Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

Rained on and off all day. Rained all through the drive home. Traffic was terrible. Arrived home in time to see Leslie leave to visit friends. I was hoping to fit in a 15 minute practice session before he left.

Undeterred, I let the kids watch a video, told the 13YO to keep an eye on the 4YO, and went out to practice solo. Just me and the wall. Mother Nature obviously wants me to learn to ride as there was a short break in the downpour, long enough for me to practice without getting rained on.

This time I strapped on all the pads, as I was without somebody to catch me if I fell. Those first few passes along the wall felt like I was starting all over again. Then, every now and again, something would just “click” and I’d be riding, all alone, not touching anything, just holding my hands out and balancing. My mounts and dismounts are getting better and I had slightly less forward dismounts (OK - falls) than yesterday.

What I can’t get over is how tiring this all is. By the end of my 15 minute session I was sweating like a pig and shaking something terrible! There were drops of sweat running down my nose and I could feel it trickling down my back. However, after a brief sit down I’m fine but it’s dark out now and raining. I’ll leave night riding for a while.

As for discomfort - there’s hardly any. My arms feel a bit sore, especially at the top, just under the shoulders, probably because that’s where I’ve been tensing the most. My legs are fine, but do give a little tinge when I climb stairs or lower myself into a really low chair. Other than that, I feel no pain.

Tomorrow I plan on doing the wall and brother combo for a pass or two, then striking out into open paving with just the brother. Wish me luck!

Jayne

Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

I am new to MUni. Yesterday, I broke the 50 yard barrier. Today, was riding off-road and learned that I can’t seem to get past 20 yards without falling or becoming completely exhausted. It is like riding in the lowest gear of a 27 speed all of the time, or dropping and doing 1 push up for each step you take while walking down the street. And for some reason the freewheel hub on my MUni is frozen :slight_smile: so there is no ability to coast and catch my breath.

I am experimenting with a technique where I pretend I am a Zen master, with palms turned upwards and doing my best to relax and use as few muscles as possible. Also, I try to “drop” my feet into the pedal strokes instead of trying to force the crank around.

Still, I am left with a feeling that MUni is very impractical - like the 15 mile rides that I used to take on my mountain b*ke will have to be truncated in half.

Jayne,
Congrats on sticking with it even when the weather won’t cooperate. Sounds like you’re learning pretty fast. Once you actually get that big beast rolling, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to ride. I rode my Coker for the first time yesterday and am looking forward to getting off from work today so that I can do it again.

Drew,
Keep after it, MUni has it’s rewards if your patient enough
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I’m also new to MUni and I quickly learned a few essential tricks after exhausting myself on the local, and steep, trails here in the Santa Monica mountains.

Rather than try and blast up every hill, which damn near killed me, I started relying more on balance and going slower, and only hammering up the really steep stuff. Also, every time the trail would get lower angled, if only for ten feet, I’d pause just short of idling and shake out and recover. Also trying to use the least amount of energy, and concentrating on staying relaxed, helped out a ton.

With just a few of these things – and no increase in fittness – I was able to chug up steep fire trails which I couldn’t make a third of the way up on the previous efforts.

First time out I was so gassed I had to go home and lie on my bed for an hour. Again, much of that fatique was from over peddling, not pausing on flat spots and tensing up. I think the learning curve is quite steep with MUni, otherwise I have no future.

JL

Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

Good luck!

Although I still don’t know why chicks waste their time with this stuff. :wink:

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Yes. I had guessed your ideas on energy conservation. The key is to actually DO it. I am “Day 2” of being able to ride. Unfortunately, I am completely exhausted. I rode until I simply could not mount. What’s worse is the distance the “destroyed” me was about 4.53 (off-road).

So now when the mountain bikers are in awe you’ll know why you deserve it.

