musings of fear.

I scored a slick 1.9" tire today for 2 dollars. I put it on my commuter and had a blast riding a few minutes every few hours today as a break from my thesis pieces. Anyway. I ran into some highschool kids who were grinding rails around campus. I am leary about this crowd because of guilt by association from the law, but they were super impressed and wanted to film me some. I let one kid try. He was pretty hopeless for like 2 minutes then started to get it. Like 4 or 5 tries later he rode shakily for 20-30 feet and then dumped it. Made me want to barf. It took me forever to get that good. Anyway. one kid was trying to get up the nerve to grind down a staircase railing. I decided to ride down the stairs for kicks. By the way, if a staircase is scary with a 15psi Gazz, then don’t do it with a 2" slick that is inflated to 65 psi. Particularly if the stairs are a slick granite. It scared the absolute crap out of me. I started over the top and and right away started skidding the steps a little, so I decided to let it run. I was surprised how quick it picked up speed… and then parted with the stairs all together. The rythmic skidding was replaced with an eire silence as I saw one stair after another passing below me as I sailed through the air, free arm flailing. The wheel hooked up with the stairs again about 7 from the bottom. I skidded down 3 of those without pedaling and then let it run the last 4 or so. I road out of it miraculously but my legs were shaking as I had caught the fear and I dumped it then. I turned around to see my new friends’ speechless faces. Then one breaks the silence and turns to the other and says, “Dude… Tell me you got that on tape.” “no, man I missed it.” Oh well. I always wondered if the last seconds of my life will be on tape or in a picture. I’ve at least taught myself not to think of that as I set up for something. I am going to go change my pants.

I just want to say that fear can be both a good thing and a bad thing while unicycling. Fear before trying a stunt can keep you from doing something stupid, but fear during a trick can throw off your concentration. Once you’ve started something irreversible, just go for it. That’s how I finally got enough courage to try stairs. If you hesitate in the middle of something, it’s more likely that you’ll hurt yourself. Of course, the safest way to avoid getting hurt is to not try anything dangerous at all, but where’s the fun in that?

Re: musings of fear.

stunning description
u had me scared!
bonus points for waiting it out till it came back to u
and for riding away nonchalantly…
many bonus points


my friends and i call that fear thing the “suicide effect”. just that most of the time doing a trick is easier than it looks. when we were learning suicides, my friend came over and showed me it. i got in the position holding the saddle, and sat there for 5 min. then he said “it’s really not hard, you just need to do it” i did it perfectly first try. same thing with stairs, everyone told me “it’s the suicide effect!” you should never have fear of trying a trick, because you really are better than you think you are. (most especially falling, that week or two of constant falling really helps)


Re: musings of fear.

Thirty-two feet per second per second… :astonished:

Stairs are fun, but the last time I went down a big staircase on my uni, i crushed some of the more delicate and important parts of my body. So I have yet to try the same stunt. Keep up the cool stories. You guys are so much fun.

Re: Re: musings of fear.

Assuming the stairs to be perfectly vertical, and assuming a complete lack of air resistance…:stuck_out_tongue:

Assuming the stairs to take the more conventional style, then I guess it would be 32 feet per second per second, multiplied by the sine of the angle of the stairs?

Nice, Mikefule, but then that is for a ramp! It made me think about stairs. It seems there are three cases to consider. If the rise over run is big compared to the wheel, then the hub is always past the end of the step and I think the wheel necessarily accelerates. if the rise over run is modest, then the tire will have to roll on the flats to get to the edge where it pivots. Maybe in this case the speed can be controled better. The third case is the critical ratio such that the tire is always piviting. Anybody want to look into this more? We know Ian is structural. Any lurking Dynamicists out there? I may give it a stab. (beats what I should be doing)
Lets call them:
Class 1 stairs : hub hangs over
Class 3 stairs hub doesn’t
Class 2. don’t know yet. we will have to wait and see what things behave like near there.

This should all be easy enough to measure. put your uni on a step resting against the higher one. Is the hub over the edge? May tell you what you are in for.

I think I’ll just free my mind from all thought, and head on over the edge… :sunglasses: Plus, I’m still recovering from your explanation of why my new Hunter should theoretically fall apart.