impossible wheel?

Can anyone ride an impossible wheel well enough to be able to ride on short
grass when pulled along quite fast by someone / something else? If you can do
this, how long did it take you to learn?

Also, does is there anywhere in the uk where I can get the peg things to make an
impossible wheel, or is there some easy way to make one using a normal unicycle
axle and bmx trick nuts or something? I’ve got an old 24in wheel + axle from a
rather dead unicycle which I’d like to use for this new toy.

Joe

RE: impossible wheel?

> Can anyone ride an impossible wheel well enough to be able to ride on short
> grass when pulled along quite fast by someone / something else? If you can do
> this, how long did it take you to learn?

I think the act of being pulled will make riding the Impossible (or B.C.)
easier. Adding the grass makes it harder again. How bumpy the grass (and how
fast) is the deciding difficulty factor.

> make an impossible wheel, or is there some easy way to make one using a normal
> unicycle axle and bmx trick nuts or something?

BMX pegs are not recommended. If you use round pegs, they will rotate and your
feet will roll right off. My wheel has a pair of old foot pegs from a moped.
These are all worn out though, and I need new ones. What you want is something
that bolts onto the axle, and provides a foot support at least a little bit
below the axle.

Don’t use a unicycle wheel. What you want is a bicycle front axle. Those wheel
bearings are what keep you from being rotated off your pegs… :slight_smile:

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like football.”
– 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl

RE: impossible wheel?

> The idea I had was to be pulled along behind a kite on an impossible wheel as
> one wheeled kite traction on a unicycle kind of misses the point. I really
> need some way of freewheeling, hence the impossible wheel idea.

Sounds like you should look into gliding. Then you have brakes, a seat, and a
lot more control over your ride. Gliding (on grass) is easier than riding an
impossible wheel on flat ground.

> This would mean that you could rest it with the plank touching the ground, so
> you wouldn’t have to jump onto it to start. It’d also allow a surfer type
> side-on position for flying a kite from so you could lean away from the wind
> more if you weren’t going dead on it.

That sounds cool, but I still recommend the gliding method first.

> nb. Don’t ask engineers about this sort of thing. I got told today that riding
> an impossible wheel was actually impossible, rather than just difficult as
> there is no way to return yourself to the equilbrium point once you’ve
> lost a bit of balance. I’ve also been told that due to equal and opposite
> reactions and stuff hopping a unicycle is impossible so I’m somewhat
> sceptical.

Your engineer needs to be a unicyclist too.

It will be easier for him/her then to work back from reality to the
engineering aspects.

Plus the impossible wheel isn’t called that for nothing. Try it. But we
unicyclists like doing things that are impossible.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like football.”
– 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl

> Joe
>
> “John Foss” <john_foss@asinet.com> wrote in message
> news:52CD02C3DAD2D411A3170002A528514206B063@SERVER
> > > Can anyone ride an impossible wheel well enough to be able to ride on
> > > short grass when pulled along quite fast by someone / something else? If
> > > you can do this, how long did it take you to learn?
> >
> > I think the act of being pulled will make riding the
> Impossible (or B.C.)
> > easier. Adding the grass makes it harder again. How bumpy
> the grass (and how
> > fast) is the deciding difficulty factor.
> >
> > > make an impossible wheel, or is there some easy way to make one using a
> > > normal unicycle axle and bmx trick nuts or something?
> >
> > BMX pegs are not recommended. If you use round pegs, they
> will rotate and
> > your feet will roll right off. My wheel has a pair of old
> foot pegs from a
> > moped. These are all worn out though, and I need new ones.
> What you want is
> > something that bolts onto the axle, and provides a foot
> support at least a
> > little bit below the axle.
> >
> > Don’t use a unicycle wheel. What you want is a bicycle
> front axle. Those
> > wheel bearings are what keep you from being rotated off
> your pegs… :slight_smile:
> >
> > John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com
> >
> > "I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like
> > football." – 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl
>

RE: impossible wheel?

> so everything that is being done must be explainable. E.g. the ability to turn
> isn’t really obvious for a typical high school student but indeed can be
> explained. Coasting still beats me (I mean the physics of it; doing it I
> cannot even dream of!)

Coasting and riding the B.C. are about the same thing. You’re flexing your body
back and forth, using some form of action-reaction to move the wheel underneath
you and keep it where it needs to be for you to stay balanced.

