Humbled again...

Hi all,

Just got back from a 2 week automobile vacation from Kansas to the East coast.
We rented a minivan and it had a perfect spot to put a unicycle (Plymoth Grand
Voyager courteousy of Thrifty), so I took mine along.

I’ve been riding several months and have been doing reasonably well around home.
I don’t do tricks, but I ride several times a week, sometimes 2-3 miles. Anyway,
I thought I was doing ok until I got to North Carolina, where we spent several
days. It has many hills…which we don’t really have here in Kansas and I
discovered that I have trouble riding up anything steeper then a gentle grade,
and have trouble freemounting facing virtually any uphill bit.

On the encouraging side, my downhill riding was pretty comfortable and
freemounting downhill was actually easier then on flat terrain.

So, back to the practicing. I honestly don’t know how you people that ride
trails do it. Your balance must be incredible.

Greg

RE: Humbled again…

Greg House wrote:

> in Kansas and I discovered that I have trouble riding up anything steeper then
> a gentle grade, and have trouble freemounting facing virtually any uphill bit.

This gets much easier with practice and experience, but will always be harder
than mounting on level ground.

> On the encouraging side, my downhill riding was pretty comfortable and
> freemounting downhill was actually easier then on flat terrain.

Once again gravity proves that it’s not our total enemy!

> So, back to the practicing. I honestly don’t know how you people that ride
> trails do it. Your balance must be incredible.

I was just thinking about balance yesterday, when a couple rode by us on
mountain bikes on the Culvert trail in Auburn. The woman said something like “I
just don’t have the balance to do that.” But she was riding on a very narrow
singletrack, with bumps and rocks all over the place, and apparently doing
fine. I wanted to tell her (she was gone by then; it was downhill) she already
had the balance.

If she could keep her bike on that narrow trail, the balance issue was already
covered. If you can walk, your balance system works. Riding rough terrain
doesn’t require any additional balance, just additional skills. Most of us
unicyclists like working on new skills (or we’re not unicyclists yet).

Yesterday Tim Bustos and I introduced Jack Halpern to some proper MUni-ing. Jack
Halpern is the founder of the IUF. He’s been riding at least 25 years, has
ridden in countries all over the world, and thought up the idea of UNICONs. But
yesterday was his first time on a serious MUni ride, and he seemed to have a
good time. I’ve asked him to write something, but he’s in the middle of a
business trip, so he may not have time for a while.

Jack was worried about the terrain and his ability level. Also his unicycle, a
standard 24" “street” Miyata. Like most people over 30, he was concerned for his
bodily safety too. But we told him what we tell everyone when taking them on the
singletrack, “walk the parts you’re not sure about”. During the course of the 4
mile ride, he had visible improvement in his abilities to ride over the stuff.
The nice thing about MUni is the initial learning curve is very shallow. It only
gets steep when you let Bruce Bundy, George Peck, or Kris Holm lead the way!

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

“Every once in a while, you just have to be an airplane.”

  • Andy Jennings

RE: Humbled again…

> It’s not our enemy at all - imagine trying to unicycle in free fall :slight_smile:

I have imagined it many times. Probably similar to trying to unicycle
underwater; not enough traction unless you wear lots of weights.

I remember seeing the guys in Skylab do a little “Skylab 500” race around a
circular bunch of storage lockers in that space station in the 70’s. By pushing
off at an angle, they were able to simulate centrifugal force and race around
the circle. It looked like such fun! It would be interesting to try that in a
larger space, on a unicycle.

I would also love to ride one on the Moon someday (MUooni?). If the spacesuit
can be made flexible enough, imagine the tricks you could do!

Otherwise though, of course gravity is needed for unicycling; and almost every
other circus skill. Without it, there would be no wire walking, trapeze, aerial
acts, juggling, etc. At least not as we know them…

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

“Every once in a while, you just have to be an airplane.”

  • Andy Jennings

RE: Humbled again…

> I have done both (no, I’m not crazy… but I sure used to be!).

> I do have pictures of these somewhere, and hopefully I’ll find them
> sometime soon.

Kevin,

It would be an awesome add to the “Things not to do” area on my web site if you
would like. I have parasailing, but not actual skydiving…

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

“Every once in a while, you just have to be an airplane.”

  • Andy Jennings

RE: Humbled again…

> Doesn’t the ocean water wreck havok on the unicycle though? I mean, there’s
> major corrosive stuff in there…

That’s what rusty old Schwinns and department store unicycles are for.

> If I remember right, there’s an underwater photo of you on John Foss’s
> website.

That’s David Ramos from Puerto Rico. So we’ve got the giraffe covered, but no
standards yet.

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

“Every once in a while, you just have to be an airplane.”

  • Andy Jennings

Re: Humbled again…

>>>Once again gravity proves that it’s not our total enemy!

It’s not our enemy at all - imagine trying to unicycle in free fall :slight_smile:

Re: Humbled again…

> > It’s not our enemy at all - imagine trying to unicycle in free fall :slight_smile:
>
> I have imagined it many times. Probably similar to trying to unicycle
> underwater; not enough traction unless you wear lots of weights.

I have done both (no, I’m not crazy… but I sure used to be!).

When in free fall, the unicycle (strapped to the parachute harness) tends to
float above (and behind you) and in all the excitement, you pretty much forget
it’s even there. Back in 1982, I was hoping that the TV show “That’s Incredible”
would tape and air this stunt. Of the four times I tried this, I never could get
the “riding away” part on landing. Twice I dismounted and twice I just plain
fell down. Needless to say, it was never on TV.

When scuba diving, you CAN’T pedal a unicycle. What you CAN do is swim with your
arms and use your thighs to hold the seat so as to take the unicycle with you
where ever you go. Basically it’s nothing more than just another Kodak moment.

I do have pictures of these somewhere, and hopefully I’ll find them
sometime soon.

Kevin

Re: Humbled again…

Greg House wrote in message …

***snip***

>miles. Anyway, I thought I was doing ok until I got to North Carolina,
where
>we spent several days. It has many hills…which we don’t really have here in
>Kansas and I discovered that I have trouble riding up anything steeper

Try the eastern side of the state (including the Outer Banks) Nice and FLAT.

-Allan “UniCoastie” Gaines [native Floridian, which means I like flat…]

Re: Humbled again…

Kevin L. Seaman wrote in message <37FF61A6.929DB952@home.com>…

>When scuba diving, you CAN’T pedal a unicycle. What you CAN do is swim with
>your arms and use your thighs to hold the seat so as to take the unicycle
>with you where ever you go. Basically it’s nothing more than just another
>Kodak moment.

Doesn’t the ocean water wreck havok on the unicycle though? I mean, there’s
major corrosive stuff in there…

>I do have pictures of these somewhere, and hopefully I’ll find them
>sometime soon.

If I remember right, there’s an underwater photo of you on John Foss’s website.

Greg

Re: Humbled again…

UniCoastie wrote in message <7uohoo$9fa$3@jaffa.itower.net>…
>Greg House wrote in message …
>
> snip
>
>>miles. Anyway, I thought I was doing ok until I got to North Carolina,
>where
>>we spent several days. It has many hills…which we don’t really have here in
>>Kansas and I discovered that I have trouble riding up anything steeper
>
> Try the eastern side of the state (including the Outer Banks) Nice and
> FLAT.

Well, ideally, I’d like to be able to ride better so the hills around Raleigh
wouldn’t be so tough for me!

Greg