indoor practice

For some reason I got a whole weekend off so I and my unicycle went hunting for
someplace warm and flat to practice. The high here in Cedar Rapids was a
blazing 7 degrees F after a 3" snowfall yesterday so riding outside was not
very inviting.

I drove to the City Recreation Center in Iowa City. I went in and took a
look around. On the way to the desk I saw through locked glass doors an
empty room labeled Social Hall. I brought my unicycle to the desk and showed
them my non-marking tire and my rubber-ended pedals and explained that no
marking or damage would result. After a phone call to “the boss” wonder of
wonders, they said yes.

A 40’ by 40’ room with a vinyl tile floor and no furniture. Picture windows
looking out on a snowy residential area and a glass wall looking down on the
swimming pool. All for my personal use!

This was my first experience with indoor riding and I fell in love with the
smooth flat crack-free riding surface. For close to two hours I practiced every
skill I know and tried a few I don’t (didn’t heh, heh).

I managed to transition from one-footed idling to riding forward one-footed for
the first time today. After I did it a couple of times with my dominant foot, I
tried it with my other foot and had success there too. Thanks Peter Phillip for
the tip and the encouragement.

I’ve been working on idling with the seat held in front, riding forward,
stopping and idling some more. Today I managed to idle, ride forward, idle, the
ride backward, stop, idle, then ride forward. I made a series of letter W s all
the way across the room with the seat held in front.

I found out that though my tire won’t leave marks, the pedals (Sakae
rubber-ended pedals) will. I kept a sharp lookout for marks and after one really
hard drop I saw some that could have only come from my pedals. Fortunately, even
though they were very black, they came off with nothing more than a firm rubbing
with a dry tissue.

When I finished, I brought the attendant up to inspect the floor for any marks
that weren’t there before I started practicing. She said the floor was just fine
and I thanked her for making the phone call which got me entre to the room.
Hopefully this will set a precedent.

Dennis Kathrens