the fence and start out. Take two turns
and fall off. Ackkk what a drop. Skin up left knee tear my pants scuff up the
shoes, giraffe in excellent shape. Do the monkey in the fence bit again, and
head out a second time. Learning from my first mistake, that a 20 inch wheel
does not go as far as a 24 inch wheel (really you must be kidding) for each turn
and not to lean so far forward. Much farther this time, hit a rock and off I go
for the second time. Land on my feet but the ground soon finds my posterior.
Giraffe still in good shape. The folks from the zoo have arrived by now, seems
someone reported a lost monkey. Fend off their nets and get on the third time.
Zip around the tennis courts a little shaky but in control. Manage a crude
dismount, take her to the jogging track and ride for
1.5 miles. Dismount like a sack of potatoes, lay on the ground.
What a hoot.
Thanks to John Drumond and the folks at unicycle.com who managed to turn winter
to spring for a little while.