Today was my second day outside with the muni.
I have had it for 2 weeks with indoor hallway only practice while I waited for my pads to arrive.
I started yesterday with the garage door closed and running my hand across it since I had been used to 2 walls. Then progressed to having it open & no walls. Then progressed to pulling a car out and going the length of the garage and out to the sidewalk, making the turn and heading up or down the sidewalk(left or right, we live on a slope). So maybe 50ft total with a turn right or left included.
Today I wanted to see how far I could go without a hill being an issue. So I went down to the end of our street which happens to have a flat bike trail section on it. I still have to mount using something with one hand:(
But I can consistently go 1/4 of a mile before my airplane arms are just so dang tired!!! Then I wobble and dismount.
I’m assuming I just need better balance skills to progress so I won’t need my arms out so much? I tried one arming it and resting my other on the handle like I see muni riders in videos do, but then I end up turning towards my flailing arm.
It’s just weird. It’s like my arms are the limiting factor right now. I would have never guessed that would be a problem.
I’ll try to remember to take my time, I am sure there is a reason for progressing a certain amount of time. I am a runner, so I know sometimes the mind thinks the body can do more than it can. Time builds skill. And the correct muscle endurance;)
I can’t hit any outside time on the flats until next weekend but I think I will work on free mounts and idling. That I can do inside or in the garage/driveway.
To turn away from a single arm, flail to the rear (or windmill in the opposite direction). That’s what I call it, flailing. With practice, the need for flailing will fade, and eventually be gone for riding on flat surfaces. To increase your skills, later, practice riding with your hands in your back pockets. This will help train your lower body to do what it needs to do to steer you true. Don’t try that just yet though.
Eventually, you will steer by leaning and using the curvature of the wheel, rather than by “equal and opposite reactions” from your arms.
Eventually, you will be able to ride indefinitely long distances with one hand on the front of the seat and one hand hanging limply by your side.
Eventually, you will be able to take off your helmet and your rucksack, then your sweater, then put your sweater in your rucksack then put your rucksack and helmet back on, all riding smoothly at speed.
But right now, you will do a lot of arm waving and you will get very tired. That’s the way it is.
The only way is to ride lots, and to keep pushing your limits. I found it was best to ride short sections of “challenging” interspersed with longer sections of “easy but boring”. This way, you get the distance under your wheel, and your definition of “challenging” gradually develops.
If you were on day 2 of learning the piano, you would not be surprised to find that you could not yet play a concerto.
The good thing about unicycling is that “practising your scales” is fun in its own right.
This reminds me of one time when I was riding down a rail trail, when a biker passed me and said something about “I’ve never seen someone do that before.” I don’t know how long they were following me, so their comment might have generally referenced riding a uni on the rail trail, or maybe it had to do with me reaching around into my backpack and pulling out a Coke.
I am very happy with my progress so far. My goal is to ride to some singletrack by the end of the year. I’d be happy with more riding and less UPDs when I do, but the sweater/ringing phone/can of coke tricks all while riding sound awesome! I cannot wait until I get that good! And I will.
I discovered when my arms get tired, to try getting better doing something else for a little bit and the come back. There are so many things to work on that a tired body part makes me work at getting better at something else instead.
Re: arms - you might try just keeping on riding with the tired arms. Once they’re too tired to hold up or wave around so much, your body will be forced to compensate with better technique through use of your torso. In martial arts training, I always found that my best learning was when I felt too physically tired to train. Not encouraging you to go to extreme exhaustion, but being a bit tired does make you work technique more.