Newbie and lost

Hello! I’m a newbie to this forum and a mostly-newbie to unicyling. (a word which this spell-check insists does not exist! :astonished: )

I’m totally lost with these forums. I’ve a member of only on other message board, and it is super-organized. I… just can’t seem to find anything here.

I do have a couple of questions. If I’m putting this in the wrong spot, please let me know!

For the life of me, I can’t seem to find any unicycle groups/clubs (that aren’t serious juggling school things) in the St. Louis area. I know two people here who unicycle, even though I rarely get to meet up with them, and I (obviously) don’t know anyone up in STL yet. Does anyone here have info?

I’ve been unicycling for several months. I can ride forwards, freemount, and jumprope. That’s about it. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m working on idling and backwards riding. Can’t wait to go through all these tutorials you have here.

This might be a weird question: Do any of you have shin splints/cramping foot problems while riding? I have weird feet (so weird that my parents are going to take me to a podiatrist and get fancy shoes), and they are prone to cramps and blisters and whatnot. My feet being weird might explain the arch cramps, but not the shin splints! I don’t even ride for long periods of time. My record is two miles.

Is there any thread/website/etc. that explains the differences between various types of unicycles, what all the uni-jargon means, etc? I mean, I didn’t know what the difference between a crank and whatchamacallit were until my dad helped me put my 24" Torker together. After reading these things about fancy unicycles, I’m starting to get concerned. Am I going to ruin my expensive (expensive by my standards) unicycle by hopping on it? Riding it on gravel?

And one last thing!!! I’ve had an issue with my tires from the start. I start out riding it at the recommend pressure (just under 40 psi) and after an HOUR its down to 30. One time it got as low as 20 in one day. I have to re pump the tires EVERY TIME I want to ride. Its annoying. I don’t think its supposed to do that, but then again, I am incredibly non-versed in all things uniycle.

Thomasina,

Welcome aboard! I’ve got some answers but not all. Your tire has a leak somehow. Have someone familiar with this type of thing help you resolve it. You can find the leak by pumping it to recommended pressure then putting water on it with a rag and looking for bubbles from the leak.

Your Torker will last indefinately but only if you don’t hop with it. It’s not made to do that. I have 2 Torkers and believe they will serve me a long long time because I don’t hop with them. Plan on spending $300 for a uni made for hopping and such if that’s what you want to do.

I never get cramps of any kind so it sounds like your situation is the cause. I can say that proper seat hight is crucial though to comfortable riding of any distance. You want it set so that a fully extended leg has just a slight bend.

Start your education by visiting unicycle.com and reading up on all their offerings. If you see a term you don’t understand, use the search function here and you’ll probably find an answer. If not, ask us.

‘Unicyling’ does not exist. Unicycling, however, does.:wink:

Thanks! As far as hopping goes… I’d like to learn to jump up curbs, possibly stairs-- that comes after I learn backwards and stuff. :slight_smile: I don’t expect to do huge hops like I’ve seen in videos for quite awhile. However, I do like to jumprope on the uni. Is that the sort of thing that can harm the Torker?

Ooops. Unicycling. :slight_smile:

probably not, as long as you keep retightening everything. jumping rope is more difficult than you think, if you plan on doing it alone. you have to hop with no hands (use your knees/theighs)

Couple more answers. Riding on gravel is perfectly OK for even the weakest unicycle. As to drops and jumping: it depends on your weight also, as well as your technique. If you are heavy and drop like a dead weight on your pedals, the Torker can stand very little. But if you are light and dampen drops with your knees bending, and possibly bending at the waist, it can handle more. I have no personal experience with the Torker but routinely dropping from a curb might well be OK.

We have had threads explaining the different styles. Try the search option (at the top of the page) for styles. Various parts are named in a picture in “Learning to unicycle” that you can download for free from http://www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/uni_beginners.htm . (I have to plug this from time to time :))

It’s cool that you can jump rope on the uni. That is usually not something that beginners tackle.

Shin pain or cramped feet are not normally associated with unicycling. So it may have to do something with your “weird feet”, I don’t know.

Usually shin pain is associated with activities like running, and largely caused by a muscle imbalance, where the supporting muscles along your shins (or sometimes even along your arches) are not strong enough for the activity. I wouldnt think unicycling to be the culprit, however there are exercises you can do to strengthen those muscles.

Shin pain

Unicycling can put a little stress on the muscles of your shin (anterior leg) depending on where your foot is on the pedals, how long your cranks are… etc. One could be using these muscles to keep their toes up (dorsiflexion) if they’re riding with more of the back of the foot on the pedals or to keep their heels down if they’re riding with more of the front of the foot on the pedals.

How old are you? More stats please (height, weight)…

Also, you don’t happen to take creatine do you? There have been a couple of studies showing that creatine increases the pressure in the muscles of your shins with running… it’s not a huge leap to think it could happen with unicyclists.

Hmm, I ride with the balls of my feet on the pedals, and I don’t think I lift my toes up while riding. I think I’ll write this off as “weird feet” and ask the podiatrist. I’ve heard of some exercise that is supposed to strengthen shin muscles. I’m definitely going to try it.

I’m 15, and rather tall. I’m overweight, though, so I think that might be a concern as far as hopping goes. I’m pretty good about bending my knees while jumping and having my legs, not the unicycle, absorb the bounce.

No, I haven’t even heard of creatine before. :stuck_out_tongue:

I didn’t know that jumprope is unusual for beginners! Hehe, something to cheer me up (I was discouraged earlier today because I kept falling while trying to idle). Jumprope is fairly easy for me (aside from getting the rope caught in the pedals!) I was trying to idle one day, and lost my balance. Instead of falling, I just grabbed my seat and bounced up. Didn’t take to long to realize that could control that bouncing. I’ve only ever jumproped by myself (I hold the seat with my legs), because we don’t have a big rope.

Thanks for all the replys! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Weird feet would necessarily cause shin pain… “weird ankles” are more likely although the simplest explanation would be there’s something you’re doing to put stress on your front shin muscles… It’ll probably go away as you get better and more efficient. If it doesn’t, you may want to see someone or try stiffer shoes for a little bit (5-10 downhill high tops or hiking boots are pretty stiff).

If you want to keep a freestyle unicycle in one piece, really don’t jump on it :wink: by jump I mean anything more than 30cm. up or down. It’ll be able to take it but you’ll be damaging loads of things and eventually it’ll break.

If you want to get into that kind of thing, buy a cheap (ish) Nimbus ISIS trials.

If you find unicycling is hurting a little, take it slow, let your muscles develop. I remember when I started I was about your age, and my calves just kept hurting. A month or so later they where fine and I don’t get that pain anymore. (then again I used to ride around for 2-3 hours straight which I don’t do anymore…)

The tyre problem could be the valve, not neccesarily a puncture. If your unicycle is new, or rather, the inner tube is new, the valve is more likely to be the problem than a puncture. Any decent bike-shop or bike enthusiast should be able to help with any kind of valve. It might also be worth looking for a puncture on the inside of the tyre, as sometimes on new rims, there is a sharp bit on a join that cuts the tyre a little.