Hopping skill file

Here’s my final current release of the skill file for hopping over a
10x10cm obstacle.


                      HOP OVER A 10X10CM OBSTACLE

Method #1

 1. Ride up to the curb at a good speed.
 2. When you hit the obstacle give the pedals an extra push to go up and

Method #2

 3. Approach at slow speed
 4. Stop against the obstacle, standing on the pedals with a gap between the
    unicycle's seat and your seat.
 5. Grabbing the seat handles, ride/pull yourself up and over the obstacle.

Method #3

 6. Approach the obstacle and turn parallel to it.
 7. Ride till the pedals are horizontal.
 8. Bend down at the waist, recoil quickly - hopping up and toward the
    obstacle - bend down at the waist quickly - bringing the wheel up and
    over the curb.

Method #4

 9. Ride toward the obstacle.
10. When you are close, and the pedals are horizontal, stand on the pedals
    and jump over the obstacle.

Notes and Hints:

Method #1 or #2 were the ways the developers of the skill level list
intended that riders perform this trick. Many examiners just look to see if
you can go from one side of the obstacle to the other, regardless of method.
Check with yours.

With methods #1 and #2, you need to have the pedals more-or-less horizontal
when you hit the obstacle. You can practice this by putting the wheel against
the block with the pedals in the correct position, rolling the unicycle
backwards a ways, getting on and riding to and over the obstacle. To be able
to use methods #1 or #2 regularly, though, try one of these approaches:
* If you get to the block and the pedals are not lined up the way you want,
turn away and come back.
* If you get to the block and the pedals are not lined up the way you want,
back up and try again. If you want the pedals back farther, do a bit of a
sine wave while you go backwards. If you want the pedals farther forward,
go back straight and do a bit of a sine wave while riding forward.
* In riding up, approach the curb at an angle, so the pedal position when
contacting the curb can be adjusted when about a foot from the curb by a
quick change in the angle to the curb, changing the distance to the curb
and hence pedal position.
* Ride parallel to the curb, a special predefined distance away from it
(exactly the distance needed for a sharp turn and to get the pedals
horizontal when the tire contacts the curb). When the pedals are in the
right position, turn sharply straight at curb; the pedals should be
horizontal when the tire contacts the curb.

My (Terry) current method (#4) is to jump before I get to the obstacle. I
used to be only able to do this when my pedals were level and the right one
was forward. I can do the left now as well, but still tend to miss it
reasonably often. The hardest part about this is judging when you should take
off, but you learn to make slight adjustments in your approach angle so that
your pedals are where you want them.

One way to practice this sort of jumping is just to ride along and hop over a
line on the ground (or even do it with no line). When your pedals get level,
the back one stops you and you pop up. I only hold the seat at the front.
Eventually you can do this with every half revolution of the wheel. A more
advanced practice is to ride along a paved sidewalk and try to jump over
every line (or every second line to begin with). This forces you to make
decisions about when to jump
(i.e. with what foot forward).

A 20" wheel goes 5 feet per revolution, so you may end up having to take off
2 feet or so from the obstacle (though in practice this won’t happen as
you’ll learn to anticipate this and change the approach angle).

I prefer this method as you never stop and it’s probably smoother and nicer
looking than the ride into the gutter and then heave up method.


Terry Jones<terry@santafe.edu> Craig Milo Rogers<rogers@ISI.EDU> Beirne
Konarski<bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu> John Foss<unicycle@aol.com> Ken

Last modified: Mon May 29 10:45:33 EDT 1995

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