> I can do smooth tight spins in both directions. On my
> counterclockwise spin I can get into a pirouette for up to 2
> rotations but then I usually lose control and dismount. Is
> this another case of more practice needed?
As always. But I think the “perfect” pirouette is one of those things that
will be really hard to achieve. For a more “standard” pirouette, which is
still an advanced skill, you will probably make some minor adjustments to
the pedals as you rotate.
The faster you’re spinning, the harder it will be to feel when you start to
go off-center. A slower speed is probably better for learning, if you can
manage it. If you feel yourself going crooked, try making adjustments to
keep the wheel under your center. If skaters can do it on a 1/8" wide piece
of metal, we should be able to manage it on a 1.5" diameter (or so) patch of
rubber. But it’s harder for us, because that patch of rubber has so much
more friction in it.
> I practice the “approach” into a pirouette frequently and can
> do 5 tight spins of about 6 to 10 inches in diameter. Then I
> pull my arms in which instantly launches me into a fast spin.
> So fast, in fact that it’s seems intimidating, difficult to
> control, thus the dismount.
A spin is kind of like the point of a pyramid. Remember learning to spin? If
you leaned in too much, you suddenly found yourself facing backward and
coming out of it. You need to get into the center without going “over” to
the flip side. The faster you hit into your pirouette, the harder this
probably is to do.
> I’m not sure I’m putting my arms in the right place when I go
> into the pirouette(they are both in front of me).
It doesn’t matter where your arms are. All that really matters is where your
center of mass is in relation to the bottom of your wheel. If you really
want to spin fast, put your arms straight down at your sides. But since a
pirouette is an artistic move, what you do with your arms should
aesthetically match the rest of your performance (if any). In Japan, riders
like to do spins and pirouettes with their arms over their heads.
> The other thing is that I’m doing this on concrete or
> semi-rough pavement. Am I better off to practice this on
> smooth surfaces until I’ve got it down? I don’t have access
> to an indoor gym, but I could use the marble floor in my
> lobby during the wee hours of the night when nobody’s around.
The smoother the better. Not only will your tires last longer, but you will
also be better able to feel what’s going on with your balance when you’re in
Good luck (try not to throw up),
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
“I am never riding the wrong way on a busy street again, esp. when on the
phone.” - David Stone, on survival