Went out for an hour this morning on the 20"er, met up with a fellow unicyclist in SF to practice a bit.
Had a few good runs, new record of about 36’.
That run seemed a lot longer than my previous 33’ “record”, due to the smaller wheel. When I was going I was thinking to myself “Holy shit, I’m doing it… I’m actually doing it!”. Then I came off.
Over all, had two runs over 30’, and quite a few 20+’ ones. I’m heavily leaning to the left when I do get going, like I’m following a rainbow or something. Not real worried about that yet, if I can only stay on going left… then left it is!
I’m back to holding onto something to help me mount, and then just going until faceplant or otherwise UPD.
Another hour in, another personal best. Hour 8 now.
Went to the school down the street and was having some difficulty getting anywhere by just mounting and riding, so I found a couple of walls. One was is 66’ long, the other is 96’ long, and I was going up and down the walls, one time with the wall to my right, and on the return trip with the wall on my left.
Last night I did 7 total trips up and down the walls (total 324’ each trip, so ~2268’ total), and this morning I did another 7 trips. Found with the wall to my right it was really easy, but with the wall to my left… not so much.
Sometimes I would float away from the wall and keep going, got about 6-7 30’ plus runs, and one that I measured 42’.
Going to try for some more seat time later, when my legs aren’t burning so much!
Now you have to think about putting the weight into the seat instead of your legs. Your body rests on the seat, the feet only have to put the pedals into the right position, which is, provided you are not riding uphill or are accelerating, a very effortless tasks.
I always have to remind myself, now that i am more accustomed to riding i can remember before i get out of breath.
It works almost instantly with the 20", sometimes with the 26" in the right offroad conditions.
From one fat guy to another… Awesome!!! I got back on my unis after a long time (I’m 53) to help lose a bit of weight. It works, keep it up. 20’s are easier, but I never did like the Schwinn seats, wait, I did not like the Schwinn seats from the 70s. I just never felt like I had the same control. Have a blast, wrist guards are your friend.
I don’t think you really have to think about it. Your legs will get sick of holding you off the seat… You will know you have got it right when you start thinking “I need a decent seat”!
Congrats, you are learning a lot faster than I did
Don’t underestimate the Seat. The first one, on our first cheap 20" learner Uni, had to be replaced after a few weeks, and now, two years later, is only rideable for a longer time (>30 min) with two bike pants.
The Qu-Ax Muni seat (on my 26") was really comfortable at first, but now, a half year or over 100 km later, i also start wearing two bike pants for longer rides.
And i’m sure that there’s still plenty of weight i could shift from legs/pedals to the bum/seat. Would like to compare the KH freeride and the nimbus gel for some time before i really buy a new seat.
I went over to the school and started to ride my wall, planning on trying to get 10 laps in. Didn’t even get half way down the wall and the whole thing started shaking and becoming unstable. Damn seat screw was coming loose, so I tried to hand tighten it and try again… didn’t help much. I decided screw it, may as well head back and call it a day, it was late kind of and I was pushing it anyway.
I stopped by the bottom of the stairs, which leads into the open quad, and decided to see how far I could make it on this shaky-ass falling apart thing before I head home… just to say I did something. Did well, like 20’. Not bad… Tried again, 30’… Wow.
Even though the thing was super unstable because the seat screw was loose, I kept hand tightening it and trying again. All in all, I made it over 30’ like 10 times! A couple of them over 40’, and two runs of over 50’. Another day, another 10’ to add to my longest distance.
I know I keep saying this, that it’s feeling like it’s getting close, but I swear I feel that way. Even today, if felt like it was clicking… more so than it did yesterday. I only was out there for about 20 minutes but it was by far the best 20 minutes to date.
Hour 9. Actually, I’m not even going to count this hour because it’s been so messed up.
Had some pretty major setbacks this past week.
My 20er was falling apart, so I wasn’t able to really ride at all this week. I replaced some bolts and did some tightening after my last success and went out but had to cut it short because now the pedal looked like it was coming unscrewed. Took it back to the bench and took the pedal off and it looks like all of the crank threads are stripped. So naturally I put it back on as tight as possible and went out again! It didn’t last 15 minutes and it came off.
So now I need to get some cranks for the little guy.
I did jump on the 24 for a quick minute, don’t think I should be jumping back and forth. The leaning and correcting are completely different on the 24. I keep falling forward because I expect it to stay under me like the 20.