When coasting, you have the seat vs. feet on the fork to use as lever points. On
the B.C. you have more direct control because your feet are at axle level, but
only one thing to lever off of, so it’s also quite difficult.

Yes, the armchair physics expert is missing the tiny pieces of the puzzle that
make these types of things work. Just like the armchair programmer who changes a
single character and breaks his program.

> BTW, I am not sure that understanding the physics of unicycling helps to
> master new skills. On the contrary, it may be that you (i.e., I) try to do it
> on brain power rather than letting your reflexes do the work.

I agree. The more you try to “intellectualize”, the slower you will learn to
ride. That’s why the eight year old always beats the 38 year old… :slight_smile:

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like football.”
– 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl

RE: impossible wheel?

> Yes, but it’s nice to have someone tell you that something is impossible
> before you go out there and do it!

This is true, and it’s a great feeling. But more often, people get told things
are impossible and it makes them stop trying. I think the reason more people
don’t learn skills like unicycling and juggling is that their own brain tells
them it’s impossible (for them) before they even consider it. So they miss out.

> Whilst we’re on the subject of impossibility or not, is there a list anywhere
> of how difficult people find tricks.

I personally don’t remember how long it took me to master most of the things I
do, especially the early skills. Plus you then get into defining when you can
“do” it. Does it count when you can do it one in ten? Yes, but not if you’re a
performer. Then you should be able to to do ten of ten before you put it into a
choreographed piece. So it’s kind of a long range of learning.

However, there are some resources already out there with your needs in mind, the
skil levels and the IUF Standard Skill List

The USA and IUF have essentially the same set of ten skill levels, but the USA
set has more detail associated with it: http://www.unicycling.org/usa/levels/
http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/levels/

The Standard Skill list is a much larger list, where the point values help
indicate the relative difficulty of the skills. Keep in mind that this
difficulty is based on performing the skills in either an eight meter line, a
circle larger than four meter, or a figure ‘8’, not just “doing” it:
http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/rulebook/iufrules/7sslist.html

Enjoy, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like football.”
– 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl

Re: impossible wheel?

Joe,

> Also, does is there anywhere in the uk where I can get the peg things to make
> an impossible wheel, or is there some easy way to make one using a normal
> unicycle axle and bmx trick nuts or something? I’ve got an old 24in wheel +
> axle from a rather dead unicycle which I’d like to use for this
new
> toy.

Get a cheap BMX wheel with a solid axle (or a cheap kids mountain bike wheel for
24") and a couple of sturdy BMX pegs.

No engineering involved here - just screw the pegs onto the axle and
you’re away …

I made one for a couple of weeks before I nicked the Rim for a Unicycle
(couldn’t ride apart from bunny hopping it though!)

Leo White, Cheltenham

Re: impossible wheel?

The idea I had was to be pulled along behind a kite on an impossible wheel as
one wheeled kite traction on a unicycle kind of misses the point. I really need
some way of freewheeling, hence the impossible wheel idea.

I can’t find a cheap bmx wheel at the moment, so I’m going to have to try with a
quite large bike wheel I have (26in), I suspect this may make it more difficult
though, if I get stuck I’ll investigate bmx wheels more.

The bit of grass I was thinking of is Blackheath near Greenwich in the UK, it
isn’t very bumpy and the grass is quite short, a little bit of a slope, so I
think might be worth a try.

My other idea for an impossible wheel type kite toy is to get a plank of wood a
bit longer than the wheel diameter and cut a slot into the plank and mount the
wheel in the middle of that slot in some way.

This would mean that you could rest it with the plank touching the ground, so
you wouldn’t have to jump onto it to start. It’d also allow a surfer type
side-on position for flying a kite from so you could lean away from the wind
more if you weren’t going dead on it.

nb. Don’t ask engineers about this sort of thing. I got told today that riding
an impossible wheel was actually impossible, rather than just difficult as
there is no way to return yourself to the equilbrium point once you’ve lost
a bit of balance. I’ve also been told that due to equal and opposite
reactions and stuff hopping a unicycle is impossible so I’m somewhat
sceptical.

