How many skills are there?


|>Reply-To: (Amos Bloomberg)
|>I think it would be cool to have a compilation of all the unicycle moves and
|>tricks people here have seen or done themselves. That way we could all see how
|>we could improve our riding. Im willing to compile a list if nobody has

“Skills”, PLEASE, not tricks or moves or whatever. We already discussed this
ad nauseum.

I know that most of you are not going to believe this, so hold on to your hats.
I and Ken Fuchs have attempted to generate such a list. I estimate that the
number of possible skills is in the hundreds of thousands AT THE VERY LEAST, and
in the millions depending on how you count.

I am sure that many of you will challenge this statement as ridiculous, so I
must warn you in advance that I am too heavily involved in rushing to meet the
deadline for a kanji learner’s dictionary and cannot at this time prove my
statement without detailed explanations. Perhaps Ken can explain a little.

But just to give you an idea of what is involved, here are some of the variables
that can operate on a single skill, like one-foot riding, each generating
different skills.

  1. TYPE OF SURFACE: hard, soft (sand), rough (gravel), etc.
  2. STEEPNESS: gentle uphill, steep uphill, gentle downhill, steep downhill. up
    steps, down steps, etc.
  3. TYPE OF UNICYCLE: standard, giraffe, ultimate, two-wheeler, BC wheel, big
    wheel and many, many others.
  4. POSITION OF FREE FOOT: on crown, extended, crossed, on driving pedal, etc.
  5. DIRECTION: forward, backward
  6. FIGURE: circle, figure eight, slalom, on-spot etc.
  7. PERFORMING ACTION: juggling, one-person on shoulders, 2 on shoulders, after
    landing from a parachuite jump, etc.

I can hear you shouting: “You can can multiply these things ad infinitum.
They’re not really different skills.” I beg to differ. Riding one-foot backwards
up a hill is VERY different from riding a two-wheeler one-footed in a figure 8.

I do definitely not include such trivial variations as “with arms out-
stretched”, and it still goes into the hundreds of thousands or millions.

Ken – or some other computer-buff out there, how about writing a program that
generates all the possible skills. Do ask Ken’s advice before doing this because
he has made an analysis of the parameters. Of course the program has to
eliminate impossible combinations, like coasting with on foot :-). But I would
not eliminate a skill merely because it is extremely difficult. For example, I
have been arguing for years that it is possible to coast while standing on the
saddle – mind- blowing but physically possible.

Speaking of possible, self-proclaimed experts have for years claimed that
coasting was impossible, until I went to Sweden and discovered te world’s first
coaster (to our knowledge). Do not light-heartedly decide on impossibility.

Two skills that for years I have been dreaming of doing but keep hearing the
shouts of “impossible” from false prophets are:

    8. Riding an ultiimate giraffe (nothing above hanger)
    9. Riding an ultimate two-wheeler (building a rideable one is quite

To end my rambling, here is a werid skill that combines lots of parameters –
I’ll let you be the judge about impossibility.

Spin one-footed backwards on a 3.5-wheel unicycle up a steep sandy hill
while juggling five balls. spinning plates with your free foot and carrying
Rabbi Goldstein on your shoulders as you speak to him in fluent Polish
Yiddish :-) :-) :-)

Maybe one of you artists out there could draw such a picture for the web page!?
It appears that we could have lots of fun thinking up such weird combinations,
but a computer program could no doubt do a better job.

Stay on top, Jack Halpern, IUF Vice President

Re: How many skills are there?

The IUF list considers three type of unicycling skills, riding, mounts &
transitions. What you are refering to is not considered an unicycling skill. To
be an unicycling skill they must be done on one wheel with no other support.
Mounts, of course, start off unicycle, but must end up in a one-wheel position.

When you drag the seat, a second part of the uni does touch the floor. This
exception has been accepted as it is understood that it provides no extra means
of support.

Non-unicycling skills (which can be neat, they are just not uni) can be used
in freestyle competition and will receive credit on the presentation part of
the score.

Alberto Ruiz

Re: How many skills are there?

If there is some sort of compilation going on, could someone make sure that it
includes skills that involve not riding the unicycle? Maybe it could be under
the category “stupid human skills”.

The only skill I can think of at the moment would be the spin the seat part
around and around while grasping the wheel part only. Hopefully people can add
to this list…

Later, Ken