Giraffes - advice

I wanted to responed to a few messages and instead of responding to each one I
put all the parts into one message. I would have responded sooner but the
semester is almost done and that means I have to do a semesters amount of work
in a week.

  • Here’s the question: what do I look for in a giraffe? What’s a
  • reasonable price for a well-made 6’? I was looking at the More
  • Balls Than Most catalogue, and they’ve got a 6’ DM ("very high
  • quality giraffe") for 295lbs. Is this about right?

Of all the giraffes I have riden, Tom Miller makes the best. Although I haven’t
riden a SemCycle giraffe. Tom Miller’s 6’ are smooth to ride and won’t bend
(unless you back over them with the car). Tom Miller’s price is in the $200 -
$300 dollar range. A nice feature that Tom Miller has on his 6’ is the take
apart option. This makes storage and transporting much easier. I did hear that
Sem just introduced his take apart 6’.

  • MBTM also rekon that they’re easier than standard unis, but how do
  • you get on them? I always thought you had to climb, but when the
  • “Junior Freestyle Mount” was described here a week ago, we were
  • told to “hold it out front, like a giraffe”. Is this the start
  • of the “official” giraffe mount?

I’m not sure there is any “official” way to mount a 6’. The easiest way is to
lean the 6’ next to a pole and ‘climb’ up. I will agree about the part of being
easier to ride, it is just psychological.

  • Hold the Uni upright infront of you by the fromt of the saddle, with your
  • favoured pedal down. (That said, I prefer rocking left foot down, but mount a
  • Giraffe right foot down…!). Then one foot on the wheel, one on the bottom
  • pedal, and on up. If you have a short giraffe or long legs, you can miss out
  • the wheel and just go straight to the bottom pedal. It needs to be a nice
  • fluid movement, pretty fast. The main thing seems to be believing its not
  • going to land you in intensive care, and not to have the saddle too high.

Another way to do this is to follow the above instructions but go into seat in
front. Of course it helps to know seat in front on a giraffe. That is how I
mount it, I have more time becuase I don’t worry about sitting on the seat.

  • The more adventurous (stupid?) mount involves holding the uni out in front of
  • you, saddle near groin, while you run along at an appropriate point jam your
  • foot onto a pedal near bottom dead center. This should lock the wheel (dosnt
  • work on slippery surfaces) which turns the mount into a form of pole
  • vaulting, taking your weight on the saddle. I dont really like to think about
  • this too much, but it does feel as if it should work OK, and it looks quite
  • impressive. Sem junior claims its easier, but he would.

On cheaper 6’, this can be very hard on the frame. A way to work up to this
trick is try it on a 4’ first.

  • On a related note, how does one dismount a giraffe? It seems as though the
  • potential for injury would be quite high (no pun intended).

Fall forward or backward and land on your feet (slightly bent knees) and roll if
you have to. Of course it is nice if you can catch the 6’ on the way down. I
prefer to fall backward and have the 6’ go forward, rather than fall forward and
have the 6’ shoot backwards, where somebody behind you can get hit. During a
unicycle routine (back in ‘87) we had a part where 12 6’ did some group riding.
We all learned to fall back with the 6’ in front after a few people fell forward
and the 6’ took down the 6’ that behind them.

  • More ObUniStuff: The April, 1993, issue of Bicycling Magazine has a
    ‘review’ of
  • the Miyata Unicyle by Scott Martin. I’ll summarize it in a future post…

My sister is mentioned in the article and she didn’t even tell me, I had to find
out from Tom Miller. Luckly I found a old copy of Bicycling.

Andy B. Cotter CAE UW - Madison Application Support