Drew,
Just compare MUni to mountainbiking as you would compare mountainbiking to roadbiking. I know after riding about a 20 mile mtb ride, I would be feel about the same as I would after a 50 mile road ride. At your level of MUni experience 4.53 miles on the trail is quite a respectable distance.
Be patient, Grashopper, and the distance will come :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

Yeah, I know. I could be inside giving myself a manicure or putting curlers in my hair or something girly like that. :roll_eyes:

Are you over your slump and back to riding yet?

Jayne

Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

weight on seat
but u knew that

very kewl description, that (and weight on seat:p ) will stand u in good stead

thanx for that
:wink:

Re: Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

I prefer to think of it as having been a meditative hiatus, but yes, I am. Thanks for asking. :slight_smile:

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

AMEN to that. My brother reckons, if I was writing a treatise on “The Zen of Unicycling”, my mantra would be “Keep your weight on the f-ing seat you silly cow!”

I find that such gentle reminders help me keep my focus. :slight_smile:

Jayne

Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

u guys
are sooo on
the same page
it makes me sick

:wink:

Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

Just to be clear…

You are learning to ride a unicycle … on a coker. Right? Not: you can ride a unicycle, but not yet a coker. Have I got that right?

I’ve heard of someone doing that (Austin’s skurland), but I don’t know why one would do it unless you don’t have access to any other unicycle.

Do you know Gild?

-Eric

Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

yeah, u got that straight
it’s a long story and maybe i should leave it to jayne to tell for herself, but while i’m here…:wink:

yeah
jayne heard me on a morning radio show here in jhb talking about unicycling but missed the email addy i gave out on air
after some intense googling, she managed to get my contact details from this forum site
she was quite keen to learn how to ride and wanted to buy a uni as soon as she finished some exams
when the time came to buy the uni, south africa was out of stock of unicycles
dont laugh
buying a uni on the web and getting it to SA isn’t really an option (unless u r really rolling in it) as we face a 7:1 exchange rate to the dolar and 11:1 to the pound
word got around that another unicyclist had recently imported the ‘new’ coker and his old one was on the market
since it was possibly the only unicycle available at the time, jayne decided to buy it
the plan was to use my 20" or 24" to learn and then to ride the Coker
when i (jokingly!!) mentioned that only one person has ever learned to ride using a Coker (our friend mr scott kurland) and she might as well give it a go…

did i mention that jayne has red hair?

so, here we are

interestingly enough, the coker seems to be a more user-friendly learning tool than i ever imagined
but i’ll let jayne tell u about that

Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

In a nutshell!

Right again! He explained the whole situation pretty well. Personally, I think he’s a bit narked that I decided to go this way. I was going to buy the coker (I had the spare cash, an opportunity not to be missed, etc) and let him use it while I borrowed one of his smaller wheels to learn on. He waved the whole “no woman has done this before” flag and that was that. Kind of like a red rag to a bull (my star sign is Taurus, BTW, but I’m sure there’s no connection :smiley: ).

The coker is actually not that bad to learn on. I haven’t had a single bad fall and my shins are untouched. It is big, it is high, but it is harder to fall off (at least for me) as you notice it moving soon enough to actually do something about it.

I’m sticking with the progress posts mainly to keep me to my schedule - a minimum of 15 minutes of practice a day. It seems to be working so far.

What’s that got to do with anything?

Jayne

Re: Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

He’s trying to tell you that you are exceptionally intelligent and a gifted athlete. Only a redhead could ever hope to succeed at learning to ride on something as unusual as a Coker. But you knew that, right? :wink:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

I assume from the above that you have red hair too?

Jayne

Re: Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

am i the only one wondering if they say ‘duh?’ where U live?
:wink:

the last time i got ‘narked’, i had everything hidden away well enough and they had to leave with nothing, so there
:stuck_out_tongue:

seriously tho,
having a coker to play with for a couple of weeks while u learnt on one of my wheels

very kewl

‘watching’ u learn to ride on a Coker (and finally being able to make the case that Scott Kurland is just a big girl;) )

priceless

:slight_smile:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Learning to ride on a Coker (Day 2-23 Feb)

Well, yeah, except for the gifted athlete bit.