Kind of bummed, had a great outing last week and can’t get back to it because this thing is old and creaky. When I started to do well I didn’t want to stop, so frustrating.
We still call it a 24", eventually (when ordering a tire or rim) we may refer to 507 mm.
At least in german there are still lot’s of measurements in inch (or “Zoll”), for example tube diameters and tv-screen size, and wheel(rim) diameters.
Sorry, this is going to be long winded… but I’ve really figured out some good stuff.
Haven’t posted in this thread in a couple of weeks. I started to regress badly and frustration set in. I started another thread asking for advise here:
Basically I got to a point to where I couldn’t get past 10’ hardly ever. I kept falling to the left, each and every time. So frustrating. So the good folks in that thread gave me some pretty good advise, which included attempting to ride while inebriated and cutting off an extremity.
Well, riding while intoxicated didn’t work (I don’t recommend trying this!), and I decided to forego cutting off my foot… so I took the only advise on there that I knew I couldn’t mess up and walked away for a while. I suck.
During my 10 day sabbatical I didn’t stop thinking about these failures.
My brother-in-law asked me a while back why a unicycle? I told him because nobody else could, so why not?! He laughed and told me that I might kill myself in the process, but that he knew that the way I go after things that me killing myself would be the only way I didn’t figure it out. I took take as a compliment. :o
Time off equals reflection, and then finally leads me to an epiphany. Or two.
I’ve recently started a new job where I have to take crowded public transportation. Me being a middle-aged male means I get to stand for the 30 minute ride in the morning and in the evening. I noticed my leg going numb kind of during these commutes, my sciatic was starting to act up. Weird part, I’ve never had any sciatic issues. I noticed if I kept my weight on my left leg it was acting up a bit, but if I shifted to my right leg it didn’t. Weird, where did this come from? Lets shelve this for a minute… it’s pretty important though.
I couldn’t stop thinking about me being a failure, so while I forced myself to abstain from actually riding my uni I did find myself watching some videos. Not just watching, but rewinding and constantly watching how people were riding. I noticed that people that know what they are doing seems to ride with their knees on the inside of their legs… like if you were to walk pigeon toed. Okay, something to add to my ever growing list of things to adjust.
So today is the day. My sabbatical is over, and I’m going to give it a go. I grab my uni and head down to the school. Going to go well? Not so well? Argh, lets just get this over.
I got over to my step, stood on the first step while the uni was pressed against the bottom of the steps, put my arms out, jumped on… and went 10 feet and went down. sigh
I repeated this for about 10 minutes, trying to figure out how in the heck I can get my knees positioned like all the folks in the videos. Try angling my feet inward? Unpossible. Try just willing them there? Didn’t work. Finally after a few different attempts I noticed that if I concentrate on squeezing the front of my seat with my inner thighs this worked.
I went a few times with my thighs squeezing the seat and things started to get better quickly! Instead of going my usual 10’ 90% of the time I was making it 20’, and 30’ and 40’ on a regular basis. Like… every time!
Success! For a bit… Then I started back my regularly scheduled 10’ fall to the left. ARGH! I wasn’t ready to give up, so I kept at it… and ten suddenly sciatica in my left leg. Just like when I stand too long on my commute. I quickly analyzed what I was doing… Seems I would stand on the step, my right foot on the near pedal, and stand with all my weight (somewhat awkwardly) on my left leg. It suddenly became so clear, the way I was standing was causing back fatigue on one side of my body?! How did I not ever notice this?!
Okay, I immediately changed this. I hadn’t done it enough today too cause much fatigue, and now I know how to avoid it. I’m pumped at this point, I just figured out two major stumbling blocks that I would have never figured out without waling away.
I kept going and having great success, and noticed I fell at the 10’ mark. It was actually okay though, because I HADN’T FALLEN THAT EARLY FOR 20 MINUTES! Each and every attempt was 30’, 40’, 50’… this is getting repeatable! Consistently repeatable!
I was still falling once I got to these longer distances, but for a new reason. Once I get about 30’ I just simply don’t know what to do. So I started doing what any reasonable adult on a unicycle flailing their arms would do. Started making airplane noises!
I had so much fun today. Best. Day. Ever. The only reason I stopped was because my shirt was soaked and I told myself, I said “Self… you’ve done good, walk away now and we can come back later today.”. I am on my way now, watch out world.
Sorry about the novel, but I found out some really good information. It helps me to write it down so that it might sink in, and if somebody else reads it with similar issues it might help.
Regressed badly, walked away for 10 days. Came back better than ever.