Joe

“John Foss” <john_foss@asinet.com> wrote in message
news:52CD02C3DAD2D411A3170002A528514206B063@SERVER
> > Can anyone ride an impossible wheel well enough to be able to ride on short
> > grass when pulled along quite fast by someone / something else? If you can
> > do this, how long did it take you to learn?
>
> I think the act of being pulled will make riding the Impossible (or B.C.)
> easier. Adding the grass makes it harder again. How bumpy the grass (and
how
> fast) is the deciding difficulty factor.
>
> > make an impossible wheel, or is there some easy way to make one using a
> > normal unicycle axle and bmx trick nuts or something?
>
> BMX pegs are not recommended. If you use round pegs, they will rotate and your
> feet will roll right off. My wheel has a pair of old foot pegs from a moped.
> These are all worn out though, and I need new ones. What you want
is
> something that bolts onto the axle, and provides a foot support at least a
> little bit below the axle.
>
> Don’t use a unicycle wheel. What you want is a bicycle front axle. Those wheel
> bearings are what keep you from being rotated off your pegs… :slight_smile:
>
> John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com
>
> "I’ve had football crammed down my throat all my life. So now I like
> football." – 90 year old Ravens fan, commenting on the Superbowl

Re: impossible wheel?

> > BTW, I am not sure that understanding the physics of unicycling helps to
> > master new skills. On the contrary, it may be that you (i.e., I) try to do
> > it on brain power rather than letting your reflexes do the work.
>
> I agree. The more you try to “intellectualize”, the slower you will learn
to
> ride. That’s why the eight year old always beats the 38 year old… :slight_smile:

Yes, but it’s nice to have someone tell you that something is impossible before
you go out there and do it! Personally having forgotten a lot of the physics I
ever knew, I just assume things are possible until someone can convincingly
argue the opposite. I’ve got a long way to go until I’m doing stuff other people
can’t do anyway.

Whilst we’re on the subject of impossibility or not, is there a list anywhere
of how difficult people find tricks. It’d be kind of nice to have a list of
tricks with how long someone took to learn them, so the relative difficulty of
tricks is shown. I know it’d be different for everyone, but it’d be better
than nothing.

For example, learning to idle well took me a couple of weeks of one hour/day or
something like that although not all of that was idling practice, learning to
one foot idle was a lot less difficult, about an hour of solid practice to do
it, another hour to get idling going to one foot idling going back to idling.
Now I’d like to have some idea how long it’ll take me to learn one foot riding
and then wheel walking, wheel walk idling and finally gliding.

Maybe a web page with a list of skills allowing people to enter the time they
took for each would be nice, so you could tell it how long you took to do one
particular skill and it could guess how long it’d take to learn another and what
else you’d need to know first? I might take a look at this. Should learn more
cgi stuff anyway.

Joe

Re: impossible wheel?

Go figure, I’m 47.

Klaas

On 8 Feb 2001 17:58:27 -0800, john_foss@asinet.com (John Foss) wrote:

>I agree. The more you try to “intellectualize”, the slower you will learn to
>ride. That’s why the eight year old always beats the 38 year old… :slight_smile:


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “president, Pentagon, Arafat”

Re: impossible wheel?

On Tue, 06 Feb 2001 18:00:22 GMT, “Joe Marshall” <joe_marshall@bigfoot.com>
wrote: <snip>
>nb. Don’t ask engineers about this sort of thing. I got told today that riding
> an impossible wheel was actually impossible, rather than just difficult as
> there is no way to return yourself to the equilbrium point once you’ve lost
> a bit of balance. I’ve also been told that due to equal and opposite
> reactions and stuff hopping a unicycle is impossible so I’m somewhat
> sceptical.

I was trained (and I work) as an engineer/physicist, and I unicycle. When an
engineer doesn’t think hard enough, he would argue that several skills are
impossible, while yet unicyclists can be seen doing them. John Foss was right in
implying that if this engineer would start from reality and then work back to
physical principles, secondary effects come in and a lot more can be explained.
In the end, unicycling (and BC wheels etc) must of course obey all physical laws
so everything that is being done must be explainable. E.g. the ability to turn
isn’t really obvious for a typical high school student but indeed can be
explained. Coasting still beats me (I mean the physics of it; doing it I cannot
even dream of!) However, hopping is easily explained in terms of physics, how
can an engineer call that impossible?

BTW, I am not sure that understanding the physics of unicycling helps to master
new skills. On the contrary, it may be that you (i.e., I) try to do it on brain
power rather than letting your reflexes do the work.

Klaas Bil


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “Pentagon, George W Bush, Lockerbie”