No Progress to report!

Finding a song with the right beat for beginning Coker riding was a fun project. The original song used the words “red blue jeans,” so you can skip the “tight” if you like. The original Gene Vincent lyics are about a teen-ager:

The Elvis and Jerry Lee duet was recorded when they were both older men. Their version speaks of a woman of experience. Since you’ve got a couple of kids and are trying to learn on a Coker I figured that would suit you better. It was also a bit slower and had better rythm. Too bad I couldn’t find a mp3 stream with the duet. It exists in a .rm version if you want to look for it.

Blue Suede Shoes was the second choice.

As for a video, well that will have to wait. I have a pair of Ray-Bans and could probably borrow a black berret from my niece, but I don’t have easy access to a video camera.

For what it’s worth, my sense of futility was strongest just before I succeeded.


I think it’s because of the fight-or-flight thing making your all muscles try to help, when you really relax it’s much less work. The first time I got out of my drive-way, I had to stop at less than a quarter mile (.4km) because I had a heart rate of 190+. And that was with a 24 inch. Now I can Coker more than 10 miles (16km) at an average of about 9 miles an hour and hardly notice my pulse.

Fat? We haven’t seen pictures, but I doubt it - you wouldn’t be learning on a Coker if you were. :sunglasses:
Unfit? For riding a unicycle, nobody starts out with the skills you’re learning. Not unfit, unskilled, but fixing that. :slight_smile:
Lump? Lumps are on the couch, eating greasy potato chips, and watching the tele, not riding unicycles.:smiley:

I can give you any advice but i know how you feel i went through a stage of not learning anything then i nailed a crank grab and it’s kept getting beta and beta!!!

Re: No Progress to report!

Klaas Bil wrote:
> On Mon, 10 May 2004 12:34:31 -0500, “Jayne ZA” wrote:
>> Well, that brings me up to 13 hours in the saddle. I keep reassuring
>> myself that I still have 7 hours to learn within the “standard” 10-20
>> hours.
> You can be even more assured. There is no “standard” learning time on
> a Coker - you are the second in the world to do it (afaik) so you set
> the standard yourself!

Hell, to the extent that I set the standard, you’re kicking the standard’s

Tim, I feel the need to mention that I am 34, so 5 years short of being 13 for the third time. I am, despite being a mother of two, in good enough shape that my clothes are only tight when I want them to be ;). I actually already possess the required pair of jeans. They are, however, designed to be worn with boots and are consequently a bit flared at the bottom. Guess I’ll have to tuck them into my socks or something. BTW - what are “red blue jeans”?

Other than that, thanks everybody for all the suggestions and good thoughts. I know that my progress is not likely to be linear. I’ve already noticed that I’ll “stick” at a point for what seems like ages. Then, almost without noticing (sometimes other people will have to point it out to me, or point out that I’m just marking time) I’ll make this huge (for me) leap of progress.

My favourite post thus far:


Blue jeans that are red, of course.

Chin up, Jayne - at this rate you’ll be “rolling out that door” in style before winter sets in for real. I was about where you are in 16 hours and I was on a 20" unicycle so you’re well ahead of the curve.

By the way, what are winters like down there? Here in DC it just hit 32 degC, with the usual 80 percent humidity. In a couple of months it will be over 40. With 90 percent humidity. I may have to modify my set of pads. Fully suited up I’m getting sweat in my eyes within 10 minutes. I miss winter already.

Neurologically what is going on is that you are over-stimulating your muscles. By now you’ve developed the right reflexes, but they are being smothered by all the crude attempts at unicycling reflexes that your body tried at first. All that neural activity sort of paralyzes the muscles. Now the challenge is to let your body forget all the crappy stuff.

I found that just putting the damn thing away for a week or two resulted in significant progress. My theory is that the nervous system tags the good reflexes for reinforcement and the bad reflexes are tagged for removal, but it takes time for body’s maintenance workers to get around to actually doing the reinforcement and removal tasks.

After a couple of weeks off I found that the “bad” reflexes had almost faded away, but the “good” ones were almost as strong. It felt a bit rusty at first, but once I got going my riding was much smoother and my reactions surer. All that guilt about taking time off for nothing!

I guess what I’m saying is that you’ve already done the hard, pioneering work. Those reflexes are in there, and your body won’t forget them. You’ve already mastered that wheel. It’s just a matter of time before your body will let you express what you know.

And yeah, I think you’re kicking butt too!

Have you ever been to Edmonton, Canada, in Summer? A colleague says that is pretty much our winter, we just have less rain.:smiley:

Basically our highveld winters are dry and not too cold, at least as far as most people are concerned. Personally, I freeze! We do get some sub-zero temperatures, but most of those are in the middle of the night when you don’t really notice them. If the weather is really cold our midday high will be in single figures, otherwise we can get up to between 15 and 20 degC. In summer we get afternoon thunderstorms and temperatures can get up to 35 degC and above. We don’t have the humidity problem, being so far inland, but we can still be feeling those temperatures at 10 - 11 o’clock at night.


(better late than never, I hope)
You mentioned that you can do pretty well if you borrow a shoulder. Is that shoulder always on the same side of you? If so, you might have developed a slight lean to one side that is causing some of your troubles. Try riding with the shoulder on the other side, and switch back and forth. Hopefully when you ride unassisted, your body will pick the middle ground, and you will be balanced.

When I learned to ride, all my supports were on my right side. It took me much longer to learn to turn left than to turn right, and I still have an urge to ride off-center occassionally.

Nope. I am boringly diligent about changing sides. Even if I am in the middle of an open parking lot I swap feet (when mounting) and support location (also when mounting, I can’t freemount yet) regularly.

I just need more practice and less cowardice.


Hmmm… That explains a lot. I learned asymetrically, and turning right is still much harder.

I found that it was partly to do with how I had my feet on the pedals. As a cyclist I’m used to having the pedal spindle under the balls of my feet for long rides, and a bit forward of that for sprinting, so I’m very careful to place my feet just so on the pedals. But when I slap my foot onto a pedal in a freemount it’s easiest when the pedal winds up under my arch. So my static foot (almost always left) is placed carefuly with the spindle under the balls of my feet, and my dynamic foot winds up pedaling with the spindle under my arch. This asymmetry in my foot position has an effect similar to a twisted seat. Now I put my static foot on near the arch and live with a sub-optimal pedaling position for both feet.