I think there are precisely two. That’s why I’m so thrilled to have this totally RARE and AWESOME opportunity.
Cokers are a beast and are really fun to ride. When you FIRST start riding one, the size and the weight and the speed and the height and the inertia really hit you. But we are talking about a geared Coker here. All of those factors are multiplied.
That’s GOOD news because it means I’m normal. I’m truly amazed that Beau could ride it right away.
I had “forgotten” my initial reaction to that event (which I am now remembering clearly). I was thinking… “What’s he DOING? Why is he doing that (sailing over my unicycle)? Maybe it’s some experiment, but what’s the PURPOSE?” I didn’t think it polite to ask.
der Uber Coker UPDATE:
I met with Andrew (HardcoreCokerRider) today in “the city” (a.k.a. New York City) for another ride on the geared Coker.
It took many attempts to mount it before I could ride it. But having ridden it once before, progress was much quicker this time. The type of mount where you walk behind it and jump on is the best mount, because it gives you a bit of momentum. But if you mount and lean too far forward, you will fall off the front, because you cannot accelerate quickly enough to match the lean. If you stomp down on the pedal, you will fall off because the pedal will not respond much. You have to mount into a mostly vertical position, then sloooowly accelerate (the word finesse comes to mind). This was the key bit of advice from Andrew that helped me get it moving. As my familiarity and confidence increased, I did find that I could pull up on the seat and accelerate much more forcefully and quickly. But initially, it’s best not to rush.
At first, my riding wasn’t smooth at all – I would keep speeding up and slowing down, while trying to settle down in the seat and relax. Sometimes, I would UPD before ever really sitting down. Gradually, I got much more smooth and relaxed, but not totally. Turning, even a wide 180 degree turn, still gives me problems.
Eventually, I tried a static mount (grabbing the wheel) and NAILED it on my first attempt. But that was the only time I could do it. We were pretty tired at that point, because before taking out der Uber Coker, Andrew introduced me to his style of Coker riding – which took us both on an insane journey through the streets of New York City, dodging cabs and pedestrians and potholes (on regular Cokers). I was focused on staying alive and trying to keep up with Andrew. Being my first time, he had to keep waiting for me whenever I got “stuck”. Once, he squeezed between a parked car and the corner of an SUV – I had to walk the Coker between… and it barely, barely fit. Often, to pass the time while waiting for me, he would zoom around, carving his signature turns around pedestrians and cars. Anyway, that’s why we were tired by the time we rode der Uber Coker. It’s best to be at your best when piloting a geared Coker (or a helicopter, I’m told).
The best news… I could ride my Coker almost immediately after riding the geared Coker. I could adjust back to my “ordinary” Coker almost right away this time (although I’m afraid to jump mount… and it hasn’t ever felt totally right since riding the geared Coker). One more tool in my toolbox… my brain knows how to switch back and forth now. It’s been a long time since I’ve had trouble adjusting to different wheel sizes, and now this includes a virtual 54" wheel.
Question: How does riding the geared Coker compare to riding a regular Coker with short cranks (say, 102’s)? Der Uber Coker at rest is lesson in inertia. It takes a LOT to get it moving. How similar is this to short cranks? If I practice with short cranks, will it improve my ability to ride der Uber Coker? Or the other way around: Now that I can ride a unicycle whose cranks don’t give you much torque vis-à-vis “wheel size”, will this experience translate to an ability to ride a Coker with very short cranks? (by the way, 175s are “normal” for me and 140s are “short” – I could successfully ride 125s last year, but I took them off because they were too crazy for me at the time.) That good riders initially have trouble with the geared Coker tells me it’s much more than an issue of torque that causes the difficulty. But lack of torque must be the biggest factor, I think.
Also, we shot some video. I will post it soon – after I fix my computer problems. And we are planning another Uber ride soon.
Thanks for reading about this mediocre rider’s experience with… der Uber Coker.